This Young Justice: Outsiders review contains spoilers.
Young Justice Outsiders Episode 14
After dropping a pretty crappy episode on us before the break, Young Justice: Outsiders returns with the same efficient, elegant storytelling that makes the show so great with its first episode in six months. The second half of the season starts out by reminding us of everything we love about the show: a totally integrated, effective mythology; solid, developed, distinct characters that are all actually growing and changing; and comic references flying through awesome fight scenes.
The first half of the season ended on a couple of breakthroughs on the metahuman trafficking problem. In the second to last episode, the team (through Beast Boy) discovers that the Goode Goggles are brainwashing kids into turning themselves into meta slaves for the black market. And in the last one, the team liberated a bunch of them and set them up with El Dorado, Static, Blue Beetle and the rest of the Super Friends in Taos. Included in the liberated teens was Brion’s sister Terra, who joined up with her brother’s team as a double agent for Deathstroke.
This episode picks up the story by following three tracks. The first follows the team: Tigress, Nightwing and Superboy give them a speech about what they’d be getting themselves into by joining the fight, and they decide what to do moving forward. Cyborg decides to sit out, while Geoforce, Forager, Terra, and Halo decide they’re in, so Superboy plugs them into Miss Martian’s operation. There, Halo expresses some resistance to being labeled as a girl – she’s a living Motherbox, but “Motherbox” is a translation that ascribes gender when none was there in the original language. So she goes with neither, and Brion is welcoming to it.
The second track is the public relations one: Granny “Goode” is pushing back against the discovery of her goggles being tools of a trafficking ring, so she put all the blame on the guy Not-Spider-Man killed in episode 6. The bad guys are predictably slippery and it’s frustrating to watch such obvious monsters in positions of power getting away with actual murder (HA HA THANK GOD THERE ARE NO REAL WORLD PARALLELS THERE HA HA).
The third track is where the action is. A good hunk of the Justice League is off in space tracking metahuman sightings and thefts across the galaxy. Superman, Wonder Woman, the Hawk people and Guy Gardner track an ion trail leading away from an Nth Metal heist on Thanagar to an asteroid base that is full of kidnapped meta teens and a few surprise guests: Granny Goodness, Desaad and the Female Furies. There’s a big fight and a lot of boom tubes blasting around, and the bad guys get away before there can be any resolution, but this episode gives us the clearest glimpse yet of the shape of the biggest problem.
“Influence” is a fine episode of Young Justice.And not “fine” in the sense that it’s adequate – “fine” in that it is an outstanding example of what this show is capable of when everything lands right. It’s a ton of fun and a great way to get excited about the second half of the season.
OUTSIDER TRADING TIPS
– GUY GARDNER! The Green Lantern flying with the League is the third Earth lantern and intergalactically renowned dick, Guy Gardner. He was first introduced in 1968 by John Broome and Gil Kane and eventually became a parody of the ugly American stereotype, which is exactly what we get on screen here. Except for the Boston accent. That’s new. He sounds like he found his ring in the Gillette Stadium parking lot when he woke up there on a Monday morning. I’m surprisingly okay with that.
Seriously, they straight up nail Guy here. He’s obnoxious and lewd and he has a sleeveless Green Lantern outfit, but he’s also creative and reliable and pretty funny, to be honest.
– G. Gordon Godfrey’s first bit is pretty hilarious. It’s a cutaway from a cutaway from a cutaway – Aquaman (nee Aqualad) is talking at a press conference, diming out Goode Goggles to the public. That pulls back to show Luthor talking smack about the League at the UN and their inability to effectively function. That pulls back to Godfrey’s show, where he’s giving Lex Luthor hell. This was a solid burn on cable news and their insistence on crawling up their own asses.
– The Female Furies were a Jack Kirby creation as part of his Fourth World. The team first appeared in 1972 in Mister Miracle. They’re Granny Goodness’s enforcers, a role they’re playing here. By the time we first meet them in the comics, Barda has left the team to be with her love, Mister Miracle, and she’s on the run from Bernadeth, Lashina (who we also meet in this episode), Mad Harriet and Stompa. Later on, a woman who can cut things with her hands but also uses swords joins the team – Guilotina, the blonde fury who fights with Barda and Lashina here. I have to assume Superman saving Barda is going to be the inspiration for her eventually turning good. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out like in the comics…