None Escape the Pestilence II

I had been quite looking forward to the third season of Young Justice, as the first two seasons were among the best, smartest, and most heroic portrayals of the Teen Titan, or, indeed, or any superheroes, seen on the small screen in many a year.

I gave the show more than two chances. Heck, I gave it twenty: that is how many episodes I watched. The enemy always save the leftwing sucker punch until late in the show they ruin, after they have you hooked.

Alas, the show is now entirely corrupted by political correctness. In a mechanical and unimaginative fashion, as if done by brainless robots, it marks off the checkboxes of the victim hierarchy of the social justice warrior code:

Teen girl battered by drunk father, check. Sister protecting brother, check. Aquaman’s homosex kiss, check. Halo’s lesbian kiss, check. LGBTWTF asexual who says she has no gender, check. Gender-swapped characters in the form of Jack Kirby’s newsboy legion all turned from boys to girls, check. Mixed race homo couple, check. Mixed race hetero couple, check. Lovable Muslim girl, check. Lovable Muslim girl who wears the headscarf but does not practice the religion, check. Male Father of said lovable Muslim is a superstitious jerk, check, while female Muslim twofer mom is sympathetic and understanding, check. Lots of troubled teens in crisis center, check. Virgil Hawkins, aka Static, actually says he is joining the superhero team at one point “to bring a bit of color” that is, to be the token diversity hire. Check and checkmate.

(Static deserves better than to be reduced to this. The audience deserves better.)

In the old days, the comics used to insult us only every now and again, and usually in rather small things: Glorious Godfrey would appear as a thinly disguised version of G Gordon Liddy, Rightwing Talk Radio host from Hell, or, at least, Apokalips. But now? The preaching of political correctness, the message, the narrative, crawls into every cranny of the show.

None of these things by itself would bother me, or even be worth mention, in the same way that no one drop of the Chinese water torture drives the victim mad.

It is the mindless uniformity and conformity of the checklist that saps all enjoyment: the viewer is constantly being reminded that the story is not being told for sake of the story, or to please the audience, but to salute and promote the worldview political agenda of Uncle Screwtape.

The careful viewer can see the traces of what could have been a good plot, even a great one, hidden beneath this mess: the widow Artemis falling in love with her brother in law Red Arrow while she helps him raise her niece, hersister Cheshire Cat being an super-villainess and missing; Metron and the Source Wall, the Forever People and Granny Goodness, and all the Jack Kirby awesomeness; sinister conspiracies of kidnappers hunting teens with latent superpowers; the split in the League between the Batman and his vigilante ways versus Supes and Wondie and the more lawful and legal heroes, who are slowly being bound up in red tape by Lex Luthor, who is both the Secretary General, as well as partners in crime with Darkseid of the New Gods; Beast Boy as a teen idol and heartthrob from a Star Trek like television show; the Judas Contract, with Tara the earthbender once again serving Deathstroke and infiltrating the teen titans.

I have let my curiosity about some of these plot threads drag me into the checklist realm of looking glass logic, where evil is good and good is evil, perverted is normal and normal is perverse, but no more. Curiosity wanes.

No writer can portray heroism and victim narrative at one and the same time. If you love truth, justice and the American way, you can love superhero stories. If you love narrative over truth, social justice over justice, and identity politics over the American way, you can only hate superhero stories. Trying to do both at once is like a horsemen trying to ride two steeds galloping in opposite directions.

Out of respect for the ghost of a show that was once worth watching, I am not going to wait around ghoulishly to watch the progress of the disease. We all know how it ends.