Readers, we have come to a sad time in Young Justice: Outsiders history—a hiatus. Doom Patrol is on the horizon for DC Universe, so our beloved animated adventures are going to have a little nap until later this year. I’m very sorry to report that Inside Outsiders will also be taking a hiatus along with the show we’ve been discoursing about in these past few weeks. Fear not, though, the column will return with the show. I would love it if you’d hit us up on social media with your thoughts and opinions on the third season thus far or with topic suggestions you’d like to see tackled when we come back.
If anyone had any question why Doom Patrol got itself the Teen Titans, GO! treatment this week, I hope the above paragraph illuminated the parody a little bit. Plus, Beast Boy is a bit of connective tissue between the Teen Titans and Doom Patrol comics. With the first live action incarnation of Doom Patrol, that tradition seems likely to be preserved. And you know another character who has a history of jumping super-teams?
The silver lining to Young Justice: Outsiders’ going on break is the extra episode we got this week! Not only did we get what is, in my opinion, the funniest episode of the show so far, but we got the intro of the character who can’t be kept down, in spite of all manner of life threatening injury—Victor Stone, Cyborg, himself!
If you’re new here, I’m going to remind you of my extremely pro-Teen Titans bias before I write anything more. I’m a person who’s pretty predisposed to loving anything that came out of the Wolfman/Perez NEW TEEN TITANS era of comic books.
I see you coming, JUDAS CONTRACT storyline!!!
So, yeah, I dig Cyborg. I think Khary Payton’s performance as the character from the original Teen Titans cartoon is legendary. I think it’s amazing that in this new era of the show, he’s graduated to providing the voice for Cyborg’s father, Doctor Silas Stone, and paved the way for Zeno Robinson to build on such phenomenal groundwork. I think Ray Fisher’s turn as Cyborg in the Justice League movie is one of the best performances in the film. I think it’s fascinating to have Cyborg now standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Dick Grayson as one of the few young characters who has been allowed a period of full maturation in the DC Universe. By contrast think of his fellow New Teen Titans Raven and Beast Boy who are perpetually relegated to being between 16–19 years old. Not only was Cyborg allowed to grow up—something rare enough in itself—but he has been allowed to graduate professionally as well, as evidence by his inclusion on a number of Justice League rosters post-New 52.
Originally created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Victor Stone made his debut in the pages of DC COMICS PRESENTS #26 in October of 1980. His first origin had the football star suffer a disfiguring accident and be restored to health through some quick work by his scientist father. In the New 52, Vic suffers a similarly horrific accident, only to merge with a Mother Box. The great thing about this particular retcon is it allows Cyborg’s already considerable abilities to include Boom Tubes (i.e. instant transportation! Sideways has nothing on Cyborg!), and a full-time Justice League member to have a direct line to the Fourth World. Conversely, because we don’t really have a full understanding of what a Mother Box is or how it operates, Cyborg can be easily disabled during a moment of high drama. Young Justice: Outsiders presents yet another version of the original which straddles both character origins and fits the needs of the show well.
And lest we forget, Young Justice: Outsiders already has a character who derives her powers from a Mother Box—Halo!
(I wrote about Ms. Daou a couple weeks ago. If you missed it, check out my article here.)
On the show, Dr. Silas Stone saves Victor’s life following a horrible, horrible accident by merging him with a Father Box in his best efforts to heal his son. The narrative possibilities of Mother Box against Father Box certainly have me interested in what’s coming down the line for Young Justice: Outsiders when the show finally comes back. The conflict is natural. It comes to you without a thought, particularly after watching the latest batch of episodes where Violet’s unending positivity is on display and Victor is depicted as particularly angry. In fact, this might be one of maddest Cyborgs we’ve ever had on screen.
There’s a ton of fertile ground with Cyborg, and in my opinion, he’s a logical addition to the show. Now that I’ve come to the end of this piece, I’m sad we’re all going to have to wait a few months until we get more of him! See you then, Young Justicers!
Young Justice: Outsiders airs exclusively on DC Universe. Subscribe and watch episodes 1-13 right now!
Ashley V. Robinson writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and is a regular contributor to the Couch Club, our weekly television column. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel.