Having trouble remembering everything important that happened in the first half of season 3 of Young Justice? Many fans are, given the split-schedule for the season that placed a five-month gap between when the last of the first 13 episodes aired in January 2019 and the start of the second half of season 3 in July.
While opinion has been mixed on many of the original programs created for the DC Universe streaming service, the return of Young Justice has been almost universally hailed as a good thing. First airing on Cartoon Network in 2010, the series centered on a team of six superhero sidekicks who acted as a covert wing of the Justice League. The series was a critical hit, but was canceled after two seasons because it proved more popular with young adults than the young kids the show was nominally aimed at. Thankfully, a loyal fan base and a petition drive convinced Warner Bros. to give the show another chance and a third season on DC Universe.
Boasting a roster of over 70 superheroes, along with various supporting characters and even more villains, there’s a lot of things for fans of the show to keep track and many things that are easily overlooked even without the gap between the two halves of season 3. Here’s a quick rundown of all the major subplots to remember heading into the second half of Young Justice: Outsiders, for those who won’t have time to binge the first 13 episodes again before episodes 14, 15 and 16 are released on July 2, 2019.
The Original Six Sidekicks
Season 3 opens two years after the end of Season 2 and the five surviving founders of the original Young Justice team have largely gone their separate ways in the wake of Kid Flash’s apparent death. Dick Grayson, now calling himself Nightwing, has quit the team to be a lone vigilante. Artemis Crock has retired from heroism and is working on her Master’s Degree while sharing a house in Star City with Will Harper – the clone of Roy Harper who fathered a daughter, Lian, with Artemis’ sister, Cheshire. Ms. Martian and Superboy are still leading the junior Justice League members and sharing a home together in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, where he works as a mechanic out of their garage. As for Kaldur, the former Aqualad took up his mentor’s name and position on the Justice League, which he now co-chairs with Wonder Woman as the new Aquaman.
Nightwing Forms A New Team
The early episodes of season 3 see Nightwing approaching some of his former allies about a covert mission to investigate a trafficking ring in the nation of Markovia, which is enslaving metahuman teenagers. This mission must be executed discretely, due to the new United Nations rules regarding American superheroes taking action in other countries. He recruits Artemis, Superboy and Black Lightning to join him, knowing that they all have strong opinions on teens being locked up and experimented on and have no objections to working covertly.
The team winds up becoming more permanent and larger than Nightwing had planned, when their raid coincides with an attempt on the lives of the Royal Family of Markovia. Though the team helps to expose Baron DeLamb’s plot to seize the throne and his involvement in the metahuman trafficking ring, they are unable to save the King and Queen of Markovia. The team return to America with the Markovian prince Brion (who was banished from the country after his metahuman powers were publicly revealed), the Markovian Royal Family’s personal physician, Dr. Helga Jace, and Halo – a mysterious girl who seemingly rose from the dead with light-based powers she does not understand. Later, they also adopt Forager – a refugee from the bug people of New Genesis, who was banished from his hive.
Barbara Gordon is Now Oracle and Dating Nightwing
Nightwing’s new team has one other member, whose existence the rest of the team is unaware of. When we last saw Barbara Gordon in the season 2 finale, she had just taken over leadership of the Junior Justice League as Batgirl. Something happened in the past two years that left her paralyzed (presumably a recreation of the events of The Killing Joke), though she still fights crime as a white-hat hacker and mission coordinator called Oracle. She’s also dating Dick Grayson and the two are suggested to be living together.
The New Leadership Of The Light
It was immediately obvious that The Light – the union of super-villains responsible for the evils inflicted upon the world in the first two seasons of Young Justice – were also responsible for the wave of metahuman trafficking that was abducting young metahumans and turning them into slaves to be shipped off-world. What was not clear, however, was who had taken over the seats vacated by Ra’s Al Ghul, Black Manta and The Brain. By the middle of the season, it was shown that Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor, Queen Bee and Klarion The Witch Boy still held their seats, with the vacant spots filled by Deathstroke (who is also now leader of the League of Assassins), the Ultra-Humanite and Granny Goodness. It was Granny Goodness, in her guise as entertainment studio CEO Gretchen Goode, who was responsible for creating the Goode Goggles that allowed The Light to abduct and brainwash many potential metahumans.
The Partnership Between The Light And Darkseid
Season 2 of Young Justice ended with the revelation that Vandal Savage had forged an alliance with Darkseid – the New God of Tyranny and ruler of the planet Apokolips. Their relationship was explored more deeply in episode 7 of season 3, “Evolution,” which showed that Darkseid and Vandal Savage have been working together for hundreds of years, shepherding humanity’s destiny and increasing the circumstances by which metahumans might be created. Nominally this was to create shock-troops for Darkseid’s armies and other galactic conquerors allied with Apokolips, but in truth Darkseid is studying humanity as part of his efforts to uncover the Anti-Life Equation, which it is believed will play a major role in Young Justice: Outsider‘s finale.
The Justice League Publicly Broke-Up…
The past two years have seen increasing bureaucracy hampering the Justice League’s ability to do good on Earth. Reportedly they are not even allowed to deliver humanitarian aid to war-torn nations without a unanimous vote of the United Nation’s Security Council. All of this is the work of the UN’s new Secretary General, Lex Luthor, who has lobbied for increased oversight of the Justice League’s activities. This prompts Batman, Green Arrow, Robin, Arrowette, The Spoiler, Plastic Man, Katana, Batwoman and Hardware to publicly quit the team en masse.
… But It’s All Part Of A Secret Plan
It is later revealed that the public walkout on the Justice League was a staged event, meant to make their enemies think they were fighting among themselves. In truth, the Justice League was being compartmentalized into six separate teams, overseen by Oracle, with only the team’s leaders – Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Ms. Martian, Aquaman and Wonder Woman – knowing that the Justice League was still intact. While Wonder Woman is uneasy with the deception, she ultimately agrees that they need to divide and conquer to face the various threats that are menacing the Earth, which is why she is leading half of the Justice League as a mobile strike force in space while Aquaman manages the earth-bound Justice League.
Beast Boy Is A Famous Actor Now
One of the more shocking revelations in the early part of Young Justice season 3 was that Garfield Logan (aka Beast Boy) had given up heroism in favor of an acting career and found fame on the television series Space Trek 3016, where he plays the shape-shifting alien Lt. Tork. He’s also dating Queen Perdita of Vlatava. While it is unclear precisely why Garfield gave up heroism, it seems likely that he thought he could do more good as an activist and poster child for the metahuman rights movement, showing that not all people with superpowers are dangerous monsters. Still, it is heavily implied that Garfield misses his old life, particularly after he accidentally uncovers the truth behind the Goode Goggles and exposes their connection to metahuman trafficking.
Victor Stone Becomes Cyborg
The Outsiders recruited another stray metahuman into their ranks, following a lab accident at STAR Labs’ facility in Detroit. It was here that star scholar athlete Victor Stone was fatally wounded due to an accident involving his scientist father’s research. Desperate to save his son, Dr. Stone used an Apokalyptian Fatherbox to heal Victor’s injuries only to have the alien technology bond with his son and try to take over his body. Thankfully, this was stopped by Halo, who somehow sensed how to open a Boom Tune to Detroit and used her healing powers to restore Victor’s mind. As of the mid-season finale, Victor is living with Superboy and Ms. Martian, but he is still more interested in curing his condition than finding a way to use his new powers to help others.
The Mystery of Halo And Her Powers
The mystery of Halo’s rebirth and the source of her varied light-based powers was a long-running plot-thread throughout the first half of Young Justice: Outsiders. There was no obvious source for Halo’s powers, though Dr. Fate sensed that she was “an old soul in a very young body.” After Halo manifested the power to make Boom Tubes and Forager commented that it was as if she were a living Motherbox, the team realized that the body of the woman Halo had been had become possessed by the soul of a dissected Motherbox. For her part, Halo considers herself an entirely independent being and has taken the name Violet Harper, after being adopted into Will Harper’s family.
The Rescue Of Princess Tara & A Coming Betrayal?
While he was eager to master his new powers and help his new friends in helping others, Prince Brion’s primary concern in joining the Outsiders was learning the truth of what had happened to his sister, Princess Tara, whom he suspected had been sold into metahuman slavery. In the mid-season finale, the Outsiders finally tracked Tara to an arena in Bialya, where captive metahumans are forced to fight one another in gladiatorial combat. Brion was overjoyed to have his sister back, but unbeknownst to him, once she was adopted into the Outsiders, she texted the words “I’m in.” to Deathstroke. This suggests that the second half of Young Justice: Outsiders will likely have significant influence from the Teen Titans storyline The Judas Contract.