Young Justice: Outsiders – 14 Big Questions From Episodes 7-9
The latest episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders did much to explain the secrets of various characters, yet still left viewers with more questions than answers. The latest grouping of three episodes told three unique stories, continuing the trend started by last week's new releases. Yet the new trio of episodes also pushed the greater storyline of the season so far forward in unexpected directions.
The seventh episode, "Evolution", offered a look back at the life of the immortal conqueror Vandal Savage, teaching us of Vandal's secret role as Earth's defender from alien invaders even as he faced a new threat from beyond the stars that the Justice League was unaware of. The eighth episode, "Triptych", told three seemingly unconnected stories involving the Outsiders, the Justice League members on Earth and the unnamed team of teen vigilantes overseen by Robin. The ninth episode "Home Fires", saw the Outsiders attacked by the intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo, as an unseen enemy targeted a play-date arranged for all the young children of the Justice League's members.
These episodes continued to primarily focus upon the Outsiders, but we did gain new insight into just what Batman and the Justice League have been doing since the season premiere. We also learned something of the new members of The Light and just what the New Gods of Apokolips are planning for Earth. Here are all the questions we have after watching the most recent episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders.
- This Page: Vandal Savage's Kids, Fire, Appellaxia, and Rutabaga
- Page 2: The Anti-Life Equation, Star Creatures, Miguel Ferrer, and Halo's Powers
- Page 3: League of Shadows, The Metahuman Fail-Safe, Simon Stagg, Lobo, and Gretchen Goode
14. Who Is Cassandra Savage?
Much of Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7 is told through the eyes of Cassandra - a daughter of Vandal Savage, who has just come of age and been entrusted with a biography detailing her father's long life. As the episode unfolds, we learn (along with Cassandra) of how Vandal has lived many lives under many names, being remembered by history both as the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan and the Babylonian God Marduk. At the end of the episode, Cassandra assumes a new position as her father's most trusted lieutenant.
While Vandal Savage has had many children over the years, few of them have been chronicled in the comics or other media. Cassandra Savage is one of the more recent creations, having been created for the first season of Legends of Tomorrow, where she appeared in the episode "Leviathan" as one of Vandal Savage's generals in the year 2166. Curiously, the animation model for Cassandra in Young Justice: Outsiders resembles Scandal Savage - a daughter of Vandal Savage from the comic book series Secret Six, who rebelled against her father after he tried to forcibly marry her off.
13. How many children has Vandal Savage had?
Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7 speaks of Vandal Savage having had several children over the years, including the woman remembered as the Babylonian goddess Ishtar and Nabu - the Lord of Order whose spirit empowers the Helm of Dr. Fate. It is unknown precisely how many offspring Vandal Savage may have sired, but given that he was Genghis Khan in the reality of Young Justice: Outsiders the number could well be countless. Real world genetics scientists have discovered a Y-chromosome lineage which suggests that 1 out of every 200 men alive today is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, who was said to have had hundreds of children during his life.
12. Who Is Fire?
Episode 7 sees Violet, Forager and Prince Brion being presented with their first superhero costumes. Prince Brion is told that his costume was specially designed by the Justice League member Fire, so that he wouldn't have to worry about it burning up whenever he used his earth-bending powers to create lava. While we have not seen her on-screen in Young Justice: Outsiders yet, Fire (aka Beatriz da Costa) is a longtime member of the Justice League in the comics. A frequent partner of Tora "Ice" Olafsdotter (who we did see in the Season 3 premiere), da Costa was a Brazilian secret agent, who gained the power to generate green fire around her body after being caught in an explosion. She utilized the codenames Green Fury and Green Flame as a member of the international Global Guardians superhero team, before joining the Justice League as Fire.
11. What is Appellaxia?
While discussing a mysterious fleet of ships approaching Earth in Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7, Lex Luthor asks Vandal Savage if he can get the Justice League members currently off-planet to deal with the problem. Savage replies that he's arranged for those heroes to be distracted by a problem on the planet Appellaxia. This was the alien world whose energy-based inhabitants were responsible for creating the Justice League, having taken possession of several specially-constructed physical forms in order to invade the Earth. The original founders of the Justice League joined forces to repel the invasion and, realizing the wisdom of working together, elected to remain teamed-up in a formal capacity. The Appellaxians were seen previously in Young Justice: Invasion, where their host bodies were on display in the museum inside the Hall of Justice.
10. What Is Project Rutabaga?
As they continue discussing the fleet of potential alien invaders approaching Earth, Lex Luthor asks if Klarion The Witch Boy can deal with it. Savage sighs and replies with a single word, "Project," before Luthor finishes the thought with "Rutabaga" and chuckles, saying he had forgotten about that. We see Klarion two episodes later in "Home Fires" among the rest of the leadership of The Light but nothing more is said about this Project Rutabaga. So what is it?
9. What Is The Anti-Life Equation?
The flashback recalling Vandal Savage's life story in Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7 reveals how he first made contact with the galactic tyrant Darkseid and formed an alliance. Savage believed he and his metahuman sons impressed Darkseid with their fighting spirit. The truth, however, was that Darkseid spared Savage and his people after his torturer, Desaad, suggested Earth's metahumans might be "sturdy stock for the Anti-Life Equation."
Created by Jack Kirby as part of his Fourth World, the exact nature of The Anti-Life Equation has been kept largely vague, with different writers offering their own interpretations. It is said to be a mathematical formula, written into the very code of the universe, which once interpreted could allow those who knew it to obliterate all free-will in the universe. The logic is that without free will, a sentient being cannot truly be said to live. It was Darkseid's mission in the comics to find the equation and use it to take over the universe and presumably this is the ultimate goal of the Young Justice: Outsiders incarnation of Darkseid as well.
8. What is "The Star Creature"?
The flashbacks in Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7 detailing Vandal Savage's life go on to depict his battles in ancient Babylon with a menace known only as "The Star Creature" - a being of unknown origin, who dominated the wills of the people of Babylon by placing star-shaped creatures upon their faces. The Star Creature is also revealed to be the source of the armada approaching Earth. It is later defeated by Vandal Savage, who attacks the creature's primary ship personally while Cassandra Savage pilots Warworld against its fleet.
Though not identified by name, comic readers will instantly recognize the star creature as Starro The Conqueror. A telepathic alien starfish who sought to take over the universe, Starro was the first monster the Justice League fought chronologically, being introduced in the team's first appearance in Brave and the Bold #28. A frozen Starro drone also lay at the center of Young Justice's first season, inspiring the technology The Light attempted to use to take over the minds of the Justice League.
7. Who Was Miguel Ferrer?
Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7 ends with a bit of wisdom from Vandal Savage - "Life should not be wasted while it may yet be controlled to serve a greater purpose." These words then fade to a dedication to actor Miguel Ferrer, who died of throat cancer in 2017. A prolific film and television actor, Ferrer provided the voice for Vandal Savage during the first two seasons of Young Justice. It seems fitting then that this episode, which detailed the life of one of his most beloved roles, should be dedicated to Ferrer's memory.
Related: Miguel Ferrer Passes Away at 61
6. How have Halo’s powers evolved?
Halo's impressive list of light-based powers continued to expand in the latest batch of episodes. "Evolution" saw Halo cast a green aura for the first time, which gives her the ability to conjure up holographic illusions. One episode later in "Triptych," Halo was able to generate a bright blue-white light that was able to drive back the shadows conjured by the villain Shade and seemingly hurt the darkness-manipulating villain. Halo's glow when she did this seemed more white than blue, however, so it remains unclear if this is her "blue" aura power or not.
5. Who is running the League of Shadows?
In episode 8, Artemis confronts her sister, Cheshire, with the same question she asked Ra's Al Ghul two episodes earlier in "Rescue Op" - Who is running the League of Shadows? Cheshire claims to have no idea who is leading the world's most infamous assassins now and says she holds no sense of loyalty to them. She does give Artemis one useful piece of information - they are now operating out of the island nation of Santa Prisca. Comics readers will instantly recognize this as the birthplace of the villain Bane, which the villain recently turned into his own private stronghold in the Batman comics. Could the Young Justice version of Bane have done the same thing?
4. What is the "Metahuman Fail-safe"?
Part of the story of Young Justice: Outsiders episode 8 centered upon the Outsiders stopping a group of villains led by Cheshire from robbing STAR Labs' facility in Detroit. The target of the mission was a large piece of technology, created by The Breach, whose exact purpose was unknown. Blue Beetle had translated the writing on the side of the device as "Metahuman Fail-Safe." Cheshire's employer, Simon Stagg, apparently wanted the device, fearing that someone might try and use weaponized metahumans like the ones he was creating against him someday and wanted to be prepared.
Given that this technology was developed by the aliens at the heart of the second season, Young Justice: Invasion, it seems likely that this doomsday device might be based on the secret weapon utilized by the aliens in the original Invasion storyline from the comics. Here, a rogue member of the aliens known as the Dominators attempted to kill Earth's superheroes with a Gene Bomb that would cause every human with a metagene to lose control of their powers, presumably killing themselves in the process. Doubtless this Chekhov's Gun will return to haunt our heroes later in the season.
3. Why do DC Comics shows keep killing Simon Stagg?
The events of "Tryptich" reveal that corrupt businessman Simon Stagg was behind one of the metahuman trafficking operations in the United States. The chief nemesis of Metamorpho in the comics, Simon Stagg is one of comics' creepiest characters. His one positive trait is his love for his daughter, Sapphire, yet even that love is hardly enough to redeem Stagg. His desire to see his daughter get the best of everything in life drove him to try and kill her boyfriend, adventurer Rex Mason, whom Stagg saw as beneath her. Even after Mason was transformed into the elemental man Metamorpho, Stagg did all he could to end their relationship, fearful Mason might convince his little girl to abandon him.
It is suggested near the end of "Tryptich" that Shade - one of the villains Stagg took control of using the Mad Hatter's technology - broke into prison to kill Stagg after being freed from his control. Strangely enough, Stagg also died on The Flash, where he was murdered in the series' second episode after Stagg announced his intentions to track down and exploit the super-fast man who saved his life to Eobard Thawne, who stabbed Stagg to save Barry Allen for his own sinister schemes. Though Stagg has always been best utilized as a foil for Metamorpho, it seems oddly wasteful to keep killing the character off after only a single appearance in his media adaptations.
2. What’s the deal with Lobo’s language?
A scene near the start of Young Justice: Outsiders episode 9 has a clever Easter Egg for fans of the original Lobo comics. In this scene, The Main Man is approached by a contract robot with a job to hunt down and kill Forager. The scene sees Lobo and the droid conversing in Lobo's native language, with the meaning of their words translated through subtitles. Those who listen to Lobo's language will catch snatches of the fictional curse words Lobo frequently used in the comics. The phrase "Earther Bastich Frag," for instance, is translated as "Some peon Earthling is going to die."
1. Who is Gretchen Goode?
Young Justice: Outsiders episode 9 introduces a new character named Gretchen Goode, whom we first see as a guest on the G. Gordon Godfrey show. Founder of the family entertainment company Goode World Studios, who also manufacture the augmented reality Goode Goggles that have been seen throughout the earlier episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders, Gretchen is more popularly known to the public by the name Granny Goodness. By the episode's end, it is revealed that Gretchen Goode is one of the new members of The Light.
Granny Goodness will be instantly recognizable to fans of Jack Kirby's New Gods. One of Darkseid's chief followers, Granny oversees the training of child soldiers on Apokolips, molding them into ideal shock-troops for Darkseid's armies through brainwashing and torture. The best of these are recruited into special elite units, such as Granny's own Female Furies. It seems likely that the Goode Goggles - reportedly the hottest electronic gadget of the season - are a means towards this end, and that we'll see Granny using them to reach and control the masses before Young Justice: Outsiders reaches its conclusion.