- For other uses, see Independence Day (disambiguation).
"Independence Day" is the first episode of the first season of Young Justice, and the first of the overall series. It premiered on Cartoon Network as part of the special hour-long, two episode pilot movie, also called "Independence Day", on 26 November 2010. The pilot was then edited into two separate episodes, "Independence Day" and "Fireworks", which aired on 7 January 2011 and 14 January 2011 respectively.
Robin, Speedy, Aqualad, and Kid Flash are finally granted access to the headquarters of the Justice League. But when that access turns out to be little more than a glorified backstage pass, Speedy walks, and the other three sidekicks go on a mission of their own, to Project Cadmus, where they make a startling discovery...
A peaceful day in Gotham City Park is interrupted by Mister Freeze, who starts freezing civilians. Taking aim at the people attempting to escape his rampage, a projectile hits his cold gun, saving the fleeing civilians. Assuming Batman was the interloper, Freeze looks around for him, but finds no one. He then hears a laugh, and Robin lands onto his glass dome, and throws two shuriken, cracking it. Freeze takes aim at Robin, but Batman steps in and punches him, cracking the dome completely.
Icicle Jr. is causing havoc on the Star City suspension bridge, flipping and overturning cars with his cryokinetic powers. As he laughs maniacally, several arrows explode around him, and he looks to the top of the bridge to see Green Arrow and Speedy taking aim. Speedy shoots a trick arrow which knocks Junior out. Green Arrow jokes that Junior "had a glass jaw". Speedy dismisses the joke and exclaims that "today's the day".
Aquaman and Aqualad are fighting Killer Frost on a battleship. From the bow of a ship, Killer Frost shoots ice beams at Aquaman and Aqualad, who dodge each strike, though Aquaman's torso is frozen by one particular attack. Aqualad jumps past Aquaman as he breaks out of the ice encasing him. Aquaman is questioning Aqualad on whether he is excited about the day's events, when his apprentice responds that he's "more focused on the matter at hand". Aqualad dodges more attacks from Killer Frost, and then uses his Water-Bearers to knock her out with a ball of ice. He then admits his excitement, as "today's the day".
Flash and Kid Flash are attempting to prevent Captain Cold from robbing a Gem Depository. Cold is shooting at them with his cold gun, as the two Speedsters run circles around him. Kid Flash is first to act, as they "don't have time for this". Stealing his cold gun, Kid Flash skids to the other side of the road, as Flash flies in and punches Captain Cold across the face. Flash tells his sidekick to calm down, but Kid Flash resists, as he expresses his excitement because "today's the day".
Upon arrival at the Hall of Justice, all four sidekicks are given a brief guide of the Hall, before the sidekick's mentors, along with Martian Manhunter and Red Tornado attempt to leave the room for a debrief on that morning's events. Speedy is outraged that he along with Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad are left out of the debriefing, and exclaims that the Hall isn't the real Justice League headquarters, and reveals the existence of the Watchtower. Speedy storms out of the Hall, as Superman requests League assistance to attend to a fire at Project Cadmus, before Zatara requests a "full League response" to an incident involving Wotan using the Amulet of Aten to blot out the sun. Superman says that local authorities have the fire under control, and the mentors leave the Hall to face Wotan, leaving Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad behind.
Angered, or in Aqualad's case, disappointed that their mentors did not trust them with information regarding the existence of the Watchtower, Robin suggests they investigate Project Cadmus, and to "solve their case before they do". All three sidekicks agree, and they leave for Cadmus.
Arriving on site, they infiltrate the burning building, Robin using his grappling gun to scale the building, whilst Kid Flash runs up the side of the building. Aqualad uses his Water-Bearers to save two scientists in the process of climbing into the building.
Whilst inside the top floor, Aqualad spots a horned silhouette inside an elevator. Kid Flash questions why the elevators haven't been locked down, whilst Robin discovers it is in fact a highspeed express elevator, leading to a shaft that drops at least twenty floors below the ground surface. Robin uses his grappler to lower himself, but soon reaches the end of his rope, so the trio is forced to stop their descent at sub-level 26, where they discover a group of G-Trolls marching through the corridors.
Meanwhile, in his lab, Dr. Desmond is working on something called Project Blockbuster when Guardian, chief of security at Cadmus, reports that sub-level 26 has been breached. Desmond assures him that Cadmus is the most secure facility in D.C., but tells him to take a squad to investigate, nevertheless. Dubbilex steps in and suggests Guardian to leave his own G-Gnome behind, professing concern for the creature's safety should violence break out. Guardian concurs, but Desmond doesn't, and via his own G-Gnome he compels Guardian to agree with him.
Continuing to explore Cadmus, the sidekicks discover more Genomorphs being used to power Project Cadmus, as that Cadmus isn't on the electrical grid. After Robin downloads information onto his holographic computer, Guardian finds the trio, and briefly questions them on why they are there. But before he starts to question their findings, his G-Gnome uses its telepathy to compel Guardian to command the squad of G-Elves to attack the sidekicks.
Robin immediately creates a smoke screen to hide Aqualad, Kid Flash and himself from the attackers. A fight ensues, which ends abruptly as Robin manages to hack into the elevator system, open the doors, and get inside safely along with Aqualad and Kid Flash.
Robin sends them even deeper into the fortress and, after a brief skirmish with Dubbilex, they're able to find Cadmus's secret weapon, Project Kr: Superman's clone. They lock themselves inside and decide it's time to contact the League, but they are in too deep to have a signal. Outside, Guardian and Dr. Spence are trying to open the door. Desmond states that they can't let the intruders leave once they capture them, but Guardian points out that they aren't just any ordinary kids. However, Desmond is more concerned with the Cadmus board of directors than with a purported retaliation from the Justice League. He instructs Guardian's G-Gnome to contact the clone's G-Gnomes. Inside Project Kr, just as the trio decides to release the clone, his G-Gnomes take control of his mind and he attacks the trio. Although he is pitched against three well-trained sidekicks, the clone has no trouble defeating all three of them, and he leaves them unconscious. He proceeds to pry open the door and Desmond, upon seeing the three sidekicks lying on the ground, praises the clone.
The title may refer to the national holiday in which this episode takes place, but also to the fact that the sidekicks stray from their mentors and set out to assert themselves as independent heroes.
Cast and characters
- This story continues in the next episode.
This episode was originally planned to include an appearance by Catherine Cobert, who would be the Justice League's civilian liaison and the voice of the League computers (they are voiced in the episode by Stephanie Lemelin). A design of the character was created by Jerome Moore, and a scene featuring her was recorded with Stephanie Lemelin playing Catherine, but the scene ended up being cut for time at the storyboard stage.
The father at the barbecue grill (who is one of the civilians frozen by Mister Freeze) in the opening scene in Gotham City Park was designed by Jerome Moore, who modeled the character on lead character designer Phil Bourassa. However, the colors were changed for the final screened version of the episode, and the likeness was diluted.
"Independence Day" garnered an average of 1.3 million viewers among kids between 6 and 14 and 1.8 million viewers among boys between 2 and 14.
- Main title clips:
- Number 16:
- Spectators at the Hall of Justice scene make a reference to why Green Arrow's sidekick is named Speedy, often debated by fans of DC Comics.
- The fact the only sidekicks who go to Cadmus labs and thus begin the Team's existence are Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad is a reference to the first Teen Titans mission in comics, in which Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash faced off against Mister Twister.
- For his work on this episode, character designer Phil Bourassa won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation in 2011.
- This episode was featured on Young Justice Season One, Volume One, Young Justice: 3-Pack Fun and The Best of Warner Bros. – DC Comics Collection.
- This episode is featured in Young Justice Enhanced with a commentary track by Brandon Vietti, Greg Weisman, Phil Bourassa and Jason Spisak (watch it here).
- When Superman contacted the Hall of Justice regarding a fire in Project Cadmus, the transmission source was correctly stated to be from Superman. After Zatara requested for a full League response against Wotan, the source suddenly changed to "Zantara" in the next scene.
- When Robin examined the various attributes of the Genomorph projects, there were six displayed: Strength, Endurance, Speed, Control, Aggressiveness, and Psychic. Aggressiveness was misspelled with only one "g".
- Guardian tells Desmond that the young heroes are not "your typical meddling kids". This alludes to the famous catchphrase from the various Scooby-Doo series, spoken by virtually every villain once thwarted by the Scooby Gang: "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!" Scooby-Doo and Young Justice are produced by Warner Bros.
- For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.
- Was the "Ice Villains" attack coincidental or orchestrated? (Answer)
Partially answered questions
- Moore, Jerome (2010-12-04). "YOUNG JUSTICE: CRF". deviantArt. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- Weisman, Greg (2011-03-09). Question #13095. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- Moore, Jerome (2010-11-27). "YOUNG JUSTICE: PhillyBee". deviantArt. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- Seidman, Robert (2011-01-12). Ratings Notes for TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network; Including 'The Closer,' 'Conan,' 'Southland' & More. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (2011-09-07). "Juried Winners for Animation Achievement and Costuming for 63rd Primetime Emmys Announced". emmys.tv. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
Start of the series