DC Universe's Young Justice: Outsiders ends Tuesday with a three-episode season finale - and it wil boil down what the whole season has been about: growing up.
"One of the biggest themes of the entire series is just coming of age, growing up and growing up encompasses rebellion. Not necessarily, I hate my dad. I hate my mom kind of stuff, but just having to assert one’s independence," executive producer Greg Weisman told Newsarama. "Hoping that your parents or you mentors have given you both roots and wings. We are always going to be exploring as we keep bringing in young characters as our characters continue to grow up and get older so it’s always Young Justice. That evolution, revolution, and rebellion is always going to be an aspect of the series."
The second half of the season followed Beast Boy and the Outsiders at war with Lex Luthor and Gretchen Good (a.k.a. Granny Goodness).
"It’s a different kind of story for us, but still dovetails with the covert op stories we’ve done in the past, but hopefully, as we always try to do, is reflective of the times," said executive producer Brandon Vietti.
Over the course of the season, the newly-introduced Halo has been come a fan-favorite - and according to Weisman, it's about finding what works in comic books and taking it further in animation.
"Well I think it does start with what was in the comics, with what Mike Barr and Jim Aparo did with Halo was really interesting," Weisman said. " The first step for us was to say 'Okay, how does that fit into our universe and how do we make it cohesive?' So, for example in the comics the alien entity that invades the young dead girl’s body is Aurakle. It sort of reads like Oracle, but we have a character named Oracle so we’re not calling it that. That was fine, there was nothing wrong with it, but that just becomes this added element. Using a Mother Box was organic to our show and seemed to really fit."
Real life events also inspired Halo's development for Young Justice: Outsiders, particularly the Syrian refugeee crisis.
"On top of that as we were developing Season 3, and you think back three-and-a-half years then Syrian refugees in Europe was a huge issue. It was something we wanted to deal with," Weisman said. " Obviously, we were dealing with metahuman trafficking, which is a very unsubtle metaphor for human trafficking. So, the notion of this young girl seemed to fit, and the dangers of metahuman trafficking and the vulnerability of a refugee like that seemed to really fit what we wanted to do with Halo. Then you throw a Mother Box on top of it, and that became our starting point."
"The whole idea of a spirit of a Mother Box revivifying a dead body is an incredible science fiction idea," Brandon Veitti added, "and we really started to break down while we were writing her – what is a Mother Box? What is a Father Box? How does this work when a spirit from a Mother Box comes out goes into a dead girl’s body, comes alive, is now informed by biology and hormones that the technology of Mother Box never supplied it before. It has to create a lot of confusion and identity issues. So, when we were trying to write it out beat by beat, it became clear that Mother Box doesn’t necessarily mean female. This is an alien piece of technology that we’ve dubbed a Mother Box. We’ve also dubbed the Father Box. It implies male, it implies female. It’s rough translations of a foreign, alien device."
Aqualad has also been a major focus of Young Justice: Outsiders, including exploring his budding romantic relationship with Bart - which fans online have picked up on.
"I’ve seen that online, that’s interesting. I definitely enjoy seeing the interaction we have with our audience – as artists, as filmmakers, as storytellers. I like what we put on screen, right?" Veitti said. "We obviously don’t tell every aspect of everything, we run out of screen time. This is an interesting case where the fans have helped sculpt this story. Until we say one way or the other which way it goes it really is sort of an exchange with the fans that they get to put into some of the gaps that we don’t fill up."
In addition to new DC characters debuting this season in Yougn Justice, Vietti said he's proud to also be bringing in several of Milestone's character.
"We are building a DC universe show, but we wanted to reflect the world around us. We wanted to be as diverse as possible. Dwayne McDuffie’s work is influential on us and the show," Veitti said. "It’s just important to us to start bringing these characters in. We sit down and look at lists of characters every season. We try to weed out A) which ones we like ourselves and B) which ones fit."
"I think the Milestone characters fit very well in our universe, and help round out the world a little bit more in ways that other characters in the DC universe might not. They’ve been fun for us to sort of drop in, see how they fit into the world, and then grow into our unique way because I think all of the characters may take some steps outside the norms you might see in the comics, while still respecting what you see in the comics. That’s always been a goal."
Young Justice: Outsiders wraps up this Tuesday, and DC has already confirmed a fourth season is in production.