Young Justice: Outsiders episode 23, "Terminus," is a most unusual episode by the standards of the season so far. As the cast of Young Justice has expanded, so too has the number of active subplots involving its dozens of heroic characters. Yet "Terminus" is almost entirely devoted to the rescue of Halo from Granny Goodness, who has used Halo's powers to take command of the Anti-Life Equation.
The heroes find an unlikely ally in this mission when Vandal Savage arrives at the Outsiders' base under a flag of truce. The immortal villain freely offers them the coordinates to Granny's space station, the Orphanage, on one condition - once Halo is rescued, they must tell Granny that Savage was the one who told them how to find her. It is an obvious trap, but with no better leads the heroes have no choice but to follow up on it, though they know they're playing into Savage's plans.
This leads to the five surviving founders of the original Young Justice team breaking into the Orphanage along with Geo-Force, Terra and Forager to rescue Halo. The episode's only other subplot, told through a series of silent montages, shows Black Lightning coping with the recent revelation regarding a secret society of superheroes coordinating the fractured elements of the Justice League. Here are all the questions that remain following the cliffhanger conclusion of Young Justice: Outsiders, episode 23, "Terminus."
6. Who Is Kirby Jacobs?
Vandal Savage's arrival is announced by Kirby Jacobs - a man whom Forager identifies as the doorman to the building where the Outsiders established their base of operations. The character seems to be a tribute to legendary comic book creator Jacob Kurtzberg, who is better known by his pen name, Jack Kirby. Kirby created the Fourth World series of books for DC Comics, including the saga of the New Gods and the characters of Forager and Granny Goodness. Though he is never shown on screen, Jacobs has a prominent Lower East Side accent - the same one Kirby reportedly had, having grown up in Manhattan.
5. Did Vandal Savage Mean To Send The Heroes To Die?
It's immediately clear to the heroes that Vandal Savage has his own reasons for sending the heroes after Granny Goodness but they don't know what those reasons are and, by this point, they are long past caring. Earlier episodes made it clear that Savage was aware of the existence of the Anti-Life Equation and how dangerous it would be for the universe if Darkseid were to acquire that power. Still, his motivation for sending the heroes of Earth to Halo's location are not entirely obvious.
One possibility is that Savage is merely buying himself time to set up his own counter-measures to combat Darkseid, hoping that the heroes will provide a distraction from his own activities. Another is that Savage honestly thinks the heroes have a better chance at rescuing Halo and thwarting Granny Goodness than he and his forces would. It seems most likely, however, that Savage fears the loss of control that the Anti-Life Equation would bring about were he exposed to it and that he is unwilling to risk himself or his allies on a chance to stop Granny Goodness when he can get someone else to do it.
4. Can Non-Metas Be Saved From The Anti-Life Equation?
Once Geo-Force, Halo and Forager are in Granny Goodness' clutches, she reveals how she came to use the Anti-Life Equation to take control of a group of Justice League members who attacked the Orphanage. Granny also explains that the Anti-Life Equation takes a tremendous toll on ordinary humans who are exposed to it, eventually killing them. As evidence of this, she gestures to Elongated Man and the Green Lanterns Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner, who are clearly more pained than the alien and metahuman heroes around them.
Granting that the method Granny Goodness is using to access the Anti-Life Equation by combining Halo's powers with her own tortuous Ghost Dimension is imperfect, this would seem to make the Anti-Life Equation impractical as a tool for long-term conquest. While it would destroy all resistance in the enemies you faced, it would also kill off most of the populations you'd be ruling. This raises the question of if there is some means of using the Anti-Life Equation in a non-lethal fashion or curing the ordinary people effected by it.
3. Why Is Elongated Man Among The Non-Meta Heroes?
Another question raised by this scene is why Elongated Man is numbered among the non-metahuman heroes of the Justice League. Elongated Man clearly has superpowers, as he is seen stretching his limbs to reach far-away consoles while piloting the Justice League's spaceship earlier in the episode, before the Justice League is taken over by the Anti-Life Equation. He is later seen having trouble stopping his body from stretching as he suffers from the effects of the Anti-Life Equation.
The answer lies in the Silver Age origins of Elongated Man and the fact that he originally got his powers through regular consumption of a special elixir made from the Gingo fruit. This gave Ralph Dibny the power to stretch his body to amazing lengths despite not having the metagene. While Elongated Man has been depicted as a metahuman in the post-Crisis and New 52 comic books (as well as The Flash television series), it would seem that the Young Justice version of Ralph Dibny sticks to his original backstory when it comes to the source of his powers.
2. Will Wally West Return Before The End Of The Season?
One of the most thrilling sequences of Young Justice: Outsiders episode 23 comes when a feverish Nightwing begins to hallucinate that his best friend Wally West (aka Kid Flash) has come back from the dead to save him. The animation shifts slightly during this sequence, resembling the style of Young Justice season 1, as Nightwing becomes Robin again and the rest of his friends are likewise changed into their younger selves wearing their classic costumes. The sequence serves as a reminder to the audience of just how far these characters have come since we first met them and helps the heroes to steel their resolve as they prepare to once again face an enemy that has turned their mentors against them.
Between this and the closing credits sequence, in which we see Wolf slumbering at the feet of the memorial hologram of Wally West in the Justice League grotto, it seems as if the show might be foreshadowing Wally West's return. Since Wally's mysterious disappearance while pushing himself while using his powers in Young Justice season 2's finale, many fans have theorized that Wally didn't truly die but was instead absorbed into the Speed Force. There is a precedent for this happening in the comics, with various speedsters achieving a state of oneness with the Speed Force only to emerge years later, but for now it seems that Wally West is truly deceased.
1. Who Can Save The League And The Team?
Young Justice season 3, episode 23 ends with Granny Goodness triumphant, as Halo's new Anti-Life powers prove sufficient to resist Ms. Martian's telepathy. With her powers broken, her mind shields fall and the rest of the team fall prey to the influence of the Anti-Life Equation. The episode ends with all of the heroes under Granny Goodness' control.
Thankfully, the heroes of Earth aren't beaten yet and most of the Outsiders are still at liberty. Granting that they do not know what has happened to their mentors yet, we do see Ms. Martian send a text to Beast Boy, telling him that they are following a lead on Halo's whereabouts. That may be all the clue Garfield Logan needs to know that something was up and that something has gone wrong when he can't reach M'Gann later. Time, and the final episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders, will tell the tale.