Young Justice: Outsiders is almost here, and while we already knew that some additional young heroes would be added to the team, now we know how they'll be different from the first young group of superheroes that populated the show. And, apparently, they'll be heavily influenced by the world that was set up in the first two seasons of Young Justice. Here's what co-showrunner Brandon Vietti had to say:
What's great about those characters is they're young characters who are now growing up in a world that is formed from our first two seasons. We really had a heck of an arc through our first two seasons. We explored how society viewed heroes, and how aliens came to Earth to harvest the metagene that powers many of the superheroes and villains. When we came back to start our third season, we were looking at this world we've created and watched grow through the first two seasons and we're like, 'Wow, this is a really scary Earth. What must it be like to grow up on this scary place that we've built up through 2 seasons?'
For those who have forgotten, seeing as how it's been almost six years since Young Justice was on the air, the first season of the series saw several Justice League members, who had been magically enslaved by the secret supervillain group known as The Light, travel off world and attack a peaceful planet. During Season 2, which took place five years after the events of Season 1, the consequences of that attack are brought back to Earth, as several alien forces come here in an attempt to try to takeover now that they know about our metahumans and see us as viable potential members of their empires. While Young Justice is able to defeat all the attempts at takeover, destroy The Light and stop the destruction of the planet by Mongul and his War World weapon, the populace would clearly remain shaken by such events.
As Brandon Vietti pointed out to Entertainment Weekly, a world where aliens were constantly trying to take over for a while, and that was almost eliminated by a weapon of mass destruction, would be a kinda shitty, scary one to grow up in. Not to mention the fact that all the invasions made the Justice League and other heroes look like chumps who couldn't actually handle their hero business, and had actively caused all the invasions by allowing themselves to be enslaved in the first place.
By the time Young Justice: Outsiders rolls around, public faith in superheroes will likely still be a touchy subject, and new heroes like Katana, Bart Allen, Arrowette, Spoiler, Thirteen and Halo will not only have grown up in a time when alien threats were very real, but when superheroes were not always seen as the greatest protectors mankind could hope for. Which could, theoretically, lead to some waffling from the more inexperienced heroes when it comes to their dedication to doing good.
In fact, Brandon Vietti went on to say that, because of the world they were brought up in, these new heroes are going to be significantly more conflicted about how they use their powers and gifts than the original team was in previous seasons.
We decided to tell that story through this new young group of characters who are growing up in this crazy, scary world, and they don't know if they want to be heroes, they don't know if they want to be villains, they're very much finding out who they are. They're not part of a superhero establishment like our season 1 and 2 characters were. They're figuring out their own way in the world.
Well, I'm all for self-reflection and giving folks a chance to figure out who they are, but this sounds like it might cause some problems in Season 3. What if one or more of the new heroes decides to switch sides and go the supervillain route? They might not be Big Bad material right now, but they could certainly use the training they've been getting from Nightwing, Black Canary, Blue Beetle and others to work as minions for someone more skilled, powerful and devious than they currently are.
The team has dealt with threats from within before, and, as usual, there will also be plenty of threats from without. Trailers from the new season have shown that a ridiculous number of heroes and villains will play a part in the action this time around, meaning that those newbie superheroes will have even more avenues available to them should they decide to take a hike and break bad.
The official synopsis for Young Justice: Outsiders notes that the season will hit "all corners of the DC universe," in a story that focuses on the team and their allies trying to stop a metahuman trafficking ring, along with trying to stop an "intergalactic arms race for control of these super--powered youths." Man, see what happens when superheroes let themselves get taken over by villains, attack a harmless planet and alert every alien race in the galaxy to the fact that we have advanced folks with superpowers living among us? This hero stuff is tricky even when you're experienced at it.
The new season will also probably have your standard double crossings, dangerous missions, emotional heartache, intergalactic intrigue and teenage and young adult angst turned up to 11 because, you know, they have superpowers. If you haven't guessed by now, it sounds like this heightened amount of seemingly never ending drama was just what Brandon Vietti and his team wanted when they found out they would have the opportunity to bring Young Justice back to the small screen after so many years away. And, if what we've seen of this season so far is any indication, it's going to make for another wonderful addition to the lore that's been set up by Seasons 1 and 2.
If you're ready to watch all the action unfold on this jam-packed season of Young Justice: Outsiders, of course, you'll need a subscription to DC Universe (which has several original shows coming up next year), where the series will air, beginning on January 4, 2019. To see what else you can watch from the comfort of your living room couch in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2019 midseason premiere guide.