Loyal fans of the popular YOUNG JUSTICE animated series were shocked by the show’s cancellation. The show’s combination of accessible DC lore and serious storytelling drew in a huge slew of fans. Imagine our joy, then, when DC finally renewed YOUNG JUSTICE for a third season. At a panel during San Diego Comic-Con, DC finally revealed more concrete information with their first trailer for YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS.

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What we have for you here is a breakdown of the major elements and characters of that trailer. In this way, you can be better informed (and so much more excited) when YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS finally releases on DC UNIVERSE later this year. Now, if you have not seen previous seasons, I will be discussing major spoilers from this series. Seriously, though, if you haven’t seen this series after all this time, you really need to catch up. It is incredible.

The Trailer: History and Intensity

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
Kid Flash and Blue Beetle, YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS. Courtesy of DC Entertainment

The first half of the YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS trailer retells the events of the series’ second season. Flashing back to Nightwing, Artemis and Aqualad’s mission to infiltrate the Light, we pay witness to the feigned death of Artemis and her subsequent battles to keep her identity hidden.

We also see the final battles between the Young Justice team and the invading alien Reach. These flashbacks finish up with the eventual reunion between Artemis and Kid Flash, as well as Wally West’s heroic sacrifice to stop the Reach. I believe these flashbacks have a major importance to the coming events of YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS. Thus, I will break them down further later.

As we finally delve into new territory, we see a world ravaged by new threats. The defeat of the Reach did not stop all crime. Young metahumans around the world are being kidnapped into a major metahuman trafficking ring. Nightwing has gathered together his closest allies into a secret black ops group to stop these kidnappings.

As the trailer continues, threats from all sides make appearances, including Apokolips, New Genesis, and the League of Shadows, to face Nightwing’s team as well as the original Young Justice crew. Meanwhile, on a smaller level, the country of Markovia is in chaos. Their princess, Tara Markov, has been kidnapped into this trafficking ring. Her brother, Brion, learns that he, like his sister, bears a metahuman gene. Choosing to take matters into his own hands, he seeks to activate this gene and take the fight to the traffickers.

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The Power Of The Flashback

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
YOUNG JUSTICE Season 1 Cast. Courtesy of DC Entertainment

It seems strange to start the YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS trailer with such a lengthy flashback. Nearly half of this trailer features cuts of old footage. While this may seem odd at first, I do think this was a good decision. On the one hand, YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS is a revival series.

It has been five years since the final episode of season two aired, and two years since the original series was removed from Netflix. That means we have had a lot of time to forget the events of the past series. Starting with the flashback helps remind us of the status quo. We can orient ourselves with previous events before setting out on this new adventure. However, I see another key aspect of this inclusion.

Most of the flashback clips come from YOUNG JUSTICE in season two, which focused heavily on a black ops operation run by Nightwing. The clips revolve around the strain and heartbreak that is put on Artemis and Kid Flash’s relationship as a result of these missions. With YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS looking to focus so heavily on this undercover work, this flashback might be hinting at the tone and themes of the coming season.

Perhaps Nightwing and his allies have to give up more than just their free time to stop these crimes. Maybe they have to lose out on their relationships too. The dark atmosphere throughout the trailer seems to support this aspect. Also, noted family superhero Black Lightning will play a major role on the Outsiders team. Will we see his family fall apart?

The Outsiders: Superhero Covert Operations

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS Promo Poster. Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Little has been known about the team makeup of the black ops team in YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS. Even when a poster was released a few months back, there was a great deal of confusion about which characters made appearances. This trailer does very little to assuage that confusion.

We do know that the team doesn’t begin with as many members as the poster suggests. In fact, it seems to be a small operation consisting solely of Nightwing’s closest allies and Black Lightning. Superboy, Artemis, and Black Lightning, each donning new masks, and costumes, are seen several times dealing with the trafficking operations. We did learn that the green-clad character is, in fact, Geoforce, aka Brion Markov.

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Other than that, though, most of the other Outsiders’ appearances are brief or uncertain. Metamorpho, believed to make a key appearance, does make an appearance fighting alongside Katana. However, while they both appear in the poster above, we do not know what role they will play. Also, Batman does make an appearance in this trailer.

Considering one iteration of the comic book Outsiders team includes Batman, Katana, Metamorpho, and Black Lightning, it would stand to reason that he may be running things from the shadows. We do not know for sure, as we do not know the identities of the two remaining team members yet. The yellow clothed woman, rumored to be one of Black Lightning’s superpowered daughters, doesn’t necessarily make an appearance.

A similarly dressed woman wearing purple, though, does. Could both sisters possibly be joining their father’s cause?

New Genesis Vs. Apokolips: The Battle of the Bugs?

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
The Forever People, YOUNG JUSTICE Season 1. Courtesy of DC Entertainment

One of the major cliffhangers of YOUNG JUSTICE season 2 came from the stars themselves. Vandal Savage, after taking control of Mongul’s Warworld, travels to Apokolips to set up plans with Darkseid. Apparently, YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS looks to continue this plot point. While Darkseid and Vandal Savage only make appearances in the flashback sequences, other key members of Jack Kirby’s New God lore do appear. At one point, Orion of the New Gods moves an apparent war force forth. We also see Bear from previous seasons of the show, as well as members of the Apokolips tech smugglers Intergang.

Probably the most interesting new information comes from the mysterious final member of the above Outsiders poster. The red beetle like character was largely a mystery for many months now. Internet rumors placed him potentially as Forager, a Jack Kirby creation. This trailer would seem to confirm that. Not only is this character seen with other members of the New Gods.

He is standing in front of a New Genesis Boom Tube teleporter with Bear at one point. He is also seen alongside a number of other bug-like characters. Considering the New Genesis connections, this would seem to tie to the Bugs of New Genesis. An entire subculture within the New Gods, these bugs elect Foragers to work with New Genesis against Apokolips. This red beetle has a very similar appearance to the latest iteration of the character, and this other evidence seems to confirm that theory.

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Keeping Up with the Markovians

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
NEW TEEN TITANS #28, First Appearance of Tara Markov. Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Sitting at the center of the metahuman trafficking aspect of this story is the Markovian royal family. As mentioned earlier, their youngest daughter, Tara Markov, has seemingly been taken into the trafficking ring. Considering that Deathstroke makes an appearance in this trailer, we may see a “Judas Contract” retelling. This story has had two animated retellings, but in the darker universe of YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS, this story could have some great potential.

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
Brion Markov, aka Geoforce, Courtesy of DC Entertainment

The greater takeaway, though, comes from the less famous brother Brion. Geoforce owns the screen for most of the YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS  trailer. YOUNG JUSTICE has a knack for taking large, superhero team-up stories and making them personal. The entire Reach arc in the previous season focused intently on the life of Jaime Reyes, the Blue Beetle. This personal aspect has always set YOUNG JUSTICE apart.

Despite its huge event storytelling, the pinpoint focus on individuals has developed some of television’s greatest characters. Delving explicitly into Brion Markov’s point of view could help this story stretch past its superhero side. By dealing with his real-world hurt over the loss of his sister, the tensions surrounding this trafficking arc will immediately rise.

Multitudes of Villains

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
Members of the Light, YOUNG JUSTICE Season 2. Courtesy of DC Entertainment

I will say it. The YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS trailer is absolutely brilliant. Why? In its own subtle way, it manages to open up a mystery. We understand the underlying story arcs at play. We know about the New Genesis connection and the metahuman trafficking issues.

However, the true brilliance of this trailer comes from the way it introduces the many villains. Most are returning characters. Lobo, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, the League of Shadows, Blockbuster, and more make major appearances. This may seem like hints toward smaller, episode-by-episode story arcs. However, I think it spreads much deeper.

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We understand the basic arc of this season, but we don’t know who is behind the operation. By opening up this trailer in this way, showcasing all of these villains, we understand that this threat can come from any angle. The creators are displaying the stakes right off the bat.

They already want the internet clamoring with rumors about the source of this new villainy. In many ways, this is an incredible way to honor the previous seasons. Both seasons of YOUNG JUSTICE threw in a number of major twists with the villains and story arcs. This trailer in itself mirrors this tradition and opens the door for a number of possible storylines.

YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS: Coming Soon?!

The YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS trailer doesn’t provide a release date. All we get is a highly unsatisfying “Coming Soon To DC UNIVERSE” logo at the end. Despite this, this trailer got the hype train rolling. The creators were unafraid to explore new and important characters and concepts.

I am truly glad to see that this new season looks to be holding true to the precedents set by the original series. The focus on personalized storytelling with Brion Markov and the grand scale battles of the New Genesis elements each honor these traditions. Needless to say, I cannot wait for this series to release. I would have preferred to be able to count down the days with a set release day. However, we have already waited five years.

What is another couple of months?

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