There's no point in hiding it -- we here at DC Universe are every bit as excited as you are for Young Justice: Outsiders, the long-awaited third season of Young Justice. And we're more than eager to jump back into action with the titular team. Of course, it’s been five years since Young Justice: Invasion concluded in 2013. So it's totally understandable if the series isn’t quite as fresh in your memory as you'd like it to be. Well, breathe easy, heroes. We're here to help.
As the original Robin, dutiful sidekick to Batman, Dick Grayson was one of the founding members of the Young Justice team. He spent the majority of season one trying to find his footing as a leader while striving to step out of Batman's long, looming shadow -- something he wasn't always all that successful at. The pressure of his mentor's legacy combined with his own analytical mind sometimes made him come off as a bit too high-strung and perhaps even a little eccentric to his new friends. His obsession with "unwords" -- deconstructing words like "disaster" into "aster" and "overwhelmed" into "whelmed" -- was something of a trademark.
Over time, however, Dick matured into his role and his duties, fostering close friendships with his teammates and shedding his Robin persona to become Nightwing in the five-year gap between seasons 1 and 2. He even took on the role of mentor himself to the newest Robin, Tim Drake.
Wally West, a.k.a. Kid Flash, is another of the team's founding members. As Dick Grayson's best friend and the protege (and nephew) of Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash, Wally's super speed made him a bit of a wild card at first. He struggled with a short attention span and a reckless streak which sometimes made him seem overly flirtatious and jealous -- a thorn in the team's side during their early days. But his bravado and hyperactive tendencies masked a brilliant and staunchly scientific mind, making him one of the most valuable people around when it came to dealing with data and cold hard facts.
Wally eventually settled down. In the five-year gap before season 2, he retired from superheroics altogether to live with his steady girlfriend, Artemis Crock. Unfortunately, the superhero lifestyle isn't all that easy to leave behind. Season 2 ended in tragedy for Wally, when he decided to sacrifice himself for the good of the planet by joining the Speed Force.
Introduced as the "niece" of the Martian Manhunter, M'gann adopted the name Miss Martian (and the human name Megan Morse) when she was placed on the team. She claimed to be a Green Martian refugee who had traveled with her uncle to Earth. M'gann did her best to fit in. Eagerly consuming human pop culture, she adopted a bubbly personality that sometimes hindered her efforts to mesh with her new friends.
It was eventually revealed that M'gann's insecurity stemmed from the fact that she was actually hiding a major secret. It turned out she wasn't a Green Martian at all, but a monstrous White Martian in disguise, doing her best to escape her people's murderous history back on her home planet. The spunky personality she had adopted was the result of obsessively watching an old Earth sitcom called "Hello, Megan!" -- which M'gann had secretly been trying to emulate, right down to the main character's catchphrase. Thankfully, instead of driving a wedge between her and her team, this revelation only served to bring them closer together.
A genetic experiment from the rogue organization Cadmus, Conner is what's known as a genomorph. He's the result of combining the genetic material of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, making him a human-kryptonian hybrid with all the super powers and abilities that entails. He was activated and subsequently freed from Cadmus during an early mission by Wally, Dick, and Kaldur (a.k.a. Aqualad), to his everlasting gratitude.
Desperate to prove he was more than the sum of his parts, and constantly frustrated by a world he didn't fully understand or belong to, Conner adopted the name Superboy, and began his career under the guidance of Superman. Their relationship has been strained, and at times more than a little volatile. But, at the end of the day, Conner has proven himself a hero. Time and time again.
Another founding member of the team, Kaldur works as Aqualad, the former protege of the King of Atlantis, Aquaman. Kaldur's strong sense of duty and responsibility make him a rock for the rest of the team. It's a position he doesn't take lightly, even when it means making the hard decisions so his teammates never have to.
Kaldur served as Young Justice's official team leader until, during the time jump between seasons 1 and 2, he took on a deep-cover mission as the lieutenant of his father, the evil Black Manta. His goal was to spy on the mysterious cabal of villains known as The Light, which potentially held the fate of the world in their hands. Kaldur's cover was so complete he made some of his teammates believe he'd betrayed them; making it difficult to regain their trust once the mission had been completed.
Artemis Crock was originally placed on the team as the sidekick of Green Arrow, a successor to Roy Harper (a.k.a. Arsenal). But it was later revealed that Green Arrow had only stepped in as Artemis' cover. It turned out she was actually the daughter of the super-villain Sportsmaster, and that she was trying to go straight and escape her family's legacy.
Artemis struggled with an intense need to prove herself and a somewhat faulty moral compass. But she eventually learned not only to work with her team but to release her fears of succumbing to the same weaknesses as her father. In the five-year skip between the first two seasons, she quit the superhero business alongside Wally. At least temporarily. She returned to active duty, covertly using the codename Tigress as she worked alongside Kaldur to infiltrate The Light.
We hope you enjoyed this primer on the core characters of the original Young Justice. Check back with us soon as we look at the heroes who would later join the team!