Heart of Justice: The Manhunter from Mars by Jerry Whitworth
Writer’s Note: The Idol-Head of Diabolu, a Martian Manhunter blog was invaluable in the creation of this article! Visit them today.
David Goyer, the scribe behind Man of Steel and its sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, recently drew criticism for comments regarding the Martian Manhunter. Painting the character as silly from his name to his modus operandi, the statement heaped even more backlash from fans that panned Man of Steel and decried seemingly every new announcement about the sequel (be it the casting of actors like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Jesse Eisenberg to the very title of the upcoming film). Several sites have cited part of the problems with Man of Steel and choices made about its sequel could come from a lack of understanding of the source material, the statement given by Goyer another in a series from the scribe and director Zack Snyder that may have some basis for the claim. Considered somewhat less than an A-list character, lets take a look at the Manhunter from Mars.Read More
Top 10: Action Series Canceled by Cartoon Network by Jerry Whitworth
With the exit of Stu Snyder, manager of Cartoon Network, fans can’t help but reflect on negative advents during his seven year run at the channel. Most notable for his desire to move toward live action and reality series he championed at CN (a focus that lost the company creator Craig McCracken of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends), Snyder is also remembered for the cancellation of fan favorite animation block Toonami in 2008. Between mismanagement by the network in the last few years and basing series’ success on toy sales, Cartoon Network has stacked up an impressive record of canceled series, including those critically-acclaimed and cult followed. In fact, CN had lost so much of the faith of its viewers from its mismanagement, for some years the ratings threatened to kill the network. Only in recent years, with series like Adventure Time and Regular Show (not to mention DVD sales of generally cheaply produced [adult swim] series), has it managed to recoup losses (amidst major competition from Nickelodeon, The Hub, and Disney XD). Along the way, a number of shows have come and gone by the hand of the powers that be at CN that fans felt were either taken too soon or believed there was still stories left to be told. Lets examine some of the series fans have demanded the return of on the network over the years.Read More
How I Would Have Done It: New 52 Young Justice by Jerry Whitworth
Having covered Superman, Batman, and the Justice League of the new 52 previously in “How I Would Have Done It,” it’s time to look at the next generation. Of the changes made in the new 52, those to the younger heroes seems the most radical. Altering the time frame of the narrative to five years rather than ten or fifteen of the previous Silver Age-centric structure of DC Comics, a number of issues arose, most notoriously Batman and his Robins (four in five years seemed dramatically implausible). Fixes were hastily put into place, such as Batman operated in secret for several years before Superman first appeared and Red Robin may or may not have been Batman’s sidekick. Other issues arose such as Cyborg made a founding member of the Justice League and characters like Wally West, Donna Troy, Garth, Holly Robinson, Connor Hawke, Mia Dearden, Kaldur’ahm, and Stephanie Brown seemingly wiped out of existence. Lets see how the younger generation could have gone in the new 52.Read More
Young Justice: In Memoriam by Jerry Whitworth
On March 16, 2013, the television series Young Justice came to an end with the final broadcast of the show on Cartoon Network as part of the DC Nation programming block. While no reasons have been given for the show’s end, in truth there has yet to even be confirmation of its demise by the network, there are a number of reasons that have been speculated upon: poor sales of the toyline, Cartoon Network’s mishandling of its schedule, jumping ahead in time for the second season, the rising cost of hand-drawn animation, the show not reflecting more of what DC Comics is currently producing in their titles, or Cartoon Network’s penchant for canceling shows when they reach a “magic number.” Some, often jokingly, attribute the series’ end to showrunner Greg Weisman (Disney’s Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man) who produces critically-acclaimed series with cult-like followings that only last two seasons. Whatever the reason, the move has generated outrage from the show’s fervent community who have made the show trend on Twitter during broadcasts, sign petitions trying to save the program (one on Change.org reaching over 32,000 signatures), and have begun a letter writing campaign directed at Cartoon Network. The community has pushed for fans to purchase Young Justice paraphernalia such as the DVDs and trade paperbacks of its comic book and reportedly individuals close to the show’s producers have generated a survey in order to show interest in the program’s continuation. Only time will tell what effect these efforts will have. At this time, however, the show has no future and those close to it have moved on to other projects. Lets take a look at the show from its beginning to its end.Read More
The End of Young Justice by Jerry Whitworth
On January 28, 2013, multiple sources have confirmed the end of the animated series Young Justice on Cartoon Network (as well as Green Lantern: The Animated Series). The show, which featured a group of young superheroes working under the Justice League of America, is the latest series from Greg Weisman to be canceled after only two seasons (his last series Spectacular Spider-Man suffering a similar fate) with some comparing the creator to Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as both generate critically acclaimed television series that do well with ratings and acquire a cult following with fervent fans but end up canceled nonetheless. Young Justice is also the latest in a series of television programs broadcast by Cartoon Network canceled when enough episodes were produced to run the show in syndication. The non-announcement of the cancellation came as CN dropped a press release of its Fall 2013 lineup which saw the series absent with rampant speculation of the series’ demise later confirmed by unnamed insiders at Warner Bros. To say the loss of the show is a disappointment is an understatement as the series not only appealed to comic book/superhero media fans but the complex stories and characters broke into the market of youth interested in anime. Lets take a look at Young Justice and why it became so beloved by its fans.Read More
Creator Profile: Greg Weisman by Jerry Whitworth
An editor, producer, and writer, Greg Weisman has worked in what seems like almost every area of animation save drawing it himself. Weisman has even found time while taking animation by storm to work in the comic book industry, having penned Captain Atom and Young Justice and developed series for Red Tornado and Black Canary that would later be adapted in other ways. It’s hard to say what exactly Weisman is best known for: likely most of his career could be pointed towards his cult-followed Disney’s Gargoyles run, but in recent years he’s also worked to much acclaim on the series Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice (not to, of course, discount his input for W.I.T.C.H., Max Steel, and various other programs). One thing is clear, when Weisman creates a show, he doesn’t make it for children; no, he makes a show for all-ages, something many equate to be one and the same. But, if the results Weisman and company have achieved are any indication, it’s that making a show either an adult or child can enjoy watching is not only possible, but it can be done time and again.Read More
Young Justice: Who is the Traitor?
by Jerry Whitworth
One of the major plot points of the first season of Young Justice has been who on the Team is the traitor. It’s brought to the attention of the audience every few episodes and lengths have been taken to cast doubt on several members of the group. But, who is it? Well, time will reveal the truth, but lets see if we can’t sort through the facts. It should be noted, the addition of members like Zatanna, Sphere/Super-Cycle, Wolf, and Red Arrow largely identify they can’t be the traitors because they came on the Team after the reveal of a traitor.
ARTEMIS: Daughter of super-villains Sportsmaster and Huntress, her father and sister Cheshire are both part of the League of Shadows, assassins working for Ra’s al Ghul of the season’s primary antagonists the Light. Considering her lineage, it’s a given she’s the spy. And yet, for this reason, she can’t be; too obvious. In the episode “Insecurity” it’s all but confirmed she’s not the traitor as her father tries to convince her to work with him. ODDS: 100-1.Read More
Young Justice: Shedding Some Light on the Light
by Jerry Whitworth
In the Young Justice television series, the main antagonist of the first season is a shadowy group of villains called the Light (instigating almost every conflict in the series). What makes this organization unique is that it doesn’t exist in the comic books. As in much of the series it is featured in, the Light is instead an amalgamation of several concepts. Likely the most impressionable, and at least an admitted inspiration by series co-creator Greg Weisman, is the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Originally conceived as a group of operatives for Darkseid called the Brotherhood of Crime, they would perform criminal acts to further his control of Earth, unwittingly bringing about the enslavement of humanity with themselves included. They would realize their folly, break free of his command and go out on their own as the Secret Society of Super-Villains. The concept was reworked due to input from then publisher Carmine Infantino into a massive revolving cast of super-villains in a Mission: Impossible or Suicide Squad type manner originally secretly controlled by Darkseid only to break that tie and evolve into what was also a revolving cast of leaders taking over the group or forming separate splinter cells. The group would later evolve into the Society, where a council of six villains controlled a union of super-villains, drafting every villain on Earth (save the Joker, who was deemed too unstable) under threat of execution for defying membership.Read More
Young Justice: Preparing for an Invasion
The upcoming second season of Young Justice is subtitled “Invasion.” While few details have been released about the season, a recent panel at Wondercon revealed a coalition of aliens out to conquer Earth bringing characters like Lobo and Blue Beetle to the series. This revelation brings to mind the DC Comics event also named Invasion! (1988), scripted by the critically-acclaimed Bill Mantlo (ROM: Spaceknight, Micronauts, and Incredible Hulk), which featured nine alien races coming together as the Alien Alliance to destroy Earth, whose emerging metahumans posed a shift in power in the future of the universe. Lets examine some of the possible races that could be set to appear:
by Jerry Whitworth
Young Justice: From Page to Screen
by Jerry Whitworth
The world of the Young Justice television series is an amalgamation of various elements of the DC Comics mythos, combining the best of the New Teen Titans, Peter David’s Young Justice, and Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans from the mind behind Disney’s Gargoyles and the Spectacular Spider-Man television series in Greg Weisman. As in his past work, the series is a complex web of smaller stories built upon for a modern day mythology borrowing heavily from the source material while making it fresh, new, and custom built for animation. To this end, chronologies of DC characters are shifted to maximize potential for youthful candidates for the series as well as the most iconic samples. Lets examine some of the massive cast of Young Justice:Read More
Young Justice: We Want You!
by Jerry Whitworth
While the Young Justice television series has perhaps the largest cast in a comic book adapted series, at least giving Justice League Unlimited a run for its money, it doesn’t mean it can’t get bigger. With the team sporting around nine members with more on the way and the Justice League as a supporting cast, it has to be a challenge to work with so many pieces on the board. However, with the upcoming second season Invasion where the Earth is attacked by an alien threat (signs putting to a certain stone-faced despot with a penchant for shooting zig-zagging eyebeams), the first season seems more like a set-up for bigger things to come. So, what new recruits could make the roster for Invasion? Lets look at some of DC’s young heroes yet to appear in the series.Read More