By: Jon Weisman (writer)

The Story: When he says “Speedy delivery!” he really means it.

The Review: Since each of his teammates have had a spotlight episode to themselves, the time was ripe for a Kid Flash-centric show.  The Kid established his personality early on by serving as the team’s comedy relief, but besides the jokes, it was also fairly easy to catch on to his shtick because he comes closest to being the teenage everyman: a stereotypical adolescent male who can never get enough to eat and who thinks of girls every moment he’s not thinking of food.

As a natural consequence, Wally comes across less focused and driven than the rest of the team, someone in the superhero business more for the thrills than anything else.  He also has a tendency to come across more immature than the others—which isn’t much of a sin, so long as you can respect him as well.  From the get-go of this episode, he proves he’s worthy of respect, and he only grows in your estimation as the story proceeds.

First off, he handles the discovery of Miss Martian and Superboy’s relationship with surprising restraint, if with mortified dismay (“Oh, man!”).  Then, despite the unfortunate circumstances that leaves him out of Young Justice’s first-ever team-up with the League, he takes on his special mission from Batman with admirable stoicism.

And of course, since Batman’s the one giving the order, there’s a very good reason why Kid Flash gets picked out for this particular task.  It would’ve been easy for Weisman to make a gag out of the episode by giving Kid Flash utter busywork to do, only to, in some implausibly fortuitous circumstances, become a matter of incredible importance (e.g. Booster Gold getting crowd-control duty then subsequently saving the world from destruction by human black hole).  But this series has too much respect for its young characters to treat them that dismissively.

It’s thus gratifying to see Kid Flash rewarded for his devotion by revealing just how crucial his “delivery boy” work turns out to be (Robin: “Dude, I just heard: you saved an entire country!”).  After all, Kid Flash not only had to sit out the big YJ-JL shindig, he had to resist the temptation of an entire alley of fast food, make a strategic decision not to keep sparring with Vandal Savage (yup, you heard right), and single-handedly confront one of the more obnoxious villains with diplomatic immunity in the DCU.

What’s annoying about this series is how, despite bringing quite a bit of sophistication to what is now literally a Saturday morning cartoon, it can’t seem to stop itself from treating the viewers like dummies.  Here you have an episode going so well, and at the very last second, Weisman throws in a sickeningly saccharine after school special (ASS) line: “…the sweetest birthday present a lucky stiff like me can get…is seeing that little girl’s smile.”  And yes, that middle set of ellipses does indeed represent a dramatic pause.  Really, Kid Flash keeping the heart carrier was a pretty nice, appropriate symbol, which pretty much everyone can get—including my eight year old cousin, so no need to flat out tell us what the moral of the story is.

Conclusion: Happy b-day, Wally—besides the other presents, what better way to celebrate than giving you an impressive feature episode?

Grade: B+

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – I’m sorry, but a “Chicken Whizee” sounds like something you can get in the back alley of a meat-processing factory.  I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s an actual thing or an unspeakable act of some kind.

– At some point, we need to figure out a way to see what exactly Zatanna is saying backwards.  For someone who couldn’t scry for a person on a map last episode, it’s quite an impressive leap to being able to destroy an entire floating freeze fortress with a series of words.