It has been over 6 years since the heroes of Young Justice were last on the airways. In that time we have seen this once thought to be dead series gain a cult status and vigorous efforts to bring the series back commenced. Now that the series has been revived thanks to DC Universe and Warner Bros Television, die hard fans can dive back into the world of Young Justice to catch up with fan-favorite characters and meet new ones. With the latest season of the series now at a close, was the long wait worth it?
As expected we start out the season with a time jump, two years, so now the show is back to being in “real time” compared to being in the future like season 2 was. The team and the characters we have come to know and love are still mourning the death of Wally West. In Young Justice fashion, we jump right into the action with new heroes on the team as well as new members added to the Justice League, including new league co-chair Aquaman (Kaldur’ahm). The world is now in crisis again as meta-human teens across the globe are being kidnapped and experimented on. Activating their “meta-gene” to serve the Light.
With this crisis we are introduced to new characters Brion Markov (Geo-Force), Violet Harper (Halo), Forager and (not-so new) Victor Stone (Cyborg). Our now grown up heroes Artemis, Superboy and Nightwing take these young heroes under their wings amidst the split up of the league and team due to Batman and other heroes seemingly being unhappy with the way Lex Luthor and his cohorts are blocking the League from helping internationally. Our once young and naive heroes are now the mentors looking over the next generation of heroes as the Light and forces of Apokolips threaten the world. Another important plot element introduced is Granny Goodness and her company overseeing Hollywood productions, that hero Beast Boy works under, as well as her company creating VR goggles that seem to be more than what their wearers bargained for.
Now that we’re all caught up with the heroes, I think it’s safe to say that it’s been great to see this series back in our lives. With each season it is a bit of an adjustment meeting so many new characters while the characters we initially grew with and loved got pushed to the side a little bit. But for the most part I think that has actually made for a better show. We still get our core characters of Kaldur, Conner, Artemis, M’Gann, and Dick while still getting a new and fresh story with new characters. On that end I think this season does a pretty good job of balancing old and new characters.
While I do have many great things to say about this season, I have to be honest in saying that there were definitely some things that stood out as negatives to me. Understanding that the show is no longer on a big network like Cartoon Network and is working under different circumstances, I still feel that the animation quality took a step down and was quite noticeable at time. Certain character designs felt like they were animated with less care and detail than they were in the shows first and second seasons. I don’t necessarily blame the animators or the producers for this. It is a very minor issue I have but in some instances they really stood out.
One of the many things I think that this show has done amazingly is incorporate “filler” plots into the episodes along with its main plot. Two of these instances in particular were the Bowhunter Security episode and the episode with the wives/partners of Justice League members bringing their offspring over for a super-kid playdate. In both instances it was nice to get a look into the lives of the characters that we don’t always get a ton of screen time for. In the play date episode it was nice to see so many of the female characters from the show with their super powered kids all coming together for a day where they don’t have to hide who they are to anyone. The Bowhunter Security episode, while over the top and cheesy at times, still brought up some great moments between Will (Red Arrow) and Dick. While most episodes have at the very least a decent B-plot, these two stood out to me as some of my favorite moments from the season.
Delving into the actual plot of the season, I will say it’s my least favorite of the three seasons thus far. That is in no way a knock on this season itself. I just found myself not being as surprised or really wowed compared to previous seasons. Since we only got a little bit of Darkseid this season, the plot between Granny Goodness and the Outsiders really did feel like the stakes were high. Meta-Human trafficking really made this season feel a lot more tangible in having a plot line feel so real and yet so fitting to this world. Since this series doesn’t have cable network restrictions, it was able to go darker when it needed to. With this show you’ll never know where the story will go and while not as jaw dropping as last season, it still packs quite a punch and changes the status quo of the show yet again.
The drama this season, in dealing with the division of the league and the team as well as the creation of the Outsiders, was handled really well and finally seeing story points being addressed head on was really well done. Beast Boy really came into his own this season and having Greg Cipes come back to voice this different version of Beast Boy really impressed me. His character arc from season two until now has been nothing short of great and to see him take a leadership spot and be so proactive in the global superhero community really is inspiring not only to the young heroes of the show but to real people out here too.
Without spoiling things for fans who have not yet been able to watch this current season yet, I will say that the ending was well worth the wait and really ties things together as well as sets things up for season four really well. With its issues, I still really enjoyed this season of Young Justice and cannot wait to see season four and where the series will go. Overall this entire season was at the very least really good. For being gone for so long, it’s hard not to have high expectations for this show. No series has to be perfect but even at its worst, Young Justice proves to be one of the superior animated superhero tv series ever made and continues to be an enjoyable ride for DC fans every where.