Young Justice is an animated television series based on DC Comics, created by Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. It was broadcast on Cartoon Network, then on DC Universe and HBO Max (after the former's merge into the latter). The series, as a whole, is based on the entirety of the DCU, specifically the Post-Graduation Day era of the 2000s.
The show begins when a group of teenaged superhero sidekicks — Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Speedy strike out on their own unauthorized mission. Recognizing that their talented but inexperienced partners need guidance, the Justice League lets them operate as a covert strike team directed by specific members of the team. They are eventually joined by Superboy and Miss Martian, and later on Artemis, Zatanna, and Rocket. Over the course of the first season, which ran from January 2011 to April 2012, the team battles the minions of a cabal of supervillains known as "The Light".
The second season, subtitled Invasion, ran from April 28, 2012 to March 16, 2013. It is set five years later. Nightwing, formerly Robin, leads and mentors a greatly expanded Team of old and new members — the new Robin, Batgirl, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy, and others. Jaime Reyes, a young man who becomes empowered by an alien scarab, takes center stage as a cornerstone of a potential alien invasion.
After a VERY long hiatus, a third season titled Young Justice: Outsiders debuted on DC Universe on January 4, 2019. Two years after the end of Invasion, the superheroes try to fight metahuman trafficking, now a global problem, as the Light's extraterrestrial partner begins to make his move.
The fourth season, subtitled Phantoms, debuted on HBO Max on October 16, 2021. Unlike the previous seasons, Phantoms features multi-episode arcs, each centered around one of the six original main characters.
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.) Instead, Young Justice is set in a "young DCU", with an overarching Myth Arc that emerges in the second season and comes into its own later on. 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 the 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.
Warning: Due to the series being heavy on Wham Episodes while having a constantly shifting status quo, the series is prone to former spoilers becoming common knowledge. As such, everything in the first two seasons will be unmarked. Also, everything will be unmarked on reaction pages (Awesome, Funny, Nightmare Fuel, Tear Jerker) as well as the Recap page, as per standard. Do keep that in mind.
- Seasons 1 and 2
- Seasons 3 and beyond
- Adaptational Heroism
- Adaptational Villainy
- Adaptation Name Change
- Adaptation Personality Change
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul
- Big Bad
- Composite Character
- Famous Last Words
- Mythology Gag
- Wham Episode
- Xanatos Gambit