REVIEW: ‘Young Justice: Phantoms,’ Episode 10 – “Nomed Esir!”

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Young Justice Phantoms Episode 10 - But Why Tho

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 10 raises the stakes-not just for Zatanna Zatara (Lacey Chabert) and the  but for all of existence. “Nomed Esir!” picks up after the end of “Odnu!“, where Klarion the Witch Boy (Thom Adcox) has been summoned by the mysterious Child (Erika Ishii) as the Lords of Chaos have grown tired of Klarion’s allegiance with Vandal Savage (David Kaye).

Zatanna is informed by the Phantom Stranger (D.B. Woodside) that the world will suffer if Klarion is destroyed, and he takes her students to meet a new ally who can turn the tide against the Child. Meanwhile, both Beast Boy (Greg Cipes) and Miss Martian (Danica McKellar) continue to deal with their grief over leaving Superboy, and flashbacks reveal Savage and Klarion’s ties to the fall of Atlantis.

DC fans will more than likely guess who the Stranger is reaching out to, due to the title of the episode; I personally was happy to see this character appear on Earth-16. The beauty of this story arc has been seeing different magic characters making an appearance, which is especially appropriate given the apocalyptic stakes of the story. Writer Kevin Greivoux jumps between past and present, showing how Savage and Klarion’s alliance has affected the history of Earth-16 and led to the birth of metahumans, magic users, and even Atlanteans. Savage has always been a DC villain I felt was underutilized; both Young Justice and the Justice League animated series have proven that an immortal man can be a very formidable-and imposing-adversary. Grevioux is no stranger to crafting supernatural stories, having co-written the script for the first Underworld movie; much like that film, this episode features a female protagonist caught in between a pair of ancient warring forces.

Where Greivoux’s script stumbles is handling the scenes with Beast Boy and Miss Martian, as they feel tacked on. Granted, I appreciate that Superboy’s death has continued to resonate throughout the series, the Beast Boy scene could have been cut from the show as it just features him scrolling through his phones and looking at photos of Superboy. Miss Martian’s scenes feel more organic and a bit more emotionally profound, as her sister Em’ree (Hynden Walch) tries to get her to open up. This results in the two sisters letting out a LOT of unresolved family tension via a psychic shouting match-the sheer intensity of it once again proves that voice acting is a sorely underappreciated art. So many emotions have to be conveyed with the use of your voice and McKellar and Walch perfectly display that here.

Back on Terra Firma, the battle between Klarion and the Child leads to worldwide destruction and director Christopher Berkeley showcases a wide range of magical elements. From crimson fire that takes the shape of a massive, hissing serpent to a literal chunk of the Earth being ripped out of the ground, “Nomed Esir!” is a stark reminder that these beings aren’t really human but pure forces of chaos. And the horror element is still intact as the Child is literally cut in half and burned to ash, but shrugs it off like you or I would shrug off a pinch. What makes things worse is Ishii’s vocal performance; she plays the child with a taunting, singsong voice that brought back memories of watching The Exorcist.

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 10 excels at building out the magical corner of Earth-16, but struggles to juggle multiple storylines. Now that we’re halfway through this recent story arc, I look forward to more magical characters along with more of Savage’s history.

New episodes of Young Justice: Phantoms are available to stream on HBO Max on Thursdays.


Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 10
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 10 excels at building out the magical corner of Earth-16, but struggles to juggle multiple storylines. Now that we’re halfway through this recent story arc, I look forward to more magical characters along with more of Savage’s history.

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