“Young Justice” once again demonstrates it is a good show with the biggest con against it being how cluttered the cast and narratives are. There is a lot in this episode when the core story being told could have easily been great on it’s own. So I do recommend this episode and I look forward to returning to this show again. This is also the last Suicide Squad appearance in shows I could find so this will be the last episode exploring them on television.
“Leverage” was directed by Vinton Heuck and written by Tom Pugsley.
The story follows Young Justice as they are investigating a meta-human operation in Russia and come into conflict with the Russians and the Suicide Squad.
The Action – The action is great in this as the Suicide Squad, Rocket Red Brigade and Young Justice clash outside of the secret facility where the Rocket Red Brigade were created. The animation flows and I liked seeing how the different groups used tactics to take one another out.
Life as a Meta-Human – Meta-Human life is explored from Beast Boy as a television celebrity to youths at the Taos Meta-Human Youth Center as characters face a choice to wear an inhibitor collar to inhibit their powers or not. It was sad hearing the stories and seeing the choice characters faced depending on their powers. We also saw how criminal Metas were used by the Suicide Squad and Russia took volunteers for their army and put them into mech suits. So much of life of a Meta was just bad choices that end up hurting them or organizations using them.
The Suicide Squad – We got Captain Boomerang (who is a creep in this), Black Manta leading and Monsieur Mallah on a mission from Waller and Flag to destroy the Rocket Red Brigade and take their technology. We learn that the U.S. is protecting them too as when they are returned to prison Waller is there to free them. The 3 of them put up a good fight too but they were outnumbered.
Young Justice – We got Tigress leading, Halo, Geo-Force, Terra, Beast Boy and Forager. Tigress doe the best and beats Black Manta as Beast Boy takes out Boomerang and Terra takes out Monsieur Mallah. The new folks help but Boomerang freaks out Halo and mortally wounds her and the rest keep whomever they are fighting at bay. The team is big so it was hard to get to know any of the new people all that well. They worked well as a team though.
Waller and Aquaman – Waller confronts Aqualad who is the new Aquaman after he talks to his dad Black Manta and we see they have leverage over each other. Neither can reveal their black-ops teams to the world so both are unable to fully act against the other.
Cluttered Narrative Threads – We have a bunch of threads in this and it makes this short episode feel cluttered. We got Halo’s secret, the weird side plot with Artemis, Will and their family that is just kind of there and didn’t have a point and also social media and Beast Boy on top of Waller and the Suicide Squad plot. This one just needed the Suicide Squad plot to be great.
Cluttered Young Justice Team – The team is huge and besides powers none of them have a chance to show their personality. Tigress and Beast Boy were the only ones who felt fully realized. The rest felt like potentially interesting characters but just kind of there. If the plot had been only 3 v 3 and the 2 from the Rocket Red Brigade it would have been better and more focused.
“Young Justice” is a good show and I wish it was more focused. There are so many characters and it only hurts the individual episode stories and overall narrative as the sheer amount of narratives clutters whatever point or character arc is going on. Still, this episode was good and it is great seeing the Suicide Squad active here so it isn’t just Young Justice and Justice League against the main villains The Light.
Final Score: 8 / 10 Solidly good. Would have rated higher if narrative had more focus.