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Miss Martian, Superboy, and Beast Boy in Young Justice. Image: Warner Bros. Animation

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Young Justice heroes share what they read and watch when they’re not saving the world

We talked entertainment options with Beast Boy, Artemis, and ... Klarion?

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Young Justice is back with the second half of Season 4, Phantoms. The gang has been dealing with grief after a tragic death, a phantom purgatory, as well as political turmoil under the ocean. It’s a fun, dramatic time and a return to form for the show. New episodes air Thursdays on HBO Max, and there’s an in-continuity comic coming too.

But that’s not what we’re here for today. We’re here to talk about the important stuff: what movies the Young Justice characters like. Polygon sat down with the superhero gang* to talk about Beast Boy’s close connection to Alien, Artemis’s fondness for escapist media, and whatever Klarion is into.

(*series creators Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman.)

So what entertainment options do the Young Justice gang indulge when they’re not saving the world or dealing with their trauma? Let’s dive in.

Garfield Logan / Beast Boy

Garfield Logan wears a cool hat in Young Justice. Image: Warner Bros. Animation
Ripley in her spacesuit in Alien. Image: 20th Century Fox

Alien

What it is: Ridley Scott’s 1978 science fiction horror masterpiece, following the members of a cargo spaceship who are hunted by a terrifying alien that has made its way on board.

Why Beast Boy likes it: There are more ties to Gar’s own story than you might think! As co-creator Brandon Vietti put it, “It’s animal horror and I think we all know Garfield Logan, Beast Boy, is very much an animal lover. But also a lover of sci-fi. And I think also there’s some real resonance to what happens in the story versus his own origin. Alien has an alien that injects genetic material into another alien and from that alien a new combo alien is born. Lots of shape changing and exchange of genetic material, very much like our Martian blood transfusion that helped lead to Beast Boy’s powers.”

Where to watch: Alien is available to watch for free with ads on Tubi and is available for rental or purchase on most VOD platforms.

Galaxy Quest

What it is: The classic science fiction comedy follows the cast of a Star Trek-like show who encounter aliens who are fans of the show and believe it all to be real.

Why Beast Boy likes it: Gar’s role as the lead in TV series Space Trek gives him an appreciation for the challenges of the sci-fi entertainment industry and, specifically, the convention life. Also, as co-creator Greg Weisman put it, “Who doesn’t love Galaxy Quest? I mean, that’s a slam dunk for everybody. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Galaxy Quest. And if they didn’t love it I would be very suspicious of them.”

Where to watch: Galaxy Quest is available to stream on Fubo and is available for rental or purchase on most VOD platforms.

Artemis Crock / Tigress

As a child, Artemis Crock reads Số đỏ in Young Justice. Image: Warner Bros. Animation
Sofia Boutella fires a gun in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Image: 20th Century Fox

Số đỏ

What it is: Vũ Trọng Phụng’s classic 1936 novel, a class satire that was banned in Vietnam until 1986.

Why Artemis likes it: We’re starting here because, to be honest, Artemis would probably rather be reading a book. As a Comparative Literature instructor, reading is a big part of her life (and has been since childhood), and Số đỏ in particular is an important text for her (first given to Artemis by her sister, Jade).

Where you can read: You can purchase at Số đỏ (or Dumb Luck) at Bookshop.org

Pride & Prejudice

What it is: The 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic romance novel starring Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, respectively.

Why Artemis likes it: It’s a loving adaptation of one of her all-time favorite novels. “She gets to see Keira Knightley bring Elizabeth Bennet to life,” Weisman said. “She loves that book.”

Where you can watch: Pride & Prejudice is available to watch on HBO Max.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

What it is: Matthew Vaughn’s 2014 spy comedy, starring Taron Egerton and Colin Firth. It has since spawned a franchise, with two other movies following it.

Why Artemis likes it: Artemis needs a break from the literature she analyzes professionally. Coupled with her affinity for hard-hitting action, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a natural fit. As Weisman puts it, “Given that she is so erudite, that I think she’d also be a fan of schlock,” he said. “Again, they’re just fun, you know, they’re very much popcorn movies. Sometimes you just don’t want to be doing what you do for a living when you go to the movies, so I think something schlock-ier might be the choice that you make.”

As for the sequel ... not so much. “I think that the second movie, the one female member of the Kingsman unit is sort of thrown out for no particular good reason,” Weisman said. “I think she’d find that insulting. I know I found it insulting.”

Where you can watch: Kingsman: The Secret Service is available for rental or purchase on most VOD platforms.

M’gann M’orzz / Miss Martian

Miss Martian uses her telepathic powers in Young Justice. Image: Warner Bros. Animation
Fran in Knives out talks about the in-universe Hallmark movie Deadly by Surprise with Danica McKellar. Image: Lionsgate

Deadly by Surprise / Knives Out

What it is: Deadly by Surprise is a fictional movie within the 2019 mystery movie Knives Out. In Deadly by Surprise, Hallmark movie staple Danica McKellar plays a woman who is being poisoned by her husband. In Knives Out, Daniel Craig plays a renowned detective investigating a murder at the estate of a wealthy family.

Why Miss Martian likes it: M’gann initially based her “human” self on Megan Wheeler, the main character of the in-universe TV sitcom Hello, Megan! and is similarly drawn to real-life actress Danica McKellar, a staple of Hallmark movies. The end result: M’gann loves both Knives Out and the fake movie within Knives Out.

Where to watch: Knives Out is available to stream for free with ads on IMDB TV, soon to be renamed Freevee, and is available for rental or purchase on most VOD platforms. Unfortunately, Deadly by Surprise is not available to stream anywhere, because it does not exist.

Klarion / Witch Boy

Klarion and his cat in Young Justice. Image: Warner Bros. Animation
Hayley Mills and that darn cat from That Darn Cat. Image: Walt Disney Productions

Cat videos on YouTube

What it is: Adorable and/or mischievous collections of furry felines collected on video.

Why Klarion likes it: Klarion loves his cat, Teekl, more than anything in the world. When they are separated in Phantoms, it is a legitimate crisis for the demon boy. Cat videos on YouTube are a source of comfort for many, and Klarion counts himself among that number.

Where to watch: Just open YouTube and cat videos will find you.

That Darn Cat

What it is: A 1965 comedy about a troublemaking cat who holds the clues to solving a bank robbery.

Why Klarion likes it: It’s a cat-centric thriller with laughs. That’s exactly Klarion’s speed.

Where to watch: That Darn Cat is available to watch on Disney Plus.

Greg and Brandon / Young Justice co-creators

Phantom Stranger in Young Justice Image: Warner Bros. Animation
Rob Morrow in Northern Exposure in front of a welcome sign for Cicely, Alaska. Image: NBCUniversal Television

Northern Exposure

What it is: A comedy series about a small town in Alaska and the newly graduated physician from the big city sent to be the local GP.

Why the co-creators like it: Ok, I led with a photo of Phantom Stranger because Weisman said he would dig this show, but the two co-creators talked at length about the show’s significant influence on Young Justice.

“Greg and I are huge fans of Northern Exposure. Huge fans,” Vietti said. “We somewhat bonded over that as we started making the show, I think I learned a lot about writing from that show. I think there are structural things, that the show intertwines reality and fantasy in interesting ways. There’s dream sequences and fantasy sequences and very fantastical elements that bleed into reality and very interesting ways in telling stories that evolve characters. Huge source of inspiration for us. When I wrote my first episode in season 2 we hired actors from the cast of Northern Exposure, we named some of the characters in my episode a little bit after some of the characters in Northern Exposure.”

Where to watch: Unfortunately, Northern Exposure is currently not available to stream anywhere. :(

Young Justice: Phantoms is available to watch on HBO Max, with new episodes premiering each Thursday.

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