Young Justice is an animated television series based on DC Comics, created by Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, The Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H.) and Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman: Doomsday, The Batman), produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, and first broadcast on Cartoon Network.
A group of teenaged superhero sidekicks — Robin (Jesse Mc Cartney), Aqualad (Khary Payton), Kid Flash (Jason Spisak) and Speedy (Crispin Freeman) are invited by their mentors to become full members of the Justice League. Dissatisfied with simply having access to the League case files and still being treated as sidekicks, they strike out on their own unauthorized mission. Recognizing that their talented but inexperienced partners need guidance, the League lets them operate as a covert strike team directed by specific members of the team. They are joined by Superboy (Nolan North) and Miss Martian (Danica McKellar), and later on Artemis (Stephanie Lemelin), Zatanna (Lacey Chabert), and Rocket (Kali Troy). Over the course of the first season, the team and the League battle the minions of a cabal of supervillains known as "The Light", whose true extent of their goals and members are kept exceptionally hidden.
The second season is set five years later, with Robin, having changed identities to Nightwing, still on the Team and as leader and mentor to a greatly expanded Team of old and new members — the new Robin, Bat Girl, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy, Blue Beetle and others. Superboy and Miss Martian also remain on the Team from the first season, but the others have left the team for various reasons, including fully joining the League itself or having become disillusioned with the lifestyle and retiring.
Members of the show's creative team include Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) as executive producer, Phil Bourassa (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) as lead character designer, Jamie Thomason (Gargoyles, Hercules) as voice and casting director, and Geoff Johns overseeing the process as DC's Chief Creative Officer.
Despite sharing the title, it is not a direct adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, and the show's story arc is original. However, it does draw material from Young Justice, Teen Titans and other DC Comics series. Peter David, chief writer of the Young Justice comic, is also one of the show's writers.
The series is set in a "young DCU", Earth-16 of the DC Multiverse (at the time, since overwritten), during an era informally dubbed by the Powers That Be as the New Age of Heroes. While the first season followed an episodic format, there were multiple subplots and overall story arcs weaved throughout the episodes, and the second season dispensed with the episodic format entirely in favor of an ongoing story that spanned the whole season. Though the Team's missions are the main focus, their personal lives at home and school are explored as well. The exploits of the Justice League itself is also given focus, and the series makes use of many, many characters from the wider DC Universe as the supporting cast, including characters which had never previously been animated.
The franchise consists of the cartoon series, a tie-in comic series also called Young Justice, and a video game called Young Justice: Legacy, which came out late 2013 for the 3DS, PS3, the Xbox 360, and the PC and details the events between the first and second seasons.
The first two episodes were released as a special preview in November 2010. The series properly debuted in January 2011, but it underwent several delays and hiatuses over the year. Starting March 3rd, 2012, the show began airing again as part of Cartoon Network's new DC Nation block. The first season concluded on April 21. The show was renewed for a second season which started airing on April 28, titled Young Justice: Invasion. The series went on hiatus for three months after the seventh episode, then again two episodes later, returning on January 5th. The final episode aired on March 16, 2013.
Eventually, after a long wait and speculation and much vocal support from the series' fans, creators and cast, a third season was finally announced on November 7, 2016. On April 25th, 2017, it was announced that the third season would be officially titled Young Justice: Outsiders along with some additional information on the new season. It will air on the DC Universe in 2019.