Title: Young Justice Outsiders: “Princes All”, “Royal We”, and “Eminent Threat” Review
Release Date: January 4th, 2019
Network: DC Universe
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action, Animated
Young Justice has returned for its long-awaited third season now under the DC streaming service, DC Universe. Meta-human trafficking has become a major epidemic across the globe, leading Dick Grayson to form a team in order to stop those responsible.
Honestly, being canceled may have been the best thing to happen to Young Justice. The writing and direction over the course of the series never felt like one akin to its old home, Cartoon Network. Sure, there were things thrown in to try and appease the child demographic but it always looked like the show wanted to go darker.
Let me tell you, Young Justice: Outsiders is dark. It’s still not on the same level as Bojack Horseman or Rick and Morty in terms of cursing/jokes/violence. But, you can tell that the series is on a new, and less restrictive, platform.
Along with the tone, you can tell a difference in the show’s animation. It’s not too off-putting but it may take a few episodes to get used to. I recently rewatched season two in order to get ready for Outsiders so this was especially an issue for me early on. Still, the new animation is another upgrade for the once-canceled series.
Unfortunately, I can’t go too much in-depth regarding the plot due to spoiler reasons. There is another major time-jump like from season one to season two. Like the beginning of season two, you’ll be very confused about what happened off-screen. Ultimately, most of the screen time is given to Dick Grayson and his team.
This is going to be the end of the non-spoiler section of the review. If you haven’t seen the first three episodes yet, I recommend you check them out on DC Universe as soon as you can.
(Spoilers ahead for episodes 1-3 of Young Justice: Outsiders)
I gotta tell you, watching Black Lightning accidentally kill a meta-kid in the first three minutes of the season really set the tone for me. Granted, the kid was encased in tar and there was no way that Black Lightning could see who she was. Still, this arc for Jefferson was a big step for a character who was a bit underutilized in season two. He’s probably my favorite character so far this season and this redemptive arc is the main reason behind this.
Plot-wise, there’s so much to talk about. Nightwing’s still off the radar. Batgirl goes by Oracle now. Artemis continues to use the name Tigress and is still unable to move on from Wally’s death. Superboy and Miss Martian are engaged. Kaldur is the new Aquaman. And, there’s the small scene of Batman leading a walk-out on the Justice League. It’s safe to assume that Young Justice: Outsiders won’t have any issues providing interesting stories.
I enjoyed that Young Justice: Outsiders didn’t just go through the motions and start off the same way as season two. For those of you who don’t remember, season two also featured a time-jump and when the season began, it took about five or six episodes for us to get time with our main cast again.
The new team in Outsiders are not filled with well-known characters to most viewers out there (including myself). I think of myself as a huge DC fan but I’ve never heard of some of these heroes before. Seriously, who is Spoiler?
I’m excited to see who these characters later are but I was more excited to see what the original crew was up to. Seeing three full episodes pretty much dedicated to Nightwing, Artemis, and Superboy was a great creative decision that gave the season a jump-start after years off-the-air.
The only complaint I have with Young Justice: Outsiders, so far, is with the Markovia characters. Brion Markov wasn’t very interesting and his family was even worse. The twist of a mole in the Royal Family fell flat with me, as did Brion’s exile from Markovia. Count Vertigo as the main villain wasn’t extremely appealing either.
For me, the most interesting side story going forward lies with Beast Boy. He’s given up the hero life and entered the world of acting. Episodes two and three gave us small glimpses of his shifted personality. Hopefully, we see him featured more prominently soon.
Verdict: It appears that its cancellation was the best thing to happen to Young Justice. A darker tone with less story-telling restrictions, improved animation, and a vast roster of characters made three episodes fly by. The Markovia arc was a little lackluster but this seems to be the opening for a bigger story down the road. As it stands right now, Young Justice isn’t just one of the best animated shows on air but is also one of the best active DC properties.
What are your thoughts on Young Justice: Outsiders so far? Are you enjoying the new season? Let us know in the comments below!
- Darker tone with a less-restrictive story-telling approach
- Animation takes a while to get used to but it is improved from previous seasons
- Focus on Nightwing and his team
- Black Lightning's arc
- So many compelling side-stories to get into
- Markovia story arc fell a little flat