After a six-year absence from our screens Dick, Kaldur’ahm, Conner and the rest of the team return with Outsiders. Season 3 of animated TV series will have 26 episodes and has moved away from cartoon network having found a new home on the DC Universe app. The first 3 episodes “Princes All” “Royal We” and “Eminent Threat” have were released on the 4th January. Writer and producer Greg Weisman confirmed via his Twitter page the episodes will have a staggered release. The first 13 episodes in January in blocks of 3 on the 4th, 11th, 18th then 4 episodes on the 25th January. The remaining 13 episodes and the second half of the season will be released in a similar fashion throughout July 2019.
Something that has made Young Justice stand out from other animated shows is how age is a real thing. Other animated shows can run for multiple seasons and the characters never age a day. In season 1 we were introduced to a bunch of kids trying to step out from the shadow of their mentor. In season 2 Invasion, the team had all matured and were learning to stand as their own hero and starting to mentor the next group of sidekicks coming through. Princes All carries this on by showing us Nightwing as an adult wanting to step away from the team and go solo. Kaldur’ahm now has the title of Aquaman and is the current leader of the Justice League. Connor, although young due to being a clone, is a senior member of the team.
What we learn in Princes All is that there is a human trafficking pandemic across the Earth which is a result of the Metagene experiments created by the Reach during season 2. Nightwing discovers and destroys a lab where kidnapped children are being held and tested on by Bedlum. The goal we learn is to create Meta Human weapons that can be used or sold to the highest bidder. During a Justice league meeting Wonder Woman explains that this is spilling out onto other worlds and will not help the already tarnished reputation of the Justice League (remember during invasion they were on trial for committing crimes while under control by Vandal Savage).
Many of the Justice League members decide to quit and try and prevent further damage on their own rather than being restricted by UN sanctions. Theres going to be a wedding! Connor proposes to M’gann who says yes. This news ties directly to the 2 comic book issues released on the DC Universe app recently. If you didn’t manage to read them, it showed Connor and M’gann working together on a mission and admitting they were still in love with each other.
The opening episode set us up nicely for the season ahead knowing they have Bedlumto stop, violent Metagene creatures to try and defeat, protect the young and vulnerable children of Earth with half the Justice League going rouge. Let’s not forget as the audience we also know from the end of Invasion that Vandal Savage has teamed up with Darkseid.
We start things off with a UN hearing hosted by the UN Secretary General Lex Luthor. It is officially announced to the world that Batman, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Plastic Man and Hardwear have quit the Justice League in protest to the UN sanctions which makes doing their job impossible. Wonder Girl argues the case that Hero’s will do what is needed no matter what sanctions are imposed. Other countries speak out that they will not allow vigilantes to operate on their land. Simultaneously we see a mission led by Nightwing ongoing in Markovia after the King and Queen were assassinated at the end of the first episode.
Dick and Artemis go undercover at a cocktail party being attended by the future king of Markovia Gregor and his (16 minutes) younger brother Brion. Superboy and Black Lighting infiltrate a Markovian children’s hospital which is a front for a Metagene child trafficking centre, run by none other than Count Vertigo.
Much of the episode flips backward and forward between the party, the hospital and the UN. Not much more season wide story development, just plenty of fun. Black lightning and Superboy teaming up is a new partnership we haven’t seen before. The older experienced Jefferson Pearce fighting alongside the Superman clone gives an interesting dynamic with the differing personalities complimenting each other well.
The climax to the episodes brings all our heroes together as Nightwing is following the young Markovian prince Brion to the Metagene lab. The same lab in which Black Lightning and Superboy (Or SB as he seems to be called in this series) had infiltrated earlier. A subsequent battle between them and a Meta called Plasma leaves Black Lightning unconscious and SB being captured by Count Vertigo. Artemis rescues Black Lightning while we discover SB is being held in a Metagene chamber, next to Prince Brion. Brion awakens just in time to discover he is being experimented on against his will to see how he reacts to his own Metagene. The final moment reveals the eldest Prince Gregor has been working with Vertigo the whole time.
For the second episode in a row we open with a Beast Boy news snippet as he is trying to raise awareness to the world about Meta Human Trafficking. His slogan “If you see something, Scream something”.
The team, led by Nightwing travel back to the children’s hospital to attempt to rescue SB and Prince Brion. When they discover where SB and Brion are being held captive the team witness Count Vertigo and Bedlum reveal the master plan. The team is now aware that Count Bedlam, the King regent to prince Gregor are looking to control Markovia and take control of neighbouring Vladavar. Although the team manage to save SB, Brion and destroy the lab, Vertigo, Bedlum manage to get away with a batch of Meta children in gene activation pods via the use of a boom tube.
Count Bedlum goes on national TV to announce Prince Brion as a meta human and was responsible for the death of his parents. Due to the anger the causes Brion, his meta gene activates and begins a molten mutation. A very Meta heavy battle then takes place between Brion and Bedlum who is also revealed to be Meta. The rest of the team are busy fighting Count Vertigo. For the second episode in a row we see the same refugee girl killed, only to return to life. Artemis calls her Halo Girl so does this mean she is to become a member of the team?
Towards the end of the episode we learn that Prince Gregor is not working with Count Bedlum and Vertigo. Gregor confronts Bedlum and places him under arrest (thanks to a beat down by Superboy). To protect the image and future of Markovia Gregor banishes his brother Brion.
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