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Young Justice: Who Should Lead the Outsiders, Nightwing or Superboy?

Young Justice Outsiders Superboy and Nightwing

Young Justice: Outsiders, Episode 23, "Terminus," raises a number of questions regarding who should be leading the Justice League's junior teams, with a conversation between Superboy and Nightwing suggesting the job should be Conner Kent's. The irony is that Superboy doesn't particularly wants to be a leader but that in itself may make him the best person for the job in the wake of recent events.

There was a fair deal of fighting for control in the first season of Young Justice, but Kaldur, the first Aqualad and current Aquaman, eventually became the official leader of the Justice League's junior partners. Season 2 of Young Justice saw Dick Grayson graduate from Robin to Nightwing and serving as the leader of The Team - the Justice League's covert squad for teenage superheroes. The third season, Young Justice: Outsiders, saw this role taken over by Miss Martian, with Nightwing now leading his own independent group of rogue vigilantes.

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Related: Young Justice: Outsiders - Our 6 Biggest Questions After Episode 23

While he originally argued that he should be a leader by virtue of his being Superman's heir apparent, Conner "Superboy" Kent has mellowed over the seven years since his creation as a clone combining the DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor. This was evident throughout "Terminus," as he quietly confronted his allies behind the scenes, before they embarked on a mission to save the hero Halo. First, he confronted his fiancée Miss Martian over her lying to him over the existence of a secret society within the Justice League, when she had promised never to deceive him again after she spent most of their first year together lying about who she truly was. Next, Conner confronted Halo's boyfriend Geo-Force about his fiery temper and got the younger hero to affirm that he would keep himself under control in the mission to come.

Young Justice Group Shot from Season 3 Episode 23 Terminus

All of this was observed by Nightwing, who noted in an amused fashion that Conner really was starting to sound like Superman with all of the inspirational speeches he was giving, "like a leader." Conner immediately denied the comparison, saying that his role on the team was never going to be that of a leader. Dick shrugged Conner off, saying that he didn't like being a leader either. Conner noted pointedly that, for all of his protests that he worked best alone, Dick certainly seemed to put himself in charge fairly often and that, for better or worse, he had become a leader. Conner then suggested that "maybe the real question is what kind of leader do you want to be?"

In addition to showcasing how far Superboy and Nightwing have evolved as characters over the course of the last three seasons, this scene seems to foreshadow a changing of the guard before the end of Young Justice: Outsiders. With the team's current leadership (including Nightwing) having lied to their followers about an organized plot by Batman to coordinate all their groups in secret, it seems unlikely that they can stay in power while pretending to have the moral authority to lead a team of superheroes. Perhaps it is now time for Conner Kent to embrace the legacy of his bloodline, and take up Superman's role in leading the World's Finest heroes?

More: Young Justice: Outsiders Teases The Return Of Wally West's Kid Flash  

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