What really happened between Cartoon Network, Young Justice, and Green Lantern the Animated Series: A bedtime story
YJGLTAS: A Tale of Two Fandoms
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Cartoon Network, the executive rulers sought to bring joy to the lives of their people and went off in search of worthy warriors to defend and uphold the values of childhood.
In their search, they came upon several great men and knighted them as protectors of their realm. Four of these men, Brandon, Greg, Chris, and Giancarlo, were the greatest minds of the land, finding new and creative ways to inspire the good people of CN.
Their ideas were met with caution at first, being of a novel and revolutionary spirit. But it did not take long for the seeds to be sown into the minds of those willing and open to change. Then came a joy that spread like wildfire through the land. Tales of heroism and overcoming evil of all forms were being sung and written and drawn with gusto by the inhabitants.
With his mighty snark, Greg responded to the citizens’ inquiries, always making them question the depth and breadth and expanse of the plot and development of the tales he and Brandon wove on majestic tapestries of the recipient’s mind. Brandon, in his own more mild temperament, partnered with Greg to explain what it truly meant to become a hero no matter your origin and how important it was to always be true to yourself.
Together, they were accompanied by Chris, whose murals throughout the kingdom were so magnificent that visitors from other lands would pause and wonder at the resplendent colors splashed upon his canvases. He supported those in pursuit of the arts and brought to life the tales plaited by Greg and Brandon, adding his own particular panache to enhance the experience all the more.
Giancarlo was the rogue knight, both everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, hiding in the background with a parental serenity as he cheered on his following to take his ideas and make them into something greater. With a snark that rivaled Greg’s, Giancarlo spent much time with Chris among the people, learning their dreams and aspirations and finding ways to prod them along.
These four great warriors had become so beloved by the people that the rulers of CN took notice. And soon their notice turned to jealousy, for these men stirred such happiness within each person that the kingdom’s other knights were gradually losing favor.
“We cannot tolerate this! They are putting too many unstable notions inside everybody’s heads! Soon our subjects will revolt and our authority will be put to the test! They will demand we continue to support these ideas season after season. We must find a way to cast a poor light onto these traitorous scoundrels!”
“I know what we will do!” One of the executives cackled evilly. “We shall send them on a long hiatus under the pretense of taking a respite and refreshing their minds! Only we shall prolong their absence so as to make their followers think they’ve been abandoned!”
“Won’t the inhabitants question why we sent them away?” Another ruler pondered.
“Not if we make it seem like the hiatus was their idea! We shall make it seem as though the entire situation was out of our control.”
This pleased the collaborate of dictators, and so the four knights were sent away suddenly with no explanation. The vile plot worked at first, and the people that had so diligently followed these new warriors were distraught. Why had they left their followers in such disarray? Did they tire of expounding upon the stories that had so enthralled the populous?
Chris could not answer these questions, but he did his best to keep up the spirits of the masses by painting and drawing and inking with every fiber of his ingenuity. Many a group would follow him throughout the streets, waiting for his next masterpiece like a lifeline.
It was Greg who was able to first break through the murky disappearance, sending messages via stone gargoyles, informing the people that it was not the knights’ choosing to be cut off so abruptly from them.
“Then who? Who did this?” The citizens demanded. The truth surfaced; it was the executive rulers of CN.
A suspicion arose among the general civilians. Why had the executives done this? Did they not know how beloved these knights had become to them? Murmurs of dissent spread rapidly throughout the kingdom of CN, and the rulers knew they had to act quickly to dissipate the palpable tension in the air.
So, after months of absence, the executives quickly summoned the three men back to the kingdom. But the damage had been done. The people were torn between distrust for both the men that had filled their heads with adventure and character development and the rulers that had filled their hearts with false hope.
The four knights, willing with all their might to repair the chasm that had appeared between them and those they wished to reach out to most, set forth with greater vigor and purpose to spin the most impossibly wonderful yarns that had ever graced the imagination of those that freely opened their hearts and minds once again.
Just as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the people of CN were awed and entranced all over again. And the jealousy of the executives continued to grow when their other knights were overlooked once more.
“We shall send them away on another exodus! All other kingdoms send a portion of their knights away this time of year! The civilians will not think anything of it!” The other executives marveled at the brilliance of the suggestion, and it was acted upon with much zeal.
The people were saddened to see their beloved knights go, but they acknowledged the tradition and promised to keep the ideas of the creators alive. And they agreed that Chris was the right one to remain once again and to encourage the large following.
This time, instead of the hiatus dampening morale, it only strengthened the resolve of the people. They drew and wrote and GIFed and videoed and blogged with fervent ardor, as one that has fallen into a mad infatuation. So great was the explosive tenacity of the people that the executive rulers were driven to the point of desperation.
Not two weeks back from their quest, Greg, Brandon, and Giancarlo were tossed into prison in a completely unprecedented manner. No explanation was provided.
The kingdom erupted into chaos. No longer were the people going to keep quiet at the abuse of power exerted by these executives. Their feelings were being ignored, and it was not okay. It was not okay for there to be no accountability, for there to be no reason or logic. It wasn’t.
And so the followers of these brave men protested. They lobbied the executives and petitioned and pleaded. Because these knights had inspired them, had caused them to expand their minds and visions and dreams.
The executives, now having the emotions of the people crushed beneath their steel shoes, offered a compromise: the freedom of Greg, Brandon, and Giancarlo for the banishment of Chris.
The citizens, having hidden Chris from the malicious clutches of the rulers, clung to their dear mentor, refusing to offer him as a sacrifice to the greedy executives.
But Chris was an honorable knight, and even as his followers pleaded and begged him not go, he acquiesced to the horrible demands. Before leaving, he drew the people one last dazzling mural, a token for his appreciation of their support and love.
“Fear not,” he told his sad followers, “For I shall live to paint and draw and color in a new land. And you will always be welcome there.”
Hitching his case of pens and markers over his shoulder, Chris walked out the front gates into a sunset that was befitting his artistic genius.
The people of CN mourned the loss, but they were eventually heartened by the thought that Giancarlo, Greg, and Brandon would be released from prison. They were overjoyed to receive the knights that had inspired so many new and radical viewpoints.
And the gentlemen, though clearly happy at the exuberant reception, appeared more tired, more weary. They had given so much of themselves to the kingdom, to its people, and to the executives. They had done everything asked of them and more, had given all of themselves to this task of protecting the values and traditions of childhood, of growing up and learning. But they knew it would never be enough to satisfy the resentful hearts of the executives.
Rather than cause distress among their followers, the three knights worked twice as hard, teaching the people that sometimes, it’s darkest before the dawn. And sometimes we suffer great loss and it sends us into a cold fury, but there will be a way to fix it, together.
And when the executive rulers finally made their banishment of the knights public, a wave of insurgency arose as such the likes were never seen before nor ever again.
The tyrants behind the decision for banishment were at a loss. Never had such an overwhelming abundance of disapproval and censure been directed toward them.
But the three knights, gentlemen of their word until the end, packed their things despite the overpowering outcry of the people.
“Remember what we have taught you,” Brandon spoke. “Remember the feelings we have inspired and go forth to inspire others.”
“Know that we will continue to watch over you and encourage you to follow your dreams,” Giancarlo added as he graciously accepted another bouquet of feels from a devoted follower.
“But what about the characters in your stories?” The followers cried. “Was the world saved? Were the villains defeated? Did everyone survive? Are our OTPs ever going to become canon?”
Greg turned to them and smiled, not unkindly. “I’m afraid that is a spoiler request and we cannot comment.”
“But it’s only a spoiler request if there’s something…to spoil…” A look of wonder spread across the faces of the collected individuals. “Does this mean it’s not over?” They demanded, unable to contain their excitement. “Does this mean you’re going to keep telling these stories forever and ever?”
The three champions simply smiled mysteriously. “As long as there is a need of us, we will never stop creating these stories and inspiring creativity in others,” Greg replied, crinkles of mischief in his eyes.
They turned toward the sun on the horizon, its bright glow lighting the way for a brighter future. The people of CN watched the last of the great defenders leave the gates until, one by one, they filed out of the kingdom after them until there were none remaining within the confines of the tyrants’ rule. For wherever the great knights chose to go, happiness inevitably followed.
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