A continuation of the second season; the team faces the difficulty of meta-human trafficking and a new intergalactic threat.
Remember when you first watched Young Justice? All your hopes and dreams for what the should could grow to be in the future. Then the heartbreak of hearing that the show had been cancelled.
Well now it’s back and has the freedom of being a DC Universe exclusive show. This newfound freedom allows episodes like “Princes All” to veer towards more adult territory but without entirely foresaking what made the show great to begin with.
A short scene overlapping with the previous season quickly catches us up with the status quo of Outsiders. It’s a clever idea and helps tie up a couple of loose ends from Invasion’s storyline.
Jumping ahead to two years later we’re introduced to our brand new storyline: meta human trafficking. It’s a little more grown up than what we’ve seen before but it fits the tone of this edgier version of the show.
Jumping ahead allows the writers and producers to age the characters up a little. As they did between seasons 1 and 2. It keeps the show fresh for all involved and once gain it works well for the story.
The core characters are still hurting following the death of Wally/Kid Flash and we get a few moments to see how it has effected each of them.
There are some exciting developments between Superboy and Miss Martian which will please long time fans. Likewise it seems Artemis is slowly beginning to move on from her tragic loss.
There are hints that sometime between seasons 2 and 3 the events of The Killing Joke have taken place. Batgirl is seen during the opening flashback in costume. Following the time jump Nightwing regularly interacts with someone named Oracle who we can safely assume is Babs.
I hope this is addressed later in the season.
All of the story beats in “Princes All” serves a specific purpose: to remind the audience that Young Justice has grown up, much like its audience. But that’s not to say that Nightwing is suddenly going to drop an f-bomb in a Titans style.
What producers Sam Register, Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti have done is just push the envelope on pre-existing aspects of the show. For instance fight scenes might now feature a little blood. If somebody is killed we might see more (or all) of the body.
It’s not just the visuals which have matured either. Early in this episode Black Lightning, confronted by a huge meta human creature, zaps it with his powers only for the creature to drop down dead.
Upon analysis its discovered the creature is in fact a 14 year-old girl glimpsed earlier in the episode. Her metahuman genes now activated. When it dawns on Black Lightning that he has, in a round about way, taken a human life the emotional impact ways on him hugely. That impact also resonates through the following two episodes.
Young Justice has never shied away from heavier subject matter than other DC Comics cartoons. It’s just that now it’s able to explore those subject matters in a more direct way and the show feels more human for it.
“Princes All” is really only a snippet of what Young Justice circa. 2019 has to show. It’s a re-pilot episode which ensures audiences know the show is back and means business.
“Princes All” marks a triumphant return for the much loved series. It recontextualises the whole show for a new (and returning) audience. It kicks off an exciting new chapter and shows the series flexing its new found streaming service muscles.
Young Justice stars Jesse McCartney, Nolan North, Stephanie Lemelin, Khary Payton, Zehra Fazal, Troy Baker and Jason Spisak. The series is directed by Christopher Berkeley and Mel Zwyer and producers by Sam Register, Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti.
The series premieres new episodes weekly via the DC Universe streaming service.