Young Justice: Phantoms season 4 finds itself currently on hiatus. Before it comes back to HBO Max, catch up on the first 13 episodes of the season here.
Young Justice: Phantoms is currently on a break after airing the first 13 episodes of its 4th season on HBO Max. As someone who loved the first half of the season and can’t wait for the back half, I thought I would discuss my thoughts on what we have seen so far of this fantastic show.
After an excellent third season, fans waited patiently for any info on what was next for Earth 16, where the show takes place. We soon learned the next season’s subtitle, along with the series scaling back on the number of characters it would give focus. Season 4 is going in the direction of having arcs.
This decision is a shift from the usual approach the show had before, where each episode potentially jumps around constantly to different characters, following multiple storylines at once. Fans received the first three arcs in the first 13 episodes, which was a vast improvement from my perspective.
The three arcs focused on M’gann (Miss Martian), Tigress (Artemis Crock), and Zatanna. The writers and showrunners gave complete focus to the storylines surrounding these heroes. M’gann’s story focused on returning to Mars with her soon-to-be husband, Superboy. We then launch into a mystery surrounding the death of a white Martian king. Also, we start getting glimpses of the Legion of Superheroes, keeping an eye on our heroes.
We still don’t know the Legion’s motives for being on Mars. Honestly, I’m okay not knowing at this moment. Little things like this make the show just beyond great — speculating endlessly on choices, alliances, and what is truly going on behind the scenes.
It comes to a massive tragedy in the final episode of M’gann’s arc, but is it truly the end of Superboy? Many of us don’t believe so, especially after the final moments of Zatanna’s arc in episode thirteen. Beast Boy is most affected by the presumed death of Superboy.
Arc Two focuses on Artemis, who now goes by Tigress in later seasons. In contrast, M’gann’s arc was focused on political agendas and being off-world. Artemis’ story takes her on a journey to uncover the truth about who to trust. She meets Onyx, who no one has heard of before. Cassandra Savage, daughter of the evil tyrant Vandal Savage, also comes to Artemis.
During these events, we also learn more about another hero working with her, Orphan, whose mother is Lady Shiva. Her mother raised her to be a silent killer, and we see the turning point in her character via flashbacks.
The team behind this show gives us a version of The Killing Joke, and it broke me watching the events unfold. Orphan is the one who causes Barbara Gordon to lose her ability to walk, forcing her to take on her new mantle as Oracle. This story point adds to our trust issues between Onyx and Cassandra.
It added layers to the story, and the fight sequences throughout this arc were some of the best the show has done. What made it more impactful was the weight of the fights themselves, especially Orphan fighting her mother. Unlike M’gann’s story, Artemis’ ends on a better note that was hopeful. That hope didn’t last too long, unfortunately.
The final arc revolves around Zatanna training three students, but then they are swept up in dealing with a world-ending threat. A new Chaos Lord going by the name “Child” sets out to do what she seems Klarion (another Chaos Lord) is failing to do.
She claims the Lords of Chaos see his alliance with Vandal Savage as making him less than he is. It takes some hard choices and the combined strength of all the heroes of Earth 16 to stop Child’s attack on the world.
We also learn Zatanna’s true motives for training her students and are understandably upset with her for lying to them. Zatanna’s goal is to save her father from being the permanent host of Doctor Fate.
I understand why she decided to help trade off the hosting duties of the Helmet of Fate, but she didn’t disclose her intentions to anyone until the last moment. After being told, Mary Bromfield (Sergeant Marvel), who trained under Zatanna, walks away from them all. Zatanna can’t trust Mary due to Mary taking power from others.
In a post-credits scene, Granny Goodness turns Mary down a dark path after she feels betrayed by her friends. Young Justice is a complex show, and maybe that’s why we love it so much. The series knows how to balance drama, humor, profound moments, lighthearted fun, and characters that we can relate to in specific ways. That is why this break is so hard on us fans of this remarkable show.
The Twitter campaigns to bring the show back after its cancellation after Season 2 were loud and very supportive of the work already done on the show. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard any news yet about Young Justice being brought back for Season 5, and hopefully, HBO Max will do the right thing.
About Young Justice: Phantoms
This animated spy drama explores the entire DC Universe through the eyes and stories of young Dick Grayson/Robin, Kaldur’ahm/Aqualad, Wally West/Kid Flash, Conner Kent/Superboy, M’gann M’orzz/Miss Martian, Artemis Crock/Artemis, Zatanna Zatara/Zatanna, and Raquel Ervin/Rocket.
As this core Team steps out of the shadows of their mentors and matures into adult heroes – with some joining the Justice League and others taking on new identities Nightwing, Aquaman, and Tigress– they also mentor a new generation of protégés including Forager, Wonder Girl, Blue Beetle, Cyborg, and Halo, all in their ongoing crusade for justice.
Starring: Denise Boutte, Lacey Chabert, Greg Cipes, Stephanie Lemelin, Jesse McCartney, Danica McKellar, Nolan North, Khary Payton, and Jason Spisak.