“Elder Wisdom” may be the most ironically named episode of Young Justice to date. Nominally, the episode’s story is about elders trying to influence youths through the benefit of their experience. Yet with very few exceptions, it is the wisdom of youth that wins out in the end and the old dogs learn a few new tricks.
The action opens in the banana republic of Bwunda, where Lex Luthor is overseeing a climate change conference on behalf of the United Nations. When assassins attack the conference, the Outsiders are quick to step in. Unfortunately, when Kid Flash gets injured, Luthor persuades the country’s ruler to officially call in the Justice League, leading to the newbie heroes being shown up by The Flash and Lex Luthor making a big speech about how the system-sponsored superheroes are working just fine thank you, no punk teens needed.
This leads to the parents and guardians of Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and El Dorado suddenly realizing that – “wow, maybe our super teens could get hurt trying to help people!” and their being grounded from superheroing. This leaves the team short-handed, as Beast Boy (emancipated minor) and Static and Blue Beetle (both 18) go on a mission of mercy to Ireland to rescue a young girl who was apparently kidnapped by robot monkeys.
(Only in comic books and superhero shows, folks.)
There’s a lot of twists and turns in the plot, and manipulation upon manipulation within both the hero and villain camps in the media. Comparison to current events and the complaints over “fake news” are inevitable and indeed the writing does seem to make some comparisons between Lex Luthor and Donald Trump. At least in so far as there is a joke about Lex just happening to arrange a UN conference be held at one of his luxury hotels and his interview about the conference turning into a commercial.
Thankfully, as is typical, the emphasis of Young Justice remains on the characters and in the interaction between them. So while we do get classic Flash Jay Garrick calling Lex Luthor a fascist, we also get Bart Allen proving quick on the uptake and asking Jay if his suddenly being worried about Bart risking his life as Kid Flash is because of his wife’s recent death. Bart’s blunt, but not wrong, and this leads to Jay Garrick joining the Outsiders in adopting social media to call out the bad guys.
On the teen drama front, there’s also a major bombshell regarding the romance between Halo and Geo-Force in the wake of last week’s Very Special Episode. But I will leave that and the stunning ending of the episode a secret.
This show is well worth watching and justifies the cost of a DC Universe subscription by itself. And with the series having just been renewed for Season 4 – a bit of good news announced last week at San Diego Comic Con – there is more reason than ever to start watching Young Justice if you haven’t been already. This is the best animated series Warner Bros. has produced since the days of Batman: The Animated Series.
Elder Wisdom will be available to stream on July 23rd, 2019!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.