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, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Speedy 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 and Miss Martian, and later on Artemis, Zatanna, and Rocket. Over the course of the first season, the team battles the minions of a cabal of supervillains known as "The Light".
The second season, subtitled Invasion, 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, Batgirl, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy, Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), 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.
The first two episodes of season 1 originally aired on November 26, 2010 as an hour-long special preview. The series properly debuted on January 7, 2011 with reruns of the first two episodes for the first two weeks and new episodes started airing on January 21, 2011. However, the show quickly became known for various unexplained and often lengthy hiatuses at Cartoon Network, at one point as part of a months-long hiatus the entire DC Nation programming block was subjected to with no warning. The first season ended on April 21, 2012, followed by Invasion beginning on April 28, which ended on March 16, 2013.
Eventually, after a VERY long hiatus, a third season was finally announced on November 7, 2016. On April 25, 2017, it was announced that the third season would be officially titled Young Justice: Outsiders, along with some additional information on the new season. The first half of the season debuted on DC Universe on January 4, 2019 with the second half coming July 2, 2019.
On July 20, 2019, it was announced that the series was officially greenlit for a fourth season. The season's subtitle will be Phantoms and will migrate over to HBO Max. The season premiered on October 16, 2021 and will follow a similar half and half release schedule as Outsiders, with the second half coming sometime in mid 2022.
The series is set in a "young DCU", Earth-16 of the DC Multiverse (at the time, since overwritten). While the first season followed a mostly-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.