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Young Justice: Invasion – The Hunt Review: Arsenal, Baddest Man on the Planet

The action returns to Warworld in The Hunt. After being coy about it for awhile, the Light starts moving against the Reach and helps out the heroes who have been captured in the process. The Super Friends get to be the Light’s latest pawns, and Arsenal shows back up in a big way.

The promotion for this episode focused primarily on the four Super Friend kids returning, and after they already got the spotlight in a recent episode, I have to admit to not looking all that forward to it. This show has a big cast and probably didn’t need to spend more time focusing on the new kids. Fortunately, promotions were misleading. The Hunt is Arsenal’s episode if it is anybody’s.

As it turns out, Arsenal didn’t jump out and tell everyone about Blue Beetle’s betrayal last episode because he is still being pursued through Warworld by the Reach. Given how enormous Warworld is, the Reach apparently had no problem moving into it right under the Justice League’s nose. It’s a good strategy, and the only flaw in it is that Arsenal remains at large. This is a pretty awesome episode for the character, showcasing what a badass he can be to have survived all this on his own.

The Light's use of Boom Tubes can't be good news for anybody.
There is one moment of it that really doesn’t work for me, though. While I appreciate the attention to believability by showing Arsenal’s cybernetic arm running low on power, this is undermined by having him able to find a place to recharge in short order. Really? Man, I’m helpless to charge my own devices if I misplace one of the several proprietary cables I have to own. But Arsenal is able to randomly find someplace to plug in and charge his arm on an alien Death Star? The show may as well have not even brought up the low power issue if it was just going to present such a cheap solution for it.

But besides that, this is really Arsenal’s moment to shine. It’s great seeing him keep ahead of the Reach soldiers and join forces with the Super Friends when they show up to rescue the rest of the Team. Overall, it’s definitely one of the more badass portrayals any character has gotten on this show, which is saying something. The best part of it is easily who he decides to release to fight off the Black Beetle.

The Super Friends still are a big part of this episode, and that’s fine. My concern is that they would dominate another episode. That’s not the case here. They get a sizable role but nothing that feels like too much. It’s nice seeing them a bit more developed as well. You can see they’ve grown a bit since being taken in by Luthor but not so much that it’s unbelievable. They’re still badly inexperienced despite being better with their powers. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last we see of them too. It seems like they’ve now played their part, and I’m satisfied with what we got of them. My only disappointment is that Luthor didn’t set them up with superhero identities and costumes.

You know, Nightwing could have asked Wally West for help if he's so shorthanded. Just saying.
I’m a little unsure about Nightwing’s reaction to Arsenal after all is said and done on Warworld. I think he’s totally justified in his decision given Arsenal’s behavior as part of the Team, but it seems off that he would voice all this right there in front of the Super Friends, whom he’s trying to win over. It may have served the plot, but it comes off as kind of forced in a way that hurts Nightwing’s position. But again, Arsenal completely had it coming.

Who expected G. Gordon Godfrey not to be frustratingly annoying for once? Don’t get me wrong. That’s just who the character is supposed to be, but it’s fun for once to see him turn that against the actual bad guys. It makes for a legitimately surprising turn of events too. The timing of it is very curious, though. Godfrey’s love affair with the Reach ends just as the Light gets more overt in moving against them? Tie that in with the Light’s use of Father Box’s in this episode, and you really have to wonder if we won’t see a much bigger otherworldly threat than the Reach appear before the season’s over. Viewers who don’t read comics may be unaware of the connection here, but comic fans definitely see where this is all probably heading.

The shame of it is that this is all probably heading to what would have been a really awesome setup for a now unlikely third season.

I was really looking forward to what the show might have in mind for Static and the others in a third season.
Now that we are so close to the end of season, I really can’t stay quiet about something that has been bugging me for awhile. I’ve waited and given it a chance to resolve itself, but we’re running low on time. Where the hell is Wally West? He is still supposed to be a main character. Repeatedly, the showrunners have stated that they still consider the original cast members main characters. So, again, where the hell is Wally West? I understand that he is supposed to have retired from superhero life. But his girlfriend is currently undercover with the Light, and just about the entire team has been captured by the Reach. Are you telling me Nightwing decided that just he and Miss Martian were enough to mount a rescue? This should have been a perfect opportunity to bring Wally back into the mix. There better be one hell of an awesome comeback for Wally coming soon, or this is going to be a huge mark against this season. Next week. Wally West. It needs to happen.

The Hunt is another solid episode of Young Justice: Invasion with all the usual strengths in the action and character development department. With the season nearly over, I assume this resolves the storylines for Arsenal and for the Super Friend characters. The Reach’s plans are on the verge of falling apart, though not from the machinations of our heroes. And despite being reunited, it still seems like the odds are stacked strongly against the Team being able to stop the Light. Basically, this is exactly how you want to set up the suspense for the end of your season.

Rating
9.3

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