Featured Screen Shot
Desmond: Activate the cloning process.
Robin: Pass! The Batcave’s crowded enough as it is.
Kid Flash: Are you here to help us or fry us?
Superboy: <squints> Huh, I don’t seem to have heat vision so I suppose helping is my only option.
Superboy: Superman can fly. Why can’t I fly?
Kid Flash: I don’t know, but you can still leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Previously in “Independence Day Part One”: Today was meant to be the day that the teen sidekicks were given access to the Hall of Justice, but what they got was less than they expected. Speedy, Green Arrow’s sidekick, stormed off in disgust and the League were called away on another matter. Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad decided to prove themselves to the Justice League by infiltrating Project Cadmus – a place Batman had voiced his suspicions about. They discovered a vast underground facility beneath Washington where Chief Scientist Doctor Marc Desmond has assembled an army of genetically engineered creatures. In its deepest caverns they discovered a teenaged clone of Superman. They woke the “Superboy”, but he was being telepathically controlled by Desmond’s gene-gnomes and attacked his liberators.
July 4th - Marc Desmond convenes an electronic audience with the Light – the faceless board of directors behind Project Cadmus – to inform them of the current situation. The sidekicks are contained and Desmond believes that the Justice League does not know of their mission. The Light tells Desmond to clone the sidekicks, to create willing mind-controlled duplicates, and to dispose of the originals. The Guardian doesn’t understand why Desmond is so upset that Superboy has not returned to his pod. Desmond is then forced to use his gene-gnome’s telepathy to once again enforce his will on his increasingly vocal Head of Security.
Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Robin are unconscious in the Cadmus cloning chamber when they hear a voice in their heads telling them that they must wake up. They wake to discover that the Superboy is staring at them. He confesses to knowing “how to read and write, the names of things”, but to never having actually been allowed to experience those things first hand. They ask him if he knows what he is and he tells them “I am the Superboy. A geneomorph. A clone made from the DNA of the Superman. Created to replace him should he perish; to destroy him should he turn from the light.”
Kid Flash and co. offer to introduce Superboy to the real Superman, but Desmond interrupts them and orders Superboy back to his pod. He then starts the painful cloning procedure. As Superboy is walking back to his pod his superhearing hears Aqualad call out to him asking “What would Superman do?” Seconds later the door to the cloning room is ripped open and Superboy returns. He throws the scientists aside and angrily tells them not to order him around. He tells Robin the same thing when he suggests that he helps Aqualad. Robin then blows up the cloning machine to prevent their clones from being recreated.
A furious Desmond orders every geneomorph in Cadmus to be sent after the four teenagers. Massive gene-trolls block their path to the elevator whilst smaller geneomorphs close in behind. The sidekicks evade the gene-trolls, but Superboy knocks out two of them making it clear that he has anger issues. They have made it to sub-level 15 when Superboy hears a voice guiding him through the corridors to an air vent which they use to escape into the ductwork. Robin then hacks the security sensors to send Desmond on a wild goose chase. The four heroes eventually make it to the surface exit, but its proof against even their superstrength.
The escaping teens run straight into a legion of gene-trolls, -morphs, and -gnomes led by the Guardian. The combined telepathic power of so many gene-gnomes forces the teens to their knees. Dubbilex then steps forward and identifies himself as the telepathic voice that has been directing their escape. He was also set the fire that drew them to Cadmus in the first place. Dubbilex believes that Superboy is a geneomorph hero who will lead the other Cadmus geneomorphs to freedom. He then commands the gene-gnomes to release the teens and allows Superboy to choose between freedom or servitude. Superboy tells him that “I chose freedom.”
The Guardian’s mind is also clear again and he tells the boys to “go” and to leave Desmond to him. However, Desmond arrives and tells everybody that Project Blockbuster will give him the power to restore order to Cadmus. He then swallows a vile of blue liquid and is transformed into a hulking grey-skinned “Blockbuster” who is strong enough to withstand even Superboy’s punches. Aqualad and Superboy take on the Blockbuster while Robin pulls Kid Flash to one side. He has noticed the support columns that the Blockbuster keeps damaging and tells Kid Flash to lead him on a dance which further weakens them. The other heroes follow suit and bring the entire above-ground Cadmus building down on top of the Blockbuster.
The four teen heroes are just crawling from the wreckage as Superman and the rest of the Justice League descend out of the night sky. The full roster perches around the wreckage. They, and Superman, are stunned when Superboy steps forward and introduces himself as Superman’s clone. Batman tells then “Start talking”. Afterwards Batman bluntly tells them that they will not be working as a group again. However, Aqualad corrects him and tells their mentors that it is exactly what they will be doing it again. They, including Superboy, fought as a group and are unwilling to just let the Justice League break them up again. Superboy puts its more bluntly when he tells Batman to “get on board or get out-of-the-way!”
July 8th -Four days later at Mount Justice – the original Secret Sanctuary of the Justice League – the League are preparing a new headquarters. Batman tells Superboy, Kid Flash, Robin, and Aqualad that if they’ll be “fighting the good fight” they’ll be doing so “on League terms.” The Red Tornado will live in the new headquarters as their supervisor, Black Canary will train them, but it is Batman alone who will deploy them on missions. They will be his covert team, operating outside of the media spotlight that is focused on the very public Justice League. They will also be joined by Miss Martian, the Martian Manhunter’s niece.
Back at Cadmus, the Board has placed the Guardian in charge with Doctor Spence promoted to chief scientist. The Light, the true force behind Cadmus, are less concerned by the loss of Desmond than they are with the appearance of a new faction of the Justice League.
- Setting: July 4th (Independence Day) and July 8th.
Seeing the Secret Sanctuary on screen.
Are you seriously telling me that Robin carries around sticks of chalk in his utility belt?
The first episode was brilliant for showing us all the glamour and fun of the hero/sidekick team-ups — the Hall of Justice, the descent into Cadmus, and a hundred other cool bits. This second episode has arguably the tougher sell as its has already got past the cool bits and needs to really focus on story. The pursuit from Cadmus has a number of set pieces which work really well, but you don’t quite get a sense of dire urgency or threat. The Team are in danger yes, but it all still feels like a romp. This, I believe, is a good thing as it prevents the show descending into mock teen angst (let’s leave that for the X-Men).
Almost this entire episode is set in the dark Cadmus caverns or at night so it is quite jarring when the flip is made to the bright, daylight Mount Justice. The Producers really get their money out of the claustrophobic Cadmus setting and it’s very atmospheric, but it’s getting a bit overused by the end. The Mount Justice reveal was a real surprise and shows that they’re sticking to the original comic-book premise of Young Justice quite closely. Something has to be said about the manner of Miss Martian’s inclusion. Parachuting in a character to the new group isn’t such a bad thing, but did it really have to be done to the sole female character?
|Character Site||The Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||3.5/5|
- 2010-12-06 – Added Ask Greg credits