Young Justice: Outsiders “First Impression” Review

It’s not everyday that I will find myself this enthusiastic about new episodes of an animated series that isn’t anime. That is what has made Young Justice: Outsiders such an outstanding show from DC Entertainment, and the perfect lifeline for the DC Universe streaming service. It was also nice to see the show back and back to their usual format. Three episodes to start, and then single episodes for the following weeks up to the three episode finale in August.

The three episode midseason premiere was great for every opportunity they took to open us up to the new chapter in these heroes lives. Still facing the same obstacles, but with the addition of some heavy-hitting enemies to crank the dial. But above all, what stood out most was the direction that they seemed to want to take to shake things up for the younger team. Till this episode, they have been working behind the scenes and around the law that keeps the Justice League from doing their jobs. Though it was about time that someone dared to step back into the spotlight, and there was no better time than now. Especially when you have a young hero such as Beast Boy who gave us the impression that he was getting fed up with falling in line.

With that said, I enjoyed how from start to finish for this episode they wanted to tackle this idea that not all the heroes have to work from the shadows. They were quick to jump into the big conversation about this, and I’m glad that they chose the right heroes to speak up on this. What I admire about the writing for Beast Boy is how mature he is in this version. Still the jokester when he wants to be, but it never hurts throwing him into a position where he can lead, and be taken seriously. When you have this as the central focus for the episode, it made it that much better that they chose a familiar enemy like the Reach to challenge this newly formed team. The battle against the Reach was exciting, and took advantage of everyone’s skills. I wouldn’t say that the battle was memorable, but it was more the way that the situation was handled that grabs your attention more. When you think of a different kind of team, you want to actually show them doing what the others fail to do. Saving the little people, caring about the damage you can do to property, looking for smart alternatives to simply smashing. These things matter and create a more convincing conflict.

By the end of the episode, I couldn’t help appreciating the way that they dodged a number of cliches that you could easily run into with this plot. Considering the current landscape, there could have been plenty of push against the formation of the Outsiders. For all the ways that this conversation about forming the team could have gone, it was best that they allowed Beast Boy to soak in his moment. I mean, out of the four episodes so far? Beast Boy’s dialogue blew everyone else’s out of the water. I felt the heart and soul of being a superhero flowing through his words, and that was not the time to have others take the spotlight away from that. Another cliche was the public opinion that they handled perfectly. In today’s world, what you see with your own eyes matter. Having a phone out to capture a moment matters. Where you could have had that one guy who yells loudest, even when wrong, to turn everyone against the main characters, they avoided this. We need more who can be bold enough to fight the urge to create those cringeworthy scenes.

There was other small developments in this episode, but the choice was smart to leave those as small as possible when something more important was unfolding. As much as you want to see what the rest of the Justice League is up to, or anticipate when Tara’s time will come, having an episode to focus on one storyline made a big difference in satisfaction by the end of it.

Young Justice: Outsiders “First Impression” was worthy of applause. So far this is one of the strongest episodes of this second half of the season. The Outsiders got their chance to make a lasting first impression upon their debut to the world, and they genuinely captivated you through their message reminding the world what it means to be a superhero. Beast Boy’s word’s spoke volumes, the action spoke just as loud. This is what it looks like to be a superhero in the modern world.

Jideobi Odunze Author

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