After three separate single-DVD volumes of only four episodes each, Young Justice fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Dangerous Secrets is a two-DVD set that includes the remaining 14 season one episodes. Of course, those new to the DC Entertainment animated series will not want to start here. While there are certainly standalone story elements in these episodes, this is an intricately plotted narrative with a series-long arc that can only be fully appreciated when watched from the beginning.
It’s the sure-handed, sophisticated storytelling that has made Young Justice almost as popular with adults as with kids. A substantial following has developed around the series, currently in the midst of its second season on the Cartoon Network. Created by Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, the series focuses on a younger version of the older, more firmly established Justice League. Batman oversees and doles out missions to the young team, just one of many adult Justice League members who appear throughout in supporting roles (Superman is the other heavy hitter among them).
Primary team members include Aqualad, who (like Justice League member Aquaman) can breathe under water and is the youngsters’ leader. Robin (whose true identity is Dick Grayson) is second in command, a young man without any superpowers. Much like Batman, Robin primarily relies upon his superior intellect. The horndog of the team is Wally West, better known as Kid Flash, the superfast nephew of the adult Flash. Conner Kent goes by Superboy, a Superman clone with serious daddy issues. He has a prickly relationship throughout season one with Superman, who barely acknowledges his existence. Miss Martian is the niece of Justice League member Martian Manhunter. She’s telepathic, telekinetic, and a shape-shifter. Artemis is an archer and purportedly the niece of Justice League member Green Arrow.
Beyond the main members, there’s a sprawling web of additional supporting players and, of course, villains. Season one finds the Young Justice team pitted against an evil collective known as The Light, whose members include Lex Luthor. Luthor turns out to have a very high stake in the clone known as Conner Kent. But along the way there are plenty of other distractions. Take for instance the Injustice League, another team of bad guys that’s prominently featured in a highlight of this collection, “Revelation.” These guys include familiar characters such as the Joker and Poison Ivy. Another winning episode is “Coldhearted,” in which there’s more than meets the eye to Kid Flash’s assignment of delivering a donor heart to a patient in need of a transplant.
The voice acting is absolutely top notch throughout Young Justice, including a number of notable celebrities such as Danica McKellar (Miss Martian), Jesse McCartney (Robin), Lacey Chabert (Zatana), and Alan Tudyk (Green Arrow), to name a few. The animation is stylish and relatively complex, loaded with arresting imagery. All told, Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets is roughly three hours of highly addictive superhero entertainment. There isn’t any bonus material except a digital Young Justice comic book that’s too small to really read and a handful of trailers. But the fact that Warner Home Entertainment saw fit to put all 14 remaining episodes on one release feels like a bonus in and of itself.