Young Justice: How Superboy Survived
Young Justice: Phantoms ends its first four-episode arc with the death of a character who could return at any time.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Young Justice: Phantoms, streaming now on HBO Max.
Young justice first put sidekick characters on the fringes of popular culture into the limelight, and over the previous three seasons established many of them as beloved and fully fleshed out main characters in their own right . This time spent building their characters has such an impact on their deaths, and when Team Kid Flash’s founder sacrificed himself at the end of Season 2, it left an emotional impact that continues to resonate throughout. throughout the series.
Now, with the conclusion of its initial four-part story arc, Season 4 builds up just as heartbreaking a death with Superboy. But unlike Kid Flash, it might not be a sticky death.
Venturing to Miss Martian’s home planet for a wedding ceremony amid the generational issues of alien civilization, Superboy quickly found his space trip far more complicated than he had originally anticipated. With intertwined storylines involving a racial war between Martian castes, an assassinated King, the team’s Bio-Ship giving birth, Beast Boy’s own festering trauma, and the intervention of Darkseid Desaad’s underling, there was a lot to watch out for for Superboy as his strength was constant. disappeared into the underworld. This is why he could never have seen it coming when his attempt to stop Ma’alefa’ak’s gene bomb released kryptonite which apparently killed him.
But yet another overarching thread loomed in the background, which might explain how Superboy’s fate won’t be so final. While Superboy’s fiancee, Miss Martian, briefly detected a psychic presence after the couple and Beast Boy, at one point suspecting the presence of involvement in an attack on them among the Martians, the trio had no way. to know that it was actually the Legion of superheroes watching them from a distance. Present at Superboy’s death after conjuring up a vague mission that awaited them, the Legion of Superheroes could very well have stepped in to save Superboy, taking him into the future after his apparent death.
The Time Traveling Legion has already stepped in to save Superboy’s life as he was stranded in a Martian sandstorm, with Chameleon Boy leading his companions to him as Saturn Girl psychically masqueraded as Miss Martian by administering help Beast Boy so he can save Superboy from suffocation. Between them, the Legion referenced some sort of primary directive that prevents them from interfering with the timeline in unexpected ways, but saving Superboy would be the perfect mission to explain not only their presence on Mars but also the watchful eye they have on Mars. they kept on Superboy.
Pairing Superboy with the Legion is far from a new concept either, and would resonate with the character’s long history with the team that dates back to the Silver Age of comics. In classic DC myth, the Legion considers Superboy an awesome figure because of how he would someday become Superman. But the Superboy of Young justice is a completely separate character, which means if that’s the direction the series is headed, the series would continue its trend of giving a refreshing twist to classic callbacks. Overshadowed by Superman for much of his life, the Legion’s interest in Superboy may well indicate he’s destined to become the great hero he always doubted he could become.
The Legion is no longer seen after Superboy’s apparent death, leaving Beast Boy and Miss Martian to start mourning their late friend and teammate. This heartbreak will only get worse with the show’s earlier deaths, with Kid Flash standing out as the most notable, and helping to set the increasingly dark tone the series takes on as it progresses.
But Superboy’s survival offers light at the end of the tunnel. Saving him would not only stand out as a cherished story for fans of the character, but would also demonstrate a greater sense of optimism that Young justice has always stood firm. With no further indication of what the Legion’s mission to Mars may have been like, if Superboy truly remains dead, there may actually be more questions than answers regarding the larger plot towards which the series. builds.
To see Superboy come to an end, the first four episodes of Young Justice: Phantoms air on HBO Max.
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