This Young Justice review contains spoilers.
Young Justice Season 3 Episode 5
So far, Young Justice: Outsiders has wasted no time reminding us of how good the show is in every way. The writing is top shelf, the animation is excellent, and every episode, a different voice actor gives us an exceptional performance. In the first episode, it was Khary Payton. Last episode, Zehra Fazal (Halo) shone. And in “Away Mission,” Jason Spisak returns as something completely different.
When we talked to the folks behind Young Justice: Outsidersabout this season, they made a point of bringing up that Spisak was giving one of their favorite performances of the show, and it’s not hard to figure out why this episode. He was the voice of Wally West for the first two seasons. He was in many ways the heart and soul of the team, reflected in his voice acting. Season 1 Wally was funny, but also a tryhard and a little bit of a turd and a pig who grew into a leadership role. Season 2 Wally was happy and content with his place in the world before he sacrificed his life to save the world. Season 3, Spisak is voicing Forager, a New Genesis bug who could not be more different than Wally West.
Forager is part of the same tribe of New Genesis bugs as Mantis, which is a new development for a character I mostly knew from getting his ass kicked by Captain Atom and Superman in “Question Authority.” Something pretending to be Orion has been harshing the bugs’ mellows, and Bear wants to prove that it’s not the real Orion doing it, so he boom tubes to Earth to get Connor to help him. Connor is busy dealing with Dick and the Markovians, so he sends Miss Martian and a crew from The Team to New Genesis to investigate. That’s where we meet Forager and the surprise villain of the episode: M’gann’s brother, Ma’alefa’ak.
At the same time, Conor stays behind to help Brion and Halo learn about their powers in Happy Harbor. Halo finds a new aura that lets her shoot energy blasts and Brion has no control, but he decides to stick with this crew when Dick promises to help find his sister.
Miss Martian psychically battles her brother while The Team plus Forager and Bear battle two teenage metas that Ma’alefa’ak brought with him. Forager’s hive kicks him out, and the alien sadness in his voice is deeply heartbreaking and another example of Spisak’s quality as a voice actor. But when he gets back, the Outsiders are up a member and we’ve got a classic actor back in the fold. This episode was excellent.
Outsider Trading Tips
– Anybody else wonder why the apparently expansive Martian civilization isn’t a bigger deal on Earth? White Martians are oppressed by Greens and…Reds? Reds are new to me (and probably all of you, since I think they only showed up in a Young Justice comic).
– Regardless, there’s a lot of sneaky Miss Martian development this episode. She’s trying to push her brother away from The Light’s way of dealing with problems (overwhelming force and “giving voice to righteous anger”). To do that, she shows him about her decision to choose love, and we get flashes from The Team’s history. But what she shows her brother is almost entirely from the first season of the show. Nightwing in particular is still very much Robin in her headspace. That’s an interesting choice, but it makes perfect sense: she’s traumatized from her brush with darkness in Season 2, when she accidentally wrecked Aqualad’s mind before she realized he was a plant (something that’s referenced obliquely with Conor explaining why she won’t dive into Halo’s mind).
– Ma’alefa’ak isn’t his real name. He’s actually M’comm M’orzz. Ma’alefa’ak is, on Earth 16, a dangerous Martian creature of some sort. In the comics, he was created by John Ostrander as J’onn’s evil twin brother.
– When Miss Martian puts out the call for the mission, Traci Thirteen and Impulse are hanging out with Blue Beetle in El Paso, and Bart picks up the phone with a “Hello, Megan!” from season 1.
– Snapper once accidentally let the Joker in Mount Justice, confirming that YJ Snapper also once was the Justice League’s teen sidekick like he was in the 1960s when he was created by Gardner Fox.
– PS if Snapper’s “My fruit trees!” turns into Young Justice: Outsiders‘ “My Cabbages!” I’ll be very happy.
– Next episode: so many Robins. Sooooo many.
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