Young Justice: Outsiders is finally here, and the team (and the show) is just as great as you remembered.
2018 lasted about an entire decade and though there were some bright spots, most of it we could probably file under “wish I could forget this.”
Luckily, 2019 is already looking bigger, brighter and better thanks to the premiere of Young Justice: Outsiders.
Five years after Cartoon Network tore apart our hearts and cancelled one of the best superhero shows ever, DC Universe has come in to pick up the pieces and put our superhero loving hearts back together again.
While five years of our own lives have passed since the end of season two, only two years have gone by in the Young Justice universe. Still, that’s enough for some pretty major changes in the time jump — Kaldur is a lad no more, now graduating to full Aquaman status. M’gann is the official head of the Young Justice team, and while Nightwing is officially still on hiatus, he is now technically running some sort of black ops adjacent squad.
Still, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Wally hasn’t (unfortunately) miraculously returned to us, Lex Luther is still powerful and influential on a global scale and Batman is still Batman.
Now, if you’re reading this review, I’m assuming that you tuning in to watch Young Justice: Outsiders is basically just a foregone conclusion. So, rather than writing a typical review, I’ve decided to put this together as a FAQ. Fans have had plenty of questions about the upcoming season, which I’ll attempt to answer here as best I can and with only a mild to moderate amount of spoilers.
Is it good?
With the same creative team, the same voice actors and the same passion behind both, could it be anything else?
If you were maybe afraid that the time away from the screen would have diminished either the storytelling, animation or voice acting, then rest easy my fellow fans — it’s clear that the same talent and love that went into the first two seasons is still there in this third season.
The animation is sharper than ever, the storyline tight, focused and engaging right out the gate, and all the voice talent slips into their old roles or builds up new ones without missing a beat.
The team is back, and it feels so damn good.
Is it as good as the first two seasons?
My short answer: Yes.
My long answer: It’s really unfair to judge three episodes against two entire seasons.
While I thought that the first season of Young Justice came strong out of the gate, I did feel like season 2 took a little bit of time to get going. In fact, I was only really able to appreciate it when the entire season had finally aired and I could both see the many different plot threads that had been sewn from the very start and appreciate the payoff that we got in the end.
Young Justice: Outsiders has elements from both the first and second season — a time jump, a hidden lab with nefarious experiments — but makes it all its own, so that it embraces what came before without relying too much on the nostalgia of it either.
So to sum up my long answer to the question: Yes, I believe it’s going to be.
Will my old faves get screen time?
If your faves are Dick, Conner and Artemis, then yes. These first three episodes — while featuring many of the characters we’ve come to know and love — focuses mainly on the black ops mission into Markovia’s metahuman trafficking. That team is made up of Young Justice faves Dick, Conner, and Artemis — and is also joined by Justice League member Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning.
Black Lightning was around in the previous seasons, but mostly as a background member of the league — although we did get to spend more time with him in the latter half of season 2.
This season, he’s front and center, and while he might not necessarily be a favorite from the first two seasons, I’ve loved The CW’s Black Lightning (and have covered this second season for Hypable), so was pretty overjoyed to see him as part of the black ops team.
Also, there is a pretty major scene early on with Batman being, well, Batman — which means he’s both kind of an asshole and kind of/probably right — that’s sure to have far-reaching effects as the season progresses.
Will I like the new characters?
We get to meet two of them in these first three episodes that have been released.
The first character we meet this season is Brion Markov, prince of Markovia and the superhero otherwise known (though not by very many people, I’m guessing) as Geo-Force. He gets a fair amount of screen time in these first three episodes and is an engaging and likable character, whose major motivations are taking care of his country and finding his lost sister — both of which make him easy to root for.
He’s at the center of a lot of different plot threads introduced thus far, which likely means he’s going to be a major character, so I’m thankful that he’s an interesting one.
The other character we introduced to is the hero I’m sure will eventually become Halo, though at the end of the three episodes, that’s more of a nickname still than anything else.
What I will say about her is this: If you come out of these episodes not loving Halo, then I do not trust you or your opinion. That’s all I’ll say about that because I don’t want to spoil anyone, but come find me on Twitter to scream about how cool she is this Friday.
How much do I need to remember from the first two seasons?
Other than the broad character arcs and major plot points, not much — at least not for these first three episodes. The Reach and the Light are mentioned a few times, and Wally’s death is obviously referenced, but for the most part the major storyline of metahuman child trafficking is pretty self-contained to this season.
In fact, if I had a criticism to these first three episodes, it’d be that the first Justice League team meeting (headed by promoted Aquaman Kaldur!) in the first episode is pretty exposition heavy. The different members don’t have character interactions inasmuch as they just become infodumps to explain the plot.
But, it’s helpful and even necessary to introduce and flesh out the season-long story arc, bringing new and old fans up to speed quickly and easily (if a little clunkily). Which brings me to the next question.
Can my sibling/significant other/best friend/cousin/whoever watch with me if they haven’t seen the first two seasons?
First, I do recommend that your loved one watch the first two seasons because they are some of the best superhero storytelling we’ve ever gotten on TV.
But, I also get it — two full seasons of an animated show that they may have never heard of is a big ask for a lot of people.
Luckily, they can watch Young Justice: Outsiders along with you — as long as you don’t mind fielding a few questions here and there.
I know this because my husband sat down to watch the screeners with me while I was getting ready to write this review, and not only was he able to easily follow along with only a few questions to direct his way, he ended the third episode by asking when then next ones would come out and if he could watch those with me, too.
So invite your best friend/sibling/spouse to watch with you, reel them in with the great storytelling and character work of this season, and then take the time during the hiatus to get them all caught up on the first two seasons.
Hopefully that just about hits all your major questions for the return of our favorite superhero team. I’m so excited for everyone to get to watch these three episodes, and happy for all of us that our favorite superhero show was resurrected in 2019! Happy watching!