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Western Animation / Young Justice - Revival Series
aka: Young Justice Outsiders

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Tropes dealing with the revived Young Justice series that streams on DC Universe, starting with Season 3 (Outsiders).
The heroes you demanded are finally back.

Young Justice: Outsiders is the third season of Young Justice, the animated superhero series loosely based on the eponymous comic series by DC Comics. The show, created by Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, originally aired on Cartoon Network, premiering in 2010. Despite garnering critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase, the show was cancelled after two seasons in 2013. For three years, fans would rally behind the show in order to get a third season made. In the end, the show's revival was announced in November 2016. The show officially released on January 4, 2019, as an exclusive to the DC Universe streaming service, and was folded into HBO Max in November 2020.

Outsiders follows up on the events of Season 2; after the Reach revealing the existence of the metagene, various nations and organizations have started participating in metahuman trafficking, which will be the main focus on this season. A fourth season with the subtitle of Phantoms has been announced to be in development but doesn’t have a release date.


Unmarked spoilers for the original series will follow.

Young Justice: Outsiders provides examples of :

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Black Lightning does this at the beginning of the series, having killed a 14-year old girl. He also temporarily loses his ability because of this. However, Nightwing is able to convince him to go on one last mission. His ex-wife lampshades this trope, saying that giving up the life never sticks with superheroes.
  • Actor Allusion: Steve Blum voices Devastation's disguise using the exact same voice he gave Zeb. He then utters Zeb's catchphrase, "karabast!"
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Harper Row in the comics, being a member of the Batfamily, is from Gotham. In the show, she lives in Happy Harbor. The rest of her backstory is pretty much accurate.
  • Adaptational Distillation:
    • Nightwing's team in the first half of the season is a composite of multiple eras of the Outsiders team along with new additions: Black Lightning, Geo-Force and Halo are founding members of Batman's original Outsiders in 1983, while Nightwing was the founder of the 2003 reboot, here serving as the leader as well. Meanwhile, there's Superboy, Tigress, Oracle and Forager, who are new additions that were never affiliated in the comics.
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    • Green Arrow, Arrowette, Plastic Man, and Hardware were never members of Batman Incorporated in the comics. Katana and Metamorpho were, but as part of a sub-team led by Tim Drake and otherwise comprising the original Outsiders.
    • Beast Boy's Outsiders team bears little resemblance to any version of the comic team. The only common element they share is that both center on the theme of the members being 'outsiders' in some way, but each operates very differently. In terms of roster, Beast Boy's Outsiders is almost identical to the Johns' era Teen Titans, only absent Starfire, Raven, and Cyborg (who was later introduced and eventually joined as well), and with the addition of Static, Blue Beetle, and Brion (the only actual member that was part of the Outsiders in the comic). Their purpose actually bears more in common with the Doom Patrol or Marvel's X-Men, in that their primary goal is to better the image of super-powered indiviuals with the public.
    • Metron is stated to be the creator of Boom Tubes, Mother Boxes, and Father Boxes. In the comics, Metron only created Boom Tubes, Mother Boxes were created by Himon (a scientist from New Genesis who resided on Apokolips), while Father Boxes have never been given a creator, possibly because they are likely just Mother Boxes reverse-engineered by Apokolips. It's a sensible change, as Metron no doubt possesses the intelligence and knowledge to create all three himself, though why he shared his creations with New Genesis and Apokolips, given his nature, isn't explained.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Terra (Tara) is not openly mean and callous as she was in the original comics, rather she keeps mostly silent and speaks rarely. When she does speak, she's usually rather cordial and comes across awkward. She's still a mole for Deathstroke, however, and regularly messages him information. It makes sense that she wouldn't want to draw attention to herself by offending the other heroes, even if she did still retain some of her meanness. She also ends up siding with the Outsiders once ordered to kill Beast Boy.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Unlike most adaptations of The Judas Contract, Beast Boy and Terra have no romantic interest in each other, and the former is dating Queen Perdita.
    • Also, unlike the most recent Judas Contract adaptation and the original comic itself, Terra and Slade's relationship is portrayed as parental, with Deathstroke training Terra personally in order to teach her to defend herself so she doesn't get kidnapped again, though there are some moments where Terra seems to be somewhat afraid of Deathstroke, so it might not be optimally wholesome.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Metahuman trafficking.
      • Your children have metagenes (that they probably inherited from you) and there are horrible people that want them for their own diabolical plans.
      • The season even opens with a girl's older brother, her legal guardian, being told by a doctor that his sister died from complications, then the scene cutting to the staff transporting her to a morgue to be experimented on and turned into a monster. And then she's given to Apokolips as an Elite Mook to fight against her heroes and ends up getting killed by one of them by accident.
      • Not even a family of royals is safe. Princess Tara has been missing for two years and her Evil Uncle is also a leader in the metahuman trafficking ring...
    • Black Lightning is horrified when he learns he just killed a little girl. It's implied that he wondered what would happen if his own daughters were put in the same situation.
  • Ambiguous Robots: Overlord.
  • Amicable Exes: Black Lightning and Lynn. Though they're divorced, Lynn still lets Jeff see their daughters and they talk about his superhero career.
  • Animation Bump: Not that the animation was ever low in quality, but Outsiders displays noticeably improved animation as the result of higher budgets and better technology available. It's on par with the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.
  • Arc Number: Just like the first two seasons: 16. See: Vic's Jersey number, Space Trek 3016, the opening of "Leverage" beginning on Scene 16-Take 16.
  • Art Shift: Going with the animation change, the art style is also noticeably different this time around. Phil Bourassa, who won an Emmy for his character designs on the series, went on to be the character designer for DC's subsequent line of animated films (to the point that several films just recycle and recolor minor Young Justice designs like young Garfield Logan and T. O. Morrow) and those years of Art Evolution have cycled back around into Outsiders.
  • Artistic License – Law: Luthor, in a thinly-veiled topical reference, mentions changing 'international libel laws' after being (credibly) accused of corruption before the UN by the heroes. International libel laws aren't a thing. Individual countries each have their own set of libel laws, with some far stricter than others. For example, it's much harder in the United States to prove libel—particulary when it involves a public figure—than it is in, say, the United Kingdom. The UN does not set any kind of libel law.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Black Lightning had an extremely minor role in Season 2, only getting a speaking part in his final appearance (which barely amounted to anything). Here, Black Lightning is one of the main cast members as part Nightwing's team.
    • Beast Boy is a unique example of him retaking his status in the main cast, and then upping it to main character level while he's at it. For the first half, Beast Boy is largely Out of Focus apart from his sporadic appearances as an actor, while the story is focused on Nightwing and his own group of outsiders, only getting the penultimate episode to himself. Then, in the second half, Beast Boy suddenly becomes a major player and a point of focus. He gets back into the hero game, forms his own team consisting of later Team members, and that team is the titular Outsiders of the season. Beast Boy becomes a major driving force in the story, as someone who publicly rebels against the laws put in place to restrain the Justice League.
  • Back from the Dead: Jason Todd is revealed to have been resurrected by Ra's Al Ghul in “Rescue Op”, and not too long ago, since his memory is only beginning to return. The recentness of his resurrection is likely the reason we have yet to see him again in the series.
  • Badass Bystander: Played straight, but it's Not Quite the Right Thing to do. Black Lightning and Otto/the second Plasmus duke it out near a farm and the owner runs off to grab his gun. Black Lightning manages to remove the device controlling Otto, but the farmer comes back and shoots Otto in the brain right afterwards. The farmer is glad he could help, but Black Lightning is pissed.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: “Terminus”.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After Lobo gets one of his fingers cut off, we cut to it multiple times throughout the season growing, implying that it may grow into Slobo. And then at the end of the season, Lobo stomps on it and burns the remains just as "Slobo" is "born". There can only be one main man...
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Because the Light gained such an advantage through compartmentalization, branching into numerous different organizations while remaining in the shadows, the heroes opt to do the same. They project an illusion that they're completely separate entities, but in reality the Justice League, Outsiders, Team, Batman Incorporated, and the various other heroes, are working together (knowingly or not) to Out Gambit the Light. Robin even refers to this arrangement as the "Anti-Light". It doesn't sit well with Wonder Woman though, as she's against this form of deception and equates Tim's "Anti-Light" statement to the literal term: Darkness.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Light return, with Ra's Al Ghul, the Brain, and Black Manta being replaced by Deathstroke, Ultra-Humanite, and Granny Goodness (serving as Darkseid's proxy). "Evolution" reveals that Darkseid and Vandal Savage made a pact centuries ago to conquer the galaxy together, and once complete, Apokolips and Earth would fight each other in one final "winner take all" battle.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: After Granny Goodness finds the Anti-Life Equation she leaves the Light, Savage offering assistance to the team in an attempt to stop her. By season's end Savage and Darkseid have settled their partnership back to normal, Granny being punished for her failure, and her spot being taken by Markovian ambassador Zviad Baazovi.
  • Bittersweet Ending: As is tradition for this show, Season 3 ends this way as well. The Metahuman Trafficking Ring is finally taken down, Terra subverts her usual role and legitimately joins the Outsiders, Black Lightning becomes Leader of the Justice League while Batman Incorporated returns to the fold and Lex Luthor takes a Public Relations beating after the heroes out a lot of his connections to the trafficking. However the Light once again rebound pretty quickly, Brion gets a psychically-induced Face–Heel Turn (though Word of God states it's up for interpretation how much Brion was actually manipulated and how much was his own doing) and takes over Markovia even bringing Jace back into the fold. Oh and Darkseid has yet to make his appearance and will likely go straight after Violet due to her ability to induce the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While not a total gore-fest, the fact that Outsiders doesn't deal with CN regulations means that blood, corpses, unambiguous death, and even melted faces can and will be shown.
    • Lady Shiva even unambiguously slices Ocean Master's head off.
    • Victor's half crushed body is shown in graphic detail, including a still-beating heart.
  • Breaking Old Trends: To a mild degree. The first two seasons stuck to a format where each would cover six months of time, from either July 4 to January 1, or January 1 to July 4. Weisman once stated (after Season 2) that this was the format they would like the show to stick to. "Elder Wisdom" occurs on New Years, and is not the season finale, meaning Season 3 will occur over a longer time period than the previous two seasons.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Justice League splits at the beginning due to the UN (specifically, Lex Luthor) preventing them from being able to operate on Earth legally without unanimous approval, to the extent that they can't even mount rescue missions. Because of this, Batman resigns and takes a number of both League and Team members with him, while Black Lightning joins the Outsiders for different reasons. Triptych reveals this is a subversion. The heroes are actually still working together though most don't actually know it. It was actually a plan to create the illusion that the heroes had split up to deceive their enemies. The only confirmed people in on the plan are Batman, Robin III, Aquaman II, Miss Martian, Nightwing, Oracle and Wonder Woman.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Gar got that TV show that he asked about back in "Bloodlines"— though it's scripted, not reality.
    • In "Elder Wisdom", Kid Flash II (Bart Allen) is hit above his left eye during their battle in Bwunasa. Since his super speed gives him a slight healing factor, it's nothing too serious, but people, namely Lex Luthor, springboard off of it to say that the Outsiders' activities will get them killed. Bart, meanwhile, responds with an 'I'll be fine!' from off screen every single time it's mentioned.
  • The Cameo:
    • Black Lightning's daughters, Anissa and Jennifer, make silent appearances with their mom in the first episode.
    • Courtney Whitmore is the host of an entertainment news/talk show called Stargirl.
    • "Home Fires" features appearances from the families of several League members, including the first appearance of Lois Lane.
  • Celebrity Superhero: Exploited. In addition to being the hero Beast Boy Gar is also the lead of a famous TV show. He comes up with the idea to take the Team (or some of its members, at least) public and use social media savviness to drum up support for the good guys and their efforts, as well as provide positive representation for metahuman teens.
  • Character Development:
    • M'gann goes bald and changes her skin back to white to show that she's embracing her true self as a White Martian. She is also one of the team leaders participating in the "Anti-Light" deception, and seems weirdly comfortable manipulating Beast Boy and the Outsiders, though it's been to his benefit, if still rather underhanded.
    • Conner has lost much of the anger issues he had seven years ago, and has come a long way in being responsible and caring for others, while also showing his considerable skill developed over years of training.
    • Artemis acts far more subdued than in previous seasons, while still retaining some of her snark. Likely the result of Wally's death taking a very heavy toll on her, to the point Paula states it nearly destroyed her.
    • Dick has noticeably matured since Season 2. He's (seemingly) stopped having casual relationships with multiple women at once and settled into a relationship with Barbara, who previously stated she was waiting for him to grow up before trying a serious relationship with him; he's also been shown to be taking his role as a mentor to younger heroes far more seriously. This can likely be attributed to both his best friend's death and Barbara's paralysis making him less easygoing. Though his willingness to engage in the deception of his friends and teammates is still present, as shown by him being one of the team leaders in on the 'Anti-Light' scheme.
    • Gar has gone from a hyperactive-but-lovable kid who mostly hangs around Megan and Dick, to a fairly mature and serious emancipated minor who leads the Outsiders concurrently with running his own online campaign raising awareness of metahuman trafficking.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Beast Boy is revealed to be dating Queen Perdita, the young girl Wally West saved from Count Vertigo in the Season 1 episode “Coldhearted”. When pressed for details, Beast Boy explains that they met at Wally’s funeral following his death in the Season 2 finale.
    • Beast Boy also transforms into the alien bird-creature he met on Rann at the beginning of Season 2 when he wants a form with speed and agility.
    • Superboy says that "[he] feels naked, and not in the fun way", borrowing Artemis's words from Season 1.
    • Superman, of all people, has started using "aster" and "whelmed" when talking. It's not limited to The Team anymore.
  • Costume Evolution: Most of the already-introduced characters, particularly the Justice League, have new costumes — many of which lean towards their DC Rebirth appearance. Notably, this all contrasts with the first two seasons because they were visually based on the pre-New 52 DCU, as the New 52 and Rebirth revamps happened after the show started.
    • Superman loses his classic trunks but has no collar unlike his previous New 52 suit.
    • Wonder Woman's new costume is an amalgimation of her outfit created for the direct-to-video shared universe movies starting with Justice League: War and the skirt costume designed by Michael Wilkinson for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that quickly became her main costume in the comics.
    • Bart Allen as Kid Flash II integrates elements of his old Impulse costume into the Kid Flash wear, like his goggles and prominent red, and a modified logo. When he first appeared as Kid Flash at the end of Invasion, he merely wore a copy of Wally's costume.
  • Credits Gag: In "Evolution", Geo-Force half-seriously suggests "Hot Lava" as his superhero name before deciding on "Geo-Force". He's actually credited as both for that episode.
  • Culturally Sensitive Adaptation: The series removes Slade and Terra's sexual relationship and portrays her as a teenage girl bullied and manipulated into being a villain by Slade who is depicted as unambiguously evil.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The series was already dark to begin with, but Outsiders is confirmed to allow more mature content than what was possible on Cartoon Network, thanks to the lax standards of streaming television. Greg Weisman himself stated the season is now PG-13 leaning toward R, rather than PG on the verge of PG-13.
    • The first five minutes show a 14-year-old girl being abducted, taken to a trafficking lab (where dead bodies are explicitly shown), and forcibly turned into a monster to attack Rann, where she's soon killed by accident by Black Lightning, much to his horror. Marking it further, her death is completely unambiguous, unlike most deaths in the first two seasons.
    • Halo receives her powers only after being killed by her metahuman transformation. So she is being buried alive when her abilities bring her back to life. Then even more horrifically her face is melted off by Plasmus which she also manages to survive.
    • A minor case, but characters now freely say "kill" and "die" to go with the unambiguous deaths, as opposed to how they could only rarely do it before.
    • If you thought Halo's face getting melted off by Plasmus was disturbing, it's much worse in "Another Freak" with Victor Stone, after the explosion at Star Labs. Think Justice League: War, only a lot more gruesome to look at.
    • The language is also a bit saltier with a couple of variants of “ass” being used and Deathstroke saying “Damn it!” in the finale.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • "Private Security" stars Roy "Will" Harper alongside Dick Grayson (alongside the original Roy, and the other clone Jim), who had been completely Out of Focus in Season 2 after finding the original.
    • Though they were largely Demoted to Extra in the first half of Season 3, the Team still get an episode focused on them with "Away Mission", which is about the remains (Miss Martian, Kid Flash, Blue Beetle, Static and Thirteen) going to New Genesis.
    • "Evolution" centers on Vandal Savage, the origin of his alliance with Darkseid, and the founding of the Light.
    • "Nightmare Monkeys" is all about Beast Boy, and answers a lot of fan questions about who had custody of him after his mom died.
  • Death of a Child: In stark contrast to the first two seasons, this is played straight. The very first new metahuman introduced is a teenage girl named Ana who is shown through POV as she is abducted by traffickers, has her metagene activated turning her into a lava monster, then arriving on Rann leading an Apokaliptan strikeforce against Rannian forces and the Justice League before being accidentally killed by Black Lightning. Child deaths are not new to Young Justice, but they've never been shown on screen or in such horrific detail before.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • In the comics, the civilian identity of Plasmus was Otto Von Furth. Here, there are two people going by Plasmus (at least in the credits), Anna and Otto, with Anna being a Canon Foreigner.
    • On a team level, there's the Outsiders this season being led and founded by Nightwing, while Batman starts his own organization called Batman Incorporated. In the comics, the original Outsiders were formed by Batman himself, largely for the same reasons (being dissatisfied with the League), but here it's instead a team taken from Grant Morrison's Batman, which draws from that team with new additions to fit the storytelling similar to Nightwing's Outsiders. Basically, the idea of the Outsiders was split in two.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Team itself, which were the driving force of the series in the first two seasons, is now but a shell of its former self with most of its membership having gone separate ways. This season focuses on the titular Outsiders, which consists of former Team and League members as well as new recruits, and to lesser degree, Batman Incorporated. The Team only get sporadic appearances in the first thirteen episodes, with the fifth episode being A Day in the Limelight — but even then, it mainly focused on Miss Martian (who has avoided this by having an assoiaition with the Outsiders despite not having full membership) rather than the other members.
    • More specifically, this very noticeably happens to Blue Beetle and Kid Flash II (aka Impulse), the two most well-developed Team newcomers in Invasion. Here, they have no relevance to the plot itself and are completely disconnected from the wider action despite still being there. Justified, as they both had personal stakes and ties to the Reach in Season 2 which explained the focus given to them (some would even argue they were given too much focus even then), with both of their origins being directly tied to them, which obviously can't be done again, so less focus was inevitable no matter what.
    • Also out of focus are Wonder Girl, Static, and El Dorado (Eduardo Dorado Jr.), even though they're members of the Outsiders as well. So far, they've only appeared in fights, though Eduardo did receive focus in regards to the Meta-Human Youth Center in Taos, but whenever the Outsiders are merely hanging out, it's usually just Forager, Cyborg, Halo, Brion, Terra, and Garfield, who are the residents of The Hub in the Premiere Building.
    • Cheshire and Artemis both have fallen out of the limelight in the second half of the season, leaving some unanswered questions in the wake of both Cheshire's mission and Artemis's falling out with her mother.
    • Sportsmaster throughout the first two seasons was one of the most prominent and recurring adversaries as The Light's main enforcer. Here, he only appears once in the first half, in a small flashback, and never outside of it. He's gone from being the top enforcer of The Light to a freelance mercenary for hire, which demotes his status in-universe as well as out.
    • Several of the adult mentors from the first two seasons, most notably Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter, also hardly show up.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Played with - After Nightwing is injured, it dawns on Jefferson that the individual, 'independent' teams are working together. As he accuses them of deception, the real truth slowly dawns on him, and things just go downhill from there.
    Kaldur: It is not as bad as you make it sound.
    Jefferson: Oh no, I'm guessing it's worse.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Surprisingly enough it's not Terra, as all the heroes were aware of her being a spy for Slade to begin with and are able to earn her sincere trust and she joins the Outsiders completely. No instead it's Brion, who executes his uncle (in front of a worldwide audience at that) and takes over Markovia while banning all heroes from Markovia. While he was supposedly psychically manipulated, Word of God says it's up to viewer interpretation as to how much was influenced by that, and how much was his own will.
  • Flawed Prototype: In this case, a team. Task Force X (aka the Suicide Squad) is introduced in “Leverage”, and it's pretty clear that it's only been recently formed, since it only has three members—on that mission, at least—and they don't come across as if they've been doing this for very long. The absence of mainstays Deadshot and Rick Flagg would also indicate that Waller has only just gotten it off the ground and hasn't yet figured out the formula for how it would best operate. They're also not very effective, the only character they manage to seriously injure is Halo (which doesn't say much), and the whole mission swiftly goes downhill. Given this is Amanda Waller, though, she'll no doubt work out most of the kinks after another time skip.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the assassins in Infinity Island is wearing a red hood. That assassin turns out to be none other than Jason Todd.
    • In Count Vertigo's base, Superboy finds a dismantled Mother Box. This is the first clue that Halo is actually possessed by the Mother Box's spirit.
    • The very last scene before the credits shows a waitress wearing a ring with a strange insignia. This is hinting the possible future appearance of the Legion of Super-heroes.
  • Freudian Slip: Dick accidentally calls Will, "Wall", as in, Wally.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In a truly meta sense: The first letters of the titles for all the episodes of the season form the sentence, PREPARE THE ANTI-LIFE EQUATION!
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • The Justice League continues to have this problem come Season 3. It's gotten bad enough that there are calls for it to be shut down.
    • One of the reasons Garfield creates the Outsiders is specifically to avoid this.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Another benefit of being an online series. There's more risqué situations and dialogue, with Stephanie Lemelin even referring to the script as "sexier". It's shown in episode 8 in which Jefferson and Helga are shown naked under bedsheets after having sex. M'gann and Conner clearly have a healthy sex life, with Conner ditching Outsider training twice to "mend fences" with M'gann.
  • Incompetent Guard Animal: Wolf seems to have been downgraded to this, spending nearly all his screen time napping. Subverted in "True Heroes" when he's the first to realize Victor is under Father Box's control and attacks him. While he's overwhelmed, he at least buys Violet time to regroup and take him out.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: In Season 3, Artemis lives with her brother-in-law, Will—Roy— Harper, and her niece, Lian, in Star City. (Her sister, Jade, has left for reasons unknown.) Potentially not completely innocent, if others are to be believed, and if they got what they wanted. Still remains innocent, as far as we're shown.
  • Insistent Terminology: Black Lightning repeatedly refers to Batman's splinter team as "Batman Incorporated."
    Barbara: You're the only one that calls it that.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Inverted; Silas Stone is the workaholic scientist Nerd Dad to his son Victor's driven quarterback Jock Son. The dynamic of the father being distant and undervaluing of the son's life and interests remains.
  • Kid Hero: Reconstructed. In this universe, the Justice League has mixed feelings towards fighting alongside children. Although the Team proved their mettle in the previous seasons, they were always strictly a covert ops team to not draw attention to themselves, and the adults made sure that they were properly counseled. In this season, Garfield has the idea to take the Team public, which draws the ire of the adults, who fear that they are painting giant targets on their backs that their youth makes them unprepared to deal with. However, once Garfield points out that they are setting good examples for powered teens everywhere, permission is obtained. #WeAreAllOutsiders indeed.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Happens quite a bit in the credits. For instance, in her first speaking appearance, Halo was listed as "Dead Girl".
  • Kudzu Plot: The show has been an example of this since Season 2 (if not Season 1), but Season 3 takes it up a notch. Not helped by the writers' love of deliberately obscuring the truth to surprise (and mess with) viewers, letting them believe one thing (sometimes for a lengthy period of time) and then pulling the rug out from under them at the end, so it's possible some of the things that many assume to be plot threads aren't, and even if they are, they can go unaddressed (and unmentioned) for lengthy periods of time while other (often newer) threads are being focused on. None of this is made better by the heroes themselves never being fully informed about what's going on, with their assumptions and speculation often being completely wrong, even if they are the only ones unaware of it, or only some of them are unaware of it. Just trying to keep track of who knows what can get difficult. To be fair, though, most viewers do believe the creators have planned out answers to the mysteries set up, they just aren't sure how long it will take for them to get to it, or if it won't be resolved off-screen in a time-skip and just mentioned later, or if the show won't get canceled before they reveal them (though the show already being renewed for another season has relieved that worry, for now).
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: As usual. Between characters returning from the previous two seasons, new characters joining the main cast, new characters introduced for one episode, cameos of characters likely to set up their roles in a future season. The cast grows at an astonishing rate.
  • Meta Origin: "Evolution" suggests that at least some if not all humans with the metagene are ultimately descended from Vandal Savage, the first metahuman through mutation.
  • The Mole:
    • Naturally, Terra, for Deathstroke.
    • Jace, for Ultra-Humanite. Though it seems she didn't become a proper mole until “Illusion of Control”.
  • My Greatest Failure: Black Lightning feels this way about accidentally killing Ana/the first Plasmus, to the point that he hangs up the suit (for ten minutes, anyways) before deciding to join the Outsiders in the fight against metahuman trafficking.
  • Mythology Gag: Around the not-yet-Cyborg Victor Stone. His dad and one of his football teammates (named Ronnie, so maybe keep an eye on that one) are played by Khary Payton, who voiced him in Teen Titans among several other works; he's constantly surrounded by his most familiar voice. And his catchphrase; we get plenty of "booyah" from the football team, including Ronnie. Finally, his jacket is basically his costume from Smallville.
    • The Outsiders' base of operations introduced in "First Impression" has the Troubalert.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The marketing can often be so misleading it can only be intentional.
    • The marketing made it look like Arrowette and Spoiler would be prominent members of the Team. While their membership is technically true, they leave the Team for Batman Incorporated just minutes after their introduction, without speaking a word. This was done as a smokescreen to cover the fact that the Justice League undergoes Breaking the Fellowship at the beginning, that seeps into the Team itself.
    • Also, it was heavily suggested that Katana and Metamorpho would be members of the Outsiders. They never actually interact with them, but rather are members of Batman Incorporated.
    • The marketing for the second half gave the clear implication that Nightwing's team would continue to operate. They all-but formally dissolve in "Leverage", with most of the members joining the Team.
  • New Year Has Come: As usual. Though for the first time in the series, however, it doesn't occur at the start or end of the season, but partway through the second half, in “Elder Wisdom”.
  • Not His Sled: Tara Markov does not betray the team and side with Deathstroke. The betrayal is actually done by Brion, under slight psychic manipulation by Zviad Baazovi, in executing Baron Bedlam and usurping the throne of Markovia from his brother.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: A farmer sees Black Lightning fighting a monster and runs to get his gun. Black Lightning is able to get rid of Otto's shock collar... and then the farmer shoots Otto in the brain.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Roy Harper (Red Arrow) now goes by "Will", likely to avoid confusion with the other Roy (Arsenal). Roy's middle name in the comics is William.
    • Averted with Violet Harper and Harper Row, which is lampshaded when they first meet.
    • There's also three Cassandras— Cassandra Sandsmark/Wonder Girl, Cassandra Cain/Orphan, and Cassandra Savage.
    • G. Gordon Godfrey shares his middle "G" with Commissioner James Gordon and his daughter Barbara, which he lampshades when reporting on the Commissioner's activities.
  • Passing the Torch: King Orin has retired from being Aquaman (and the Justice League) to focus on being king, passing the mantle to Kaldur.
  • Poisonous Person: both the first and second Plasmus were metahuman teens turned into monsters that were so dangerous that touching them would cause your skin to melt.
  • Put on a Bus: A number of characters from previous seasons that were still members of the League or Team have failed to re-appear, with no explanation for their whereabouts, including La'gaan/Lagoon Boy, Mal Duncan/Guardian III, Karen Beecher/Bumblebee, Aquaman I, Captain Atom, the Atom, and Icon. This is most obvious in the first episode when Kaldur calls the emergency meeting of the League to order and states that all members present on Earth are present, and the roster is noticeably missing a large number of members. They could be with the Leaguers in space, however. Mal and Karen eventually return for an episode later in the season, and La'gaan has a silent cameo in a flashback, relaying information to Kaldur.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: “Terminus” reunites the five surviving members of the Season 1 team (not counting Zatanna and Raquel) for the mission to rescue Violet from Granny Goodness.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Black Lightning and Superboy try a High-Dive Escape out of the metahuman trafficking hospital, and Black Lightning hits a rock hidden under the water and is knocked out.
    • Brion is (over-)eager to rescue his sister, but since he and his "team" (Halo and Forager) are new to "the life", they are immediately and effortlessly captured by Ra's al Ghul and co.
    • Wolf is no longer active as he's getting pretty old by wolf years. (Already a full-grown adult in the original season, it's been at least seven years and probably closer to eight at the start of season 3.)
    • The League's families have play dates at each other's homes, which essentially paints a target over their heads if villains manage to find out even one of their superhero relatives' secret identities... Fortunately, while the Light does know about the League's secret identities, they know that it's a bad idea to do anything about it, so when someone like the rogue Ocean Master attempts to do it, they send Lady Shiva to stop him.
    • Joan Garrick dies off-screen of either old age or sickness. The comics avoided this by stating continual exposure to Jay's Speed Force aura (or something) gave her the same longivity as him. It seems Jay's speed powers do slow down his aging and extend his life in the show, as he still appears to be in amazing health for a man his age, but the same doesn't apply to his wife.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Black Lightning's wife, Lynn Stewart-Pierce, is John Stewart's sister. Her creator, Tony Isabella, deliberately gave her the surname of Stewart in case anyone wanted to make her related to John, but it had never been used until this series.
    • Queen Ilona of Markovia is the sister of Baron Bedlam.
    • Nabu, the Lord of Order possessing the Helmet of Fate, is revealed to be a son of Vandal Savage. Doubly surprising since he undergoes Adaptation Species Change from a spirit elemental to a spirit of a Babylonian metahuman.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Season Three plans restores the first season's use of mystery and espionage, something that was mostly absent from the second season, Invasion.
  • Rotating Protagonist: As to be expected for Young Justice, which has historically balanced out focus for the large cast. The first half of the season focuses squarely on Nightwing's team operating outside the law, consisting of Nightwing himself, Black Lightning, Superboy, Tigress, and newcomers Geo-Force, Halo and Forager. Then, the second half sees said team dissolving, while the Outsiders (consisting of Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Static, Geo-Force and Eduardo) are now the ones in the focus, meanwhile the Team sees a shuffle with Tigress and Superboy rejoining on top of Halo, Forager and Terra joining for the first time. As characters can go in and out of focus when need be, the three most constant ones in the limelight are the newcomers of Geo-Force, Halo and Forager.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The third season features a sudden jump in curse words, body count, and instances of explicit violence over prior seasons. Justified as the first two seasons were released on Cartoon Network, which had strict policies regarding what content was deemed inappropriate. Since the third season was released on DC's own streaming service, these rules no longer applied, allowing the creators to produce a much darker and more mature show.
  • Running Gag: Wolf spends most of his screentime napping.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Batman, Green Arrow, and several others pull this after getting fed up with all the red tape Luthor has been giving them and quit the Justice League to form a new group, nicknamed "Batman Incorporated" by Black Lightning.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Violet dying as a result of improperly healing herself. The subplot continued for over four episodes, with Violet's turmoil and resulting actions taking up a sizable amount of screentime. Jace then reveals in “Antisocial Pathologies” that it was a lie that she concocted to manipulate and punish Violet for not being a metahuman and Violet was never in that sort of danger.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Referenced in "Nightmare Monkeys" when the Monkey God reveals that he is the source of Beast Boy's powers.
    "Why do you think you can only change into animals? And do the words 'conservation of mass' mean anything to you at all?"
  • Shipper with an Agenda: Paula would like to see Artemis and Will get together, but not solely because she believes they would be happier. She wants Artemis to leave the hero life behind permanently and, having lost faith that Jade will ever return, wants her to take the role of Lian's mother. She believes both are more likely if they got together.
  • Ship Sinking: After a brief kiss and an entire episode dealing with her trauma and grief from losing Wally, Artemis officially states that she'll remain platonic with Will. Will's a bit relieved, as the kiss had felt weird. He'd come to see her as a sister; fitting as she's his sister-in-law.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • Black Lightning accidentally kills the first Plasmus, unaware that it was a young girl under mind control and a heart condition.
    • The second Plasmus is shot dead by a farmer, almost immediately after Black Lightning freed him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Garfield is an actor in Space Trek 3016 (Space Trek: 2022 in the comics), an obvious reference to Star Trek. The actor who plays the captain on this is also a William Shatner expy. It should be noted that Greg Weisman is a Trekkie.
    • Speaking of Garfield, he is first seen doing a PSA about (meta)human trafficking, with the slogan "If you see something, scream something." This alludes to the Metropolitan Transport Authority's anti-terrorism safety campaign, which had the slogan "If you see something, say something" urging people to report suspicious activity.
    • There's a reference to Sesame Street of all things when Count Vertigo and Dr. Ecks when the later uses his powers, the former counts up "One, two, three, four" in his vaguely Eastern European accent, and Artemis quips "Now we know why he's called Count Vertigo."
    • The logo of GoodeVision is the Warner Bros. logo.
    • There's an extended homage to Teen Titans Go! in "Nightmare Monkeys." Beast Boy hallucinates the Doom Patrol in the same animation style, complete with Greg Cipes using his TTG voice for Gar and the rest of the Teen Titans Go! regulars voicing Elasti-Girl (Starfire, Hynden Walch), Robotman (Cyborg, Khary Payton), Negative (Wo)man (Raven, Tara Strong), and the Chief (Robin, Scott Menville). For extra bonus points, when M'gann shows up in the hallucination, she's not as caricatured as the Doom Patrol, and uses the same character model she had in the episode "Let's Get Serious".
    • There's a shoutout to the old Doc Savage pulps in "First Impressions," when Big Words says "I'll be superamalgamated!" This was the favorite exclamation of surprise of Johnny Littlejohn, one of Doc's "Fabulous Five."
      • She also loses her glasses (but refers to them as "spectacles") and crawls on the floor to find them, much like Velma. Ironically, it's her friend Gaby Gabrielli who has a more direct Scooby Doo connection, as her voice actor Grey Delisle is the current voice of Daphne. There's also a Dramatic Unmask in that episode, but the culprits don't call the heroes "Meddling Kids".
    • In "Influence", Granny Goodness spoofs a certain Mary Poppins song when she calls G. Gordon Godfrey's flair for drama "the perfect spoonful of sugar to choke on after the medicine goes down."
  • Start My Own: The League's restrictions by the UN means they basically can't operate on Earth without approval. This leads to two teams spinning off of it after the mass resignations.
    • Nightwing forms a team including Tigress, Superboy, Oracle, as well as former League member Black Lightning. At first it was a one-time deal, but eventually it sticks. They recruit Geo-Force, Halo, and Forager along the way.
    • Batman leads the charge of the resignations, and takes Green Arrow, Katana, Metamorpho, Robin III, Spoiler, Arrowette, Batwoman, Plastic Man, and Hardware with him to form "Batman Incorporated", as Black Lightning semi-derisively calls it.
    • After missing being a hero, Garfield forms the Outsiders to be a visible youth hero group, one that isn't restricted like the already established teams.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In the Audio Drama "The Prize", Forager is asked to be Lian and Amistad's babysitter during Conner and Megan's farewell party, though Forager thinks that "larvae-sitter" is more fitting because neither Lian nor Amistad are babies. Later, Will reassures Forager that he can cheer Lian up because Forager is her favorites larvae-sitter. Meanwhile, Conner is wondering if larvae-sitter is now a thing.
  • Superhuman Trafficking: Now that there's reliable ways to detect and activate the metagene, metahuman trafficking has become an epidemic on Earth, with everyone from first world countries to third world countries to corporations looking to exploit them.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: “Illusion of Control” takes place on Thanksgiving.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Dawn and Don Allen.
  • Time Skip: Two years have passed since Invasion.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "Overwhelmed" takes place mostly during the evening of February 14.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Oracle acts as Nightwing's and, by extension, the Outsiders' sitrep, later shown to perform this function for Batman's group as well.
  • We Can Rule Together: After pulling a Face–Heel Turn and declaring himself King of Markovia, Brion offers both Tara and Violet a place at his side. They refuse.
  • Wham Line:
    A masked man in a red hood: Gray...son?
    Ra's al Ghul: Oh, your memory is finally returning. Excellent.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Talia holding a baby.
    • In "Exceptional Human Beings", Hal looks visibly aged, despite this not being an issue for the other heroes and him being in his late thirties to early forties.
    • In "Triptych" at the end when the shot zooms out to reveal that the three debriefings that had been happening throughout the episode were all happening in the Batcave, at the same time, revealing the existence of the "Anti Light".
  • Xanatos Gambit: The third season finale sees the Team and Outsiders return to Markovia when Baron Bedlam escapes prison and performs a coup d'etat. When they get in, Terra, performing her usual The Mole role, is ordered to assassinate the Outsiders' leader Beast Boy at a critical moment with the hopes that the Light can use it to set up registration rules for future metahumans to traffic. Instead, the heroes knew she had been a mole, and use their kindness towards her to convince her to fully side with them instead. As her brother Geo-Force had been Locked Out of the Loop, he executes Baron Bedlam, their Evil Uncle, in rage, and takes over the throne from his older brother Gregor instead. Because he was another member of the Outsiders, the Light banked on substituting Terra's attempted murder of Beast Boy with Geo-Force's violation of Thou Shalt Not Kill against Bedlam to set up their law, except Black Lightning accessed the communicator that Terra threw to the ground, catching Luthor red-handed, and works with Cyborg, Superboy, and Superman to successfully oust him from the United Nations, with Troia now the secretary-general of the United Nations.
    • However, the Light had other plans that enabled them to survive this. Luthor wasn't the only criminal inside the United Nations, so was Zviad Baazovi, Markovia's ambassador. He used psychic manipulation to enable Geo-Force's takeover from internal impulses he felt deep down, but were nudged to the surface, rendering him a Puppet King to the Light, and securing their control of Markovia, and the now disgraced Luthor retreats to Markovia with his Infinity, Inc. serving the country, while the heroes benefitted from the now lifted sanctions and the merging of the Justice League factions.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Black Lightning manages to save the second Plasmus... only for Plasmus to get shot by a farmer immediately afterwards.

Alternative Title(s): Young Justice Outsiders


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