Today is the day that Young Justice: Outsiders switches to a weekly schedule for the first time in its run on DC Universe. With “First Impression” the show moves to one episode every Tuesday until the end of August where we will be blessed with the three a week that has been in the norm. Things are about to slow down just a smidge.
The one-a-week drop suits this show. If you’ve been following any of my coverage, you’ll know I haven’t thought that this show has made the most of its release schedule. This episode seems perfect though, and perfect for one and wait a week. It carries over one of the main conflicts of last episode, and again, ever slowly, pushes this show forward into new territory. It only took 17 episodes for someone to use the phrase outsiders. We’ll of course be delving into full spoiler territory, so do watch the episode first. But if you’re still with us, let’s dive in!
1. Going public
The crux of this episode deals with Beast Boy going through with the mad scheme previewed in last episode of taking the Team public. At least parts of them. He is still in full revolution, proactive mode and ready to do whatever it takes to have some superheroes that are not beholden to the bureaucracy (the 1%) and can fight for the common folks. And he gets that.
The members of the Team that volunteer are Beast Boy, Kid Flash, Blue Beetle, Static, Wonder Girl, and Geo-Force, which is a fairly balanced group. Halo, Tara, Forager, and Traci 13 hang back with M’gann, Artemis, and Superboy, who are decided to be too old to be a part of Beast Boy’s revolution. Guess this is Children of the Corn rules or something. Beast Boy has really grown into a full character, and good choice for a leader, though he is super overconfident. Or at least impatient. The faux Reach attack being the enemy, and the end result of there not being a ton behind the show of force, is hopefully not an omen for this group going forward, but that remains to be seen.
2. The Hub
Beast Boy is also able to deck out his new crew with their own headquarters in Hollywood. I don’t know of any Team that’s been headquartered in Hollywood and Los Angeles, but the closest comparison would be to the Teen Titans I imagine. That’s a comparison this show has shied away from, absolutely showcasing the covertness of Young Justice over any sort of public display. You can’t get more public than a big ol T on an islet near San Francisco, but the middle of downtown Hollywood is trying the luck.
Gar has everything figured out. Funding from his television stuff with their enemy fitting the bill, which was a fun slap in the face. He can house Forager, Vic, Tara, Brion, and Violet and get them out of Artemis and M’gann’s houses (also Artemis making jokes about Miss M and Superboy being left alone in Mount Justice was priceless). This gets Jace out of a hotel, and implies a shift in the narrative back to the Team and this new squad as opposed to Dick and Batman and any of those folks. It’ll be a shame to not see Dick as much, but the Team is what this show was founded around, so refocusing our attention makes sense. This is a really smart and inventive headquarter choice that is different from anything in continuity (that I know of) and is just a cool, sleek, probably doomed (cause headquarters rarely remain pristine) move and I’m here for it.
Speaking of moving out, Artemis gets Violet and Tara for one more night, which also happens to put them in the middle of a big ol thunderstorm. Lian and Violet both get scared, requiring comfort, which pushes Tara to the fore to help take care of Lian. We haven’t gotten much from her, you know, outside of her being a traitor and all. She hasn’t spoken a word to us as the viewer since she was rescued, which has led us to see her as just a silent observer and spy. But here she gets a little more emotional depth, reflecting on her parents reading and taking care of her, and seemingly sort of emotionlessly, and somewhat unwillingly, reporting to Slade that Gar’s crew is still a part of the League. While it’s clear the show is borrowing from ‘The Judas Contract’ to at least give the appearance of her betraying everyone, this is a new and different team than that story, and it’s possible there are more tricks up someone’s sleeve. Or we’ll get a greenlit fourth season and she doesn’t have to betray anyone. Yet.Continued below
4. “We are all outsiders.”
GOD IT ONLY TOOK 17 EPISODES FOR SOMEONE TO CALL THEMSELVES OUTSIDERS. It’s like getting part of the way through the Academy Award Winning movie Suicide… you know what I’m not gonna talk about that garbage anymore. I guess the soundtrack was good though.
Anyway I’m not really that mad, more surprised. This is a different group than I expected to be calling themselves Outsiders, and was nothing foreshadowed by any of the marketing for this season. Hell Katana and Metamorpho have only been in one episode. And Black Lightning has disappeared in the last few. The group that have historically called themselves Outsiders are pretty scattered still.
Regardless, this is a cool group, and this show has managed for them to strike a tone somewhere between Marvel’s current “Champions” and the Teen Titans, which is sort of perfect for a 21st century teen team. They’re social media savvy, and more mature because Beast Boy is calling for a revolution. It’s just a really smart group and decision, that it just seems too perfect to exploit. I’m glad that Wonder Girl is getting more than just being Tim’s girlfriend dealing with their relationship problems. She really needed something to do, and she felt the most underutilized of this group that’s been assembled, that it’s good she’s got more going here.
Alright, bring on the Outsiders. I’m ready for the inevitable Scott Lobdell written-comic. Though if I had to dream cast a creative team for these characters I’d pick…Ram V and Nicola Scott. Yep I’m gonna go with that. Comment your dream team.
5. More secrets
So although we spend an entire episode getting to know Beast Boy’s new crew and for them to get as much coverage and set up as possible, there are still machinations happening behind closed doors. Wasn’t the whole point of a public team so that this stuff wasn’t happening?
Aquaman allows himself to lose and be a pawn of the faked Reach attack so that Beast Boy can get a win. We get the behind the scenes look still at the group that was present in “Triptych” as they continue to scheme. They don’t want to bring Beast Boy into the fold. Yet. They say he’s got a mission that is different from their own. Hmm. So if Beast Boy is Bernie, does that make Batman and his hero-Light the rest of the DNC? Never mind. This is all going to blow up isn’t it? I love Beast Boy getting a crew, I love the heroes making plans, I’m ready for a big collision. I can smell one on the horizon.
Bonus Thought: The Scooby-Doo vibes from this episode were very funny, and both created an eery,
“Are they about to screw this new team thing up on day one,” vibe, as well as homaged some corporate synergy. I watched a lot of Scooby-Doo cartoons growing up, and had one of the Scooby team-up shows or something on VHS with an episode where the gang teamed with Batman and Robin. Watched the hell out of that VHS, so a lot of respect here.
That is all for this week, not just this installment. Sound off in the comments, and we’ll see you for another regularly scheduled broadcast next Wednesday!