In “Behold the Dawn.” Young Justice finally returns! The Blue Beetle flashes back to his origin, with the nice touch of the building blowing up in the background being “Kord Industries.” Beetle, Impulse, and Beast Boy have all been captured, and the rest of the team is searching for them. We also see that the Light’s partner in studying the metagene are the Reach, the aliens that created the Scarab that gives Jaime his powers.

Robin, Bumblebee, and Batgirl hide amid a new batch of abductees to infiltrate the enemy base, with Nightwing, Miss Martian, and Wonder Girl as support. Among the surprises are parts of the team that don’t know about his undercover role encountering Aqualad, and the Reach having a villainous Black Beetle with them. Chaos and combat ensue. Unfortunately, the darker, more vicious version of Miss Martian pretty much psychically lobotomizes Aqualad. The two Beetles have an epic showdown that lets everyone else escape. Unfortunately, the Reach prove to be sneakier than expected, and reveal themselves to the UN and claim they’re here to help, preempting the heroes’ attempt to expose them.

Among the captured kids we even see Stephanie Brown, who is so very much persona non grata in the comics, for reasons DC won’t officially comment on. Also revealed is that Impulse came back in time to prevent Earth from being taken over by a corrupted Blue Beetle.

That’s a kind of complex story you don’t often see on hero cartoons, and one of the reasons I like Young Justice so much. It’s also the closest we’re likely to get to the “old” DCU, given the reboot in the comics. Sadly, rumors swirl that the show is due for cancellation soon. Let’s see, it’s a great show, the fans love it, it lets some of us not happy with the reboot have at least some of our old world… of course they’re going to cancel it.

The DC Nation shorts are back, too. Not only are these new shorts, but about characters we haven’t seen yet. Black Lightning gets a new costume, while his daughters impatiently wait. When Dr. Polaris attacks, the daughters debut as Thunder and Lightning. An amusing touch is the dreaded “Black Vulcan” costume from the Superfriends in the background. In another one, we see the animated debut of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld.

I love the world they’ve created for Young Justice. That world has the history and depth the DCNU has gotten rid of. It’s not exactly the old DCU, but it’s a lot closer than what’s in the comics now. I’m very much hoping the rumors of cancellation are false, but given DC’s trend towards seemingly inexplicable decisions that anguish the fans, I’m betting they are true. Especially as there’s both a new Batman and Teen Titans cartoons in the works.

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Wayland Smith

WAYLAND SMITH is the pen name for a native Texan who has lived in Massachusetts, New York, Washington DC, and presently makes his home in Virginia.His rather unlikely list of jobs includes private investigator, comic book shop owner, ring crew for a circus (then he ran away from the circus and joined home), deputy sheriff, and freelance stagehand.Wayland is a four time participant in, and survivor of, NaNoWriMo, having made the 50,000 word goal each time.A black belt in shao lin kung fu, he is also a fan of comic books, reading, writing, and various computer games (I”ll shut Civ down in one more turn.Really).He lives with a beautiful woman who was crazy enough to marry him, and the memory of a much loved, if somewhat goofy, dog named Jamie.

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