Welcome back to Bleeding Cool’s recap of this week’s new episodes of DC Universe Young Justice: Outsiders, as we take a look at the season’s seventh episode “Evolution”.
Metropolis. September 8.
Dr. Jace heads out with Jeff for a dinner date–and an update on how the kids (Violet and Brion) are doing. Jeff assures her that they are gaining control over their abilities every day. Jace is upset that she does not get to spend as much time as she would like with the two metahumans, but understands that Jeff’s team has more experience in the field of teaching metahuman than she does. Once that awkward-for-a-date conversation ends, the two appear to have a good time the rest of the date, stumbling drunk back to Jace’s room, where she pulls Jeff inside.
The team of Conner, Artemis, Violet, Brion, and Forager are relaxing on the beach when Dick arrives with new supersuits for Violet and Brion. Brion’s not sure about the skin-tight body sock at first until he learns that it has been tailored to withstand his abilities, so no more burning up his street clothes and winding up naked by the end of his training.
The veterans pair off with the newcomers, testing control over their newfound abilities. With the individuals gaining mastery, Dick has the newbies choose their superhero names. Forager remains plain old Forager, Violet goes with Halo, and Brion selects Geo-Force–after “Hot Lava” was shot down. Dick has the recruits demonstrate their team maneuvers and is impressed with how far they have come along.
The best line of the episode comes during the downtime between training exercises. Brion says it is amazing to be here training to be a hero alongside the rest of the team. He reminisces about his younger self, Gregor, and Tara running around pretending to be the Justice League’s trinity. Brion says that he and Gregor used to debate who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman, with Conner stating, “That’s stupid. Why would they ever fight?” What follows is a gentle skewering of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, which exists both as fan service and provides depth of character.
The bulk of the episode focuses on Vandal Savage, with the story of his rise to prominence over the 50,000 year history of humanity juxtaposed against Savage dealing with an alien threat against the earth. Savage’s story has been recorded by his follower Olympia, and is being related to and through Savage’s daughter Cassandra.
50,000 years ago, Savage saw a meteor crash to earth. He was drawn toward the glowing rock, but was ambushed along the way, first by an old cave bear that he had fought before (the one whose claws scarred Savage’s face) and then by a group of Neanderthals. Whether it was due to proximity to the meteor or as a result of his death at the hands of the Neanderthals, Savage’s meta-gene activated, resurrecting him as the first metahuman. Dick parallels the story of the extinction of Neanderthals and the reign of homo sapiens to the balance between homo sapiens and metahumans currently co-existing on the earth.
Throughout history, Savage has gone by many names, relentlessly on a path of conquest. In the 13th century, Darkseid invaded earth, bent on conquering the planet, and took the fight to the world’s largest empire and greatest army, led by Vandal Savage under the guise of Genghis Khan. Savage was killed but resurrected once again. Darkseid was intrigued by the powers Savage and his two gifted sons possessed. Savage boldly proposed a deal with Darkseid: leave earth and together the two would conquer the galaxy. Darkseid agreed, both knowing that someday–once the rest of the galaxy has been subdued–it will come down to a final battle between earth and Apokolips in a death-match for control of the galaxy.
In the present day, Savage pilots Warworld to intercept an alien armada headed toward earth. Savage attempts to hail the fleet and warn it to turn back. In response, the ships accelerate toward Warworld, forcing Savage to engage. With Savage preoccupied, another armada approaches earth from the other side of the galaxy. Savage calls to Darkseid for assistance in protecting their mutual interest of raising a metahuman army on earth. Darkseid agrees, sending Kalibak to boom tube in and flank the second armada. Savage is disgusted at Kalibak’s methods, understanding that it is better to capture and control than to kill one’s opponent.
Handing the reins of Warworld over to Cassandra, Savage boom tubes to the mothership located behind the fleet, just out of weapon’s range. Centuries ago, Savage–then as Marduk–defended his empire of Babylonia from an invading army under the control of Starro, along with his children Nabu (yes, the Nabu inside the Helmet of Fate) and Ishtar. Savage recognizes Starro’s control over the alien race and attacks the telepathic alien aboard the mothership. As he did back then, Savage fights with his daughter at his side to save the earth–and as then, Savage and his daughter are victorious once again. As heroes, Marduk and Ishtar were known to the humans as the Light.
Olympia wants to record this story while it’s still fresh in her mind, but Savage gently reminds her that he can’t have his story recorded for fear of his millennia-long plans being discovered. He cradles Olympia’s head in his arms and asks her why the story about the cave bear is her favorite. Olympia starts to answer but is cut off when Savage snaps the old lady’s neck. Rattled, Cassandra stammers that it was a mercy, that Olympia died lovingly in Savage’s arms. She says that she’ll see to the funeral arrangements. Savage says that she deserves the best – since she was Savage’s daughter, as well.
Make sure to check back this weekend for Bleeding Cool’s spoiler recap for Young Justice: Outsiders episode 8, “Triptych”.