Excited for the second season of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes? Maybe you're watching the wrong show...
5 Reasons why Young Justice is better than the Avengers
As fans of the comic book genre, we live in blessed times. Not only are superhero films making it to the theatres with regularity, but there is also a steady stream of cartoons and animated fare to keep us sated while we await the next Hollywood blockbuster. Two such animated shows are Young Justice and the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Both shows have been stellar offerings and fans should be ecstatic to have either, much less both.
But this is the world of the comic book geek and it's not good enough to simply have two shows with spectacular content. One must be better. One must grab the other by the back of their underwear, pull up ever so vehemently and taunt the other with a hearty "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!" So which show trumps the other and holds the bragging rights in this clash of animated titans?
Yes, intrepid reader, Young Justice not only makes the Avengers their bitch but they do it in the following 5 ways.
1: Production value.
The Young Justice cartoon simply looks better than the Avengers. Some of this comes down to stylistic preferences and I certainly prefer the style of YJ to the Avengers, but it goes beyond that. The animation of Young Justice is superior, and it shows in every episode.
2: Expanded universe.
There is nothing cooler to a comic book geek than to see a cameo. Whether it be a lesser known hero walking by in a random scene in Justice League Unlimited or even the mention of a name in a throwaway line. It's what makes us different. Because (sometimes sadly) we know who the hell that guy was that walked by a second ago. Young Justice again wins this category. With cameos from the Justice League, and just the DC Universe in general, you get the feeling that the Young Justice crew lives in a fully realized world. The Avengers accomplishes this to a lesser degree. We have some great moments with the Fantastic Four but outside of that, it seems like the Avengers are the only heroes running around the Marvel Universe at this point.
Both of these animated universes are basically rebooted versions of their respective universes. The difference is that Young Justice seems to embrace the reboot wholeheartedly. While there are stories that certainly seem reminiscent of previous comic book tales of the Teen Titans or Young Justice, the group dynamics and storytelling are almost completely different. You feel like you are experiencing a new story in a familiar setting with Young Justice. With the Avengers, it feels like we're getting the "Avengers' Greatest Hits" with regards to stories. The plots are recycled versions of what the comics have already given us. They are still great but Young Justice just seems more interesting, fresher, and more relevant. In fact, if only the DCnU resembled the Young Justice universe, I'd be picking up the majority of their titles. THIS is the reboot that DC should have given us. It treats the past with respect while still managing to be new and interesting.
4: The people you know.
The Avengers are eminently recognizable and the show does a great job of presenting them. This is the Avengers team that many of us know and love. The problem with that familiarity is also a sense of predictability. We KNOW this group. We know that Hawkeye isn't really a bad guy. We know that Cap will struggle with the present. We know that Nick Fury is black... with poofy hair... and white temples. The beauty of Young Justice is what we don't know about the cast. Yes, that is the Dick Grayson Robin, but it's no Robin we have ever met before. This one is the genius acrobat we all know but there's the impish ninja who laughs from the shadows as well. And I would be doing a disservice to the show if I didn't mention Aqualad. This character is simply the best thing DC animated has come up with since Harley Quinn. I was an instant fan. I admit that I don't know how he is being handled in the comic books but I can only hope they treat him with a portion of the respect he gets on the show. This is a character that I could actually see taking on the Aquaman role and would actually hope for it if I hadn't seen what happened to Kyle and Wally and Donna and all others that have dared to step into their mentors' roles.
It's odd to see that while Young Justice features the younger cast of characters, that their stories seem more grim and realistic. This is not to say that the Avengers don't have some grit to their stories but it's a Golden Age kind of grit. The Avengers is the more fantastical of the two shows and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, in telling the huge epic story, sometimes the little bits of characterizations get lost. I don't mean to imply that the characters in Avengers are flat, far from it. There is Hank Pym and his struggle to find his role in the world of the superhero, Captain America and his adjustment to modern world, and of course the Hulk and his struggles with everyone. But there is something more personal to the kids of Young Justice. There are the friendships, the romances, and the insecurities. They are pulled off flawlessly, and without a need to dumb it down for a supposedly younger audience. There is the romance between Superboy and Miss Martian, the contentious (yet romantic) relationship of Artemis and Kid Flash, Aqualad's growth as a leader, Robin's realization that he may not always be right, and so on. The characters have multiple layers, and you feel as if you are really getting to know them through the show.
So there it is my fellow geeks, the reasons why Young Justice destroys its animated counterpart on almost every level. Until next time, keep arguing about stuff on the internet. It doesn't accomplish anything, but it's fun...
Written or Contributed by: Doc Jon