Heroes and Villains – Young Justice: Outsiders, Bumblebee + more

It’s the first Heroes & Villains of 2019! Did you miss me? I missed you. The moment I hit submit on my last piece of 2018 I immediately had thoughts about stuff I still needed to write. However, the year felt as if it was closing in on me, so a short sabbatical was in order. I didn’t touch the keyboard once during my break and I think I may have even gotten dumber…so you’re in for quite a ride this year.

We’re only a week into the year and I’m still not sure what to make of it. I’ve the sneaking suspicion that it may be 2018 in disguise. For this installment I’m going to hip you to a show you should not be sleeping on and then get into the minutiae of my time away…as it relates to comics/pop culture. You probably don’t need to know I ate an entire 45 piece box of Frango mint chocolates in one sitting. Don’t worry, I’m still completely in control of my own life.

Young Justice: Outsiders

The two greatest cartoons DC has ever produced are without question Batman: The Animated Series and Young Justice. In my mind the sit on a perfectly balanced seesaw which will occasionally tip in one direction or the other based solely on which of the two I’ve watched more recently. Batman: TAS is perfection when it comes to the Caped Crusader but even as a teen I was longing for more of the DC Universe. That’s where Young Justice comes in.

Originally airing on the Cartoon Network in the US way back in 2010 Young Justice spotlighted the younger heroes of the DCU in a way that was more Justice League Jr. and less Teen Titans. At first I had approached it as just another DC cartoon but I was surprised to find an intricately written serialized superhero show that was one of the best things DC had done in years.

Then…it was canceled. Allegedly, it hadn’t sold enough toys and that sweet toy money was needed to bankroll a new season. I’m of the opinion that if they would have given me some good toys it would have sold better. But I digress.

Great run, good while it lasted, etc. Sure they wrapped up 99% of the story and ended with a great tease of where the show could go but what’s done is done. Whatever will be, will be. But then it popped up on Netflix and I rewatched it. I forced friend and loved ones to watch it. There was a growing audience of like-minded folk who wanted MORE of it. There was talk that if enough fans streamed it and pestered WB, season 3 may happen. Then…it came back.

I have to imagine that many Young Justice fans wept real tears that day. I managed a stoic nod of approval, pleased that The Thing I Like was coming back for more of What I Like. Amazingly, the show has been off the air for SIX YEARS but it seems like no time has passed at all.

Previously, I had written about Titans on the DC Universe streaming service and my final judgement on that show is: Pretty okay! It ended up being a solid show and the other perks the service offered was almost enough to justify the monthly expense for me. But I’m here to tell you that Young Justice: Outsiders is without a doubt the reason you have to subscribe to DC Universe.

The show could very well be the crown jewel of the DCU service in my opinion. It picks up two years after the season 2 finale and feels like it hasn’t missed a beat. The original voice cast is largely intact (there’s new-ish voice actors for G. Gordon Godfrey and Beast Boy) but it all gels really, really well. It would appear they’re dropping new three episode installments on a weekly schedule and I couldn’t be happier. They also appear to be making use of not being under the heel of Cartoon Network’s Standards & Practices department as a character gets half their face burned off in a fairly graphic fashion…so if you’re watching this with a youngster be warned.

And The Rest…

I spent my time away reading books, watching movies, and just generally loafing about. Aside from a brief moment of existential panic a few minutes into 2019 that my 40th birthday is approaching faster than I’d like to admit, it was all pretty enjoyable. Here’s some of what I got up to…


I think we can all admit that we approached Bumblebee with the attitude of “fool me five times shame of you…” and were amazed that it was a good movie. There’s a certain disconnect in one’s mind when the sixth movie in a franchise isn’t another T&A explosion-fest but rather a fun and funny coming of age film…with explosions. If you’re a Transformers fan you owe it to yourself to see the movie just for the scenes set on Cybertron.

My sole criticism of the movie is that it goes to excruciating lengths not to contradict the established Bay canon when all that should have been tossed in the nearest dumpster ages ago.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

I went back for a second helping of this GOLDEN GLOBE WINNING Spider-Man movie. It really is that good and I can’t wait to get the blu-ray so I can watch it again and again and again.


While the new comics releases were all over the map for the weeks of Christmas and New Years, I devoted a portion of my time to book one of the Ellis/Shavley/Bellaire collaboration Injection, Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force run, and Grant Morrison’s run on JLA

(Which has got to be over 20 years old now). One of the things I love about comics is that they’re always there. It’s always great to revisit old favorites to see what new insights you can pull out of the text with a little time and perspective. For 2019 I’m feeling like I should reread Preacher and The Invisibles…maybe I’ll be able to pull a column or two out of that.

What about you? Any old favorites you’re going to revisit in 2019? Are there any favorites of yours that I should check out? Let me know in the comments!

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