SPOILER ALERT: This is a full episode recap, so if you want to avoid spoilers, please watch the episode first.
Well, this is hardest thing I’ve ever had to write for this site… or perhaps for any reason, the climax of Young Justice: Invasion. Warner Brothers and DC have always excelled at remolding the DC Universe to fit the small screen. Some of their efforts have been quite serious and dramatic, like Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League. In the case of others like Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Teen Titans, they’ve taken a lighter approach, but in nearly every case, their series manage to strike just the right chord. That was certainly true of this series. Essentially a re-crafting of the Teen Titans, Young Justice had a sophisticated, mature vibe that honored the comic book source, but wasn’t slavishly recreating it. Liberties were taken, roles were changed, and costumes were redesigned, but ultimately it turned out to be, maybe the best love letter to DC Comics ever animated. It was certainly better than most actually DC comic books, these days. I for one, will sorely miss it.
Now as for the episode itself, Miss Martian and Superboy, accompanied by Adam Strange triumphantly swoop into the courtroom where six members of the League are being prosecuted for rampaging across the planet Rimbor, bearing the holographic evidence that the Light are actually at fault, but they are too late. Because the heroes refused to bribe the tribunal, they have already been found guilty.
On Earth, Aqualad, Blue Beetle and Green Beetle confront what’s left of The Reach. Black Beetle nearly kills Green Beetle when he destroys his scarab, but when he attempts to kill Blue Beetle, the fact that Jaime and his scarab now work in unison turns the tide to their favor, destroying Black Beetle’s scarab… unfortunately, this sets off a series of catastrophes designed to destroy the Earth to cover The Reach’s tracks.
The high court of Rimbor reconvenes but continues to imply that they want bribes. Superboy and Miss Martian butter the court up, saying that if the court sides with truth and justice, that other beings from around the universe will travel there to seek their fair judgement.
Around the Earth, weather-based disasters break out thanks to an “egg” like device called a magnetic field disruptor, guarded by scarab drones. Blue Beetle can locate all of them, but salvation arrives in the most unlikely form… Lex Luthor who has crafted a device that can deactivate the m.f.d.s before they go into “chrysalis” mode, after which point they will be unstoppable.
On Rimbor, Superboy reveals that he is not dating Wendy Harris and that she and Marvin are a couple, whom he has just been helping out. Miss Martian seems pleased, even more so after the tribunal returns and drops all charges against the Justice League members. Superboy, Miss Martian and Adam Strange leave Icon to handle the formalities and return to Earth.
Once back, they quickly get thrown into the thick of it, as the forty assembled heroes, the rest of the JL, The Team and the four young “super friends,” coordinated by Snapper Carr, are divided into teams of two and dispatched to deal with the m.f.d.s, with one hero running interference with the drones and one responsible for deactivating the m.f.d.
On Rimbor, the heroes are free, when suddenly War World appears in the sky and Vandal Savage threatens the aliens stating that Earth is off-limits to them.
Aqualad and Lagoon Boy go after one device under the sea, but things are tense between them, until Aqualad reminds La’Gaan that he chose him as his replacement on The Team. Aqualad then covers while La’Gaan takes out the m.f.d. In Paris, Kid Flash and Artemis (back in her green outfit) take out another batch of Reach drones. In Dakota City, Virgil Hawkins (Static) teams up with similarly electrical-powered Black Lightning, who offers to mentor him.
But just as the last team checks in, the heroes detect a 21st device in the arctic, where Earth’s natural magnetic poles disguised it from prior detection. Unfortunately the heroes don’t have a Zeta Tube located there, so it’s up to The Flash and Impulse to respond using their super speed. But they’re too late. It’s already gone chrysalis. The Earth seems doomed!
A huge “lightning tornado” appears and Lex instructs the Flashes to run around it in the opposite direction of its winds. They are quickly joined by Kid Flash, who states that even though he isn’t as fast as them, he wants to help. Unfortunately, because he is slower, he becomes the target of the lightning, which strikes him repeatedly, which Blue Beetle’s scarab points out, when he and several of the other Team members arrive on the scene via space ship. Too late, The Flash tells Impulse to slow down to siphon off some of the chrysalis energy, but before his eyes, Kid Flash is vaporized. The Flash and Impulse destroy the vortex. When the others join them, they quickly notice that Wally is missing and Artemis falls to her knees in tears.
When the eight Justice League members who have been in space finally return, Superman wonders if they are too late. In a really excellent scene, the heroes look to the sky and the members of The Team float majestically down in an homage to the same way the older heroes have twice descended down toward them, once angrily at the beginning of this series, then once positively at the beginning of the second season.
Silently and tearfully, Artemis visits Wally’s parents and they embrace.
The Justice League and the Green Lantern Corps escort The Reach off-planet to stand trial before the Guardians of the Universe, while G. Gordon Godfrey announces that Secretary Tseng is stepping down from his position at the United Nations, then suggests that the man responsible for saving the planet, Lex Luthor be nominated to take his place. Superman shuts the transmission off. Captain Atom then gives over the chairmanship of the League to Black Canary.
Meanwhile, Nightwing decides to take a break from The Team, following Wally’s death, pointing out that Batgirl is a worthy successor. Kid Flash’s hologram is added to the hall of fallen heroes and Impulse has adopted his Kid Flash name and costume. Artemis, on the other hand, explains that “Artemis” was Kid Flash’s partner and reclaims the name and costume of The Tigress, but sports her natural blond hair. Robin and Wonder Girl hold hands while welcoming Static to the team. Virgil explains that his other friends, Asami, Eduardo and Tye are “getting out of the game.” Before Superboy and Miss Martian can officially rekindle their romance, they are all summoned to the mission room of the Watchtower, where Batman tells them that they are now welcome to use the space station as their base, following the destruction of Mount Justice. Aqualad then breaks the heroes up into strike forces and deploys them on new missions.
In space, (and I SO called this!) War World arrives at Apokolyps. Vandal savage walks past DeSaad and G. Gordon Godfrey (yep!), before shaking hands with Darkseid. What happens next? We’ll never know.
I saw the Darkseid thing coming as soon as G. Gordon Godfrey first appeared on the show and even thought they were The Light’s secret partners before The Reach factored in. That would have been epic if they’d gotten to actually animate this storyline!
This was hard. It was hard enough saying goodbye to a fantastic series… I don’t think I’ve been this crushed by a cancellation since X-Men: Evolution. But then to lose Wally in the process just put me over the edge. I was literally sobbing. (I’m a big crier, though.) The way it was handled, he could have come back at some point, but STILL!
Wally’s death aside, the ending worked. The Team was promoted, Static joined them and The Justice League was returned to full capacity. I wish Tye and the others would have joined, though, but then again some fans think The Team already has too many members. They honestly could have eliminated the scene of Vandal Savage on Apokolyps though since it teased a storyline we’ll never see. Maybe they can do a direct-to-DVD movie?
Well, that’s all. Excellent series from the start. It went out on top. I’ll sorely miss it, but at least I can re-watch it on DVD whenever I want. I’d like to thank everyone who reads these recaps, and give a special thanks to those that comment. Your thoughts are always meaningful to me, even if you disagree with my opinions.
If you’d like to share anything regarding this series, please feel free to comment below!