After a lengthy layoff, Young Justice is back with a new roster and a fresh adventure.
Just under six years after its last episode aired on Cartoon Network, Young Justice is alive and well. The DC Universe streaming service is airing the show’s third season and the first three episodes arrived on Jan. 4.
The first episode, titled “Princes All,” is jam-packed with plot developments. In just over 24 minutes, the viewer learn what DC’s heroes have been up to since the end of season two. The show begins with Dick Grayson, or Nightwing, announcing that he’ll be taking a leave of absence from the team. After losing Wally, he needs time to heal, so he leaves Aqualad in charge.
Kaldur proceeds to talk to the team and tells them that they still have a lot to do. He breaks the heroes into smaller groups before the show abruptly jumps two years into the future.
- It was smart to start the show shortly after the events of season two . Many viewers worried “Outsiders” would immediately use a large time jump without explaining anything else. Thankfully, “Princes All” grounded the viewer in a familiar time frame before jumping to the future.
- There was something nostalgic about seeing Aqualad and Nightwing talking to each other. These two heroes have been crucial parts from Young Justice from the beginning. The rest of the episode went on to show that a lot as changed but viewers can appreciate a brief return to basics.
- Kudos to Dick for taking care of himself by leaving the team. The Batman method would have been to tough it out. Recent Batman comics can verify that this is a lackluster method of coping.
Two years later, in Markovia, a young girl, Ana, is being experimented on. She’s turned into a metahuman and she is inadvertently killed in battle on Rann. Black Lighting is technically responsible for her death; while the two of them fight, a bolt of electricity causes the girl’s heart to stop. Various members of the Justice League somberly gather around the girl’s body.
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Back at the Watchtower, Black Lightning and Steel show up for a conference, which turns out to be an emergency meeting of the league. Kaldur, who is now Aquaman, asks M’gann, the leader of Young Justice, to attend the meeting.
- The scene with Ana and the scientists could have been developed more. As the rest of the episode would show, the scientist is actually quite important.
- The news that Aqualad would be Aquaman in “Outsiders” was released before the show returned. As a result, this development, which should have been meaningful, felt perfectly ordinary.
- Fans can geek out in this scene; various heroes are included while the team waits for the conference to start. Tim Drake, Kid Flash, Blue Beetle, Wonder Girl and Spoiler are all visible.
At the meeting, the heroes discuss the pandemic of metahuman trafficking. The discussion devolves into an argument about the various obstacles facing the League. In a shocking moment, Batman tenders his resignation. His actions cause a chain reaction of other heroes, including Black Lightning, quitting.
Kaldur does his best to navigate this new crisis and he plans to essentially disown the former Leaguers so the team won’t be held responsible for their actions. Outside the meeting, Tim and Wonder Girl hold hands but, when Batman says “it’s time,” Tim leaves his girlfriend behind. Batman is up to something and Black Lightning refers to it as “Batman Incorporated.”
- The League meeting encapsulates the faults of this episode. Batman arguing with fellow Leaguers and quitting the team deserved much more than the few minutes of screen time it received here.
- The viewer can be forgiven for having a hard time believing the League would air its dirty laundry in front of Young Justice. The latter is sitting around and watching this drama unfold from the outside. The Justice League is supposed to be a team of the Earth’s best heroes; they would know better than to have these contentious moments play out in front of their potential successors.
- That being said, the development of Batman Incorporated should have viewers very excited.
The rest of the episode hops between Dick Grayson’s mission to fight metahuman trafficking and royal drama in Markovia. The King and Queen are assassinated by a speedster and the Queen’s brother, a Markovian Baron, blames it on a speedster from Qurac. The Baron declares that Markovia is now in martial law and says he will be acting as the Regent for Prince Gregor, who is too young to rule. Meanwhile, Prince Brion plans to become a superhero.
Dick gathers a team consisting of Artemis, Conner Kent and Jefferson Davis. The episode ends with this new team departing for Markovia.
- This episode tried to cover a lot of ground. As a result, it felt cluttered and it was hard to keep up with everything. The show tried to cram everything that happened since the end of season two into this one episode. Arguably, this method backfired.
- The end of season two had many fans expecting to see Darkseid and Apokolips in season three. Nothing in this episode, other than the opening credits, offered a hint to the planet and its ruler.
- Overall, “Princes All” did enough to grab the viewer’s interest but it made the mistake of cramming too much information into a 24 minute episode. Hopefully, the next episode will slow down and flesh out some of the more important plot developments.
Stay tuned for more episode reviews from season 3 of Young Justice.