Young Justice: Outsiders returned for the second half of its season this week with three new episodes. We already reviewed the fourteenth episode of Young Justice: Outsiders, titled “Influence,” from an early premiere it had at WonderCon 2019, which you can click here to read. That episode set the groundwork for how much will go on in the second half of this season as things are only getting darker for the Justice League and the Team. Now it was the fiftenth episode, titled “Leverage,” to pick up on the momentum created by the second-half season premiere.
One of the things about Young Justice: Outsiders that has been especially impressive has been how subtle confidence Greg Weisman and his crew are with their storytelling. Part of the reason for this is that they are able to dive deeper into storylines that can have a darker tone with needed. But the biggest help is the fact that we are now entering the second half of Young Justice third season. At this point Weisman and the crew have had developed the voices of this world. Whether they are new or returning characters, the world has gone through so much since the Team has formed that all the choices being made make sense within the rules set up for this version of the DC Universe.
That is best shown with how Artemis and Kaldur, who has graduated to being Aquaman and one of the Justice League’s leaders, trust the new Gamma Team to go out on missions. That wasn’t the case with the first half of Young Justice: Outsiders. But now entering “Leverage” we have spent time seeing the development of Beast Boy, Geo-Force, Halo and Terra. That is the exact payoff we see with how efficiently Artemis leads this Gamma Team on a successful stealth portion of their overall mission.
This goes back to the somewhat slow burn character development of the first half of the season. Going with that approach for this team, especially for Geo-Force, Halo and Terra, allowed their growth to not just be driven into the ground. This Gamma Team all used their powers efficiently to infiltrate the Rocket Red Brigade super soldier facility that was in Russia without anyone initially seeing them. In this entire stealth part of the mission we saw how everyone was now confident in their abilities.
That made for a better moment when everything went south once Black Manta, Captain Boomerang and Monsieur Mallah appeared to do their own mission. Once we see these villains we knew that the Gamma Team now must show how well they work together in the fight. That is exactly what we saw as we do see how Artemis, Beast Boy, Geo-Force, Halo and Terra are able to compliment each others powers. At the same time, the show writers did a good job not trying to hotshot this team to be unstoppable as they still made mistakes that caused them to allow the villains to keep up with them even if they had the numbers advantage.
Having Artemis as the veteran leading this Gamma Team further showed how she has grown over the course of this show. Throughout “Leverage” we see that she is confident in her leadership ability and is able to adjust on the fly, much like Nightwing and Aquaman. That is best shown with how she got control once Rocket Red Brigade confronted their invasion in Russia. She was able to remain calm and make the best decision to make sure that she and the team did not cause a war to break out between USA and Russia.
Speaking of the Rocket Red Brigade, they were introduced well as a natural progression of this world. It makes sense that other countries would want to have their own version of the Justice League since that team, while world protectors, have the Hall of Justice based in the USA. That would not sit well with countries like Russia who could view the Justice League as a threat to their power in the world. Introducing the Rocket Red Brigade as an army of super soldiers for Russia helps build out this version of Earth.
This battle was a great way to finally introduce the Suicide Squad in Young Justice: Outsiders. Keeping this version of the Suicide Squad small, to just Black Manta, Captain Boomerang and Monsieur Mallah, was a good way to bring them into the fold without them taking the spotlight from the Light and Darkseid’s forces. Amanda Waller was able to make a clear statement to the Justice League and the Team with this big fight that she also has her own plans. And with Amanda Waller now learning about the Justice League’s covert team she now has information she knows others were keeping from her.
As this big battle was the centerpiece of “Leverage” there were a lot of great key development that helps grow the entire DC Universe of this show. We see that with how Eduardo Dorado Jr. and Sr. youth center for meta-humans. Once again, the show staff made a great decision to keep this new youth center for meta-humans small with Livewire, Mist and Windfall being the first members. This is a smart way to spotlight minor characters and give them something to sink their teeth into. There was enough time spent, especially with Windfall, to get over what makes them each character’s to keep an eye on when they show up in future episodes.
What was even more interesting was what was being done with Halo. While we know Terra is acting as Deathstroke’s mole in The Team, we now see Halo as a possible wild card traitor as well. Though the flashes of her character history was questionable given what we know of her character history and the way they were framed. The way Halo reacted it did not seem as though they are her memories. This could work into how Terra is the mole for Deathstroke but we don’t know that yet. All we know is we now need to keep an eye on where Halo goes from here.
On a smaller note we once again see how Granny Goodness continues to make Beast Boy’s life hell. Connecting Beast Boy to Granny Goodness is a much better decision for his character than him just being Terra’s love interest. This growing frustration Beast Boy is having with his Hollywood career offers the opening for him to be a major part of the grander story in Young Justice: Outsiders.
Overall, “Leverage” was a strong episode that continued the tone set by the previous episode. The staff of Young Justice: Outsiders made the title of this episode have multiple meanings as various sides in the greater conflict between the Justice League and Light escalates. There are now more players involved in this conflict and specific character arcs that could become a bigger part of this story.
Episode Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content, visit our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, our Instagram feed. Catch up with all of Kevin’s other musings about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.