Monday, June 1, 2020

Young Justice - Evolution

While the episode provides a couple of backstories keeping the season-long arcs moving forward, "Evolution" is mostly a love letter to the character of Vandal Savage (David Kaye) and is dedicated the the show's original voice actor for the character Miguel Ferrer. Interlaced with the story of Vandal Savage told through the journals to his youngest daughter Cassandra (Zehra Fazal), the conflict of the episode features Vandal taking control of Warworld to thwart an attack by an alien armada. Without the Justice League (which the Light has crippled all too well), the Earth is left largely defenseless against such a large-scale attack. Even with the Warworld, Vandal must call on the help of Darkseid (Michael-Leon Wooley) to repel the invaders controlled by an old enemy - Starro.

As presented here, Savage is far more interesting than a power-mad super-villain. His actions to save the world border on heroic (while, of course, continuing to serve his own interest), but the brutal nature of the character is never in doubt reminding viewers that even the mercy of Vandal Savage is deadly. Weaving his geneology across the history of the DCU is cetainly a bold choice in making him the grandfather of all Earth's meta-humans, even if it takes things a bit too far in making Savage into Nabu's father (one of the episode's few missteps).

"Evolution" features an awful lot of exposition, but the narrative structure of the story as told through the writer of Vandal Savage's story, who turns out to also be one of the immortal's daughters, works well in keeping things moving as do the similarities between Savage's first battle with Starro and his current predicament. The scenes of Halo (Fazal), Hot Lava (Troy Baker), and Forager (Jason Spisak) all training together and finding their super-hero names offers a nice interlude for the Savage-heavy episode while also offering an important step in each hero's evolution. The other back-up story involving the relationship of Black Lightning (Khary Payton) and Dr. Jace (Grey Griffin) feels largely like filler, but it will have consequences down the road.

No comments: