Back from the animation film festival! Didn't win, but I can safely say without any bitter cattiness that a lot of the animated shorts there wouldn't have passed muster at UP. A lot of them were just animated jokes without much in the way of social or cultural significance, which is something the UP panel always looks for.
Still, there were a lot of amazing submissions to the festival. The winners were all hugely deserving of their awards and these past few days have served me as a kind of spur to do them all one better the next time around.
So the pilot episode for the animated Young Justice finally came out! I watched it last night, and pretty much stayed up until four AM just watching and pausing and looking at the pretty.
Because oh my giddy aunt am I in love with every single member of this team.
I know this is supposed to be a kid's show, but I swear they are marketing this thing especially for me. Pretty boys, pretty boys everywhere! Everyone is so ridiculously good-looking that I wonder if I should feel pervy because they're all pretty much underage.
Not only are they all so very excellently drawn, but the personalities the voice actors bring to the table are amazing. The animation is smooth and consistent, though I find it a bit odd that Kid Flash is usually drawn running at a normal speed. I'm guessing that's got more to do with story problems than with animation, though.
While I'm not too keen on a straight-haired Wonder Woman (not that it matters because she's probably not going to show up much anyway -- and that is a major reduction of points right there), the character designs are pretty much flawless. The costumes are still classic Young Justice for the main three, but they've got nice modern touches, like Kon's spiffy new boots and that awesome little computer on Robin's wrist.
One of the biggest issues with this show was Robin's identity. Tim Drake is supposed to be the Robin of Young Justice -- not Dick Grayson. Dick is the more recognizable Robin though, so creators of the show decided to stick with him, causing all of fandom to rise up and foam collectively at the mouth. Same goes with the identity of Kid Flash. I don't know if they've announced that KF is Wally West, but Bart Allen has brown eyes and a mess of brown hair. This new Kid Flash is a green-eyed speedster and has tidy red hair.
Still, I'm beginning to think that this purism is not something that should get in the way of the show. This new Robin is something different. He's got Tim's brains and Dick's personality (not to mention Damian's Lil Matches sense of style -- I heartily approve). He's got the best of the two Robins, and I want to cuddle him already. Also he is clearly a secret fan of 10 Things I Hate About You. As for Kid Flash, well, he acts exactly like Bart does, so I'm going to let this one slide. Besides, their friendship is adorable, and I'm glad Robin gets to act like a kid, albeit a freakishly smart one.
One of the main goals of the show is to shine the spotlight on this new Aqualad, and they've succeeded brilliantly. I didn't think much of him enough to read Brightest Day which, let's face it, is kind of a drag. Seeing him kick all sorts of ass and be an all-around awesome human being on Young Justice? Definitely giving me a little more motivation to pick up an issue and see how he ties in. I like that it looks like he's going to become the team leader, because that means I can drool over him being authoritative in addition to everything. Okay, so the gill things at his neck are weird but I am willing to overlook that because just LOOK AT HIM. LOOK. IS HE NOT BEAUTIFUL.
Now, Kon. I'm going to risk a confession here and say he was my least favorite member of Young Justice when I first started reading it. He kind of grew on me after a while, but it took his run in Adventure Comics (and Francis Manapul's sexy sexy pencils) to really get me to like him (Am I really that shallow? Answer: yes). So obviously, this new and decidedly studly Superboy sits well with me. Fine, I accept this part of me. Shallow reasons aside, though, I'm looking forward to seeing how Superboy develops from sullen and angry into a normal kid--no wait, I suppose sullen and angry is your basic template for Modern Adolescent. He's vastly different from the loud and brassy Kon of the comics--this Superboy appears to communicate largely with his eyes and the occasional short, angry sentence. Looking forward to seeing where they're taking him -- Superman as a shitty awkward parent and Miss Martian (or possibly Aqualad? HAHA, not likely, I know, but I can totally see the potential there) for a love interest? I'm sold.
BE STILL MY
Downsides? First and most obvious is the whole identity thing. It kind of throws me off because when I think Young Justice, I think Tim, Kon and Bart. I keep writing Bart or Tim instead of Kid Flash and Robin, but I think this is just something I'm going to have to get used to.
Second is the lack of female presence in the first episode. Yes, I know that Miss Martian and Artemis are joining the team, and I get that they're marketing to their little-boy demographic, but it wouldn't turn legions of kiddies off the show to add in a strong female character as a core member of the group at the very beginning, would it?
Not only is Wonder Woman deprived of a sidekick representative (though I saw on Wiki that the legal prohibitions keeping them from including Wonder Girl have been lifted, so they can bring her in some time later), but she doesn't even get any lines. Sure, we'll get Black Canary as their trainer (which I'm really excited about), but then they go and replace Zatanna with her dad. What's with that? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't he dead? Are they bringing him back? Why not keep Zatanna where she ought to be? Why would they shelve a character who's got her own ongoing?
Lastly, the worst thing I can say about this show -- and this really is something I hate with every fiber of my being -- is that I'm going to have to wait until next year for another episode. Outrageous!
Right, now that that's over, back to The Walking Dead. God this show has me nail-biting on the edge of my seat every. Goddamn. Minute.