An Ode To the One Season Wonders, Cut Down Too Soon

Sometimes, we have shows with a planned arc, headed by showrunners that know when to quit, that don’t get cancelled, allowing for a good conclusion, à la Orphan Black. Sometimes, we have shows that overstay their welcome by a bit, but not a horrible amount, in the style of Scrubs. Sometimes, we have shows that drag on way past the point where they should have ended, like Supernatural. And unfortunately, we also have the shows that got cancelled before they could really live.

1. Selfie

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Also known as that brief, glorious time when Karen Gillan got to be funny, and #StarringJohnCho was real.

John Cho is great at being the straight man to a more obviously absurd costar – we saw it in the Harold and Kumar movies with Kal Penn, and we see it here, with Karen Gillan. It only made it to six episodes airing before cancellation, but luckily, we got to see the other seven. It involved gently mocking all types of people and relying on characters for humour, rather than jokes – in fact, it reminds me a fair amount of The Good Place, with a leaning more towards the romantic end of the comedy spectrum. After all, a selfish saleswoman learning to be a better, more considerate person from a nerdy man that she occasionally irritates and falls for? Which one are we talking about?

2. Powerless

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I was, admittedly, disappointed when I watched the first episode and learned they’d veered away from the idea of being about an insurance company in the world of DC to being a tech company instead. If I recall correctly, the reason given was that it would be beyond skeevy for Bruce Wayne to own and profit from an insurance company. As true as that is, it could have easily been solved by having Bruce not own the company. Nothing else would have even needed to change!

That being said, a show set in the fictional equivalent of Cleveland, where people get annoyed at superheroes and supervillains delaying their morning commute and where dating a henchman is like dating a bass player? Comedy gold.

3. Bunheads

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Okay, I know what this looks like, but I swear that I’m not just saying that because it has Emma Dumont in it. Partially, sure. But not entirely.

I could never get into Gilmore Girls. But this, by the same showrunner, is funny, sweet, enjoyable – and actually, probably even better for having one season than it would have been with more. It’s a little specific, revolving around a dance studio, and for me, at least, it’s a bit heavy on things that happen just for the sake of plot convenience, but it’s good enough that I’m willing to forgive it for the stretch of disbelief.

Plus, you know, Emma Dumont.

4. Birds of Prey

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Ah, 2002. The days before Batman Begins, Superman Returns, and Iron Man. Hell, this was even before X2 came out. Unlike today, when superhero movies and shows seem to be coming out every few months, in 2002, Smallville was it. Everyone’s superhero needs could only be satisfied with that or good, old fashioned comic books. Which was why I find the fact that this show got cancelled a travesty.

Barbara Gordon as Oracle! Helena Wayne existing at all! Harley Quinn as Helena’s therapist! Birds of Prey did “a Batman show without Batman” over a decade before Gotham did, and while it may have been several steps in the direction of cheesy, it was charmingly so.

This was, unless I’m very much mistaken, the first female led superhero series since Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter. More than that – it wasn’t just the lead character that was a woman, it was other costars and the villain as well, not to mention many of the characters showing up in just a couple of the episodes. Alas, 2002 might have been too soon. The world wasn’t ready for that level of glory.


These four are only a handful of the excellent shows that got one season before cancellation. Goodbye to them, and all the others, including the ones yet to be cancelled. We’ll miss you!

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The Masterful Use Of Black Comedy In ‘Gotham’

Gotham has had a lot of high points and low points. I remember being hugely excited by the trailer and announcement. It was a great trailer – the story of how Gotham became Gotham, how it came to be a place that needs the Batman. I was watching it again the other day, and even now, three years later, knowing what the show became, I still love it.

They sold Gotham as a crime drama. It was dark, it was intense, it was exciting. David Mazouz looked, even then, as the perfect casting for a young Bruce. What they sold us isn’t what we got at all.

adore young Bruce and Selina. I think they’re some of the best parts of the show, and that they were fantastic casting choices. But as much as I love them, as much as I’ve always enjoyed their scenes, I have to also acknowledge that they kind of took over the show from the very beginning. The entire premise of the show was Gotham before Batman. And I was here for that in principle, but the point they picked as the start of darkness was the murder of the Waynes. By doing that, they had to involve Bruce, and whoever cast him did such a good job, it would have been an enormous waste to not use him in other plots.

The best way to actually do the Gotham before Batman and the villains would have probably been to focus on the crime families and how they created a world where masked vigilantes and themed supervillains roam the night, or maybe even Bruce’s parents. Maroni’s death way back in season one challenged that notion because he wasn’t supposed to die. He’s a staple of the Batman mythos, and he’s one of the few characters that has actually remained dead. (I think, it’s getting hard to keep track.) That death was the beginning of Gotham finding its footing as its own show, of the writers deciding that they didn’t care about the generally accepted canon.

Gotham took a while to figure out what it wanted to be. I remember loving the pilot, but being a bit let down by the next couple of episodes, because those were the days when it was a cop show, the days when it was trying to be the gritty drama the audience signed on to watch. Now? The show has almost moved past that initial question of what kind of city needs Batman, but I think it  handled the concept very well, just in probably a very different way than the audience initially expected – they crafted a world so absurdly dark that someone dressing up as a bat to go fight crime dooesn’t sound weird at all. In fact, it’s probably the least weird thing that’s happened. It’s glorious.

I used to be confused at how any of the timeline made sense – almost all the villains were full grown adults at the beginning while Bruce was still a child. What, was he going to be fighting senior citizens when he became Batman? By the time Dick becomes Nightwing in this universe, the villains should all be in retirement homes! But once I let that go, and stopped trying to apply logic to it, it became amazing, because Gotham is at its best when it’s so absurdly dark it becomes hilarious. It became a thousand times better once it gave up on plot in favour of the absurd. Like the ridiculousness of Oswald and Ed’s relationship. Nothing is funnier to me than the newfound Penguin and Riddler animosity. Oswald killed Ed’s girlfriend. Ed shoots Oswald. Oswald retaliates by freezing him and making him the centrepiece in his nightclub. Ed sends random people to rap terrible riddles at Oswald. Somewhere in there, the two of them bickered while locked up in a cage together.

Gotham is one of those rare, beautiful works that I can just enjoy. It’s kinda dumb and over the top. There are story choices that I don’t necessarily enjoy. There are characters that I’m not fond of. But it’s silly and enjoyable, while at the same time having some devastatingly powerful scenes. It’s beautiful nonsense that can’t be viewed logically. At one pooint, a mobster kills the former mayor with a rocket launcher. As this post puts it:

After a rocky first season, Gotham has become more entertaining by its sheer audacity and silliness, as well as its refusal to give a damn about Bat-canon. the stories have seemed random, characters and plot are introduced and then abandoned at a dizzying rates, anything can happen and anything can un-happen.

I don’t think the show handles women well. Partially because of how many of them die, but more due to the employment of sexist tropes. Tabitha and Ivy are especially poorly handled. Tabitha barely got to do anything until Selina, who apparently needs mentors now, teamed up with her. They replaced the original Ivy actress so that they could sexualize her, except her mind was still clearly that of a little girl. What was the point? It was disgusting. If they really felt the need to employ her “seductive personality from the comics” so badly, why couldn’t they just introduce Ivy Pepper’s older cousin, Pamela Isley? That would solve two problems at once!

I love Gotham and its black comedy. I grin like an idiot whenever I watch a new episode. It is so close to being fantastic, it just needs to treat its female characters better. As it is, they’ve mastered dark, absurdist humour and crafted a beautifully unique and watchable show.

Love Triangles and Killing the Hypotenuse

I love The Gifted. I do. I have my issues with it, and I don’t always love the writing, but I think that overall it’s a very enjoyable show that often handles the issues marginalized communities face well. However, as much as I love most aspects of the show, I’m not a fan of some of the relationship drama.  Lorna and Marcos tend to be handled well – even when there’s some amount of tension between them, they resolve it quickly enough. But the love triangle between John, Clarice, and Sonya bothered me immensely. It was shoddily introduced, and the resolution was even worse.

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The love triangle didn’t emerge as a result of Clarice and John getting to know each other and her realizing she had feelings for him while he was still involved with Sonya. It  came about because Sonya gave Clarice her memory of kissing him, and Clarice’s own feelings ended up blending with Sonya’s.

Sonya giving Clarice her memory to help Clarice focus her powers made perfect sense. Sonya had to come up with a solution fast, and this is what she does. She doesn’t have an offensive power, not like any of the others. She couldn’t save the others directly, but she could get Clarice to a point where she could. The less reasonable thing was what happened afterwards. Sonya had every reason to remove the memory from Clarice’s head. Sonya loved John. That much has been made very clear. He may not feel the same way about her – or at least, not as strongly – but she loved him. The memory she gave Clarice was one of her own. It was personal to her. She wouldn’t want Clarice to have that. We were never given an actual reason why she didn’t, leaving it as just drama presented for the sake of it.

Sonya’s death was predictable. Likely, in fact. She was a significant enough character that it would have an emotional impact while not being billed as a main; she had important relationships with multiple leads; and, most of all, she was the other woman in a love triangle. Killing the other love interest happens painfully frequently, especially when the other love interest has been established as a sympathetic character and the writers are trying to up the stakes. So the second Sonya went with Clarice on the mission to the power station, I was on edge, and the instant she started talking about how she used to volunteer at a shelter, I knew she was gone.

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This is a show filled with original characters and minor comics characters. John and Esme were both killed off quickly in the source material, but got expanded roles in the show. Not so with Sonya. In the comics, Beautiful Dreamer is a very minor character, to the point where The Gifted writers got to name her. That left the writers free to do pretty much anything with her. So what did they do? They used her as part of a love triangle, then killed her. Sonya’s death was wasteful.

A lot of people have tried to justify the decision to kill her. Some have argued that it was necessary for Lorna to make the decision to kill Campbell, others that it was great because it meant she stopped standing in the way of Clarice and John’s potential relationship. I firmly disagree on both counts.

I deeply, fundamentally disagree with the idea that the only way to raise the stakes and to make a villain appear dangerous is to kill a character. It can be effective, but oftentimes, like in this case, it comes across as more lazy than anything else. Death as a motivator can be a powerful tool, but Lorna already had plenty of motivation. Protecting her baby. Fear of the Hound program. Doing the necessary thing so that the others in her family didn’t have to. Everything that happened in the finale could have happened with Sonya alive.

Think about the Nightmare Fuel that is the entire concept of Hounds. How much more of an impact would they make if we actually knew any of them? A name, a personality, a backstory. Gus may have been an attempt at that, but we know very little about him, other than that he was once a member of the Underground and John’s best friend. Had Sonya become a Hound, that whole idea would become even more horrifying, Campbell would have become an even scarier villain, and Lorna would have increased personal investment in ending the program. Or something like having her powers eliminated – that could have worked as well.

Had her death really been to motivate Lorna, we’d have gotten more than a passing mention of it in the finale from John in a different conversation. Sonya was Lorna’s best friend, and not only did she not bring her up when trying to explain why she had to kill Campbell, John didn’t do it either. He didn’t tell Lorna that he understood, because he’d lost Sonya, too, but they couldn’t just accept killing innocents as collateral damage. He mentioned her death in passing, then kissed Clarice. And the only conclusion that I can draw from that is that the primary reasons for killing Sonya were shock value and resolving the love triangle.

Her character was so often reduced to her relationship with John, but in addition to serving as the link between him and Clarice, she served as the link between Clarice and Lorna. Clarice started off helping the mutant underground because she felt like she owed Lorna, but we didn’t get any scenes between them between the first episode and the finale. Lorna said they were friends, but we never saw that develop. Sonya, on the other hand? She was Lorna’s best friend, and we saw them working together – when they went after Marcos, when they went into the bar. She was the first – and only – person Lorna thought to ask for help. Sonya and Clarice were in prison together and shared the connection of Sonya’s memory.

That friendship – Lorna, Sonya, and Clarice – had a huge amount of potential, especially when you consider the contrast that could have been made between Sonya and Esme’s influence. As this post points out, if Sonya ultimately went with Lorna, she could have been the one with the less hardline, more moderating stance in contrast to the Cuckoos extremism, with Lorna torn between them. If she didn’t, she could have been another voice trying to draw Lorna back from the dark side with a different perspective than Marcos. But by killing Sonya to get her out of the way of John and Clarice’s relationship, and to give Lauren and Andy approximately five minutes of angst, all that potential was thrown away.

It was an enormous waste of a good, potentially great, character. I’ve said before that if you feel the need to change a character’s characterization to resolve a relationship, it’s not a well written relationship. The same principle applies to killing a character. The Death of the Hypotenuse page contains a list of characters that were part of a love triangle, then killed off. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to like this trope. Especially not when it’s a female character being killed, as if they have nothing to contribute on their own merits, as if all that matters is their status as a love interest.

I don’t always agree with character deaths that occur for reasons other than removing the obstacle from a romantic relationship. I’ve thought a lot of characters that the writers killed off would be more valuable alive than dead. But that’s a matter of different perspectives on what makes a good story. I can respect people with their own strong vision as to what they should do. In general, tropes are tools, not fundamentally good or bad. But tropes like the Death of the Hypotenuse? For me, they often demonstrate a lack of effort. I have more respect for writers that kill off characters for shock value than I do for those that do it because it makes writing the story easier.

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Part Three

‘Designated Survivor’ and Political Optimism

Courage, my friends, ’tis not too late to build a better world.

Tommy Douglas, an icon of Canadian progressivism said that. Designated Survivor  embraces this concept completely – no matter what bad things happen or how scary the state of the country and world looks, Tom Kirkman doesn’t give up. He keeps fighting for a better tomorrow. Fitting, seeing as Douglas was Kiefer Sutherland’s grandfather.

We don’t have to agree upon everything, but we do need to share common values and believe in the principle that all people have a right to equal treatment and protection under the law. Kirkman is a registered independent that leans left in his political views, but his most important ally during the first season was a Republican Congresswoman. And the reason that’s important is that they disagreed on policies. Not issues.

The polarization of politics isn’t bad if it’s about actual issues. Of course not. We shouldn’t compromise on core values. There are things in this world that are a matter of right and wrong, with no room for debate. Discrimination, gun violence, abuse, workers rights violations – we might not agree on how to fix them, but if the disagreement is over whether or not they are problems, then someone is wrong. Polarization becomes a problem when it’s over superficial differences. When it’s a matter of, it’s okay when we do it.

There was a fantastic moment in the second season when the Kirkman administration was trying to get approval to launch a military strike on American soil against Patrick Lloyd, an American citizen. Senator Hunter challenges it, and when Aaron questions her and asks her to trust Kirkman to not abuse his power and to not ask for this if he had any other choice, she says that she does, but that she still can’t let him to order the strike, because a time will come when there’s a president she doesn’t trust to make that decision.

That is something I wish we had today. One of my issues with the Democratic Party over the past several years was the blind Obama worship. I touched upon it in this post. I do believe that Obama did good things, while also finding some of his positions abhorrent. But now, every time someone criticizes Obama or the Democratic Party, people jump in with the same whataboutism they rightfully criticize when it comes from Trump or the Republican Party. Saying that I disapprove of the Obama administration’s prosecution of whistleblowers or his extrajudicial drone strikes does not take away from my disapproval of Trump and his travel bans and incitement of racist violence. We have to hold everyone to the highest standards, otherwise there’s no point.

Congress does not exist to blindly support any president and be a yes-man. It exists to separate the judicial and executive branches of federal government. It exists as part of the system of checks and balances required for a functional democracy. It exists to police the executive branch and force it to make the best, most ethical decisions it can.

I loved that Designated Survivor actually shows what a government should be. It’s not perfect, because the world isn’t perfect. There are bad politicians that care more about their own agendas and prejudices than about helping people. There are hard choices that need to be made. But Kirkman is a good man that wants nothing more than to do the right thing, both in and out of the country. Senator Hunter sometimes opposes him, but she’s also a good person, just with a different role to play. And together, they worked to rebuild a devastated country.

The world is messy. Not all choices will be easy. But it is possible to make better ones and improve the world we live in.

‘The Gifted’ and the Mutant Metaphor

The X-Men and mutants in general have always represented the oppressed, the persecuted minorities. The movies address the big picture of what that means and sweep over the details. But what The Gifted does, and with startling competence, is address how bigotry and anti-mutant sentiment would affect the life of an average mutant that doesn’t necessarily have a powerful mutation and that doesn’t have the resources of someone affiliated with the X-Men. That is to say, it takes the perspective of a minority without fame, money, or powerful friends. Health care. Criminal justice. Civil rights. All of these are issues that marginalized communities face every day, and The Gifted has been addressing all of them.

Health Care

The second episode pointed out that mutants don’t have access to good health care. Some healthcare providers don’t even know how to treat them. The first is applicable to many minority groups, while the second is somewhat more specific to the disabled. It’s been more than a throwaway line, as well – even outside of the episode where Clarice got sick, which focused quite a bit on mutant health care, the show hinted at the issue of health care in prisons through Lorna. She was assaulted, then thrown into a cell without medical treatment, despite being pregnant.

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Prison System and Mass Incarceration

In both Marvel and DC, inhibitor collars cut off any powers the wearer might have. The prison Lorna is in in The Gifted uses a different type of collar to stop mutants from using their abilities. Unlike the traditional inhibitor collars, they don’t prevent the wearers from accessing their powers – instead they just discourage the usage of them by electrocuting the wearer. That’s torture. That’s inflicting unnecessary and intentional pain. Legally, that’s cruel and unusual punishment. And they didn’t even tell Lorna what it did before putting her in a cell.

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Lorna is an adult with full control over her powers. She can stop using them. She shouldn’t have to, but she can. But what happens to other people? Take, for example, children in juvie that don’t have full control of their powers yet. The show established that any damage caused by mutant powers, whether to a person or physical property, accident or not, is a major crime. These mutant children would be electrocuted, not because they did anything, but because of what they are. And they’ll continue to be hurt, because they’re locked in a prison being punished for something they can’t help, not in the outside world where they should be growing up and learning how to use those powers.

In the fourth episode, Reed explicitly brought up mandatory minimums. This demonstrates how mutants in universe are treated very differently when it comes to the judicial system. If a white baseline human committed an act of intentional vandalism, they would be treated more leniently than a mutant destroying something unintentionally, especially if said baseline human had the money for a good lawyer. This is full on institutionalized racism, and is clearly inspired by the causes of criminal recidivism, especially in the US.

Civil Rights

When people are afraid of the other, they stop seeing civil rights as being of paramount importance. In our world, we see that in the aftermath of terrorist attacks. The fear after 9/11 resulted in Congress pushing through the Patriot Act. All Muslims became viewed as potential terrorists, and the fear of the unknown and of what might happen resulted in people voluntarily giving up their rights and freedoms for more perceived safety. The Patriot Act was directly mentioned in the first episode, and a huge part of the show revolves around how non mutants don’t care what civil rights violations are happening, just so long as they’re happening to mutants.

In the universe of The Gifted, mutant children are separated from their parents and tried as adults in a biased court system. Mutants are taken to secret locations and not allowed contact with their families or lawyers. They’re called terrorists regardless of what their crimes are. The parallels to the so-called war on terror, to Guantanamo Bay, to the reporting of crimes in the media, are clear.

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The X-Men comics and movies are often criticized for being allegories for racism, but not featuring many people of colour, much less in prominent roles. The Gifted isn’t like that. Outside of the Struckers, the four main characters are Marcos Diaz, John Proudstar, Clarice Fong, and Lorna Dane. Out of those four, three are people of colour. It adds a level of realism to the metaphor in addition to providing valuable representation. Nearly as importantly is how the characters of different backgrounds are used.

Out of the four adult mutants, the one that faced violence in prison was the only white one. Lorna was the one that got punched and kicked on top of the electrocution from the collar. People of colour face enough violence in reality – there’s no need to add fictional violence to that. In the context of the show, Lorna is an oppressed minority, while outside of it, she’s not. Using her to illustrate inmate abuse and injustice in the legal system while including mutants of colour in other roles was the most sensitive way to get the point across.

What makes mutants as presented in The Gifted a good metaphor for marginalized groups is that they have aspects of many different marginalized groups. They manifest at different points in life, and oftentimes are ostracized after that, which is reminiscent of LGBT people coming out. They’re seen as criminals to be suspicious of even when they haven’t done anything, like people of colour everywhere. And they don’t have access to the type of decent healthcare they need, like many disabled people. They’re an imperfect metaphor – unlike mutants, who can be unintentionally dangerous, there’s absolutely no reason to fear people of colour, immigrants, the disabled, LGBT individuals – but they’re our power fantasy.

I don’t love all of The Gifted. I don’t think it looks aesthetically great, and some of the effects are pretty cheesy. Some of the performances aren’t very compelling. Caitlin and Reed have somewhat more nuanced characters, but Lauren and Andy seem flat, especially when compared to the adult mutants. I’m willing to give them a chance to develop over the next few episodes, especially as they’re original characters that have potential in principle, but I’d be more lenient if the writers hadn’t already demonstrated through Marcos that they’re capable writing a compelling new character from the beginning. Despite these issues, I think the show itself is valuable. Out of all X-Men related media, it is the most well thought out and intelligently crafted. It combines excellent world building with compassion for individuals, especially the marginalized, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

Orphan Black: Goodbye to Five Seasons of Beautiful Sci-Fi

Orphan Black is ending today, and I’m torn between sadness that it’s going to end when I need a story about female empowerment more than ever and happiness that it happened at all, and that they knew not to try and push it past the time it should end. A lot of great shows overstay their welcome and drag out longer than they should, past the point of being good and into the land of being made for the sake of being made. It makes me really happy that Orphan Black isn’t doing that. They’re wrapping up the story, and while I’ll inevitably be sad it’s over, I’ll be happy that it was amazing while it lasted.

Orphan Black, my little Canadian sci-fi drama that could have been terrible, but was amazing instead. It was so nice to see a show filmed in Toronto that admitted that it was set in Canada – I practically cheered when Felix said it outright. It was obvious to anyone from Ontario that it was Canadian. Everything from Alison’s home in Scarborough to the money to the trillium driver’s licenses were easily identifiable. With how many shows are filmed in Toronto but that pretend to be some American city or the other, it was nice to finally have something that was Canadian.

It’s not hugely popular. It’s no The Walking Dead, or anything like that. It’s got a hugely devoted fanbase, but not a broad one. But it’s a story about women’s right to bodily autonomy. It’s about deeply flawed people that make choices both good and bad, that are far from perfect, but still sympathetic and fundamentally decent. It’s about nature vs nurture and found families. It’s about earning your happy ending and refusing to give up no matter what. It’s about how broken, traumatized, depressed people are still worthy of love and happiness. It’s a celebration of what it means to be human – one of the key questions of science fiction – and for that, it means so much to me and always will.

There are issues that I have with Orphan Black, same as with everything, and I’m vocal about those issues, but there’s so much heart in everything to do with the show, that it’s easy to still enjoy it despite those issues. Like the characters it depicts, the show is flawed, but it’s trying to be better. It’s so strange to think that tonight will be the last episode before it’s over. Five seasons. So many characters and arcs.

The characters have always been my favourite part of the show – they’re all so different and multifaceted. They all have very interesting and unique dynamics with each other. That’s even more impressive when half the characters are played by one woman, and those characters interact with each other without ever sounding the same. This is done well enough that I often forget that they’re all one person. Making that seem real requires very skilled visual effects people and a spectacular lead actress. It was a technical masterpiece as well as beautifully written and wonderfully acted. I’m going to miss this so much.

It’s time to say goodbye to these characters that have spent years being unashamedly themselves – real, flawed, not always likeable, but oh so human. It’s great to know that I’ll be able to look back not with disappointment because it’s a show that had more seasons than it should have and declined in quality, or because it got cancelled before it could wrap up the story that it meant to tell, but a little wistful happiness because I’ll miss it, but it ran just as long as it should have. Thank you, Orphan Black. It’s been amazing.

Young Justice Updates From SDCC

Today was the Young Justice panel at SDCC, and we got lots of interesting information. I’m still kind of in awe that we’re getting a season three, and even though it’s not on Cartoon Network anymore, I’m still not going to stop holding my breath until we get through the season without a hiatus.young justice season 3 characters.jpg

1. The Outsiders

The season is going to be called Outsiders. Out of these characters, I think only Arsenal has ever been on any incarnation of the comics Outsiders team. This isn’t unexpected for this show, considering that the season one cast was far from the traditional members of Young Justice.

2. Stephanie Brown

Stephanie was one of the characters fans were clamouring to see when the first two seasons were airing, and she did make a brief appearance in season two. From her presence in this picture, dressed in her Spoiler costume, it appears the Young Justice Batfamily will be expanding beyond just Bruce, Dick, Tim, and Barbara.

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3. Original Members

The picture of the original team is missing Wally, who sacrificed himself at the end of season two, and surprisingly, M’gann. This doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t be in the season, but if she is, it begs the question, why leave her out? Perhaps she’ll be undercover and her suit would be a spoiler? Notably, neither Artemis nor Dick, the only characters of the four included that usually wear masks/cowls to hide their identity are wearing their usual disguise, while they’re both wearing something on their lower faces, while Kaldur and Conner aren’t. A gas mask, possibly?