HBO MAX Slips in Season 4 of Young Justice

HBO MAX hadn’t released any release date for the fourth season of Young Justice, but last week there were suddenly announcements all over that the first 2 episodes had dropped and now the third is out. Like seasons 2 and 3, season 4 of Young Justice is subtitled. Young Justice: Invasion and Young Justice: Outsiders were pretty obvious what they were about. The new Young Justice: Phantoms is more vague. The poster ad and intros show Nightwing, Superboy, Miss Martian, Tigress, Aquaman (Aqualad), Zatanna, and Rocket. (In the intro, the original name and Young Justice teleportation code with B and a number is shown and the name or number changed to reflect the current information.) Given the last 3 characters are now in the Justice League, it’s an interesting list. There are still a lot of questions where this is even going but I’ll get into that after the usual spoiler banner.

Spoiler Alert

We start off with Superboy and Miss Martian preparing for a trip to Mars (or M’arzz as it’s designated in the location note on the screen) for their wedding. They are taking Miss Martian’s ship which supposedly will be a month long trip each way. I wondered why they did that but there was a reason. I’m not really sure why they picked this reason, but I’ll get to that in a bit. Beast Boy went along with them as they consider him Megan’s brother. Everyone else is left behind and is pretty much ignored so far other than brief cameos as they said good bye.

The team gets to Mars and Beast Boy has been a major asshole so far and, as far as I can tell, it isn’t going to change. He hasn’t even been a likeable character. You meet Megan’s parents as well as one of her brothers and one one of her sisters. You get all sorts of Martian race drama, hatred of Earthlings from those who aren’t in love with Earth TV and taking the forms of super-heroes and TV characters, family in-fighting, Martian rituals for marriage, and a plot that caused the murder of the king that even telepaths can’t figure out. The Martian who was the green beetle shows up as well. (Yes, he’s still a good guy as far as we know.) We also get to find out that Miss Martian’s ship has a child and the ship is going to stay on Mars while the child takes over its place. OK, we now have a story reason for taking the ship but I still don’t know why this choice was made. Did they just want an excuse to delay the trip in the story? Did the artists get sick of drawing the old ship? (The new one has different colors.) Who knows. Hopefully there will be some interesting storylines regarding the new ship to make this worthwhile.

One thing that really surprised me was something that showed up as the team was leaving Earth, a Legion flight ring. Yes, the Legion of Super-Heroes is in the show this season but they seem to be staying in hiding. Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, and Chameleon Boy are the only ones that have been seen so far. They followed the ship to Mars so it’s possible others are still on Earth. We’ll have to wait and see about that. The costumes are similar to some of the looks the characters have had before but are definitely new designs. Phantom Girl has purple skin like the new Bendis version (Don’t get me started on that!) and Chameleon Boy looks more like the version in the Legion’s cartoon. Other than Saturn Girl helping Beast Boy (pretending to be Miss Martian) with some mental issues, they have taken a total non-interference stance which hasn’t led to anything interesting going on. They have only appeared briefly in each episode so who knows how long we’ll find out why they are even there in the first place.

So, we’re three episodes in and almost nothing has really gone on. To be honest, I’m a little bored. The whole wedding thing is dragging on for so long and I don’t know where any of this may be leading. I think the only thing I really enjoyed about the most recent episode was seeing the Martian who was controlled by the Reach and watching the scene at the end that had Superman taking to Lois on the phone about baby Jonathan and her finding poop on the ceiling. After over 20 minutes of other things going on, it’s pretty sad that poop was one of the best parts. This show needs to remember it’s a super-hero cartoon and not a soap opera. I really hope it improves soon and that we see more characters other than the ones on Mars. There was a flashback of the new Outsiders (which didn’t have any of the team from last season other than Beast Boy) but included Stargirl and Windfall, who was an enemy and then member of the Outsiders back in the 80s. Here’s hoping episode 4 next week is an improvement on what we’ve seen so far.

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