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The Virtue of Revenge is a Young Justice (2010) post-Season 2 fanfic written by Loyal as a Book that takes place one year after the events of Invasion.

Darkseid is coming to Earth, with the intent of invading their world and enslaving the populace. More heroes will be needed in the fights to come, but not every hero follows the traditional rules of heroism. A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits composed of a rejected meta-human, a freakish half-demon, a broken amputee, an exiled alien princess, and an angry dead Robin all adhere to only one rule:

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Revenge is the law of the Outlaws.

Due to the author's writing schedule, the story hasn't been updated since December of 2017, though he does have plans to continue it when he is able to.


The Virtue of Revenge provides examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: Since the story was made after the series' cancellation when it showed no sign of continuing, there are many changes from canon.
    • Ras al Ghul is revealed to have been restored by the Lazarus Pit in Outsiders after his death near the end of Invasion and stepped down, leading to Shiva ruling the League of Shadows. Here, he's reportedly dead for good, with his daughter Talia now at the helm of the League of Shadows.
    • Nightwing left the team and worked on his own for two years. He rejoins the team here much earlier.
    • Jason suffered amnesia after his resurrection and serves as an enforcer/servant of Ra's in canon. Here, he has all his memories and is more of an independent agent of the Shadows.
    • Lex Luthor is still secretary general come the events of Outsiders, but he becomes president of the United States in this story.
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    • Damian was revealed to be a newborn baby in Outsiders. He's around his comic counterpart's age in this story. It's also unknown if Jon Kent even exists here, though he doesn't seem to.
    • Halo, Geo-force, and Forager are Adapted Out, as well as the whole Outsiders team.
    • Batman Incorporated also doesn't seem like it will be a thing in this story.
    • Vandal Savage's endgame in the show was to evolve the people of Earth enough to fight Darkseid in an agreed battle to determine the ruler of the galaxy. Here, he seems to be helping Darkseid conquer Earth, but for what reason is left unknown.
  • Action Mom: Talia. She's the head of the League of Assassin's, can casually take on the likes of Batgirl and Ravager at the same time, and is the adoptive mother of Jason as well as the biological mother of Damian, both of whom she helped trained.
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  • Adaptational Modesty: Starfire's hero outfit is more of a skintight bodysuit and lacks the more stripperiffic and revealing aspects of her comic outfit such as Bare Your Midriff and Navel-Deep Neckline. Being Starfire, she's still the resident Ms. Fanservice.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Jason goes by Red X in this story rather than his Red Hood moniker.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Damian is less of a jerk compared to how he usually is in the comics. Having Jason as a big brother to look up to certainly helped in quelling his more negative attributes.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Jason's fighting style is now more akin to how an aggressive version of Robin would fight and uses swordsmanship when needed, contrasting his comic counterpart who made heavy use of fire arms. This was likely done so that Arsenal wouldn't seem redundant due to his status as The Gunslinger.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Harley Quinn had no involvement in Jason's torture and death in the original comics or any of the retellings of the A Death in the Family event. She does in this story.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The Outlaws combine elements of the Teen Titans from the previous cartoon and from Red Hood and the Outlaws. The team is composed of Red X (Jason Todd), Arsenal, and Starfire, all of whom were a team in Outlaws, but the latter was also a member of the original Teen Titans alongside Raven, who is also a member here.
    • Red X was an original character from the past Titans cartoon, but is used as the identity of Jason Todd rather than Red Hood.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the comics and previous show involving her, Starfire never had any connections to the New Gods or Apokolips. Here, she was sold into slavery as part of a peace agreement set up by Blackfire between Tamaran and Darkseid so that she could consolidate power.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: As revealed in the show in Season's 3 and 4, Jason Todd would become Talia and Damian's amnesiac bodyguard. In this story, Talia adopted him as her son, and Damian sees him as a Cool Big Bro.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Jason and Tim view each other as this from both sides. Jason sees Tim as everything Batman could have ever wanted in a protege, while Tim greatly looks up to Jason and doubts that he'll ever be able to fill his shoes.
    • Discussed with Klarion in regards to Raven. Since her magic is demonic in nature, she's stated to outclass Zatanna. Considering Zatanna's reluctance to let the team enter the fray after learning this fact, combined that her not holding back is enough to outright terrify Klarion (something that not even Dr. Fate could do even with a mythically inclined host), he's probably right.
  • Anti-Hero Team: The Outlaws are this. They're firmly on the side of good, but they are willing to cross lines that the Justice League and Team never would, often involving killing their victims. They also have few qualms with stealing to make ends meet.
  • Artistic License: The reason why the author decided to make Lex Luthor the US president rather than the UN Secretary-General is that the position was mostly a figurehead while most of the relevant power rests within the Security Council. Plus, the US is the world's superpower, which fits Luthor's desire for power and control.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Jason and Roy were rather minor in the show. Jason only had a single appearance in season 3 and a small cameo as a hologram in Season 2, while Arsenal's major plot was saving the rest of the team alongside the Runaways before losing all relevance in the next season. Here, they're part of the central cast.
    • Talia only had a nonspeaking cameo in Season 3. She plays a bigger role here and is integral to Jason's backstory.
  • Asshole Victim: The people the Outlaws kill usually deserve every second of what's done to them.
    • The two rapists that were about to have their way with Margaret Stanson definitely earned their gruesome fate, as Red X duped one into killing his brother and goaded him into committing suicide.
      • Speaking of Margret, her sister, Gloria, was raped by Felipe Gonzales, who got away with it... until Jason Todd confronted and killed him by pushing him off a building.
    • Parademons in general, since they come from a Planet of Always Chaotic Evil and are kidnapping innocent people for experimentation. Typically, their deaths involve being burned inside out or being subjected to dismemberment.
    • You can just hear the readers cheering when Red X finally kills the Joker.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the end, despite his death, the Joker won. He completely broke Jason into becoming a murderer, tormented Batman with the boy's demise, and dies knowing that Batman will carry this guilt with him forever. This is shown by him going out the only way he knows how: laughing at his enemy's misfortune.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The Outlaws may not be squeaky clean (and they know this), but the people they target are the absolute scum of the Earth.
  • Black-and-White Morality: The team and Justice League have a rather narrow view of good and evil. This results in most of them aggressively categorizing the Outlaws as criminals, most notably Batman. Though some, like Tim and Beast Boy, can understand that there's more to the situation than it seems.
  • Canon Welding: The story fuses elements from other canons, giving it a more unique flavor.
    • Jason's Red X persona and costume comes from the Teen Titans.
    • Jason being a Cute Bookworm comes from the Arkham series.
    • Jason's original death in A Death in the Family is heavily modified. While in the comic book was beaten up for a few hours before being blown up, here Jason was brutally tortured while Harley distracted Batman and Nightwing. This also draws in elements of his Batman: Arkham Knight version.
    • Supergirl's negative attitude towards clones is derived from her Supergirl (2011) counterpart.
    • Dick helped Bruce look for Jason after he was captured, while in canon he only learned about Jason's death from the newspapers and as such he missed his funeral.
    • Jason's Pit madness comes from Batman: Under the Red Hood. Also parts of the Under the Hood comic books are directly quoted when Jason has a stand off with Dick and Bruce in chapter 23.
  • Cardboard Prison: Batman sent Batgirl, Beastboy, and Rose to infiltrate Lex Corp in his stead because Joker broke out of Arkham...again.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Cassie toward Robin due to Rose constantly flirting with him. It has consequences later down the road.
  • Composite Character:
    • Jason takes in elements of Red X from the Teen Titans cartoon while his backstory follows Under the Red Hood. He also has elements of Dick Grayson given his association with Raven and Starfire.
    • Starfire has elements of both her cartoon version mixed with her Red Hood and the Outlaws personality.
    • Arsenal is similar to Cyborg in that he's the team's Gadgeteer Genius and frequently works maintenance around their base like Victor did in Teen Titans for Titans Tower. His Arm Cannon also turns into a Sonic Cannon, which was Cyborg's iconic weapon from the cartoon.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Outlaws have inflicted these on some of their victims:
    • Against Parademons, Starfire melted one from inside out, resulting in its molten innards pouring out of its mouth, Arsenal shot one through its ear and reduced its head to chunky salsa, and Raven performed Medieval torture on one by ripping it to pieces.
    • Red X basically reenacts his torture received from the Joker but with the roles reversed. Finally ending with him snapping his neck in front of Batman and the Team.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Calling Bane's fight with Starfire this would imply that he actually stood a chance, given that she easily overpowers him before finishing him off with a finger flick to the face.
    • The Team vs. The Outlaws has the team getting effortlessly taken out. Batman even notes that this was due to each of the Outlaws having an exact method of taking down each member of the team that was there at that point. This also signifies to them that they have another mole on the team.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: So many characters have this that it can be downright impressive how they turned out as well as they have. All of the Outlaws fall very deep into this category with the exception of Titan, and even he has issues with his past that he's struggling to work out.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Damian, Jason, Rachel, and Catwoman, just to name a few.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Ra's al Ghul was revealed to be alive in Season 3 and no longer leading the Shadows. He's dead for good here.
    • Unlike many incarnations who always find a way out of the situation, the Joker dies for good here by Jason's hands.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Green Lanterns are under the impression that Starfire is working with the Light and providing them with information on Darkseid due to Tamaran's past with Apokolips. Of course, the readers know that Darkseid and the Light have been working with each other for a long time, that the Outlaws oppose the Light, and that Starfire has nothing but hatred for the God of Tyranny due to her past as his slave.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Robin apparently thought that Raven was some kind of witch. While this isn't a bad guess given her demeanor, the readers know that she's actually a half-demon, which is reportedly far more powerful than any witch. Zatanna and Klarion have an Oh, Crap! moment when they figure this out. Doubly so for Klarion when he sees that she's Trigon's spawn and is no ordinary half-breed.
  • Epigraph: Every chapter begins with a quote or excerpt from someone well known in literature or other fields, even some from fictional characters, sometimes tying in with the chapter itself.
    • Chapter 1: "Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them." - Albert Einstein.
    • Chapter 2 begins with the iconic rhyme from The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. As you can guess, this is where Raven is introduced.
    • Chapter 3: "Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it." - Gilbert K. Chesterton.
    • Chapter 4: "Woman and cats will do as they please, men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." - Robert A. Heinlein. As you can guess, Catwoman is involved here.
    • Chapter 5: "Whatever it takes to find the real you, don't be daunted if the rest of the world looks on in shock." - Stephen Richards.
    • Chapter 6: "It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone." - Rose Kennedy.
    • Chapter 7: "All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.
    • Chapter 8: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte.
    • Chapter 9: "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." Benjamin Franklin. This ties into Margret Stanson's rage at the justice system and Batman for allowing her sister's rapist to go unpunished.
    • Chapter 11: "Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart." - Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore.
    • Chapter 12: "Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies." - Oliver Goldsmith.
    • Chapter 13: "Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that's what." - Salman Rushdie.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The Team is shocked and heartbroken by Arsenal being a member of the Outlaws. He's quick to point out that he was never their friend in the first place.
  • Everyone Has Standards: It's Played for Laughs, but Arsenal thinks that force feeding Luthor Tamaranian food is too far even for him.
  • Happily Adopted: Jason considers Talia al Ghul to be his mother, and she considers him to be as much of a son to her as Damian, her biological son, is.
  • History Repeats: Joker and Harley kidnap a Robin and plan to torture him to get at Batman. Thankfully, Red X saves him.
  • It's Personal:
    • The Outlaws have some pretty personal grudges against certain villains who are responsible for their lots in life and as such seek retribution against them.
    • A more petty example. Wonder Girl hates Rose Worth for flirting with Tim and trying to take his attention. When she jumps to the conclusion that Rose is the mole based on the fact that she's Deathstroke's daughter, Rose leaves, she's suspended from the Team until further noticed, and Tim wants nothing to do with her anymore.
  • Joker Immunity:
    • Jason didn't stay dead thanks to the Lazarus Pit. Kind of ironic when you consider who this trope is named after.
    • Averted with Ra's al Ghul. He's apparently dead for good this time.
    • Averted with the actual Joker. He dies and Jason directly kills him in front of Batman and the Team.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Jason using the Red X guise as his code name is one for the original Teen Titans cartoon. Furthermore, many fans of the original show believed Red X's identity to be Jason Todd.
    • How does Red X respond to being surrounded by the team?
      Red X: Wish I'd thought of that. (Movement seen in the background) Oh wait! I did. (Outlaws come out of the shadows).
    • The confrontation between the now revealed Jason, Batman, and Nightwing is lifted straight from the comics and animated film for Under the Red Hood.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Talia muses that in spite of his assurances he will never treat her as if she was inferior, Lex still tries to control and manipulate her, just like her father.
  • Oh, Crap!: Klarion and Zatanna have this reaction when they realize that Raven is not only a half-demon, but is also Trigon's daughter.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The Outlaws methods against criminals are usually gruesome and disturbing, ranging from physical brutality to psychological torture. However, they're usually pitted against rapists, remorseless scumbags, parademons, and the worst of the criminal underworld, so it's not like their enemies are undeserving of such actions.
  • Super Registration Act: What the Team and League fear now that Luthor is president. It comes to pass in Chapter 20, with Godfrey smugly telling the viewers (and heroes by extension) that in order to operate legally as heroes, they need to reveal their secret identities and register with the American government. However, not all states agree to this, such as California, which just so happens to be where Jump City and the Outlaws' base of operations are.
  • Time Skip: The story takes place one year following the end of Invasion.
  • Token Good Teammate: Talia is a member of the Light and is the only one to realize that making dealings with the God of Tyranny is a terrible idea.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Arsenal towards his clone at least. He originally had no problem with him, but everyone kept comparing him to the clone they were all best friends with and wanted the original to turn out like him. Needless to say, it left a pretty big chip on his shoulder.
  • Villain with Good Publicity:
    • Anti-heroes with good publicity more like it. The Outlaws are all ruthless in there dispatch of criminals, but the general public of Jump City loves them. It makes sense since they do go out of their way to comfort the civilians after they're attacked. Margret Stanson also runs a blog that showers Red X with praise for his actions.
    • Lex Luthor thanks to his naturally good PR and Godfrey's assistance. It's nothing new.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 19: Tim now knows that Jason is Red X.
    • Chapter 22: Three words; JASON KILLS JOKER.
    • Chapter 23: The Team now knows that Jason is alive and is Red X.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • To show off how strong Starfire is, Bane gets turned into her personal punching bag.
    • Titan puts Superboy through a world of hurt to showcase how strong he is while using Nth metal.
    • A downplayed example between Klarion and Raven. They fight to a standstill, but the fact that Raven can fight evenly against him, coupled with the fact that he's taking her seriously, lets you know how powerful she is.


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