?In case you hadn’t heard, they’re doing some pretty cool stuff with DC’s new cartoon Young Justice these days over at Warner Brothers. They’ve wrangled in the producers of Gargoyles, hired a pretty impressive voice cast, and even managed to incorporate Conan O’Brien into a scene or two (well, only for the Conan show, but they’re still pretty awesome).
However, the real entertainment value of the show for comic lovers comes from the sheer number of insanely obscure DC characters on the show, even though there have only been nine episodes so far! They flood the show, turning a decent cartoon into an elaborate game of nerdy hide and seek, with the object to see just how far into the DC Archives the animators buried their faces. Below is a list, in no particular order, of the most obscure DC characters to appear on Young Justice… so far.
7) Mr. Twister
?Some devoted fans of the Teen Titans might actually know who this dastardly villain is, but even if you know the name, I doubt you could recognize his Young Justice design. Far from his laughable persona in the original sixties, this android Mr. Twister presents the team’s first real threat in this series and doles out the harshness via lightning storms and, obviously, twisters. What’s really clever is that the writers managed to link him to Red Tornado, another weather-powered android. In fact, the team actually mistakes Mr. Twister for Red Tornado during their initial encounter, and they proceed to get their asses handed to them as a result. Easy mistake, I guess.
6) Black Spider
?This character doesn’t really need any introduction. Easily one of DC’s most popular and enduring characters, the Black Spider… is actually nothing more than a Spider-Man rip-off who kills drug dealers. His appearance in Young Justice isn’t going to do his image any favors, as his cameo portrays him as a member of the villainous ninja secret society (as if there’s any other kind of ninja secret society), “The League of Shadows.” What’s worse, his costume comes off as a discarded Spider-Man Clone Saga outfit, making him easy pickings for Marvel’s lawyers. Fortunately for DC/Warner, nobody cares about the Black Spider.
?Father to Artemis in the series, Sportsmaster actually got an upgrade in his Young Justice appearance. Far from the green bed sheet facemask that he wears in the comics, this version of Sportsmaster rocks a Casey Jones-eque mask and serves as an enforcer for the main bad guys of the series, “The Light.” His screen time his short, his voice isn’t notable, but this gets put on the list due to the awesome and extensive upgrade he got from the show, as an example of Young Justice’s tendency to modify characters to suit the purpose of the story, like they did with the next character.
4) Klarion the Witch Boy
?Quick! Name a Doctor Fate villain! Got one? Liar. Nobody cares who Dr. Fate goes up against on a day to day basis, unless it’s with that nifty Justice Society of his or a generic “Lord of Chaos.” This version of Klarion is one such individual. Not connected to the Demon Etrigan or the Seven Soldiers of Victory, this Klarion displays an entirely new background, if not personality. While not the most obscure villain ever, he merits a place on this list simply because he showed up in an episode unconnected to anything he ever did in the comics.
3) Professor Ojo
?Is this a real thing? Do you get to be counted as a legitimate character when your first appearance was in Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter? Supposedly, his powers include his “brilliant mind” and “supplementary eye,” but I think his real power is “unable to survive past Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Regardless, this one-eyed monster made trouble for the Young Justice crew in “Infiltrator,” where he used his “brilliant mind” and “supplementary eye” to do nothing more than deliver the plot device. Still, his appearance could precipitate a Ra’s Al Ghul or Green Lantern cameo, as he has ties to both characters in the comics. I’ll take either of those in a heartbeat if the trade-off is watching this baffling character and his “supplementary eye” for an episode.
2) Madame Xanadu
?The star of the Doorway to Nightmare series in the late ’70s and her own extremely brief solo title in the ’80s, Madame Xanadu possessed nearly godlike powers in both series, akin to a female Doctor Strange. She’s made forays into some of DC’s other magic-themed titles, such as Day of Vengeance, bugged John Constantine, and even got herself her own solo series recently. You would think a history this rich would lead into a pretty cool cameo, right? Wrong. In the episode “Denial,” she gets reduced to a Creole stereotype in the Big Easy and fails to impress Dr. Fate with her powers: A wind machine, a carjack, and a smoke machine. Hey, not every cameo gets to be awesome or redeeming. Although it’s still way more than the next guy on this list got.
1) Lagoon Boy
?Seriously, who the hell here knows who this guy is? A character created solely to bolster Aquaman’s seriously sparse supporting cast, this gilled monstrosity has shown up in fewer stories than ComixNix’s version of Jean Grey. Okay, that might be untrue, but just by a little. His cameo in Young Justice is really nothing to talk about. He appears, floating about in the background during the Atlantis episode, in the underwater equivalent to Hogwarts. Still, the sheer presence of the character is mind boggling, to say the least, and easily makes the number one spot for most obscure character on Young Justice.