A lot has been happening since we last heard about this little band of crime fighters. In the recent DVD release (on sale on WB’s site), Dangerous Secrets, we’re given a full two-disc set of superhero fun.  There’s so much going on in this volume that it’s a little difficult to pare it down without giving anything away. So hold on tight – there may be small spoilers, but we’ll certainly keep the best of those dangerous secrets hidden.

First of all, we join the team after they’ve been attacked by Red Tornado and his siblings, and have also been told by Sportsmaster that there is a traitor in their group (all from the last volume).  Instantly, we see team member against team member, questioning motives and keeping a close watch. The dissension that is sown amongst these junior heroes is palpable, just by planting the simple idea that there may be a traitor.  Expect to explore most every team member’s personal views on their mates while they decide on this issue.

That’s not the only tactic used in this volume to get you closer to the characters. Just about every main character on the team, including their former watcher, Red Tornado, gives  at least one huge reveal. It seems everyone has a secret, and is hell bent on keeping it from their teammates. For a while at least.  We already know a couple of them; for instance, we know Artemis is not actually Green Arrow’s niece, and more to the point, that she has a sordid family history. But can she trust her teammates with this information? Will they trust her after they find out? Unfortunately for these heroes, having ties to the wrong side of the law can often lead to suspicion, no matter how great your own motives are.  If you’re brave enough, let’s take a look at this clip from the episode “Usual Suspects,” which highlights three of our heroes’ weakest moments:

 

 

We also get to see a few new additions to the team. Namely, Zatara and Zatanna – the father-daughter magician team made famous from the old Batman comics, going into the 90s cartoon show, Batman: The Animated Series. Zatara is starting to show promise as a young, budding magician, but we’re left to wonder through much of the series if her father will let her join the team. We also see the return of Doctor Fate and Red Arrow.

However, there is one thing about this volume that has been really disappointing in many ways. That is the Batman villains. Early on, we see the infamous Injustice League – a culmination of criminal masterminds bent on taking down the Justice League.  A lot of these criminals include classic Batman villains such as the Joker, Poison Ivy, Ra’s al Ghul, Klarion the Witchboy, and Bane. I really have to say.. as an avid Batman fan, this was greatly dissatisfying. This incarnation of the Joker has been, by far, the worst I’ve ever seen – and that includes John DiMaggio’s lifeless voice inflection in Under the Red Hood. Not only was the character design sub-par, but there was nothing intrinsically Joker-like about this classic villain. The voice acting was boring, the writing was uninspired, and that iconic laugh you expect to hear from the Joker just falls completely flat. The other villains in this category barely got enough screen time or dialog to even make an impression. The one exception possibly being Klarion the Witchboy – who actually did carry over the irritatingly chaotic and childish nature of the character.

Over all, the writing for this volume was pretty outstanding. The character development within the Young Justice League, and even, to an extent, in the actual Justice League, was phenomenal. We learned an awful lot about the young heroes we’ve grown to love. I also found it quite encapsulating to see that the second disc basically followed one, solid story arc. I do wish the Batman villains were much more better executed, and will hopefully be better developed in future seasons. However, that aside, this set was a thrilling ride that really has a way of reeling you in.