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The Virtue of Revenge is a Young Justice 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: Revenge is the law of the Outlaws.

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The Virtue of Revenge provides examples of:

  • Action Mom: Talia. She's the head of the League of Assassin's, can casually take on the likes of Batgirl and Ravager, and is the adoptive mother of Jason as well as the biological mother of Damian, both of whom she helped trained.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Starfire's hero outfit is more of a skintight bodysuit and lacks the more stripperiffic aspects of her comic outfit such as Bare Your Midriff and Absolute Cleavage. 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 helps.
  • 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.
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  • Adaptational Villainy: Harley Quinn had no involvement in Jason's torture and death in the original comics. 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 her sister between Tamaran and Darkseid so that she could consolidate power.
  • Always Someone Better:
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    • 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. They are 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.
  • 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 had it coming.
      • Speaking of Margret, her sister, Gloria, was raped by Felipe Gonzales, who got away with it... until Jason Todd confronted and killed him.
    • Parademons in general, since they come from a Planet of Always Chaotic Evil and are kidnapping innocent people for experimentation.
    • 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 Discontinuity: Since the story was written before season 3 (combined with it being unknown if there would even be a season 3) there are numerous differences:
    • Ras al Ghul is revealed to have been restored by the Lazarus Pit in Outsiders. Here, he's reportedly dead for good.
    • 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.
    • Lex Luthor is still secretary general come the events of Outsiders, but he becomes president of the United Sates in this story.
    • Damian was revealed to be a newborn baby in Outsiders. He's around his comic counterpart's age in this story. It is 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 unknown.
  • 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 New 52 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.
  • Cool Big Bro: After meeting Damian, Jason decided he didn't want to pull a Dick Grayson on the kid and chose to become this trope.
  • Creepy Child: Damian, Damian, Damian. He cheerfully details how he murdered a tutor for being boring and how his mother was so impressed by his technique she let him phone Jason.
  • 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.
    • 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 so well. All of the Outlaws fall very deep into this category with the exception of Titan, and even he has issues 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.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Talia has taken over not only the League of Assassins following the permanent death of Ra's al Ghul, but is also the president of Lex Corp since Lex Luthor is now president of the United States.
  • 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 in to 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: Supergirl has a serious problem with clones since they are considered abominations by Kryptonian law, which leads to her and Superboy pretty much wanting nothing to do with each other.
  • 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.
  • 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 people:
    • Red X/Jason Todd with Joker, obviously. He gets his revenge much later.
    • Raven toward her father, Trigon, for being the cause of much of the grief she's had to go through.
    • Arsenal admits in chapter 1 that he's addicted to making Luthor's life a living hell for taking eight years of his own life away.
    • Thanks to her past as one of his slaves, Starfire has the biggest vendetta against Darkseid in the entire cast so far. She averts this with Blackfire and wants to make amends, despite her sister being the reason she was Darkseid's slave in the first place.
    • 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.
  • Lethal Chef: Not that Starfire is a bad cook, it's just that her cooking is more suited to Tamaranians than it is for humans. Arsenal even considers force feeding Luthor Tamaranian food as revenge, but then reconsiders because that would be too cruel.
  • Mama Bear: Talia won't tolerate anyone insulting Red X and openly refers to him as her son.
  • Ms. Fanservice: No matter what she wears, Starfire is always described as Super Model material. She frequently attracts the attention of the boys, with Blue Beetle and Nightwing being good examples.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Original Character: Benji, AKA Titan, is a fan-made character and was never part of the DC canon.
  • Reality Ensues: So, what happens when you put your relationship ahead of the mission in a way that almost jeopardizes the whole thing? You get suspended from your team. Just ask Cassie.
  • 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.
  • The Tease: Rose just won't stop flirting with Robin, much to Cassie's ire.
  • 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.
    • Cassie's jealousy toward Rose reaches its apex when she accuses her of being The Mole in the middle of a fight with Klarion forcing Robin to chose between Rose or her. She gets suspended from the Team for this.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: On the other hand, Arsenal is much more open and friendly whenever he's around the Outlaws.
  • True Companions: The Outlaws function almost like a family whenever they aren't on missions.
  • 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 go out of their way to comfort the civilians after they are 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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