Sunday, October 16, 2011

Aqualad’s Leadership Is Questioned

by Christopher Scott

Young Justice
“Alpha Males” (S02E04):

This episode begins right where the last left off. Our heroes are still being freed from their various traps and details are being sought after by the Justice League. Superboy’s super-hearing eavesdrops on Aqualad talking to Batman about the mole possibly being Red Tornado. He subsequently freaks out along with the rest of the team. They all believe that they should have been informed of the mole and that he was withholding information from the group­­ that contributed to them almost dying. (As much as I agree with them, I would think at least one of them would see that this had to be kept secret. Can’t any of them tell that the only way the mole would be caught would be if they were not aware they were being watched?)
Batman steps in, stating that they need to put this aside and go on a mission right away. He puts a quick stop to the bickering and explains that they will not have a rotating Den Mother instead of Red Tornado or anyone else being a permanent staple. First up, Billy Batson, aka Captain Marvel. (How awesome is that!? For those of you who don’t know, he is like 10 years old in real life. His powers allow him to be a grown-up superhero. Hanging out with a bunch of kids is an awesome occupation for this guy.) They are to track down some killer gorillas that wield guns. I wish I was making this up.

Captain Marvel accompanies them on their mission, much to the chagrin of Aqualad, who does not enjoy being babysat. The team hits the ground in a dense tropical area. Aqualad attempts to give orders, but is ignored as everyone goes about their business. Superboy gets protective of Miss Martian and is scolded and ends up going off alone. Miss Martian is with Artemis, Kid Flash with Robin, and Aqualad with Captain Marvel. It isn’t long before they are all in combat with jungle creatures with collars. The animals have all been enhanced by the Cobra Venom and are twice their normal size and strength. The collars seem to control them all and keep them aggressive to intruders.

Aqualad starts to target the collars and makes short work of the animals. Eventually, communication is set up by Miss Martian, and all of the others do the same to the collars. They start to come up with a battle plan while Captain Marvel gets lost chasing a tiger (like a 10-year-old). He gets captured, which adds a whole new dimension to this plan. Reconnaissance is no longer the aim of the mission. Aqualad demands their respect and takes command back into his hands, offering to give up his leadership only after this mission has been completed successfully.

Captain Marvel has been taken hostage by The Brain and his gorilla accomplice, Mallah. He plans to access his brain and gain the knowledge of his mind. (See, Captain Marvel is not just strong. He is a culmination of many powers at once: the wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles, and speed of Mercury. It spells Shazam, which is the secret word he uses to go from boy to hero and back.) The wisdom of Solomon is great and vast. It is little wonder that a villain known as The Brain would want that.

The Young Justice crew finds the hideout and blast in. For some reason, some of the jungle creature aid them in battle. Superboy has made friends with a wicked-looking white wolf and the tiger that Captain Marvel had followed earlier, and they help him escape. The battle is short-lived, as is the episode really, and The Brain and Mallah escape.

They all meet back at the ship. Aqualad explains himself to everyone as to why he kept secrets and they all decide to leave him in charge. Miss Martian and Superboy make their apologies, and everyone heads home. Captain Marvel goes back to his uncle’s apartment and goes back to being Billy Batson.

Not the best episode for sure, but after the last three, what did you expect? What do you think is next for the team? And what Justice League member are you looking forward to taking the lead for a short time? I’d like to see the drama for a Superman episode frankly. Leave your comments below!
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