This Young Justice: Outsiders review contains spoilers.
Young Justice Outsiders Episode 12
“Nightmare Monkeys” is Young Justiceat its best: a deep dive into a character and the show’s mythology. It’s also Young Justice: Outsiders at its best: a show that is doing a bunch of crazy shit that it would never get away with on broadcast or cable tv. If YJ was still on Cartoon Network, they would have been canceled the second the showrunners put the words “Doom Patrol GO!” on paper.
Beast Boy is a surprisingly integral character to Young Justice: Outsiders. He showed up late in the first season and wound up as Miss Martian’s semi-brother (it’s complicated) by the end of the episode. Then he came back as a semi-regular character in season two, developing his powers and being a solid all around character. And he’s been percolating in the background of Outsiders as a TV star recording PSAs about metahuman trafficking. He hasn’t been featured until this episode, but boy was it worth the wait, because we go deep on his life and his psyche.
The Goode Goggles are as sinister as we predicted. Gar puts a pair on, gets jabbed with a needle, hypnotized into ditching his date with Perdita for Encino, and then drops into a fugue state. He spends the fugue working through his various traumas (and there is a ton) by jumping into various TV shows – Space Trek 3016 where he meets up with all his dead former teammates; an episode of Hello, Megan! with his mom, Rita Farr and fake Shatner; and Doom Patrol GO! a straight rip of Teen Titans GO! down to the animation style and the voice actors. Literally. Scott Menville does his Robin voice as the Chief; Khary Payton is shouting Cyborg catch phrases as Robotman; Hynden Walch does her Starfire voice as Elastigirl; and Tara Strong’s Raven is Negative Woman. Three thoughts:
– Holy shit.
– Wow they nailed the character archetypes.
– Holy shit.
The last holy shit is because of the subject matter: apparently this is a rundown of Beast Boy’s time with the Doom Patrol, before Invasionstarted, when the entire team (minus Mento) was killed on a mission. Elastigirl had been caring for Gar after his mom passed, and now he’s got to deal with reliving the trauma of losing his second mom by pulling bits from the Deadpool of superhero sidekick tv shows.
I can’t really do it justice in the explanation. You have to watch it to see, but even if you only have a cursory knowledge of Teen Titans GO!(mine begins and ends at “it exists”), you will still be astounded at what Young Justice brought to air. It is a kid working through years of intense trauma while at the same time being a send-up of a very popular all-ages cartoon.
This craziness overshadows the other big revelation from the episode: Halo is a living Motherbox. Halo and Cyborg are back with the crew in Happy Harbor. Everyone’s getting an update on Halo’s new powers, and they get an up close experience with them as the Fatherbox tech takes over Victor’s body again to make him go crazy. Cyborg and Supercycle fight (because Supercycle is the Forever People’s car, as you’ll recall), and Halo gets her weird purple aura again as she sort of heals Victor. That helps everyone figure out what her real deal is – she’s a personified Motherbox, Gabrielle Daou actually died in Markovia, and this is a totally new person.
Eventually, Megan and Conor get called out to L.A. to help Beast Boy out of his fugue. He does, and the episode closes with everybody kissing. Not EVERYBODY, but Superboy and Megan, Gar and Perdita, and Brion and Violet all get nice kisses to end what was the most bananas thing I saw out of Young Justice so far this season.
Outsider Trading Tips
– I’m of two minds about the Doom Patrol thing really happening, or just being a hallucination and how Garfield is dealing with losing Rita. I started out thinking we were deep in unreliable narrator territory. Then I read Tales of the New Teen Titans #3 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez which tells Beast Boy’s comic book origin, and the page on the Doom Patrol is basically exactly this. So now I’m not so certain.
– Everybody in the Doom Patrol is basically as they appear here with a couple of minor exceptions. Mento is much less of a dick in the comics, and a dick in a much different way in the non-GO Teen Titans. And Negative Woman was only Negative Woman for a short time in the comics. Typically, the Doom Patrol has Larry Trainor, Negative Man. They also had Rebis, the intersex merging of Larry Trainor and Eleanor Poole, but that was only in Grant Morrison’s run.
– On the bridge of Space Trek3016 are Tula (Aqualad’s love); Jason Todd; Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle; and Wally West’s Kid Flash. Except for Wally, they all had monuments in Mount Justice before it was destroyed in Invasion.
– Gar is guided through his hallucinations by a vision of his pet monkey who claims at the end to be a “magical, mystical monkey god.” I think (but am not certain) that this is The Red. The Red is, in comics, the mystical power that connects all animal life on Earth. It’s accessed primarily by Animal Man, but also by Bwana Beast, Vixen, Black Orchid, Man Bats (Men Bat?) and others. It was first conceptualized by Morrison in his legendary run on Animal Man, and has been expanded uon by a ton of people since.
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