Nobody likes being replaced, especially for a job you claim not to have wanted in the first placed. Well, that’s how Speedy’s feeling. After declining membership on The Team, and going solo from Green Arrow – Speedy has found new heroine Artemis is subbing for him as GA’s new sidekick and with Young Justice… and Artemis may be more than she seems…
I grew up with the League of Assassins, well, not literally, but you know what I mean. When you’re a kid, you don’t consider that a name might be too on the nose or full of intent. You just think it’s a league of assassins. Even the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants became just The Brotherhood when the X-Men hit the big screen. It never seemed to bother the Masters of Evil or the Legion of Super-Villains, but I guess that’s a discussion for another day.
Here on “Young Justice,” just as in the concurrent Batman Begins and the rest of the Dark Knight trilogy, the League of Assassins had become the more mysterious League of Shadows. Still the same sinister organization run by R’as Al Ghul, but with a kinder, gentler, less imposing name.
Notably when R’as and the League threatened Starling City on “Arrow,” they reverted to their original comics nomenclature, leading to numerous ‘what do you expect from a group that calls itself the League of Assassins?’ jokes that never get old and even spun off into both “The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Good stuff.
As we open on this episode, we catch up with Speedy (or is he calling himself Red Arrow yet?) as he makes his way to League of Shadows stronghold Infinity Island to rescue a young scientist, Dr. Serling Roquette, being held prisoner there. Was she working on some kind of scarab? Related to Blue Beetle maybe? Whatever she was working on, she finished before she was rescued.
The bug we saw is actually just one of millions. The project is a nanotech super weapon called The Fog, it looks like smoke, disintegrates matter, and steals data. Speedy, now Red Arrow, brought her and the info to The Team for protection. Once there, he finds he’s been replaced as a member, and as Green Arrow’s sidekick, by apparently GA’s niece, Artemis. That was her arrow that helped in the fray against Amazo. Once Red Arrow leaves, the animosity is picked up by Kid Flash and returned in kind.
The Team is tasked with protecting Roquette while she tracks The Fog. The League of Assassins, with the Sensei and Professor Ojo (a criminally underused villain who has clashed with Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Richard Dragon) in charge, dispatch Cheshire to take out the scientist. Cheshire is a character with a certain history with the Teen Titans, and especially Speedy. She’s the mother of his child, Lian. Here however, her secret connection is with Artemis.
When the first attempt fails, the League sends more agents along with Cheshire, the Hook and the Black Spider – the latter a Batman foe and Peter Parker wannabe from the 1970s, and the former presumably the killer who turned Boston Brand into a real Deadman. This is what I was talking about with showrunners worldbuilding. This isn’t a Teen Titans cartoon, this is a DC Universe cartoon, and a continuity they are building from the ground up.
This mission is notable as it has The Team operating on its own. We learned two more of the new Aqualad’s powers – extra dense skin and a limited resistance to poison. And we know Artemis isn’t really Green Arrow’s niece, but what is her secret? Is she the agent The Light has inside the group?