Country of origin
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- This article is about the TV series. For the homonymous tie-in comics, see Young Justice (comic).
"Don't call them sidekicks."
Young Justice is an American animated television series created by Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti for Cartoon Network. Despite its title, it is not an adaptation of Todd Dezago and Todd Nauck's Young Justice series of comics, but rather, an adaptation of the entire DC Universe with a focus on young superheroes.
The series follows the lives of teenaged superhero sidekicks, who are members of a fictional superhero team simply known as the Team, and their relationships with their Justice League mentors. The story is set at a time where superpowers and superheroes are a relatively recent phenomenon.
Development for the series began sometime in 2009, when Sam Register, Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs of Warner Bros. Animation (and executive producer of the show) wanted a show based on the Teen Titans and Young Justice comic series, but was not solely one or the other.
Register sought Greg Weisman immediately after he finished work on The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series, and after seeing Brandon Vietti's work on the DC Universe Animated original movie Batman: Under the Red Hood, hired him also. After taking the production name of Young Justice League, Weisman and Vietti created characters, ideas, and story arcs for at least two seasons, although Warner Bros. Animation had ordered only one season theretofore.
Although there were several characters the producers were not allowed to use in the first season, such as Wonder Girl, the list has become shorter throughout the course of the development, they were usually in charge of the decisions determining which DC Universe character would or would not be used. Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment, and Phil Bourassa, lead character designer for the show, also played a role in the conception and development process. Peter David, who penned the Young Justice series of comics, was approached to write several episodes. The show continued to remain in its development stages in early February 2010, when Stephanie Lemelin announced on her blog that she had been recently cast.
- Main article: Main title clips
Animated by MOI Animation, Inc. and WUT IT IS, the opening sequence starts off with close-ups of the main cast and then dissolves into a montage of assorted scenes featuring the heroes in action. This footage was created either for promotional purposes or specifically for the main title. The end of each main title also features clips from its respective episode. The sequence is 20 seconds long, which was mandated by the network. Finally, the theme music is mostly synth. The special one hour event didn't feature an opening sequence. From "Misplaced" onward, the opening was shortened to buy time for the DC Nation shorts. It can still be seen on the episodes' HD versions for season one. As of season two, there is no opening sequence; just the title card.
Series creator Greg Weisman has spoken about the naming of episodes, saying that "[his] tendency has always been for one word titles", as 36 out of 46 episodes of both seasons together have been (including the hyphenated title "Drop-Zone"). The titles usually have layered allusions, referring to more than their literal meanings.
- Main article: Timestamp
The Young Justice television series and comic tie-in both feature the presence of timestamps in order to maintain an established timeline. Each timestamp indicates the current date, time and location, and usually appear when the location of scenes are changed. According to Greg Weisman, the timestamps were originally conceived to "ground the show in the moment and allow fans to get how much time has passed between episodes" and it was "the next logical step from what [he] tried to do on Spectacular Spider-Man" in which the timeline could be pinpointed by seasonal holidays. Prior to this, Weisman had first used timestamps on two issues of the comics by SLG: " " and " ". Those did not include locations, however. There has been one instance where timestamps were incorrect. The issue was subsequently resolved by Greg Weisman and the production team, who said "I'm seriously not at all sure how this happened. We did review the timestamps, and they were correct, but obviously at some point during the process of post-production they were changed and nobody noticed it." The timestamps were fixed for future airings and DVD releases.
Young Justice was marred with a convoluted and extremely irregular broadcasting history. Following a nigh two-month gap between the sneak peak and the official premiere of the regular series, Cartoon Network aired the first nine episodes of season one on the Friday afternoon slot from January to March 2011. The series was scheduled to return with "Targets" on June 3, but it was postponed for unknown reasons. The ongoing hiatus lasted six months, making it the longest break in the history of the show's run.
The series finally resumed airing on September 2011 for nine more episodes, only to be plunged in yet another break after the broadcast of "Secrets". Three and a half months later, the show returned with "Misplaced", as a part of the DC Nation programming block in the Saturday morning timeslot. It aired 15 episodes, segueing into the second season with no break, until June 2012, when it was pulled again from the air.
Nearly four months later, CN aired two more episodes in September, but in an inexplicable last minute change that preempted the entire schedule of October, the show was put in another hiatus for three more months, making up roughly seven months in which only two episodes aired. On January 2013, the remaining 11 episodes of season two aired uninterrupted.
Overall, Young Justice took two years, three months and 18 days to air all of its 46 episodes.
- Main article: The Team
- Aqualad/Kaldur'ahm (Khary Payton) is the Atlantean leader of the Team. He is able to manipulate water at will, and breathe underwater through the use of his gills. His mentor, and his king is Aquaman, a member of the Justice League. Aqualad holds great respect for his mentor.
- Kid Flash/Wally West (Jason Spisak) is the speedster of the Team. He's always joking around, hitting on girls, and wants to have fun. His mentor and uncle is the Flash.
- Robin/Dick Grayson (Jesse McCartney) is a vigilante crime-fighter in Gotham City, and the Team's chief hacker. He's not only an incredible acrobat, but also the most experienced member of the Team and the youngest. His mentor is Batman.
- Superboy/Conner Kent (Nolan North) is a genomorph and a clone of Superman. He is quiet, brooding, serious and is constantly worried about living up to Superman.
- Miss Martian/M'gann M'orzz/Megan Morse (Danica McKellar) is a shy, caring, happy and kind white Martian posing as a green Martian, with the standard Martian abilities, including flight and telepathy. She is the Martian Manhunter's niece.
- Artemis/Artemis Crock (Stephanie Lemelin) is a confident, flirtatious, and very outgoing, sixth member of the Team. She is an archer and protégé of Green Arrow, hiding dark family secrets.
- Zatanna/Zatanna Zatara (Lacey Chabert) was introduced to the Team by her father, Zatara, during his time as "den-mother". After Zatara became the host of Doctor Fate, she became the seventh member of the Team.
- Red Arrow/Speedy/Roy Harper (Crispin Freeman) is the former partner of Green Arrow who now works as a solo hero, but helps the Team from time to time.
- Rocket/Raquel (Kittie) is the straightforward and bold partner to Icon who joined the Team and became its eighth member.
- Sphere is a machine from New Genesis picked up from one of the Team's missions to Bialya, Sphere is a loyal companion to Superboy. She can transform into assorted machinery, including a motorcycle-like vehicle which Wally has dubbed "the Super Cycle".
- Wolf (Dee Bradley Baker) is a pet adopted by Superboy and the Team whilst on a mission to India, enhanced with Kobra-Venom by The Brain that made him smarter and stronger.
- Black Canary
- Red Tornado
- Martian Manhunter
- Green Arrow
- Captain Marvel
- Main article: Season one
The first season of Young Justice follows the origins of the Team, starting from July 4. The season then proceeds through the Team's missions, and how they interact with one another on and off duty. The main antagonist for the series is the Light.
Greg Weisman has stated that the overall theme of this season is "secrets and lies, and also independence."
- Main article: Young Justice: Invasion
A second season in the form of a ten episode serial was confirmed shortly after the show's regular release in early 2011, before being picked up for 20 episodes instead. The series began airing on Cartoon Network on April 28, 2012, with "Happy New Year".
The series takes place five years after the first season, and follows a new team, headed by Nightwing, as they must deal with an alien invasion. Newly introduced characters include, Blue Beetle, Wonder Girl, and a new Robin. Several other minor characters from season one have stepped into their hero roles, including Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, La'gaan as Lagoon Boy, Garfield Logan as Beast Boy, Karen Beecher as Bumblebee, and Mal Duncan.
- Main article: Young Justice (comic)
A tie-in comic further explores the characters and locations of the television series, published by DC's Johnny DC imprint. The first issues were written by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, with Mike Norton providing the art. Christopher Jones took over art duties with #5, and Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps started writing from #7, after having done the zero issue.
Home video releases
- Season One, Volume One
- Season One, Volume Two
- Season One, Volume Three
- Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets
- List of catchphrases
- List of running gags
- List of similarities with Greg Weisman's other works
- Main title clips
- Number 16