Young Justice: Outsiders is back and with it a whole new series of questions demanding answers. The highly-beloved animated series about the junior heroes of the Justice League was brought back for a third season on the DC Universe steaming service, thanks to a spirited campaign of die-hard fans. The first half of season 3 aired in January and now the second half will be aired from July to August, with one episode airing each week after the initial release of episodes 14, 15, and 16, and a three-part finale scheduled for August 27.
Episode 14, "Influence," helps to remind viewers of where things stand after the five-month gap between new episodes. The events of the first half of the season are recapped through the jaundiced eye of political pundit G. Gordon Godfrey, who is all too eager to let Lex Luthor and Gretchen Goode explain away the seemingly immoral actions of their respective companies. The action of the episode sees the Justice League tracking a group of metahuman traffickers through deep space, as four members of the Outsiders are officially inducted into The Team - the covert wing of the Justice League, which is made up of the teen partners of many adult League members.
Episode 15, "Leverage," sees the new Team members sent on their first mission to investigate a potential trafficking operation in Russia. This sets them against both a Russian superhero team and the Suicide Squad, who were charged with destroying the Russian team's base. Episode 16, "Illusion Of Control," finds the team closer to home, as they are forced into action on Thanksgiving weekend while trying to protect a carnival full of metahuman teenagers from being abducted. Here are the biggest questions we have after watching the first three episodes of the second-half of Young Justice: Outsiders.
7. Where Did The Orphanage Go?
One subplot of "Influence," episode 14, shows some of the Justice League members in space trying to track down a lead on the metahuman youths being sold as slave soldiers to various intergalactic tyrants. Thanks to Green Lantern Guy Gardner, the team was able to detect a faint ion trail on the planet Thanagar, which led them to a large space station full of captive children. Appropriately enough, the location ticker identified this location as the Orphanage - a name often attributed to the various bases run by the New God Granny Goodness.
Unfortunately, the ion trail was an intentional trap laid by Big Barda, who intended to wipe out the Justice League alongside the rest of Granny Goodness' Female Furies. While the Justice League survived the ambush, they just barely escaped being flushed into the vacuum of space. Left gasping for breath, the assembled heroes were helpless to do anything but watch as a massive Boom Tube opened and enveloped the Orphanage, before transporting it somewhere else.
This begs the question of where this Orphanage has gone now. The most likely answer seems to be back to Apokolips or close to it, given that Barda's plan was enacted without the approval of Granny Goodness or Darkseid and Granny will want to punish her charge closer to home. Then again, with a Boom Tube that large in play, the Orphanage could have wound up virtually anywhere in the universe.
6. Are Artemis Crock and Will Harper Falling For Each Other?
One of the big changes in the years between season 2 and season 3 of Young Justice was that Artemis Crock started sharing a home with Will Harper (the clone of the cryogenically frozen Roy Harper) and his daughter Lian, who is Artemis' niece by her sister, Cheshire. Several episodes have shown Will and Lian in passing but "Leverage" showed both Artemis and Will watching one another playing with Lian in a way that wasn't exactly platonic. This did not go unnoticed by Artemis' mother when she visited at Thanksgiving in "Illusion of Control," and she told Artemis that it was clear they had romantic feelings for one another. While Artemis denied that there was anything between her and Will, she did appear thoughtful when her mother dismissed her protests, saying that Cheshire was not coming back and Lian needed a mother. Could Artemis and Will both be ready to find love again?
5. How Does Halo Know Captain Boomerang?
Episode 15, "Leverage," sees the newly minted Gamma Squad of the Justice League sent to investigate a secret base in Russia it was feared might be a center for illegal metahuman experiments. The team determined that the base was on the up and up, being used by the Russian government to perform the surgeries necessary to bond volunteer pilots with their new Rocket Red mecha armor. Unfortunately, before Gamma Squad could leave quietly and without incident, they ran into another covert team made up of Black Manta, Monsieur Mallah and Captain Boomerang.
Halo faced off against Captain Boomerang in the donnybrook that followed - a fight that should have been short given the vast variety of powers Halo has and the fact that Captain Boomerang is just a man with a bunch of boomerangs. Halo froze up, however, when Captain Boomerang began speaking, apparently recognizing his voice and flashing back to some point in her life as a young woman named Gabrielle. This gave Captain Boomerang the opening he needed to throw a razor-sharp boomerang into Halo's chest.
A full explanation for Halo's reaction came in Episode 16, "Illusion Of Control," which confirmed that it was Boomerang's choice of words that triggered Halo's flashback - not his voice precisely. Halo recalled that Gabrielle had been approached by one of Count Vertigo's henchmen, who had used the phrase "I have a proposition for you" before paying her to allow him entry into the Markovian palace. This means that the girl who became Halo was responsible for helping the assassins who went on to kill Geo-Force's parents - a fact Halo is desperate to keep from their teammate and boyfriend.
4. How Did Amanda Waller Not Know About The Team?
Black Manta, Monsieur Mallah, and Captain Boomerang were just as surprised by their encounter with Gamma Squad as the heroes were to run into the three supervillains in "Leverage." Taking cover after the Rocket Red Squadron shows up to investigate the fight, the villains try to identify the various heroes they were just fighting against, while communicating with their commander, Amanda Waller. It's Black Manta, a former leader of The Light, who identifies the team's leader as Artemis Crock and says that clearly the group is part of the Justice League's covert-ops unit. This leads both Captain Boomerang and Amanda Waller to say, in confusion and in unison, "The Justice League has a covert ops unit?!"
Later in the episode, the three villains are identified as the first incarnation of Task Force X (aka the Suicide Squad) - a United States government program that recruits convicted supervillains to execute missions too dangerous for regular government agents. Amanda Waller confronts Aquaman with this knowledge, threatening to reveal the existence of the Justice League's covert team if they reveal that the US Government is recruiting supervillains as assets. While this is perfectly in character, it still seems unbelievable that a spook like Amanda Waller would only just now be learning about the Justice League's covert activities.
3. What Will Be The Aftermath of The Team Being Outed?
At the end of "Illusion of Control," having grown tired of his friends not getting any recognition for their heroism and being blackmailed by the likes of Amanda Waller, Beast Boy calls a press conference in the wake of an attack on STAR Labs' facility for rehabilitating metahuman teens. With Kid Flash and Blue Beetle by his side, Garfield Logan talks about the attempt to abduct all the metahuman youths in the facility and reveals the existence of The Team to the world at large. He goes on to say that if people give superhuman teens a chance, "they'll be amazed not just by what we can do, but by what we choose to do."
It remains to be seen how the public and the press will respond to Beast Boy's actions. It seems likely that G. Gordon Godfrey will launch a withering attack on the "so-called heroes" endangering metahuman minors with their actions. It almost goes without saying that Lex Luthor (currently Secretary General of the United Nations) will have a field day over the news that the Justice League had been operating in secret without UN supervision. And it's a safe bet that the Justice League won't be too happy with Beast Boy for revealing their secret or the rest of the team for not stopping him.
2. Will Static Ever Get A Girlfriend?
One of the funnier running gags in "Illusion of Control" involves Static, who finds himself as the odd-man out amid all the couples at the Thanksgiving carnival being held at STAR Labs' special facility for metahuman youths. Seeing his friends getting lovey-dovey and being left to pilot a two-person bumper car by himself causes Static to declare (several times) that he really needs to get a girlfriend. To add insult to injury, Traci Thirteen makes the same statement after Static tries (and fails) to flirt with one of the teenage girls the team just saved. Maybe Static can hook-up with the similarly powered Livewire before the end of the season?
1. Who Is Dr. Jace Working For?
Formerly the Royal Physician of the Markovian Royal Family, Dr. Helga Jace has become an invaluable member of the Outsiders' support structure. Apart from offering her insight as a geneticist and expert on metahuman powers, Jace became a foster mother of sorts to Halo and acted as a calming influence on the fiery Geo-Force as he raged at finding his missing sister. She also entered into a romantic relationship with Black Lightning.
The team has come to trust Dr. Jace, despite her previous association with the metahuman trafficking group Bedlam, which Jace claimed to have been forced to aid. Still, the latest batch of episodes have shown Dr. Jace working on a secret project in a lab provided to her by the hero Hardware. More, the end of "Illusion of Control" showed Dr. Jace calling someone to whom she had not spoken to in some time to ask them for help, shortly after Halo confided to her that the girl she once was helped the killers of Geo-Force's parents gain entry to the Royal Palace.
It would not be surprising for fans of the original Outsiders comics if Dr. Jace turned out to still be in the employ of Bedlam or an agent of The Light or Apokolips. In the comics, Dr. Jace was eventually exposed as an agent of the alien Manhunters when she betrayed the Outsiders to them. It seems entirely likely she may serve a similar role in Young Justice: Outsiders, but precisely who she serves remains to be seen.