The story elements of the first two episodes of the season, which aired on HBO Max during DC’s big FanDome celebration, are pretty light-hearted. Connor and M’gann travel back to Mars on Bioship for their wedding, after getting engaged late last season. Beast Boy and J’onn travel with them.
Mars is a thriving, vibrant place full of Martians, with a brutal caste system and a kind of xenophobia to fight against. Mars is about to open a Zeta tube to Earth; inaugural transit of the tube is sabotaged; and it’s made to look like M’gann’s brother, Ma’alefa’ak, was the culprit. But he wasn’t. A mysterious person pulls the strings and the Legion, including Saturn Girl, Phantom Lass and Chameleon Kid, are there to stop him.
However, the episodes are very heavy on mood and atmosphere. We spend almost all of our time inside M’gann and Connor’s minds – literally, as hardly anyone’s lips move throughout the entire episode. It’s all telepathy.
We also get LOTS of Martian culture. There might be just as much in these episodes as there is in the great recent one Martian Manhunter prestige comic from Steve Orlando and Riley Rossmo, but of course what’s here is WAY different. Starting with the fact that there is a fully populated Mars right there on the back porch of the Earth. This Mars (which was originally visited as part of) young justiceThe apparent canon comedy band (something I heard to my horror during these episodes) is extremely segregated, but tried to make headway before the ruler was assassinated, and as part of Gar and Connor’s investigation into how the Zeta Tube was blown up, take they also conduct an investigation into the ruler’s death.
Meanwhile, Ma’alefa’ak stirs up caste trouble and cashes in on Darkseid to score a gene bomb that will kill all the green and red Martians. Even more atmosphere was sewn into this series: Desaad, who delivered the gen bomb as payment for Ma’alefa’ak’s work that Orion imitated in New Genesis last season, casually laughs at even pointing out the absurd racism of Martian society. . If Desaad the torturer, Desaad the wicked, Desaad the licentious, can look you in the eye and say, “wow, you guys are a little over the top,” you know it’s bad.
There is still a lot of season to go for Young Justice: Phantoms, but this was a solid start that set the tone very well.
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