The ninth episode of Young Justice: Outsiders did not disappoint. In this one, the bad guys averted what could have led to their demise. Spoilers ahead.
On Friday, Young Justice: Outsiders dropped its next batch of episodes (number seven through nine) on the “DC Universe” streaming service. Be sure to check out my previous reviews for episode three and episode six.
This episode of Young Justice, entitled “Home Fires,” starts of by splitting the episode into two distinct parts. Queen Bee and Vandal Savage have two tasks that need to be handled. The first task is for a “new hire” to handle one problem, while the second task will be handled by one of Savage’s “new acquaintances.”
The first task is really the fun one for this episode of Young Justice. The “new hire” is bounty hunter Lobo, who is tasked with a contract that will take him to Earth. Lobo’s mission is to kill the bug from New Genesis — Forager.
Nightwing/Dick Grayson surprises his three pupils (Geo-Force/Brion, Halo, and Forager) with a surprise attack. Halo and Forager do well, but Geo-Force loses the battle. Brion wants to skip the training and go find his sister Tara. But Nightwing tells Brion they are not ready, as demonstrated by Dick’s surprise attack. Of course, Lobo then “surprises” the group with his own attack.
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The fight between “The Outsiders” and Lobo creates all of the main action sequences for this Young Justice episode. Lobo is a formidable opponent. And no matter what the group throws at him, he seems to just keep coming. It is very entertaining.
The only one that gets the best of Lobo is Halo, who ends up cutting off one of the bounty hunter’s pinky fingers. But Lobo gets the last laugh when he smashes Forager to death.
Having fulfilled his contract of killing Forager, Lobo leaves the group. He tries to do his signature whistle to call his bike back to him, but is unable to do so because of his missing appendage. This is one of Young Justice’s best qualities: making light of Lobo’s calling for his bike being way less cool than whistling for it.
As soon as Lobo is gone, Forager reveals himself to be safe. By shedding his exo-skeleton, Forager was able to fool Lobo into thinking he killed him.
Meanwhile, there is a play-date happening at the house of Iris West-Allen (wife of Barry Allen/The Flash). A total of 18 people are going to attend the play-date, including seven adults (if you include Bart Allen/the current Kid Flash) and eleven children.
Across the street from the West-Allen home, an assassin awaits all of the arrivals to the party. When the entire group finally arrives, it is revealed that Orm/Ocean Master is the killer-in-waiting.
Orm is confronted by The Light’s “new acquaintance,” Lady Shiva of the League of Shadows, who refers to Orm’s plan to murder everyone in the house as “the nuclear option.” The Light doesn’t want to take such a drastic step because of “mutually assured destruction” (also known by the acronym M.A.D.).
M.A.D. is actually the main reason why full-on nuclear war has thankfully never been employed by our real-world governments; nuclear war only ends in the destruction of everything. Again,Young Justice demonstrates one of its storytelling hallmarks, which is taking real-world problems and politics and placing them into the realm of comic book mythology.
Shiva beheads Orm before he can follow through with his plan for revenge on the heroes. Besides the quick dispatch of Ocean Master by Lady Shiva, this episode of Young Justice is quite dark. Considering Orm’s plan – killing all of those innocent children – it would have certainly gotten a devastating reaction out of the Justice League members affected by his actions.
Included at the play-date in this Young Justice episode was Lois Lane and son Jonathan Kent (Superman/Clark’s wife and child). This got me thinking: what would have been the reaction of Superman to these deaths?
By himself, Superman could wipe out most members of The Light, especially if he lost control of his emotions. This type of “Superman gone rogue” story has been explored previously, but especially well in the DC animated universes. Check out two of the best animated takes on Superman dealing with a significant death (both available on the “DC Universe” streaming service):
- “Superman: The Animated Series” episode: “Brave New Metropolis”
- Death of Lois Lane
- “Justice League” animated series two-part episode: “A Better World”
- Death of The Flash (Wally West)
For this Young Justice episode, the two tasks have been accomplished: thanks to the acquaintance (Lady Shiva) and the hire (Lobo). In the former, The Light averted the wrath of some angry superheroes (and probably a major retaliation). In the latter, The Light confirms Superboy and Black Lightning’s involvement in the Markovian incident. This information was the real goal for sending Lobo – not the death of Forager.
This now sets up Nightwing’s team of seven to take on The Light’s team of seven, which is revealed to include: Queen Bee, Vandal Savage, Lex Luthor, Klarion, Ultra-Humanite, Deathstroke, and Granny Goodness. Meanwhile, Lady Shiva represents The Light’s ongoing relationship with the League of Shadows.
So, Young Justice continues to point towards an eventual showdown. At the center of the battle will be The Light and Nightwing’s Outsiders. But for now, this is just another excellent episode for this series.
Final score – 10/10