Animé and Toons
Young Justice Outsider
By Hervé St-Louis
September 20, 2020 - 22:58
Studios: Warner Bros. Animation
Writer(s): Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti
Starring: Stephanie Lemelin, Danica McKellar, Nolan North, Jesse McCartney, Khary Payton, Jason Spisak, Zehra Fazal, Troy Baker, Greg Cipes, Zeno Robinson, Tara Strong
Directed by: Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti
Produced by: Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti
Distributors: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Young Justice Outsider is the long awaited third season of the popular Warner cartoon series featuring the sidekicks of the Justice League, DC Comics’ premier superhero team. The series started in 2010 and quickly became a fan favourite seen as the best interpretation of the characters related to the Teen Titans and the justice League since the 2000s’ Justice League cartoon series. The other Titans series running at the time was more for kids and for laughs. Int his season, we follow the popular team of young heroes as they battle the ever-present Light, a group of leading super villains. As the League suffered a breakup in its membership, due to disagreements on how to counter their opponents, new heroes from across the universe join as a team of Outsiders trying to fight the Light and its quest to harvest human kids into meta-humans.
The results viewers got from Young Justice Outsiders must have disappointed many, as so many members were included in this new season. The core heroes from season one and two have aged and are now mentoring new generations of potential heroes. The threat of the Light and its pact with Darkseid continues to intrigue but Greg Weisman may have attempted to cover too much ground in this season. There are two teams. One is with the titular Outsider characters inspired from the actual Outsiders from the comics – Black Lightning, Geo Force, and Halo. Others are from the offshoot of the Justice League led by Beast Boy who rebel once again and try to prove their worth one their own merit.
The two plots do not mix well, and it produced a team with too many plot points and characters to follow. It seems that Weisman is so afraid of having Young Justice cancelled again that he tries to introduce as many characters from the DC Universe as possible. It is a mess. The structure of the season gives us many arcs, including one more go around with Miss Martian and Superboy doubting their relationship. That plot needs to retire. We have seen it in season one and two. It was unnecessary in season three.
The plot with Beast Boy, Static, Blue Beetle and the other Young Justice rejects felt like a rehash of season two where many of them were victims of teen meta human trafficking. I was not impressed with the Granny Goodness story very much. I like the character, but everything was complicated and detracted from the original Outsider characters whose own story was a soap opera. I like that I dislike Geo Force. He should not be likable. I enjoy how Halo was redesigned for 2021 as a Muslim girl. I did not like Forager. He is annoying and became a third wheel to the rest of the Outsiders. I kept asking myself if as a giant bug, he stinks. How can a giant naked bug not stink? And why does he have mammals if he’s a bug?
Of course, there were great moments such as Private Security where Dick Grayson, Roy Harper and his clones played security deliverymen. The plots surrounding Roy Harper continue to astound me. How many clones can one man have? There was also the Doom Patrol skit which was very funny because it borrowed so much from Teen titans Go.
This series had a lot of setups for future seasons with Red Hood being hinted at as well as some unethical twists from Bumblebee. This series gives female characters a lot of space. It also tries to be the most inclusive as possible which might explain its popularity with non-straight white males. Speaking of that, there was a revelation made abut one character’s sexuality that was unexpected. I am not against the change, but it had never been hinted at since 2010 and was just introduced within one episode.
The animation in this season was not as fluid and crisp as former seasons. There is still a lot of reliance on 3D animation which I continue to argue is not as well integrated with the 2D animation because it creates a clash with the flatter characters. As noted in the extras of the Blu-Ray, this season the background were also designed in a 3D application but the space was rendered and painted with 2D paint software. The background still look more realistic than the character. I wish Warner Animation would better make use of cel shading techniques when using 3D animation in traditional cartoons.
Young Justice Outsider is the weakest season of the popular cartoon show so far. Many characters from all corner of the DC universe are used here. There is not a secondary character that not come from the comics except for the Terror Twins. This is good in a way but it can lead to a bit of information overload and a situation where most characters can become meta-humans in future seasons. I’m hoping that a fourth season of Young Justice will come and that fans will not have to wait as long for its delivery. Of course, I recommend the Blu-Ray or DVD version of this, if you do not have access to streaming avenues. There are extras that one can watch.
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