Featured Screen Shot
Artemis: It’s Red Tornado!
Robin: Yes on the Red! No on the Tornado!
Superboy: By the way: Worst. Death-trap. Ever.
September 22nd – Artemis Crock is awoken at 6am by her alarm clock. She gazes around her bedroom in the Gotham City apartment she shares with her mother and remembers back to when Jade, her older sister, still lived at home. Her mother was in prison at the time and Jade (implied to be the assassin Cheshire; Young Justice (vol. 2) #7 (Oct 2011)) left rather than stay at home with their father. Artemis’s wool-gathering is cut short when her mother forces her to get up. It’s her first day at the Gotham City Academy (the result of a Wayne Foundation scholarship; “Infiltrator”) and Artemis is met by her student liaison. Robin (who unknown to Artemis also goes to the Academy) appears and tells Artemis that “We’ll laugh about this someday” and takes a picture of himself with her. She turns to see who it was, but he has already vanished.
In the Cave’s cavernous Hanger Bay, Superboy and Miss Martian have final recognised their mutual attraction (since “Terrors”) and have been spending a lot of time together. Kid Flash assumes they’ve been working on Superboy’s bike and decides to give them his expert help. Meanwhile, Aqualad confides in the Red Tornado about his suspicion that there is a mole on the Team (“Targets”). Aqualad contemplates telling Batman, but the Tornado notes that Batman generally expects them to solve their own problems. The Tornado then cuts their conversation short and tells Aqualad that he has agreed to cover Green Arrow’s Justice League Monitor Duty as Arrow has a date with Black Canary.
Back in Gotham, Artemis is in uniform and preparing to teleport to the Cave when she runs into Robin again. He doesn’t let on that he’d seen her earlier and acts surprised that she’s in Gotham. Her cover story is that she is Green Arrow’s niece/sidekick from Star City so she hurriedly tells Robin that she’s visiting her cousin who was in a State “spelling bee”. Robin teleports to the Cave first and Artemis follow him. When she arrives the room is full of smoke. Robin shouts to her and she dodges just before a jet of flame sears past her. They reply with arrows and throwing discs, but their two opponents remains shrouded in smoke. Flame and water attacks alternatively assault them, but nobody on the Team responds to their radio or telepathic calls – they can’t even raise the Justice League, Batcave, or Red Tornado on the Watchtower.
After a series of desperate dodges, escapes, and retreats the two teen heroes reach the Cave’s kitchen area. From there Robin downloads the Cave’s blue prints into his wrist computer, they then use the plans to navigate through the Cave’s air ducts and hidden access tunnels. A column of flame almost fries them before appearing in the plant room as a female silhouette surrounded by fire. Artemis and Robin finally catch a moments breathe by diving into another access tunnel. Robin hacks into the Cave’s security system to prevent them from being easily traced. At Artemis’s insistence he also brings up the security logs. They see Aqualad ask the others how their school-work is balancing with their responsibilities before an explosion takes out the camera. It seems that their team has been overwhelmed by the same force chasing them.
Artemis and Robin make for a secret passage way in the library, but hide when they hear footsteps. The Red Tornado’s voice calls to them and a relieved Artemis steps out from her hiding place. However, its not the Tornado she sees, but another red-coloured android (the Red Torpedo). It lunges at her and Robin pushes her out of its way. A second red-android (the Red Inferno; a female one, the same fire throwing one as from the plant room) blocks their escape. Robin and Artemis escape into the passage way they were searching for. Artemis is increasing worried – neither of them have superpowers and the Red Tornado on his own was one of the powerhouses of the Justice League. Robin’s natural levity under fire doesn’t help Artemis’s stress.
Torpedo calls to them over the Cave’s PA system and tells Robin and Artemis and tells them that they “have exactly ten minutes to surrender or the lives of your team-mates will be extinguished.” The rest of the Team are being held captive in the Hanger Bay. Miss Martian and Aqualad are imprisoned in a cage of fire which is rapidly weakening them while Kid Flash and Superboy are wrapped in a twisted lump of metal. The Red Torpedo causes the waters to rise around them as it counts down the deadline for Robin and Artemis to surrender. They are running towards the Hanger when the Torpedo’s waters overwhelm them. Robin’s rebreather from his utility belt saves them, but the the android grabs Artemis. Robin jabs it in the eye with an arrow and then pulls Artemis out of its reach with a grapple-line.
They eventually make it to the Haner, but M’gann is unconcious and Aqualad is concerned that they can’t survive much longer. However, the Inferno’s fireballs keep Robin and Artemis moving and they have to keep ducking underwater for safety. Eventually they make it to the steps leading to Aqualad’s cage, but by then the two androids have them surrounded. They throw their weapons against the androids, but the Inferno in invulnerable to arrows and Robin’s discs just bounce off of the Torpedo. One of his discs is defected and embeds itself worryingly close to Kid Flash’s head. Even playing the fire and water powers of the androids against each other only gives the two teen heroes a moment to escape. They dive down back through the pool and into a hatchway that leads them to the yet another access tunnel.
Artemis is beginning to panic – she’s down to her last arrow and is incredulous that Robin still believes that they can save their friends. However, it’s her off-hand comment about the “machines” that inspires Robin to rig an EM pulse to shut them down. He uses the disc that landed near Kid Flash to communicate with him. The Kid describes how to turn components from the Med-Lab’s X-Ray machine into an EMP device. However, to make it work they’ll need to hook it up to the Cave’s main generator which is back in the Hanger. Superboy and Kid Flash distract the androids’ attention with insults as Robin sneaks the EMP generator into place. However, its too short and its prongs don’t complete the circuit. Robin doesn’t have chance to improvise a solution before he’s swept away by the Torpedo’s tidal wave.
Artemis is out of arrows and is forced to retreat alone. Without Robin’s help she feels totally overwhelmed and curls up believing that she has failed the Team. Artemis even thinks that if she escapes she can call in the League or at least hunt down her friends killers. She’s looking for an escape route when she comes across Kid Flash’s souvenir collection which includes one of her sister’s Cheshire masks. For the second time that day she’s reminded of the day that Jade (Cheshire) ran away from home. It inspires her not to runaway from her new family. Artemis then takes another of the Kid’s souvenirs – the arrow she used against Amazo in “Schooled” – and returns to the Hanger Bay. She bluffs the androids that she’s surrendering, but with one arrow and an accurate shot Artemis connects the circuit through the generator and triggers the EMP.
The EMP device deactivates the androids which in turn causes the fire cage to evaporate and the flood waters to receed. The Team are all okay despite their trauma, but Superboy and Kid Flash are still stuck in their metal prison as the metal cutting tool is inoperable – another victim of the EMP pulse. Just then the Red Tornado arrives and tells them that he was unaware that he has any “family”. He had to teleport to New Providence and fly to the Cave as the Zeta-Tubes were non-functional. The metal cutter suddenly starts up signifying that the EMP pulse is starting to wear off. At the sametime the Red Tornado is kneeling over the prone Red Inferno. A spark jumps across to the Tornado from the Inferno and appears to over write his programming. The “possessed” Red Tornado turns on the Team and creates a whirlwinds in the Hanger Bay which sucks the breathe out of the Team causing them all to pass out.
By the time the Team regain conciousness they are surrounded by the concerned Justice League who are asking what happened. However, all three of the Red androids – Torpedo, Inferno, and Tornado – have vanished.
- This episode takes place on September 22nd.
- Dick Grayson, Artemis Crock, Barbara Gorden, and Betty Kane all go to Gotham City Academy.
- The Red Tornado is exempt from Monitor Duty since becoming the Team’s supervisor.
- Robin has been “doing this” since he was nine.
- Rising water: its a trope of TV shows to have waters rising around our heroes, but in order for the threat to seem real the water is shown to rise at an alarming rate and that’s usually way faster than any stated deadline would actually imply. Ten minutes to drown our heroes would mean the water creeping up at about an inch every 8 seconds.
- The Sphere beeped at Superboy and Miss Martian in the tag – was it really jealous or was it actually warning them about the Red androids.
- Dick Grayson is described as a freshman – i.e. new that year – at Gotham City Academy, but he’s already shown in “Schooled” as having won awards there the previous year.
- Why does Artemis’s sister have a different surname? Their mother is listed as Paula Crock in the credits, the CN website gives Artemis’s full name as Artemis Crock, and her implied father (the Sportsmaster) has the name Lawrence Crock in the comics. However, Cheshire in common with her comicbook appearances – where she isn’t related to any of those three – is given the name Jade Nguyen. Has she assume that name to distance herself from her family or is there a bigger question over her background?
There was a run of episodes near the start which focused on individual characters, but it now seems we are into episodes which focus on pairs of characters in stead. “Targets” focused on Red Arrow and Aqualad, “Terrors” focused on Superboy and Miss Martian, and now this episode focuses on Robin and Artemis. The pairing is not that natural, but it works well to starkly illustrate the differences between them. Robin despite being the youngest is also the most experienced where as Artemis is potentially the least experienced. She’s very capable, but doesn’t have that resolve that Robin has naturally developed fighting alongside Batman. The joke with Artemis and Dick Grayson attending the same school and her not even realising it was fun and hinted at the possibility of a Batgirl appearance in the future.
The Red Tornado’s disappearance at the beginning almost appeared like he was the traitor, but that wouldn’t be the case if he’s then taken over by the Torpedo and Inferno. This was a case where comicbook knowledge can lead you astray when making assumption about the Young Justice world. I had assumed that, as we’d seen three elemental Red androids, he’d also be seeing the fourth, but we only got the two fire/ice twins. What I found interesting was that the androids were often shown from the heroes point of view, so there were quite a few upwards shorts of the looming androids from the perspective of the shorter Robin and Artemis.
A quite enjoyed this episode – I think every series has to do Die Hard at some point or other. The developments with Artemis continue and are quite well timed against the release of her Secret Origin in the comic book. She did at times seem a little too stressed by the situation and I’m not sure I really bought into the idea that it would parallelise her. Robin on the other hand was in his element, however he hasn’t been so heavily developed as a character. He’s already quite sharply defined from the comics, yet is given more of a trickster vibe here which keeps him fresh.
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