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    Five Thoughts on Young Justice: Outsiders “Exceptional Human Beings”

    By | January 26th, 2019
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    This is it folks! We’re kicking off the last round of Young Justice: Outsiders episodes for the winter as we approach the midseason finale and have to wait until June for more. We get four episodes in this drop as we get to 13, so you’ll be getting one extra post from us in the coming days.

    We begin round 4 though with “Exceptional Human Beings,” which showcases…well a lot of exceptional humans. And metahumans. We get Batman’s crew on a mission and a check in with the League of Shadows. As always, full spoilers from here on out. But with that, let’s dive in!

    1. Batman’s Outsiders

    We get the beginning of a follow-up on what the League of Shadows are up to this episode as Batman takes Metamorpho and Katana to infiltrate their new home on Santa Prisca. The way these segments of the episode play out, at least in the beginning are really cool as there’s little sound as the crew commit not to break radio silence. Watching Metamorpho distract Shadows security with fart jokes, trash can imitations, and pools of mud (or poop) is really funny. So much is conveyed of his character through his facial expressions and body language is quite good, and watching his sort of cocksure arrogance which hides a body in constant pain is definitely conveyed. With Katana we get much honor and grace showcased in all her movements, which is very true to her character.

    This is the second time we’ve seen Katana in this show. She was one of the Leaguers to resign in protest with Batman back in episode one alongside Batwoman, Plastic Man, Green Arrow and Hardware to go off and form Batman Inc. (with assumedly more people as well). This is the first time that we see Metamorpho, but he was one of the characters featured pretty prominently in some of the marketing early on. Having kept him til now illustrates that the creators of this show still have quite a few surprises up their sleeve. Both Katana and Metamorpho were members of the original Outsiders team alongside Batman, Black Lightning, Halo and Geo-Force. It’s interesting how this show has split that original team to add more characters to both groups. I’m curious to see how Dick and Bruce’s squads interact as we get deeper into the conflict.

    2. The new pearls

    People have often joked about the obligatory nature of every Batman movie, television show, or comic book run as new creators take over, featuring the scene of the Wayne’s being shot and the pearls hitting the ground in Crime Alley. People make these jokes about seeing Uncle Ben get shot as well, but Batman’s origins seem most twisted and most laughable to revisit at this point. Which leads me to the full introduction of Victor Stone in this episode as a high school teenager who just wants his busy STAR Lab-employed father to watch him play football. How many times have we seen this story depicted at this point? We got it in Justice League: War, it was talked about in Justice League and has been revisited multiple times since there since it was made prominent in The New 52. It’s as if his origin is the only story people know how to tell with Cyborg. We’re going to get more of this story, because we haven’t even reached the accident at this point, and I’m glad that Cyborg is going to be a part of this show. He’s a great character and will fit in great either with Dick’s team as he searches for a family, or with M’gann’s Team which hopefully gives them more prominence. He also is now tied to all the Fourth World stuff in the comics which is cool and fine and with Darkseid getting ready to invade it’s cool he’ll be getting more to do. But we didn’t need another origin story, or at least not one spread over multiple episodes. I know we’ll be heading somewhere cool once we get over that hill though.

    3. A round of check-in

    You get a check-in, and you get a check-in, and you get a check-in! That’s what we get from Dick’s team this episode as they take the back seat to the main stories, but still need to get some plot movement. There’s a cute scene of M’gann and Conner in their house doing cute newly engaged people things. Dick is still training Forager, Geo Force and Halo, with Forager getting his skin back slowly and Halo and Brion expressing their feelings and all that jazz. Jace and Jeff look on and Jeff questions Jace calling them her kids. And, finally, Artemis enrolls Violet in high school, and she gets the last name Harper just like her comic counterpart. Realizing there’s a lot of Harper’s in the DCU. With that, Will and Jade have a moment where he tells her to come back to her daughter and she runs away again. I don’t predict this thing ending well for her. It’s all well and good, and a fine use of time, balancing out the darker parts of the mission on Santa Prisca, with the much less interesting Cyborg subplot. I’ve kind of enjoyed watching Dick, Artemis and co be mentors and parents and such. It’s a fun and natural change for them that I imagine will continue.

    Continued below

    4. ‘I Am Suicide’

    We move now from check-ins to cameos, as there are a few fun bits here and there in this episode that are nods to older stories and current continuities. First up, Batman of course has a run-in with Bane since they are on the island of Santa Prisca, and his costume looks just like he looks in Tom King, Mikel Janin, and co.’s current “Batman” run. He even has a line of dialogue about not using Venom anymore in his fight with Batman that might’ve been directly lifted from the ‘I Am Suicide’ arc. Just like with “Triptych” referencing James Tynion, Eddy Barrows, and Alvaro Martinez Bueno’s “Detective Comics” run, it’s cool to see this show steal snippets here and there.

    A few other items for your enjoyment:

    – Cisco Ramon is the kid in the Locker room who says he’s into Zatanna. Cisco, as Vibe, is a popular character on The Flash on CW, though less popular in the comics. Perhaps this is a seed to future seasons like seeing characters in their teenage, civilian identities has been for this show in the past.

    – Khary Payton (who also voices Kaldur, Black Lightning, and others) is the voice of Vic’s teammate in the locker room, doing an exact replica of his voice for Cyborg in the Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go cartoons. It’s fun to hear the “Booyah”s again.

    – Lastly, and I’m not sure if this one is significant or not, Hal Jordan in delivering the Father Box to Dr. Stone at STAR Labs has the white hair on his side like he did right before he became Parallax in the comics. We haven’t seen much at all of the Green Lantern mythos in this show thus far. Does this mean Hal might go evil, or die, or do something weird. Could we get Kyle Rayner on Dick’s Outsiders team?

    5. The Battle of Santa Prisca

    Finally the adults fight. We haven’t seen much of the adults fighting other adult heroes or villains in this show. On purpose of course, not complaining. But it’s cool to see Batman take on Bane, Katana and Lady Shiva sword dance, and Metamorpho laugh at Deathstroke and talk about trauma and pain. The whole battle is done really well, especially as Batman’s squad doesn’t have to win, they just have to hold the line til Oracle gets their plane back to them. Also listening to Bane complain, “No my gunnssssss” was hilarious. We learn that Deathstroke is the leader of the League of Shadows and the newest member of The Light here, while Shiva is “sensei” to the Shadows and The Light’s enforcer (Deathstroke’s old job). There’s a clear hierarchy in this fight, and with Batman, Dick, Wonder Woman, and others making their own hero version of The Light, we see that hierarchy matched in this fight. Deathstroke and Batman are both heads, Katana and Shiva both right hands, and Metamorpho and Bane both lieutenants. It was a very balanced, calculated and well-put together fight, and a reprieve after Lobo disemboweled Halo last episode. More fights like this.

    We’ve made it through the first episode, and we have three to go in round 4. Sound off in the comments below and we’ll see you back here early next week for more coverage!


    //TAGS | Young Justice

    Kevin Gregory

    Host of the Make Mine Multiversity Marvel podcast, Kevin is a displaced Texan currently in graduate school at The University of Chicago Divinity School. Feel free to email him about history, philosophy, theology, and politics (you know all those things people want out of comics). He's on Twitter @kbgregory13.

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