Young Justice: Outsiders is a return to greatness for DC animation. Young Justice: Outsiders continue to build on the foundations of growth that fueled the series during its original run. After a time jump from where they left off, the group of former sidekicks have truly developed into their own superheroes. Nightwing begins the season operating solo after taking a leave of absence from the team. Superboy, the once volatile and detached Superman clone, is team-oriented and emotionally available. Miss Martian leads The Team with Aqualad – now Aquaman – commanding the Justice League.
Not only have our heroes grown up, the show has as well. Young Justice was always a bit more on the edgy side than previous DC shows and now with the freedom of their own platform, DC has leaned more into the mature themes. The season begins in a bloody murder that wouldn’t be on Cartoon Network. There’s a scene where a character rises from the dead after being dumped in a mass grave. Another scene involves a character’s face being gruesomely charred. Starting the season like this shows that respect to the audience that has grown since the series ended. It is safe to the Young Justice: Outsiders will continue to lean into mature themes throughout the season.
As you can probably tell from the season’s title Outsiders, Batman and the Outsiders play a big part in the new season. Black Lightning, historically a member of the Outsiders, resigns alongside Batman, Green Arrow, Katana and others have a fallout with the league and go off on their own. Batman and Black Lightning are almost always the founding members in the comic incarnations of the Outsiders and t’ll be interesting to see what the season does with their dynamic going forward.
A major plot point this seasons involves the search to stop the Bedlam Syndicate, who abduct kids with the meta-gene to sell them to the highest bidder. The metahuman activation and trafficking, dysfunction in the Justice League, and the royal Markov family have set themselves to be thrilling plots for the season. One of the most impressive parts of the season so far is that they have flawlessly blended multiple plot elements and will leave audiences captivated on all of them after only three episodes.
Though it may have taken five years to come back to the screen, Young Justice: Outsiders looks like the best the series has had to offer thus far. Young Justice has always been the shining jewel of DC animation in the last ten years. Following the legacy of the original DCAU was never an easy task but the series delivered and surpassed all expectations. After the first two seasons had audiences fall in love with their characters and stories, season 3 looks to expand on it. If the first three episodes are any indication, Young Justice: Outsiders will continue to be some of the finest animation DC has produced. Now that it has the newfound freedom with the DCU streaming service, Young Justice: Outsiders will have even more room to grow, mature and develop as a hallmark in the industry. With Young Justice‘s spectacular return right out of the gate and the stellar first season of Titans, the DCUniverse looks to have a bright future for years to come.