The sixth episode of DC Universe’s Young Justice: Outsiders not only ramped up the stakes and teased the missing Princess Tara, it also revealed Barbara Gordon’s new role and confirmed the Young Justice franchise debuts of a few much whispered-about characters.
While the core of the action still centers around the main characters from the first season, the streaming series has always juggled an impressive roster of DC characters, both young and old. The new characters primarily featured in Outsiders were already hyped up in the promotional material, but the robust DC line-up allows for some surprises past the marketing hype. In the case of the sixth episode “Rescue Op,” the sneaky character debuts aren’t just minor nods to comics continuity, but very hinted-at Batman reveals.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for episode 6 of Young Justice: Outsiders “Rescue Op”]
One of the first scenes in “Rescue Op” finds Barbara Gordon playing around with a new set of virtual-reality goggles. Barbara made a quick cameo in season 1 and took on the role of Batgirl in season 2, but throughout Outsider’s first five episode, she has only been present as the voice of Oracle.
Thus far in season 3, we’ve learned that Oracle is an active player in Nightwing’s secret ops missions, but this is the first glimpse of her — and the first confirmation that she and Dick are indeed dating. Much like other iterations of Oracle, Barbara is wheelchair-bound.
We don’t know the specifics of the incident that landed Babs in a wheelchair, but it’s likely similar to what happened to Oracle’s other iterations: a showdown with the Joker left her paralyzed from the waist down.
Nightwing’s been keeping her existence a secret from the rest of his friends, which adds another layer of mystery. Why the secrets? Are they just keeping their romantic relationship a secret? Or is there something else going on?
Another thing to keep an eye out for — the VR goggles that Barbara uses at the beginning of this scene keep coming back. Much like the Reach drink in season 2, which appeared in some in-show advertisements and then ended up being a key factor to an invasion by a species of aliens, the Goode Goggles are bound to be more plot relevant,
VR headsets aside, “Rescue Op” has some bigger Batman-related reveals. The second season of Young Justice saw Dick Grayson promoted to Nightwing, with Tim Drake taking up the mantle of Robin. A brief scene set near the League memorials revealed that Jason Todd held the role of Robin before, but passed away sometime during the five year time-skip between season 1 and season 2.
Except Jason Todd may have just made his living Young Justice debut. In this episode, the team journeys to Infinity Island to confront the League of Shadows. There, they encounter a red-hooded figure along with Ra’s al Ghul, who mentions the life-imbuing Lazarus Pit (plus new team member Halo raises herself back from the dead — it’s a thing she can do, apparently).
We don’t see the red-hooded figure’s face, but he sports the same haircut that Jason Todd’s memorial hologram did in the show’s second season and in his one line, he manages to stutter out “Grayson.” To this, Ra’s al Ghul replies “Your memory is finally returning.” And of course, there’s the red hooded disguise, a close replica of the Red Hood persona Jason takes on after his resurrection.
Jason isn’t the only Robin to debut in this episode. Right before the probably-Jason Todd utters “Grayson,” a mysterious woman emerges — not named, but there’s reason to believe it’s Talia al Ghul, as she resembles the Young Justice tie-in comics version of the character. She’s carrying a baby, so if she is Talia, then the child is very, very likely Damian Wayne.
Since he’s still an infant, it’s unlikely that the Young Justice Damian Wayne is going to take up crime-fighting any time soon and will likely follow in his mother’s footsteps throughout the season. It’s also unlikely that anyone on the side of the good guys will even know about his existence. Still, Damian Wayne, confirmed. Young Justice Batman got it on with Talia, confirmed.
Stephanie Brown’s Spoiler is already confirmed to be part of Young Justice: Outsiders and, with the return of Barbara Gordon and Jason and Damian making their debuts, the Batman family roster is more robust than ever.
The next three episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders premiere on Jan. 18 on DC Universe.