I have to say, I’m pretty upset right now. For those that have been reading the site for awhile, you should be well aware of my deep seated love for both comics and cartoons. So when you combine both and tease me with the prospect of a comic based cartoon, you can pretty much guarantee I’ll be a die hard fan. And I’m not alone. I mean, I am horribly alone in my personal life, yes, but I have plenty of fan brethren that feel as I do about comics and cartoons.
When Young Justice premiered on Cartoon Network, it was a revelation. A new take on not only the younger heroes of the DC Universe, but a truly inspired look at the entire DC Universe. The first season introduced us to our team of heroes, who were not content with playing second fiddle to the Justice League and set off on their own to do what they were trained to do. The series followed a rapidly growing cast of characters while showering much love on some fan favorites as they put together an interesting, riveting and unpredictable story that carried throughout the entire first season.
I expected more of the same when the second season premiered, but was pleasantly surprised as a risky move was made to shift the story while keeping it true to the original themes of the first season. By moving the story ahead five years, it also enabled us to see an impressive growth of the characters we followed in the first season, while opening up a new threat for the new and larger team to face.
Shortly after the premiere of Young Justice came the brand new Green Lantern: TAS, which marked the first animated series to focus solely on Green Lantern. It was animated in CG, which was a different take for the DC Animated Universe, but it opened up many new possibilities, while creating a visually appealing look and some decent stories. While not as appealing as Young Justice, it made for a nice companion piece to the series, while telling a unique story of the Green Lantern Corps that new fans and old could get behind.
So, as is wont to happen, when a really great show is made and an intriguing, thought provoking storyline is built up, the network does the only sensible thing and CANCELS IT. We have already seen a few problems lately with the network putting in weird placed midseason breaks and not really getting behind the program like they could have, so this news isn’t totally unexpected. The DC Nation programming block will continue with new shows replacing the cancelled ones, and the new shows may offer a few reasons behind this tragic news.
Beware the Batman is a new show that will also be done in CG, taking its cue from GL:TAS which was obviously a testing ground for the new style of animation. And in what is a complete slap in the face to all fans of Young Justice, it will be replaced with Teen Titans Go!, a show that is basically the same exact show as the Teen Titans cartoon from years past. While Teen Titans was not terrible, the new version, which had a few DC Nation shorts already made that held little appeal to fans of the original show, will be presumably taking over the Young Justice slot. Teen Titans Go! is a ‘humorous’ and clearly child oriented show that barely deserved the shorts it had, let alone replacing one of the best DC animated series in years.
Fan outcry on this decision is going to be huge, and as a fan of both of these cancelled series, I can honestly say I have lost much hope on the state of cartoon programming these days. This is something I have already experienced with the cancellation of both Spectacular Spider-Man and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in favor of new terrible shows that cater more to children than the fans of the series that have been faithfully watching and buying for years.
I will sadly watch the remainder of both seasons, knowing that it will all be for naught as they fall behind to make way for less intelligent and frankly terrible shows that are an embarrassment to fans of both comics and cartoons. If this is the way of cartoons for the future, I fear my love of the media will be lost, much like the great shows that earned this love are now lost.