Top 10: The Next Generation of Young Justice by Jerry Whitworth
At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced Young Justice had been renewed for a fourth season. Since then, little news has come out what this new season could entail. Here at NerdfectStrangers.com, we’ve speculated what season four could be about from story teases to likely characters to appear. A theme within the series since its start is legacy as Justice League members both raised young partners and had children of their own, the likes of Prince Artur of Atlantis, Dawn and Don Allen, Anissa and Jennifer Pierce, Traya Sutton, Jon Kent, and Damian Wayne have appeared thus far. Only time will tell if characters such as Helena Wayne, Lyta Trevor, Martin Jordan, Koryak, K’hym and T’ania J’onzz, Connor Hawke, Robert Queen, Cynthia Lance, Hector Hall, Joseph Mason, Luke O’Brian, Tefé Holland, or Maxine Baker will emerge. Not to be outdone, Team members early on started having their own kids in Lian Nguyen-Harper, Amistad Ervin, and Rhea Duncan putting in appearances. As the show returns, odds are good the Team will continue to grow as families as their Justice League counterparts so lets take a look at some of the Team’s children we could see crop up.
First introduced in 1996’s Kingdom Come, Whiz is the son of King and Queen Marvel (formerly Captain Marvel, Jr. and Mary Marvel, respectively). An inheritor of the power of Shazam, Whiz was one of many characters during the events of the series’ story that only made a few appearances. In regards to Young Justice, Captain Marvel, Jr. and Mary Marvel were re-imagined as Lieutenant and Sergeant Marvel, respectively, and acted as members of the Team but appeared off-screen. It’s for this reason that the appearance of Whiz may not come about because thus far the Marvel Family beyond Captain Marvel, Uncle Dudley, and Mr. Tawny have been absent from the series.
Another character hailing from Kingdom Come, Zatara is the son of Zatanna and John Constantine. Subsequently, a character similar in appearance to Zatara in Zachary Zatara was introduced as a cousin of Zatanna in the pages of Teen Titans in 2006. Both Zatanna and her father Zatara figured prominently in Young Justice, the former as a member of the Team and latter sacrificing himself by donning the mantle of Dr. Fate. The only real wrinkle in seeing the emergence of Zatanna’s son Zatara is that John Constantine has yet to put in an appearance on the show.
In 2010, a limited series called Milestone Forever was published detailing the final fate of Milestone’s most notable characters prior to their assimilation into the DC Comics proper. As part of this story, it’s revealed Virgil Hawkins (aka Static) would have inevitably settled down with his childhood friend Frieda Goren having two kids in Larry (after their fallen friend Larry Wade) and Sadie. While Static has been a featured character in Young Justice since his first appearance, considering the last two aforementioned offspring of Team members were people of color, selecting Larry and Sadie as being chosen for introduction could be viewed as problematic.
When Artemis Crock arrived in Young Justice, she represented perhaps the biggest departure of a character from the source material. While being the daughter of Sportsmaster and Tigress in both mediums, where the two diverge is Artemis becoming a prominent member of the Injustice Society in the comics as her animated counterpart has been a noble, faithful member of the Team from the beginning. It would then, perhaps, be that more intriguing if their lines nonetheless converge in a fashion should the character end up with Icicle, Jr. Appearing since the very first episode of Young Justice, Icicle, Jr. has returned repeatedly as a foe of the Team and worked alongside Artemis when she adopted the guise of Tigress while acting undercover within the Light. In the comics, Artemis and Icicle married having a daughter in Isabelle Rose Mahkent.
Another product of Kingdom Come, Iris and Barry West are the children of the Flash Wally West and Angela Margolin with Iris having become Kid Flash. Another version of Iris emerged, this time with a brother in Jai and now the daughter of Wally and Linda Park while using the codename Impulse. Both versions named after Wally’s aunt who married the Barry Allen Flash, Iris has been a prominent speedster in both of her iterations. In Young Justice, Wally West disappeared in the second season finale and hasn’t been seen since save for as a hallucination. Fans speculate Wally’s disappearance meant the character went into the Speed Force but there’s no logical backing for this hypothesis. In fact, series co-creator Greg Weisman has said the concept of the Speed Force hasn’t made a great deal of sense to him. Among the myriad of possibilities of what may have become of Wally, could time travel or moving to a parallel universe to raise a family be among the options?
The son of Tempest (Garth) and Dolphin, Cerdian was an infant that sadly died with his mother during the fall of Atlantis. Young Justice re-imagined Aqualad as being a youth named Kaldur’ahm (largely, the star of the series) as Garth rejected becoming Aquaman’s sidekick. Garth nonetheless was a character in the series, even joining the Team off-screen under the code name Tempest (which is what he went by as an adult in the comics). The latest season of the series in Outsiders introduced Dolphin as an Indian youth whose meta-gene was activated by Klarion while Garth became the ambassador of Atlantis in the United Nations. Considering the existence of Kaldur who adopted the title of Aqualad in Young Justice whom also started a relationship with Atlantean royal guard Wyynde in the latest season, however, Cerdian could be re-imagined as an infant the couple adopted.
When you talk about the offspring of the Teen Titans, the two names that first come to mind are Lian Harper and Robert Long. The former the daughter of Speedy/Roy Harper and Cheshire/Jade Nguyen (emerging in Young Justice: Invasion), Robert was the son of Donna Troy and her husband Terry Long, a history professor who was Troy’s teacher. As with Cerdian, Robert did not generally have a positive fate. One version had Robert and his father die in a car accident. Another, the infant instantaneously grew into an adult named Lord Chaos who conquered the world. For Kingdom Come, Robert became the hero Darkstar after his mother and went on to lead the Titans. Troy was a member of the Team in Young Justice off-screen with Cassie Sandsmark typically acting as the group’s Wonder Girl. For Outsiders, Troy acted as the ambassador of Themyscira in the United Nations.
Daughter of Tempest (Garth) and likely Deep Blue (Debbie Perkins) in Kingdom Come, Tula was named after the former Aquagirl who was Garth’s girlfriend that died fighting beside him. There was a time it appeared Cerdian was retroactively going to become Tula but such has been attributed to a continuity error. For Young Justice, the original Tula was someone that both Kaldur’ahm and Garth sought romantically. Eventually joining the Team off-screen, Tula fell in battle prompting Garth and Kaldur to leave the Team (leading to the former Aqualad infiltrating the Light). Given Tula’s prominence in the series, chances are good should Garth or Kaldur have a daughter, the child would be named after her.
The son of Dick Grayson (Batman/Oracle) and his late wife Barbara Gordon on the post-Flashpoint Earth 2, John Grayson became his world’s second Robin (after Helena Wayne who went on to become Huntress). The television series Titans introduced its own version of John as a hallucinated son of Dick and Dawn Granger (Dove). For Young Justice, while the show is an ensemble cast, arguably Kaldur’ahm has been the star as Dick Grayson has been second only to him. For the latest season Outsiders, Grayson took center stage as the field leader of the show’s primary heroes. Also during this season, Gordon and Grayson formed a partnership both professionally and romantically with the former adopting the guise Oracle.
The adopted daughter of Conner Kent (Superboy) from his marriage to Lophi of Gemworld, Martha was named after Superman’s adopted mother who largely raised Conner when he moved to the Kent farm in Smallville. A central storyline of Young Justice: Outsiders focused around the relationship of Conner and M’gann M’orzz (Miss Martian) leading to their engagement for marriage. It shouldn’t then be too surprising if by the time the series comes back, not only would the couple be married but have a child.
Honorable mentions: Jake Grayson, Mar’i Grayson, and Stephanie Brown’s daughter.