We’re now nine episodes into Young Justice: Phantoms on HBO Max, and the latest season of the critically acclaimed animated series has been firing on all cylinders, putting all of our favorite heroes in heart-wrenching situations. One of the great things about Young Justice is the way it makes us look at the heroes of the DC Universe in new ways, which isn’t easy to do with characters that have been around for decades. For example, episode 7 of Phantoms, “The Lady, or the Tigress?,” gave us new origins for both Oracle and Orphan, and it was emotionally intense.
Every time Young Justice has transitioned into a new season there has been a time skip. In season one, we briefly saw Barbara Gordon as one of Dick Grayson’s classmates. Season two picks up five years later, and Babs is fighting alongside the heroes as Batgirl. Season three takes place two years later, with Barbara paralyzed and assisting the team as Oracle. I never questioned this development, since Barbara’s injury has been a part of her story for decades.
After all, it was a given that the Joker had cost Babs the use of her legs, just like it was a given that Krypton had exploded and Bruce Wayne’s parents never made it home from the movie theater, right? I never stopped to question that perhaps this version of Barbara Gordon was injured another way. This made the moment even more powerful for me, because I wasn’t expecting it. But I suppose that’s the nature of tragedy, it always takes us by surprise.
Have you been watching Young Justice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!