While fans of the animated superhero series will justifiably groan over the inclusion of only four more episodes, Young Justice – Season One, Volume Three is another worthwhile DVD. Sort of an alternate DC Comics universe, Young Justice follows the adventures of a team of young superheroes. These heroes have been mentored by their better known adult counterparts. For instance, Dick Grayson – aka Robin – has Batman as his mentor. Superboy, Conner Kent to his schoolmates, is a clone of Superman. Other team members include Aqualad (who serves as their leader), Kid Flash, Miss Martian, and Artemis. Their mentors appear in cameo roles at various times, but the focus remains squarely on the young heroes.
While this all could have turned into a cheesy, kiddie version of the Justice League concept, it deftly sidesteps any concerns. Series co-creators Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, both veterans of the animated DC universe, have so far maintained a well written series with sophisticated storytelling and striking visuals. While adult viewers would likely prefer a full season on DVD at once (or at least half a season per release), it’s a strong testament to the show’s quality that there is an adult fan base to begin with. The show, which airs on the Cartoon Network, is truly entertaining for superhero fans of any age.
“Bereft” begins Season One, Volume Three with a mind-bender of a story in which the members of Young Justice have lost the previous six months of their memories. The telekinetic Miss Martian has to help them figure out the details of a forgotten mission. “Targets” finds Lex Luthor involved in a bizarre assassination plot. Though the series is not rooted in the timeline of the official DC universe, Luthor’s appearance as a supporting character is only one of many examples where well-known villains turn up in addition to famous heroes. “Terrors” is another example, the disc’s third episode. Classic bad guys such as Mr. Freeze and the Riddler appear as inmates at Belle Reve Penitentiary, where Superboy and Miss Martian are sent on an undercover mission. The disc concludes with “Home Front,” which focuses on Robin and Artemis taking on a pair of invading villains, Red Inferno and Red Torpedo.
Young Justice – Season One, Volume Three carries very little in the way of supplemental features. The DVD contains a digital comic book that functions like a still gallery. It offers a chance to sample a Young Justice comic book, but it isn’t much of a feature. Detailed imagery appears far too small even on a decent sized TV screen. Young Justice boasts stylish animation and strong writing. Releasing only four episodes per disc is a frustrating move on the part of Warner Home Video, but fans have little other choice when collecting the series.