The midseason finale of Young Justice: Outsiders wrapped up with some satisfying conclusions and a hook for the rest of the season, but we’re still thinking about the episode before, which explored a character’s trauma using ... Teen Titans Go?
[Ed. note: This article contains spoilers for episode 12 of Young Justice: Outsiders, “Nightmare Monkeys.”]
After trying on a virtual reality headset, Beast Boy enters a sort of psychic fugue state, where he is confronted by holograms of the superheroes who previously died while in the League’s service: Aquagirl, the first Blue Beetle, Jason Todd, and Wally West. They all disappear one by one, till only Wally West is left, watching his own season 2 death play out on the screen — ouch!
But things get even weirder, when Wally grabs and remote and changes the channel and a familiar-sounding jingle plays, followed by a logo for a fictional show called Doom Patrol Go!
Beast Boy appears in his Teen Titans Go!-style and cutesy versions of Doom Patrol, voiced by the voice actor of whichever Teen Titans Go! character is their closest equivalent (Starfire as Elasti-Girl, Robin as Chief, Raven as Negative “Woman,” and Cyborg as Robotman). These characters exist in the Young Justice universe — Elasti-Girl raised Beast Boy after his mother’s death — but this bouncy, bright iteration of them exists to tell us just what happened to them, a dark backstory juxtaposed with chibi cheer.
“It broke my heart when I heard about Marie,” this version of Elasti-Girl tells Beast Boy. “I could never take her place, but I’m really going to try and be a good mom to you.” Beast Boy tears up, but then Elasti-Girl proclaims: “We all have to go on a mission and die!”
With a sugary sweet pop melody playing in the background, the Doom Patrol Go! squad sing about their doomed mission as Beast Boy tries to futilely save them all. The rest of the episode continues to dive into Beast Boy’s past, explain what happened in the time jumps between season, and eventually reveals the true intent of the Goode Goggles. That’s all fine and good, but I can’t get the Doom Patrol Go! theme song out of my head.
This crossover is particularly amusing since the light-hearted, gag-filled Teen Titans Go! essentially replaced Young Justice’s programming block on Cartoon Network. Teen Titans Go! actually riffed on Young Justice in 2015, when the silly Teen Titans characters met the more serious Young Justice ones. Teen Titans Go! has a knack of taking the dark and dreary backstories of its heroes and turning them into gags, which doesn’t make the Doom Patrol Go! cast singing about their impending deaths totally out of the realm of possibility.
There’s no reason to believe a Doom Patrol Go! is in the works, but DC Universe has a live-action Doom Patrol series set to premiere next month. Young Justice, meanwhile, returns to DC Universe in June.