Saturday, 28 April 2012

YJ: Invasion - Episode 1 Review and Recap

Happy New Year!

- Recap: The episode and the new season kicks off just after the defeat of the Light last episode, where Robin and the JL recount the situation that they've found themselves in: The Light had control of six members of the League for 16 hours that they can't account for, so now they're worried what they might have done.

The action then cuts to a city, possibly Gotham, where Superboy, in his new outfit, is running through some sewers. He finds a lump of goo on the floor, and is then ambushed by Clayface, who promptly tries to suffocate him, gloating about how even Kryptonians need to breathe.

Luckily, M'gann is at hand and she uses her TK to pull Clayface apart to knock Conner loose, and then while his attention is focused on the pair of aliens, Robin throws some electric batarangss at him. This causes Clayface to smugly say how shocking him doesn't work anymore, only for Conner to throw an expoding foam... thing into the shapeshifter's mouth, which causes him to set into a big lump.

Robin seems to be different now, possibly a little older than he was before had. Beast Boy soon joins them, who is definately a bit older than his previous appearance, implying that this show is now several years after the previous one. Interestingly, this version actually keeps his costume on when he transforms, thank god. And then the Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) and Bumblebee appear, woo! Beast Boy complains that they weren't able to get a souvenir for the trophy room, but Jaime says that the smell that Gar got from swimming in sewer water probably counts.

M'gan calls back to the Cave, confirming the bad guy was caught, and a helpful caption states that it's actually five years after the previous show, and the person answering Meg's call is Nightwing, so we have a new Robin this season. Cool. I wonder who it is.

Title sequence.

Back at Mount Justice, Lagoon Boy is busy being defeated by Nightwing in a wrestling match. The brief exchange seems to indicate that they've been friends as a while, as well as showing that this Nightwing actually IS Dick, in case people were confused by the goings on.

But it seems that the status quo has changed more in more ways than we'd thought. It seems that Mal, another former member of Conner and M'Gann's highschool class is in the Team, but doesn't seem to have powers as yet. He's kind of upset that Bumblebee just blew off one of their dates while M'gann... seems to be dating Lagoon Boy now. And Conner doesn't look in any way happy with this arrangement.

Captain Atom calls, it seems that there are now multiple squads in the Team, and that someone is attacking the UN building. Nightwing says that the beta team is close, and that they should be able to handle it... It apparently being Lobo. Who is wandering the halls, seemingly shouting at everyone in an alien language. Knowing him it was probably all swearwords.

He goes to the room of the chairman of the UN, and after turning on his translator, he explains that he was hired to put on a show for the locals and to either make Earth surrender or just kill everyone. The Chairman is understandibly bewildered by this, which Lobo takes as a prompt to just murder him... But then Wonder Girl jumps ove this head, and punches him in the stomach so hard the forces shatters all of the office's windows... AWESOME.

BabsGirl swings in through one of the broken windows, and tells Cassie to keep Lobo busy while she gets the Chairman to safety, which WG happily does. After she gets smacked into a wall, Lobo starts off after Babs and the Chairman, becoming more and more annoyed at the resistance that the "Ceezy femmes!" were causing him. Cassie returning, punching him and declaring that they weren't "Done dancing!" doesn't help the Czarian's mood any. The girls smack him around, he smacks them around, and then promptly tears the Chairman in half vertically. Ick.

Happily though, it turns out to be a human-sized disguise for a tiny alien, who Lobo grabs, saying that the contract was complete. He yells how "Your world is your world!" to Cassie and Babs, before riding off on his spacebike. Cassie expresses amazement that "Clownface" was an alien, while Babs is more immediately concerned with how an alien was impersonating the head of the UN.

A little later, footage of the fight is being played on a show hosted by G. Gordon Godfrey, voiced by Tim Curry the Amazing, who crows about how the film proves an agenda of his that he's been warning people about for some time. Namely, how people are secretly being replaced by aliens, and you can trust no one! The irony considering who the character is if he's the same as the comicbook one is hilarious, as is the fact that he apparently is modelled on a conservative talkshow host.

Godfrey declares that the Justice League (the font he uses being the one from the DCAU show, HA!) are a scam that's been set up to sneak aliens onto the planet. Sure, he says, Superman and the Martian Manhunter are aliens and appear to be on the side of angels, but he says that just means that there are two good aliens in one column and two in the bad (the bad being Lobo and the fake Chairman).

The report cuts to Cat Grant, who is outside of the Hall of Justice and is trying to get some answers. It appears that in the five years since the last show, Rocket and Zatanna have both joined the League and brush aside Cat with a No Comment comment. Apparently getting into the League requires cleavage in Zee's case, weird. The League's publicist, a French lady whose name I didn't catch, tells Cat that they'll recieve a statement when one is ready.

Godfrey takes this as the League actually being up to something, and how does the public know that Wonder Woman, the Flash, Hawkman or Icon are aliens (well... the latter two are most of the time), and if so can they actually be trusted?

Meanwhile, at the Watchtower, John Stewart is explaining two the older members of the Team who Lobo and the alien are. He has that the alien comes from a race that normally travels in packs, so there must be more or them on Earth somewhere. J'onn has a solution to the problem of finding them. He introduces Adam Strange, making his YJverse debut, as a member of STAR Labs that happens to be responsible for getting their zeta beam teleporters working properly.

Conner mutters telepathically about how a civilian has been invited to the top secret section of the Watchtower, but J'onn allows Adam to describe how he was fixing one of the teleporters when he was accidentally teleported to the planet Rann. One there, he met a scientist (his comicbook father-in-law) who explained to him after they worked out the language thing, that the aliens that were inpersonating the Chairman had stolen teleportation tech from him and escaped to Earth. Adam then shows that he was given a device that would allow them to trace where on Earth the aliens should be now.

Captain Atom suggests a two pronged attack, with half the League attacking the aliens on Earth while the rest go to Rann to cut them off at the source. Adam says that they may have a problem with that, as six members of the League had attacked that area of space five years ago and were now wanted criminals. Nightwing announces to everyone that that must have been what they were doing in those 16 hours, while Batman fills everyone else in to what went on with Savage.

As it seems that everyone who is in the League, including Zatanna and Rocket, are on a watchlist on Rann, Nightwing suggests that he take a team from his own group to Rann as they aren't being watched out for, and come back without causing an intergalaxtic incident. Zatanna then pipes up that Dick, Conner and M'gann all have open invitations to join the League themselves whenever they want, but the Teammembers say that they're happy where they are at the moment.

Back at Mount Justice, Nightwing splits up the Team to take out the three of the locations the aliens were at at once. And it turns out that the new Robin is in fact Tim (yay!). The team consisting of Jaime, Lagoonboy and Tim get to their target first, a scrapyard new new Orleans. Lagoonboy is annoyed that it seems to be a soft gig, as there isn't enough room for a zeta beam platform there, while Jaime is okay with that... and gets into a prompt argument with Khaji Da. The other two are weirded out by this, as they can't hear the Scarab, and Tim calls in the info for the others.

Finding that the signal isn't coming from a toolshield as initially thought, the team travel into the river next to the scrapyard, finding a huge underground complex there. They call it in, but are quickly spotted by the biotech security cameras that the aliens have. The aliens attack the trio of heroes, who fight back in kind. The head alien spots Jaime, who is blasting all of the tiny aliens from a distance, and promptly freaks out (ah, seems that the Reach exist in this universe too), calling for the aliens to abandon the base and just RUN.

Khaji translates the alien's speech for Jaime, who relays that the abductees are being kept below ground and the base has less than four minutes until it explodes. Tim thinks for a moment about how Dick said not to risk the lives of the Team unnecessarily, but saying that saving those people is a good reason, the three head off to rescue them. The hostages are happy that Robin's there, but they freak out when they see Beetle and Lagoonboy, thinking that they're aliens. The trio rescue the hostages just as the complex explodes, huzzah.

Back on the surface, the rest of the Team, plus the League, show up to assist Tim and Co. but finding that they've already saved the day, Dick just congratulates them on their first solo mission, which Tim is happy about. Meanwhile the episode ends with Team Zeta, arriving on Rann to complete there half of the mission...

- Review: A lot has changed since the last show, for the most part it managed to juggle the changes very well. The new characters that were introduced managed to seem unique enough to distinguish them from the rest of the squad, while remaining fairly close to their previous comicbook incarnations.

The show left me curious as to what other changes may have happened in the five years since the last season, and what other cameos we can expect now that we can add the likes of Cassie Sandsmark, the Reach, Tim Drake etc. to the YJverse. I am curious as to what happened to Wally, Kaldur and Artemis though. Hopefuly she isn't dead like I've heard some people suggest...

The stand out sections for me this episode, were the hilariously awesome antics of Wonder Girl and Batgirl vs. Lobo, which managed to quickly illustrate who all three characters were in a very short frame of time, the odd comedy stylings of Jaime and Khadji, and the brilliant as ever Tim Curry, who seemed to arrive in the show driving a truck full of delicious ham. Which, on reflection, is a performance that fits both the character he's playing and the pundit thing they also seem to be parodying.


  1. The weirdest thing about Conner and Megan breaking up is that she's now dating Lagoon Boy, of all people. But the whole thing has been bothering me all day, for whatever reason. I took a nap between the second showing on CNWest and work and had this weird dream that the break up had something to do with Conner being sent to live in Australia. Yeah, I don't know either. And I came up with a dozen other possibilities (most of them kinda dark) while at work. I guess I was more invested with that pairing than I thought.

    The Wonder Girl and Batgirl vs. Lobo fight was pretty awesome, and as you said was a good introduction to all three.

    The League publicist is named Catherine Colbert. A bit of a development gag in that scene, as Colbert was originally going to be in the pilot episode but got cut, and the character design used for Cat Grant and her voice for the League computers.

    Another thing that stuck with me is that when Dick gives Tim the leadership of the squad, he gives him the warning of "Don't die" and they both have uncomfortable expressions on their faces. Either there was a Jason Todd Robin who died, like in the comics, or they are thinking about another character (or characters) that have died during the time skip. And there's no sight or mention of Wally, Artemis, or Kaldur. Yuh-oh.

    I'm hoping all those dangling plot threads, like what happened with Roy, other Roy, Match, and the Light.

    1. That's what happens in life. People break up, all the time :/

      Anyway, loved the big shake up of the status quo, very comic book-y. I'm okay with it :D