It’s a mighty good time to be an uber-fan of the much-beloved geek favorite DC animated series Young Justice. The show was unjustly canceled way too soon, for reasons that never made much sense - apparently too many young women watched the show, which made it worthless in terms of merchandising.
This awesome Warner Brothers Animation series won the hearts of many a superhero devotee only to suffer an untimely demise after two measly seasons. But just like certain characters in the comics, this axed show is coming back from the dead!
A successful fan campaign got WB to green light a season 3 of the show, set to hit DC’s digital platform in 2018. While most fans consider Young Justice to be a perfect comic book cartoon series, it does have its blemishes, of course. What show doesn't?
Mistakes were made on Young Justice - some bigger than others. But hey, to really love something is to love it warts and all! And we found those warts!
These are 15 Mistakes You Didn’t Know Were in Young Justice!
15. Is Miss Martian “Young" Enough to Be in Young Justice?
The show is called Young Justice, right? So, is it cool that one of the team’s most powerful members is almost half a century old?
As was explained in the first season episode “Agendas”, Miss Martian, the niece of J’onn J’onnzz, aka the Martian Manhunter, is actually 48 Earth years old. Not really very “young” is she?
The ostensible explanation is that kids take longer to mature on the red planet. As it happens, 48 is still the “teen years” on Mars in terms of physiology. But is there really any way to objectively say that Miss Manhunter doesn’t have way more life experience than the under-20 Robin or Artemis? Maybe we will grow up one day and figure that one out.
14. Gotham City Is in Connecticut???
DC comics has a funny relic from left over from its Golden Age inception which makes for a sometimes-confusing geography for its universe: most of their flagship characters live in fictional United States cities. You won’t find Metropolis or Star City on a real-life map, for example. Same goes for Gotham City, Batman’s stomping grounds. So it gets kind of weird in the Young Justice episode “Schooled” when the team is studying a map of Bruce Wayne’s hometown, and it appears in Connecticut!
Look, we know this is fantasy, but it’s kind of hard to suspend disbelief when we’re supposed to think we’ve missed a major New Engalnd city our whole lives! And for the record, when Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (1939), he actually lived in New York City. Which is close to Connecticut... Close, but no cigar.
13. Zatana Should Totally Have Gotten Out of This One
Anybody that knows anything about the mystical DC warrior known as Zatana knows her powers put their money where her mouth is. This elite young conjurer uses vocal incantation to muster up her magical power. By uttering phrases in reverse, the wizardess makes the impossible come true.
For example, if she was tied up by a villain, all she has to do is say “em eitnu” – the backwards was of saying “untie me” – and she would be freed. Which is exactly what happens in the Young Justice episode “Secrets.”
The supervillain Harm has Zatana bound and gagged – in one scene. Which is smart on Harm’s part, as it prevents her enemy from fighting back. But in another scene, she loosens the gag to interrogate her. Meaning Zatana could have gotten away at any time.
12. Red Tornado All Over the Map
Early on in the series, the Young Justice team is supervised by a Justice League veteran – the cyclonic superhero robot known as Red Tornado. He ends up being a sort of de facto “school principal” to the kids, a spoilsport who keeps them from having too much fun (i.e. hands them “boring” missions instead of more challenging “grown up” ones).
In one scene in the episode “Welcome to Happy Harbor”, the team is gauging his approach to their headquarters on a digital map. The problem is, he’s all over the map!
First he’s closing in, hugging the Rhode Island coast. Then he’s further out to sea. A third look at the map has him somewhere even further away. This guy doesn’t know if he’s coming or going – or at least the animation studio’s continuity team doesn’t.
11. Parasite Steals Miss Martian's Powers - or Does He?
One of the few supervillains who can put fear into even Superman’s heart is the power-sucking bad guy known as Parasite. As his name implies, this evil-doer has the ability to drain his enemies of their superpowers and take them on as his own.
In the Young Justice episode “Performance”, that’s exactly what he does to every member of the teenaged team. And that’s a problem when it comes to Miss Martian.
M’gann M’orzz, like all her Martian brethren, has the ability to shape-shift.In fact, the default form she chooses for day-to-day life looks pretty much like a “normal human” (well, except that she has green skin). Her “true form” is decidedly more lizard/insect-like, more like a Stranger Things monster than a person.
When Parasite took those powers away, she should have reverted to that Martian beastly aspect, but she stayed humanoid. It's a big continuity fail and maybe even a little homo sapiens bias happening behind the scenes!
10. Time Has No Meaning!
Throughout all of this nitpicking we can do with Young Justice goofs, we’ve got to hand it to the production team for their ambition. Not only does one overarching story continue throughout the series, be it up front or in the background, the show keeps timestamps through multiple acts of each episode. This helps keep things clear as this Very Big Drama progresses for dozens of episodes.
In the original airing of the episode “Drop Zone”, however, the timestamps were off by weeks. One moment is logged as being in June when it’s supposed to be July. Another is stated as August when it’s supposed to be July. This error was eventually caught and fixed for home viewing. You don’t need to check your clocks, it’s all straightened out.
9. Superboy’s Disappearing Electrodes
In the Young Justice episode “Bereft”, Superboy gets captured. And tortured. Again.
Look, a lot of superheroes get captured and tortured by supervillains, but on this show, it sure does seem to happen a lot to Superboy. In fact, the very first time we see him in the series, he is in captivity at Cadmus' research facility, totally tortured.
Anyway, it happens here again, and this time it’s the evil Psimon who’s busy electrocuting Superboy, zapping him right in his nipples, electrodes clamped on tight. Except when we see him again later, they’re not clamped on at all. But when Miss Martian finally arrives to rescue him, they’re back on there again.
Where did the danged things go? Hopefully they did not wander to an even more uncomfortable body part when we weren’t looking.
8. A Prison Guard Switches Races
A lot of times, glaring mistakes on TV shows can still be hard to detect. And sometimes it can be, to borrow an expression, a very “black and white” affair. And that’s literally the case with the goof viewers can spot in the Young Justice episode “Terrors”.
During a jail breakout scene, a prison guard named Banks plays a brief but crucial role. Because of a coloring error, that role may need to be recast as a chameleon because when we first see him, Banks is clearly African-American. And then a few seconds later, he’s totally Caucasian. And then he goes back to being African-American again.
It’s kind of hard to believe, but, yes, the production team screwed that up big time. Maybe DC could blame this on Clayface?
7. A Metropolis School Bus in Star City
A main bridge in Star City is under attack by a giant plant creature and it’s the Justice League to the rescue! In the episode "Revelation", Black Canary, Green Arrow, and Red Arrow arrive to save commuters from falling to their deaths.
Using one of the most tried-and-true cinematic victim devices - the school bus full of innocent kids - the stakes are naturally raised for a rescue to happen. When the three heroes fail to stop the children-hauler from toppling into the water below, Green Lantern Guy Gardner shows up with his power ring to save the kids just in time. Great, right?
Except that this particular school bus is clearly marked “Metropolis School District” – even though it’s established that we are in Star City. Rather than blame the show's production team for the inconsistency, let's assume that the Metropolis kids were on a field trip and just leave it at that.
6. The Light Has 7 Members - or Is It Eight?
Young Justice had two full seasons to weave its continuity and get all its story points straight. Across that whole time, a supervillain group called “The Light” works against them from the shadows. It’s a great long story arc which was executed almost flawlessly. Almost.
In the very second episode of the series, “Fireworks”, we get our first glimpse of this hidden conspiracy by way of a video conference which keeps the conspirator’s faces hidden on eight screens. The problem is, the group is later revealed to have seven members. Which in the long run means having one less A-list bad guy to deal with – a good thing for the youthful heroes, but a bad sign for the basic math skills of the artists working the show.
5. Artemis’s Hair Blows the Wrong Way
Why is it always so exciting when an action sequence happens on top of a moving train? Is it the speed, the chaos, or maybe the room to move through speedy chaos? Whatever the case may be, it’s a go-to setting for dangerously staged scenes in many a movie and TV show.
In the Young Justice episode “Performance,” one such scene happens when the team’s resident archer, Artemis, gets on top of a moving train. Which is totally cool, except that her prominent long blonde ponytail is flying the wrong way, against the wind! How does it do that? Could she share the same mane-manipulation talents of the Inhumans’ Medusa?
Not likely, but, hey, whoever said we had to follow the rules of physics in animation?
4. Cheshire's Magically Reappearing Sais
One of the most interesting villains in the Young Justice storyline is the assassin known as Cheshire. Without spoiling the series for those who haven’t seen it yet, her secret associations with certain members of the team of young heroes adds a lot of family drama to the show. And she’s a pretty cool killer as well.
Styling herself as a ninja-like hitwoman, Cheshire sometimes uses the sai sword, a common weapon used in the martial arts. But in one fight scene in the episode "Target", sparring against Red Arrow, the evil warrior loses her sais – only to have them in hand again in the very next moment. Hey, look, maybe Cheshire’s steel has the same classic ninja stealth moves as she does. Or maybe somebody goofed.
3. Artemis’ Amazing Changing Arrow
A cool running element throughout the Young Justice series is the inclusion of a trophy room. At the end of several episodes, artifacts left over from one mission or another make it onto the shelves of the room so that the members can remember and reflect on the adventures they had gone through. It’s a great way to remind the audience of the teenage aspect of the team: kids love collecting stuff.
In the episode “Schooled,” one of Artemis’ arrows is added to the collection, bearing a smooth tip. But when we see it again in the episode “Homefront,” the tip is decidedly jagged, more like one from Green Arrow’s quiver. It’s a slight error, of course, but hey, if you’re going to make the trophy room a big deal, better get it right!
2. The One Time Bumblebee Should Not Have Shrunk
Fan favorite B-list character Bumblebee was a welcome addition to Young Justice as the show's burgeoning cast grew. Along with fellow heroines like Supergirl and Batgirl, the size-changing flyer adds a lot of fun and diversity to the show’s ever-expanding lineup of teenage crimefighters.
Unfortunately, Bumblebee and a lot of other heroes are caught by The Light in the exceedingly grim episode “War”, where they are stuffed into cryogenic freeze pods. When she was initially captured, Bumblebee was normal human size. In the very next episode, “The Hunt,” she is seen in her pod, but she has shrunk to bumblebee-size.
How in the world did she use her powers when she was in suspended animation? Because in regular animation, sometimes animators make some animated mistakes!
1. Arsenal's Two Left Arms
One of the craziest side stories in Young Justice is the tragedy of poor Roy Harper, aka Speedy, and later aka Arsenal. Starting off as Green Arrow’s sidekick, the headstrong young man is kidnapped by Cadmus, an evil group of advanced scientists working for The Light. They freeze Roy, cut off his arm, and clone him as Red Arrow, with the purpose of infiltrating the team.
Eventually, he escapes in the episode "Satisfaction", and gets a cybernetic arm to replace his lost limb. Which is great, except that in the episode, the artificial arm is a left arm. And Roy is missing his right arm, essentially giving him two left arms. Which, even if he were ambidextrous, would present a problem, right? Naturally, when he puts the arm on, it's correctly for his right side, where it stays for the rest of the show - we think!
Did you catch any of these mistakes in Young Justice? Are there more mistakes we missed? Let us know in the comments!