Young Justice: Outsiders season 3, episode 7 recap: Evolution


The seventh episode of Young Justice: Outsiders gives us the origins of Vandal Savage, while the new meta-humans train with their mentors.

Cassandra Savage/ Scandal Savage has come of age and is given a journal belonging to her father, Vandal, by an elderly woman called Olympia in the seventh episode of Young Justice: Outsiders. The immortal Vandal Savage was once just a Neanderthal overcome by power. A long time ago, he witnessed a meteorite crashing to Earth. But before he could reach out to examine it, Savage was attacked by humans. The attack should have killed Savage, but instead, it activated his meta-gene making him seem like a god to early man.

As he looks up at the sky in West Mongolia, Savage is interrupted by the news that an armada of spaceships is headed towards Earth. Savage calls on Lex Luthor, the UN Secretary-General, to ask if he can deploy the Justice League to engage the armada. But, thanks to Luthor and Savage’s combined ministrations, there are no powerful superheroes left for battle. Great work, guys!

Aboard the Warworld, Savage threatens the armada, but they are not dissuaded. The armada opens fire, as does the Warworld. Just when it looks like Savage has the upper hand, a second fleet flanks the other side of Earth. Warworld is not equipped to battle on two fronts – whoever has incited this fight knows Warworld’s weakness.

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Dick Grayson/ Nightwing, Conner Kent/ Superboy, and Artemis Crock/ Tigress are busy training their new recruits. Now armed with super-suits of their own, Violet/ Halo, Brion Markov/ Geo-Force and Forager have become formidable fighters, besting their mentors easily.

After training, the new Young Justice members chat with their mentors. Brion reminisces about how he, his brother and sister, would pretend to be Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman when they were children. The boys would engage in the age-old debate of who would win in a fight – Batman or Superman. Superboy scoffs at the idea that the two would ever fight, but Artemis suggests that could be a possibility if they were being mind-controlled by an enemy. Dick doesn’t believe that could ever happen. You sure about that?

The discussion moves to the dichotomy of Man vs. Superman. On Forager’s world, New Genesis, there was a similar debate about who would win between Bugs and the New Gods. Dick reiterates the importance of maintaining balance for both humans and meta-humans to co-exist.

Superhero training in Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7 (Credit: DC Universe)

Just when training seems to have ended for the superheroes on Earth, an excitable Halo accidentally displays a new ability, replicating holograms of herself. Guess it’s back to square one.

Meanwhile, Savage contacts Darkseid for help to acquire the requisite resources in the fight against the Armada. Surprisingly, Darkseid agrees to this request. This is because their partnership goes back a long way.

In the name of Apokolips, Darkseid attacked Earth in the 13th century. Savage, who conquered the world in the guise of Genghis Khan (so the entire planet is related to Savage in Young Justice?), attempted to defend his planet against Darkseid but was easily defeated. Darkseid, however, was impressed by Savage and his sons’ meta-human abilities and the two of them together partnered up to conquer the galaxy.

They continue their efforts in the current battle against the unnamed armada. Darkseid’s son, Kalibak, deploys a young meta-human to destroy the armada. In the process, though, the boy dies. This season of Young Justice: Outsiders has been quite distressing to watch at times.

Darkseid’s ship in Young Justice: Outsiders episode 7 (Credit: DC Universe)

Savage sees one of the aliens from the armada floating about in space. It’s a star-creature, the kind that Savage had once fought when he was ruling Babylonia. With the help of his daughter, Ishtar, Savage had defeated the aliens all those centuries ago and together they had formed the Light.

Now, Savage hands over the controls of the Warworld to Cassandra, who locates a ship isolated from the rest of the fleet. Savage heads straight for the ship and attacks the central star alien just as Cassandra destroys the headquarters.

Instead of celebrating their success, Cassandra and Savage realize that Olympia is suffering some form of dementia. Realizing she is no longer any use to him, Savage breaks her neck and orders Cassandra to prepare a proper burial for her sister. Cassandra looks on after her father leaves, probably aware that someday, she will be meted out the same treatment at the hands of her immortal father. This is really dark stuff in Young Justice.

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This was a terribly contrived episode that gave us an origin story for a villain who doesn’t really need it. The fact that the episode creators decided to relegate Cassandra Savage to little more than a narrator is even more insulting. It isn’t evident what the repercussions of the events in this episode will be for Young Justice: Outsiders, but hopefully it will be worth it.