GUIDES – RELEASES – BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL – YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS – THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season
Please note the details below are primarily for Blu-ray, with available DVD and Digital information added.
Studio: Blu-ray – Warner Archive Collection; DVD, Digital – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Street Date: Blu-ray, DVD – 11/26/19; Digital HD – 09/24/19
Episodes: Princes All, Royal We, Eminent Threat, Private Security, Away Mission, Rescue Op, Evolution, Triptych, Home Fires, Exceptional Human Beings, Another Freak, Nightmare Monkeys, True Heroes, Influence, Leverage, Illusion of Control, First Impression, Early Warning, Elder Wisdom, Quiet Conversations, Unknown Factors, Antisocial Pathologies, Terminus, Into the Breach, Overwhelmed, Nevermore
Synopsis: Our heroes have survived the schemes of the Light and saved the Earth from the Reach Invasion – but the worst has yet to come. Now someone is kidnapping teens and transforming them into super-powered weapons! Meta-Human trafficking is a terrifying threat to a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy. Now Nightwing, Superboy, Miss Martian, Tigress, Aqualad and Black Lightning will need help from a new group of young heroes to save the world from the war games of Super-Villains controlling the system from the inside. What’s needed … is a team of Outsiders.
Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review
By James Harvey
Packed with ambitious story-telling, legitimate twists and turns and free from the constraints of broadcast television, the third season of Young Justice is an invigorating, mature turn for the fan-favorite series. And, after a run on the U.S.-only DC Universe streaming service, fans everywhere now have the opportunity check out the latest events on Earth-16 courtesy of Warner Archive and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Collecting the entirety of the third season, subtitled Outsiders, get ready for a riveting adventure that takes hold from minute one and doesn’t let go until the very last second.
So, where are we now? Taking place two years after the events of season two, Young Justice: Invasion, the Team attempts to thwart a burgeoning meta-human trafficking ring, only to get caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning both the globe and the galaxy. Realizing that this threat might be bigger than they can handle, the Team comes back together to train a new generation of heroes to help them with their mission. Along the way, to say things get complicated would be an understatement. With the Justice League, The Light and a host of other players – both good and bad – involved, and devastating secrets bubbling up to the surface, the Team is going to need all the help they can get.
To add a little context to Young Justice: Outsiders, this season of Young Justice is something of a unexpected surprise since Cartoon Network didn’t renew the series after its second season, despite it’s popularity. It’s also important (and accurate) to clarify the show was not cancelled, nor was it replaced by another series, despite the story some out there try to push. Cartoon Network simply opted not to give the show more episodes following the conclusion of its second season. Still, fans wanted more, so the Young Justice community rallied hard and poured themselves into keeping interest in this show alive, as did the cast and crew, for years (and that’s not hyperbole).
Amazingly, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment eventually caught win of the show’s sustained popularity despite being off the air for years, and realized they found the perfect show to draw a sizable chunk of viewers to their new DC Universe streaming service. And, like that, Young Justice was back. Yes, there’s a lot more to it, but that’s the streamlined version. So, after years and years, the fans got what they wanted – a new season of Young Justice, but was it worth the wait?
Please note, in an effort to keep some of surprises under wraps, this review will be as spoiler-free. Going into Young Justice as fresh as possible is best way to experience it, hands down. Detailed episode reviews are also available on this site for those looking for a closer study of the season.
Unquestionably, the third season of Young Justice is it’s most ambitious yet and, for the most part, it succeeds in what it sets out to do. Juggling a lot of character work and dense, complicated galaxy-wide plots, Young Justice: Outsiders, there’s barely a wasted second in the entire 26-episode season. Every moment feels like it counts, feels important, feels relevant, and that’s due to both the wide scope of the series’ assorted plot threads and its expansive cast. While the season does have a core group of characters as its focus, there’s a plethora of secondary and bit players, all with their own stories unfolding in the background, who appear here and there throughout the season. The cast is massive and not an episode goes by that you’re not reminded of just how many characters are in play. It’s legitimately impressive and helps to sell the scope of the threat our heroes are dealing with. And, for those experiencing this season for the first time, there are some appearances that will definitely surprise.
However, as fantastic as it is to see character after character pop up on screen, it does highlight the season’s biggest problem – there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to adequately cover everything. While the series uses the surviving members of the original Team as the starting point and lifeline for the third season, Young Justice: Outsiders wisely spends a lot of time on the hefty amount of new characters, specifically the ones being groomed as new members of the Team, but the screentime isn’t really consistent. Some characters get brief moments here and there, providing really just quick status updates, or are introduced only to be pushed to the side. And at the same time, the series dives deep into a dense, complex story-line involving meta-human trafficking, tying it in with The Light, the New Gods and smaller clashes littered throughout the season.
The season also explores some of the morale implications that how our heroes choose to thwart their foes, which itself has a ripple effect on nearly the entire cast. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot going on and, for the most part, it works. While new members Violet, Geoforce, Bug and Black Lightning get really satisfying character arcs – especially Geoforce and Lightning – not everyone gets the same treatment, which inevitably takes away some of the impact from the season’s big moments.
With all that in mind, the season is still an unquestioned success. It’s great to see the characters we’ve become so invest in continue to mature, develop and grow. The fact that Young Justice: Outsiders is now primarily a streaming series, free from broadcast television restraints, only helps to push the more mature tone the series is going for. There’s a tangible sense of progression from season to season here, and that makes all the difference in making sure that everything that happens this season matters, or at least feels like it. The status quo isn’t reset at the end of each episode, but instead it’s fluid. Even characters who feel stable throughout the season are in a different place by the last moments of the final episode. And while it’s a little unwieldy, the storyline for this season is absolutely gripping. The constant back and forth in gains between our heroes and their foes, especially as the season heads toward its endgame, is riveting and riddled with tension.
Following its miraculous resurrection, Young Justice hits nearly all the marks we’ve come to expect with this third season, stumbling only a step or two along the way. The scope is maybe a little more than it can handle, as is the cast size, but any damage is minimal when compared to what the series is able to so successfully pull off throughout all 26 episodes. It’s another impressive showing for the series and a testament to the incredible creative team behind this series, both behind the page and the microphone. The dedication and admiration for the material is there, and you can feel it in every word written and said. Young Justice: Outsiders is a welcome return for the series that reminds us of the promise it holds while also planting some intriguing seeds of what’s still to come.
So, we know Young Justice: Outsiders is a solid product through and through, the odd issue aside, but what about the show’s release to physical media? Well, fear not, because the Warner Archive Blu-ray release of Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season is another great effort from Warner Bros. Home Entertainent’s nifty specialty label.
Looking first at the audio and video quality, without question the Blu-ray release of Young Justice: Outsiders is arguably the show’s best presentation to date, even taking into account the 4K streaming options available. The video is sharp and crystal clear, with colors appearing brighter and fuller and blacks deeper. There are a few instances of color banding, but nothing distracting (and even easy to miss). The episodes look great and are a definite improvement, even if it’s debatably minimal, from the streaming and digital versions available. In terms of audio, however, it’ll be hard to miss just how much better the series sounds here on Blu-ray. While dialogue and sound effects always sounded clear during its streaming and digital presentations, it lacked a sense of weight that this release brings in spades. Action sequences, especially when it involves New Gods tech, will rattle your speakers (some of the earlier instances of Cyborg using his newfound abilities sound incredible), and background dialogue and noises pop out like never before, perfectly audible and never distracting. Simply, the show has never looked or sounded better.
Moving on to bonus content, Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season includes a nearly fifty-minute documentary which looks at efforts to revive the series and an informative dive into the creative process of putting this show together. “Bringing Back Young Justice,” previously only available on DC Universe, starts off with a look at the series’ incredible fanbase (seriously, it’s an amazing community) and their efforts to revive the show, before shifting gears to follow the cast and crew as they start working on the show’s revival season. The documentary is broken down into five chunks, each with a specific theme – “Inside the Writers’ Room,” “The Animation Process,” “Voice Recording,” “The Post-Production Process” and “Recording Doom Patrol Go!“- each ranging between 8-12 minutes, with the exception of the fifth segment, which runs shy of five minutes. It’s an entertaining look behind-the-scenes, a love letter to the fans who made Young Justice: Outsiders possible, and a reminder at how much these shows, these characters, can impact our lives.
Outside of a few promotional trailers for the DC Universe streaming service, which are attached to each segment of the “Bringing Back Young Justice” documentary, there are no other additional features. But what we get here – 26 episodes and a great documentary on Young Justice‘s revival – is an incredible amount of on-disc content to begin with and should definitely satisfy fans.
Physically, the entire season is collected on four discs, with eight episodes per disc except for disc four, which includes the last two episodes of the season plus the bonus content. The discs are housed in a slightly chunkier-than-standard Blu-ray case.
Overall, Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season, in terms of both the show itself and the Warner Archive Blu-ray title, is well-worth picking up. While Young Justice: Outsiders might be stretch itself a little too thin with its cast and story ambitions, any shortcomings are minuscule. The characters remain just as interesting and engaging as ever, and the plot will keep viewers glued to the very last minute of every single episode. And thankfully, Warner Archive’s Blu-ray release is just as excellent, offering up the best presentation available for the new season of Young Justice and including some genuinely interesting bonus content. In fact, this might very well be Warner Archive’s best Young Justice release date. Must Own!
Please note Warner Archive provided a copy of this title to review. Young Justice: Outsiders – The Complete Third Season is available to own on Blu-ray, Digital and DVD from Warner Archive and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
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