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Young Justice: Outsiders - Everything We Know About Season 3

Young Justice ranks among the best animated superhero shows. What started as a simple series about a team of young sidekicks like Robin and Kid Flash beautifully transformed into a vast, immersive portrait of the DC Universe with a special focus on the younger generation of heroes. The show handles costumed intrigue and coming-of-age drama with equal poise and grace. 

Unfortunately, it came to what many perceived as a premature end after its second season, leaving the story on a massive cliffhanger. But years of outspoken fan support — and the rise of streaming platforms offering new delivery mechanisms for niche programming — provided a means for the show to come back, and after over five years, it's finally making its return with a third season titled Young Justice: Outsiders. While information on what this long-awaited revival will entail is still pretty scarce, here's everything we know about the new season so far. 

Another time jump

Young Justice grew into a very good show by the end of its first season, but it's the second season that really sees things kick into overdrive. It all starts a few minutes into the season 2 premiere, when we find out that everything we're seeing is taking place five years after the season one finale. This jump forward created a wealth of storytelling opportunities the show's creators capitalized on in various ways, filling the first few episodes with a number of noticeable differences in character relationships and team lineup changes and allegiances and then taking its time filling viewers in on what transpired in those five unseen years to create this new status quo. Appropriately, it looks like the show will be pulling an old trick to start season 3 off properly. 

We'll be getting yet another time jump, albeit one of a currently unknown length. It makes sense. By the time Young Justice: Outsiders premieres, it will have been nearly six years since the show initially ended. A time jump makes those years feel like an organic part of the show and allows the showrunners to rebuild the story from the ground up, adding new team members and new nuances to previously established characters. It's an excellent creative decision, and we can't wait to see where it takes the team.

A new Kid Flash in town

Young Justice, at its core, has always been about the concept of legacy in the DC universe. It's about sidekicks growing up, coming into their own as heroes, and effectively being groomed to one day take over the mantle of their mentors. On the other hand, sometimes it tackles the idea that these heroes grow up and forge their own path or give up their careers as superheroes altogether. For example, rather than go on to take up the mantle of Batman, original Robin Dick Grayson sets out on his own, calling himself Nightwing. On the other hand, when season 2 picks up five years after season 1, Wally West (otherwise known as Kid Flash) has gone into superhero retirement, instead enrolling in college and living with his girlfriend Artemis. It only makes sense that this type of storytelling would carry over into Young Justice: Outsiders, especially with the mantle of Kid Flash now vacant.

In the wake of Wally's apparent death at the end of season 2, it looks like Bart Allen, the time-traveling grandson of the Flash, has taken over as Kid Flash. It's a great storytelling decision and one that makes perfect sense. Whether or not Wally will be working in tandem with his grandfather is still yet to be seen, but for now we're glad to see he's paying homage to his fallen Flash comrade and doing his best to grow as a kid hero. We just hope he hasn't outgrown his youthful goofiness.

A focus on meta-human trafficking

One of the standout facets of Young Justice is its focus on long-term storytelling, with individual seasons revolving around large plots and conspiracies that connected each villain-of-the-week episode into something greater. We know very little about what Young Justice: Outsiders is going to center on, but we have a small hint about what the teams will be facing.

The official synopsis of the show says season 3 is going to involve meta-human trafficking and a galactic arms race. This does admittedly sound slightly similar to season 2 of the show, in which the Invasion storyline saw meta-human kids being kidnapped and trafficked by an alien force. It seems highly unlikely that the stories are going to be identical, though — plus, this one has the added bonus of a genetic arms race between intergalactic forces, which is something we've decisively not seen on the show so far. It remains to be seen if the New Gods of Apokolips, who made their official debut in the season 2 finale, will be involved. We certainly wouldn't put meta-human trafficking past Darkseid, after all.

In for a (Static) shock

It wouldn't be a new season of a superhero TV show without a couple of new heroes joining the team. Season 2 saw a multitude of new additions to the crew, including a new Robin in Tim Drake as well as Blue Beetle and Lagoon Boy, among others. While it looks like Young Justice: Outsiders will feature characters that have never appeared in the series before, it will also feature some previously appearing characters who have been upgraded to full-fledged team members.

Among others, we'll be seeing the incredibly awesome Static joining up. The character was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III, and artist John Paul Leon as part of the Milestone imprint of DC Comics, and became especially popular as the star of the animated television series Static Shock in the early 2000s. Static first appears in Young Justice during season 2, and eventually fights alongside the team. It looks like he made a good impression, because come season 3, he's going to be working with them full-time. It's always awesome to see Static in the DC Universe, and we can't think of a better platform than Young Justice: Outsiders to introduce him to a new generation.

The original team isn't going anywhere

It's very easy for a superhero show to lose focus on its core cast as the team it centers on expands over the course of its run. Natural growth in team size over season 1 combined with the five-year flash forward in season 2 saw a plethora of young heroes join the team, either permanently or for limited engagements. With even more new recruits showing up in season 3, it's very easy to be concerned about the shifting place of the original team lineup in the story. Fortunately, it's been confirmed that fans of those characters have nothing to worry about.

Almost all of the original lineup will be returning for Young Justice: Outsiders, with their original voice actors coming back as well. Kid Flash is still presumed dead (we say presumed because this is a superhero show, and death is hardly permanent) in the wake of the final battle in season 2, and Miss Martian is mysteriously missing from the announced roster. Otherwise it looks like Superboy, Aqualad, Nightwing, and Artemis will all be on the show. While we love seeing new characters grow over the course of a series, there's something very special about that original team's dynamic and we're incredibly excited to see their return alongside the new cast.

Grown-up characters, grown-up stories

Making a superhero show that appeals equally to kids and adults is tough. Skew too hard one way and you end up with the explicitly not-for-kids Arrow. Skew too hard in the other and you end up with Teen Titans Go!a great kids' show but not exactly intellectually stimulating stuff. Occasionally, shows find that middle ground perfectly, and Young Justice is a great example. It balances all-ages content with thoughtful, engaging stories that never sacrifice approachability but never pander either. While we're confident the new series will have that balance, the showrunners are on the record as saying some tonal changes are coming.

Young Justice: Outsiders will be slightly more adult in its perspective. Were this any other show, that could be cause for panic; fortunately, Young Justice isn't just any show, and the showrunners have explained that it's just so they can keep up with their now-adult protagonists. We meet them as teenagers, and season 2 features them in their late teens and early twenties. With another time jump in store we're going to be seeing even older versions of these characters, and with that age, we suspect we'll be getting more age-appropriate storylines. When the showrunners say the show will be more adult, we're thinking they mean more stories like season 2's portrait of Wally and Artemis living together and attending college, not ones that amp up the violence.

Where to watch

Who doesn't have a streaming service these days? Between your standards like Netflix and Hulu, channel-exclusive platforms like HBO Go, and specialty services like Shudder and Boomerang, there's almost too many to choose from. With yet another on the way from Disney, it's opening up a multitude of new avenues to get shows in front of an audience. Considering the wealth of characters and stories available from DC Entertainment for original material (and their extensive archive of live-action and animated series), it's no surprise that they're getting involved with their own streaming service.

DC's streaming service has been in the works for quite some time. It's going to contain the best of both worlds, featuring classics and exclusive original material like Young Justice: Outsiders, which will only be available on the streaming platform. It will be debuting, appropriately, alongside Titans, another show about DC's younger heroes. We still know very little about the service — it doesn't even have a name yet — but with Young Justice: Outsiders set to debut in late 2018, it's safe to say we can expect some news soon.

Spoiler alert

Young Justice has been especially good about incorporating a wide array of DC characters, from widely-known ones like Blue Beetle to deeper dives like Tempest and Lagoon Boy. While fan service is never a top priority (which is very much a good thing), it's peppered throughout the series at appropriate times. For instance, after being teased at the end of season 2, it's now confirmed that a longtime fan favorite character from the Batman family is going to be joining the team in Young Justice: Outsiders.

Stephanie Brown (who's had brief runs as Robin and Batgirl in the comics) first appeared in the season 2 finale, but much like Static, it looks like she's sticking around for season 3. This time she'll be appearing under her more traditional mask of Spoiler, a mantle she took up in the comics after apparently dying while serving as Robin (comics can get pretty crazy). It's yet to be determined whether this version of Steph has a past as a Robin or Batgirl, but for now, fans are sure to be excited enough just to have her around to begin with. 

Queen Bee still reigns

We've talked so much about the strengths of the show's cast of young heroes that we've failed to mention how great the villains of Young Justice are. Between comics and television mainstays like Vandal Savage and lesser-known gems like Psimon, the show has done a great job of creating a credible slew of threats to our heroes that are sometimes just as fascinating as the protagonists. While we still don't know who Young Justice: Outsiders' primary antagonists will be, we know one sinister figure that will be making their return.

Queen Bee has been a thorn in the crew's side since early in season 1. She serves as the dictator of the fictional nation of Bialya, using her powers of suggestion over men to accomplish a multitude of atrocities over the course of the show. Bee also blackmails Miss Martian and kills Beast Boy's mother. She's an excellent villain, one that feels central to the show and the ongoing arcs of many of the protagonists. It's been confirmed by voice actor Marina Sirtis that she'll be returning in season 3. We don't know which capacity she'll be returning in, but it's safe to say that whatever it is, it won't be good news for the team.

Old team, new tricks

While we know the original team is going to be returning for Young Justice: Outsiders, we don't know exactly what they'll be up to. In keeping with the tradition of young heroes growing and progressing as they age, we've gleaned from character sheets that none of the original members are actually going to be a part of the team anymore — it would appear they've formed a team of their own, one unlike anything we've seen on the show so far.

Early character designs show the original team in all-black outfits, a stark departure from their traditional superhero costumes. While we've seen the team don stealth suits before, those were derived from their original outfits. What we have here instead is what appears to be a sort of black-ops getup. With the original members having grown out of the team but not joined the Justice League yet, it looks like we'll be seeing them on some sort of undercover squad. Maybe they'll be serving the government or working at the behest of the Justice League. We can't say for sure, but it's worth noting that the season's subtitle, Outsiders, is a term DC fans may be familiar with. What seems like as broad a moniker as Invasion was for season 2 may actually be a reference to something more specific.