Review – Young Justice: Phantoms
Part 1: October 16, 2021 – December 30, 2021 (episodes 1-13)
Part 2: March 31, 2022 – June 9, 2022 (episodes 14-26)
Finale: Death and Rebirth
Starring: Denise Boutte, Lacey Chabert, Greg Cipes, Stephanie Lemelin, Jesse McCartney, Danica McKellar, Phil Morris, Nolan North, Khary Payton, Jason Spisak
Original network: HBO Max
No. of episodes: 26
Miss Martian, Superboy and Beast Boy travel to Mars for M’gann and Conner’s wedding. There, they find themselves amidst civil unrest stemming from racial prejudice and a murder mystery.
Ma’alefa’ak plans to purge every G’arrunn and B’lahdenn on Mars.
Three time-travellers—Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl and Chameleon Boy—are tailing the trio to prevent some undisclosed tragedy. A mysterious figure tries to foil their efforts and seemingly kills his target.
Beast Boy’s mounting tragedies and traumas start to take a toll on his mental health.
Tigress is sought out by Cassandra Savage and Onyx, two League of Shadows members who profess to have defected. Both accuse one another of being a mole trying to infiltrate the Team.
A new Lord of Chaos comes down to the Earthly plane and seeks to replace Klarion.
Family and friends grieve the death of a hero.
An Atlantean prophecy is coming to fruition.
Rocket, Forager and Flash travel to Supertown for negotiations with the New Gods.
This season is operatic in feel and content. We have death, love and treachery and that’s just the first episode! This beloved fan favourite goes above and beyond this season to provide recognisable characters in unique and perfectly timed plots.
It’s a brave series that spends several episodes on the evolution and origin of Chaos and Order on earth, its connection to Vandal Savage and Zatanna’s link to her father. But this delivers all of this and at the end, your only complaint is that you want more, not less of the backstory. Lazy shows cram flashbacks into blunt plot devices but YJ writers and directors surgically use them to add more mystery. Some flashbacks take almost a whole season to come to fruition and you find yourself frantically looking up previous episodes for the scene that plays out here.
The main story arc, Superboy and Miss Martian’s wedding on Mars punches you squarely in the gut quite early in the season, but I won’t go too deep into that as it spoils the whole season.
Almost every character (and I mean every) is given justice (ahem) in this series and even the quirkier ones (like Forager or Forager) are treated with reverence, not left of the ash-heap of Jar Jar Binks.
No character is safe, anybody can and they regularly do die with no spectacular resurrection seen in comics these days.
Not only that hated characters like Danny Chase are redesigned for the 21st century to great effect and without widespread horror.
The voice actors’ talents bring every character to life without creating pantomime villains, and the animation shows respect for fans’ beloved characters and plots.
If I had to grumble about one thing it’s…the break taken between Part 1 and Part 2 of the show. I almost thought the series had finished on a short COVID run and was surprised when Part 2 popped up in March. Shows this complex need to be shown in its entirety as any breaks or schedule changes threaten to disenfranchise the casual or new viewers. This is down to the Network and not the cast and crew but needs to be flagged as shows like YJ are not part of the TV schedule.
My suggestion is weekly having last week’s and this week’s shows back to back allowing cliffhangers to keep their excitement but refreshing the audience’s memory before resolving.
This is my only grumble, other than the occasion nose bleed from keeping all the plots in my head.
Look I said above that was my only complaint so… move along!
Watching a 50-year-old man ugly crying was probably not the intent of the cast and crew but as the finale’s credits (as usual a superb use of the dead credits space) and post-credits scene closed I felt my emotions rising to the surface. After COVID, Insurrections, BREXIT and life Young Justice: Phantoms was the perfect catalyst to allow me to release the pressure valve. This show is the standard that all the genre’s movies and shows (both live-action and animated) must be measured against. Now begins the dreaded countdown to season five.
Direction: 10, Animation: 9, Voice Talents: 10, Story: 10
If you enjoyed our review, look out for Young Justice: Phantoms on your streaming service
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