The hit animated television show Young Justice returned for a third half season subtitled ‘Outsiders,’ this time not on Cartoon Network, but as part of the new DC Universe online streaming service. As Robin would have said in the first season, it was not whelmed, but in fact, very underwhelming.
For the stuff I liked, I did like the introduction of Orphan, Cyborg, and Oracle into the series. While I like Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, I did think her appearances as Oracle were good, even if they were short. Two other things, the scene when Batman quits the Justice League is very riveting. I enjoyed watching the Caped Crusader stick it to politics. Also, Lex Luthor being the UN Secretary-General instead of the president was an interesting sea change. Now for the criticism.
Most of the advertisement hinted at Batman being a main character in the series, leaving the Justice League to launch a new superhero team. This would mesh with the comic books, as Batman briefly left the JL to form the Outsiders (also hinted at in the title and even Batman Incorporated teased). It was incredibly false advertising. Batman has only sparse appearances and is only a main character in one episode.
Instead, we are forced to watch Nightwing, Superboy, Martian Girl, Tigress, and Black Lightning train new recruits Forager, Geo-Force and Halo, who was so different from her DC Comics counterpart, she was unrecognizable. All three of these new characters are not enduring and do nothing to pique your interest.
Now it was not just butthurt over the lack of presence of the Dark Knight that bothered me, it was the drop in quality of the writing. While season one focused on teamwork and the building the next generation of superheroes and season two, titled ‘Invasion,’ focused on an alien infiltration, this season focuses on the rise of metahumans and how Lex Luthor’s gang is selling them as living weapons in space. While this sounds intriguing, it genuinely was not. The story would be pacing along, only to have a sidebar with a character like Beast Boy or Dr. Fate for no reason other than to serve as an anime-style filler episode that was not funny or interesting.
My main issue was with the characterization of Halo. Taking a page from Marvel Comics, they made the character ‘woke.’ Instead of an amnesiac all-American girl who contains alien powers, she is now a Middle Eastern girl who is somehow merged with a Mother Box. I honestly do not understand why DC Universe thought this was a good idea. The Justice League character Simon Baz, a Green Lantern, is a well-written original Muslim character. If they wanted to use an Arab character, this would have been the opportunity to bring him into the fold. Instead, we got a poorly written clone character who is not intriguing.
The second half of the season will be launched in July and hopefully, it will pick up and produce better content. If not, it may be time to send this series out to pasture.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie review of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes and my thoughts on the comic book story-arc Batman: League of Shadows. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
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