Young Justice: Phantoms Showrunners Talk The Aftermath Of The Big Death And Moving On With Artemis (2023)

Young Justice: Phantoms Showrunners Talk The Aftermath Of The Big Death And Moving On With Artemis (1)

Warning: spoilers ahead for the first five episodes of Young Justice Season 4.

Young Justice made a surprise return for Season 4 back in October by dropping the first two episodes on its new platform before even announcing a premiere date. Titled Young Justice: Phantoms, the new season is broken up into arcs of multiple episodes, and it didn’t take long for the show to deliver the biggest tragedy since the loss of Wally West: the death of Conner, a.k.a. Superboy, on Mars. Now, the show has shifted the focus to Artemis, but the aftermath of Conner’s death continues, and showrunners Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti opened up about what comes next.

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Superhero shows don’t always kill off characters – particularly major characters – and keep them dead, but all signs point toward the reality that Conner really did die shortly before he was supposed to marry M’gann. When the showrunners spoke with CinemaBlend about Season 4, they addressed Conner’s death" in a pretty definitive way, and Greg Weisman shared the importance of Young Justice delivering real tragedy that hits close to home for the heroes sometimes:

I definitely think that the repercussions of even little things, but certainly something as big as Conner's death have to play out across the rest of the season. I just think that's real life, that's essential. We're not the kind of show that sort of does something and then forgets about it a minute later, even if it's something relatively small. Back in Season 1, there was a training exercise that went badly. And we spent the whole next episode just dealing with the ramifications of a training exercise where no one was actually physically hurt. So obviously, something like this is going to be playing out all season long, and potentially, assuming we get another season, forever.

Greg Weisman referred back to the Season 1 episode that was really a turning point for some of the young heroes, as they faced what seemed like the very real deaths of their teammates and what was more or less a suicide mission by the end. It was fortunately just an exercise, but certainly not one that the original team just shook off, and even left Robin with the realization that he didn’t want to become the Batman. And Conner’s death is obviously a much bigger deal. Based on comments from the co-showrunner, Young Justice will respect Conner’s legacy by dealing with the effects of his death on his loved ones for as long as the show runs, even if not constantly.

With Young Justice: Phantoms split up into arcs, however, the grief of Conner's loved ones won’t be explored all at once. The arc that directly follows the Mars story that focused on Conner, M’gann, and Garfield centers on Artemis. Artemis had finally found some peace post-Wally with a job she liked, a man in her life, and what seemed to be a happy home life with Will and Lian… up until she got the news of Conner’s death. The showrunners weighed in on why Artemis was the right character whose arc would follow Conner’s death, with Greg Weisman saying:

I think Mars was so big and science fictiony, our sort of Mars noir arc, that it was good to come back and ground the show for the second arc, in the spy stuff and the real life that Artemis' arc provides us. I think the contrast is helpful and I think it makes the grief that everyone's experiencing feel more real too because we're in an environment that's more real.

As one of the non-superpowered superheroes of Young Justice, Artemis’ stories generally are among the most grounded in the series. Fans truly may be able to relate more to Artemis dealing with her grief while trying to go about her normal life than M’gann’s mourning on Mars. Brandon Vietti elaborated:

I think also Artemis was the right character because we've seen her journey through grief and through loss. Those are certainly something that we're picking up on with fans, having done a similar story between her and Wally, but now with Conner and [M’gann]. But now seeing, of all the people on our core team of characters, to have to go through this again. Not only for herself, but because she knows what an impact Conner has been for [M'gann] and everybody else on the team. And they're more than just a team, they're a family. And so to kind of experience this new loss through her eyes, knowing her backstory, I think there's just a lot of resonance there, a lot of threads to pick up on. I think the audience will feel that and find those new threads interesting.

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As tragic as it has been to watch Artemis go through the process of mourning Wally, she has developed in some interesting ways, and now can understand what her friend is going through in a way unlike anybody else. It was clear in the first episode of Artemis’ arc that the loss of Wally still hurts, but she’s dealing with it better than before. Greg Weisman summed up why Artemis' was the right story to tell after Conner’s death:

I think one of the major themes of the season is empathy, and no one's gonna be able to empathize with M'gann more than Artemis can.

The latest episode also proved that Artemis isn’t wholly overwhelmed by her grief, even though it did intrude into the content life she’d built for herself. Once she was needed in the situation with Onyx and Cassandra Savage, she was all but unstoppable. And the episode wasn’t all misery and tragedy from start to finish. Will’s despair at the loss of his favorite clipboard – followed by him holding his own against assassins with a pen and lamenting another SUV being destroyed – delivered some levity, which co-showrunner Brandon Vietti says is essential to Young Justice

Well, you need the humor. I mean, if everything's down then nothing is down, right? You have to have ups and downs. It's a roller coaster ride, and we plan for that, as we're breaking each story. It's satisfying, I think, to have that emotional journey, but to have especially the downside of that, to suffer grief, suffer pain. But you have to contrast that with levity, you have to lighten things up. And that's life, there are ups and downs in life. And we're always trying to reflect the reality of the world around us. That's an integral part of the show. But also we just know that's just part of entertainment as well, that you have to have those ups and downs because both of those can grow characters and sort of expand on the material. The levity can expand on the more dramatic elements. The dramatic elements can expand on the levity. It's sort of a dance between those things that hopefully our audiences enjoy. At least sometimes. We know there's parts of that journey that are not enjoyable, [laughs] but hopefully in the best possible way.

Considering there are still Young Justice fans holding out hope for Wally West to come back alive, well, and whole, there are definitely tragic parts of the series that need those ups to guarantee that the show is still fun to watch. And Young Justice will undoubtedly never be a show with episodes that are 25 minutes of straight laughs (although Dick stuck on a Bowhunter Security mission with the Harpers in Season 3 was probably the closest), so the roller coaster has to be a good thing.

See what happens next with Artemis’ arc in Young Justice: Phantoms with new episodes releasing on Thursdays on HBO Max (opens in new tab). The full first three seasons are available streaming as well, whether you want to start again from the beginning, rewatch some old favorites, or just refresh your memory on how the characters all got to this point. For some more options now and in the coming weeks, swing by our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule!


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Young Justice: Phantoms Showrunners Talk The Aftermath Of The Big Death And Moving On With Artemis (2)

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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.

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Who is Artemis's new boyfriend in Young Justice? ›

Jason Bard was a United States Marine and is now a private detective in Star City. He owns a dog named Holly and is dating Artemis Crock.

Did Artemis like Superboy? ›

Artemis is a member of the Team. Originally when Superboy and Artemis first met, Artemis developed romantic feelings for him and openly flirted with him, much to the annoyance and jealousy of Miss Martian.

Is Young Justice: Phantoms the last season? ›

'Young Justice' Won't Return for Season 5 at HBO Max.

Will Wally return in Young Justice Season 4? ›

Wally is dead in the Young Justice universe, and it doesn't seem like he'll return any time soon. It's unlikely that the show will go for a straightforward adaptation of the controversial storyline, which is honestly for the best.

Who does Artemis marry? ›

In Greek mythology, Artemis is the virgin goddess, so named because she has never had carnal relations with anyone and has never had a husband.

Who does Artemis love? ›

When clouds weren't blocking her view, Artemis gazed down on Orion as he roamed around his deserted island, and she fell in love with him. But there was a problem: The gods could not mingle with the mortals. Artemis knew this but couldn't resist. One night as she was guiding the moon, she gave into temptation.

Who was Artemis's female lover? ›

There is at least one myth that makes it explicit that she shared a degree of physical intimacy with one of her nymphs, Callisto.

Who did Artemis dislike? ›

Artemis and Aphrodite had a rivalry that was not no secret. Aphrodite hated that Artemis had some people who believed in the virgin goddess who stay single and don't fall in love. So the goddess of love and beauty would target those who follow Artemis and kill or make them fall in love.

Is Artemis a virgin? ›

Artemis was a virgin goddess, and she was accompanied by nymphs, who also were expected to remain virgins. If any of these nymphs slipped up and lost their virginity, Artemis treated them very harshly. One such attendant was Callisto, whom Zeus raped.

How old was Wally West when he died? ›

Evan McCulloch arrives as the new Mirror Master, confronting Barry & Wally. 9 years ago - 17-year-old Wally is passed the mantle of the Flash when Barry Allen dies saving Iris West's life from Eobard Thawne. He is comforted at his funeral by Hartley Rathaway.

Does Wally get a new suit? ›

June cleverly rescues Wally from bad taste after he is goaded by Eddie Haskell into buying a new suit for an upcoming school dance without his parents' help.

Is Wally West faster than Barry Allen? ›

Wally comes close to his mentor, Barry Allen, in speed, but does not match him in speed. He has been confirmed to be the fastest being in the entire DC Multiverse.

Can Artemis have a child? ›

Artemis was the daughter of the Zeus and Leto. Her twin brother was Apollo. Apollo was also an important god in Greek religion. Artemis was unmarried and never had children.

Who married Athena? ›

Athena is typically depicted as a virgin goddess with no husband or offspring. However, according to a story by the first-century Roman author Hyginus, Athena (called Minerva) is married to Hephaestus (called Vulcan), the god of blacksmithing and artisans.

Did Artemis ever have a lover? ›

Istrus wrote a version in which Artemis fell in love with Orion, apparently the only person she ever did. She meant to marry him, and no talk from her brother Apollo would change her mind.

Did Athena have a lover? ›

She never had a true lover or someone to hug and hold her; all she had was her loving mother, caring father and most of all her brothers and sisters. For some very strange reason it was hopeless that she would fall in love; Hephaestus tried once, yet failed. Athena was well known for giving advice/mentoring heroes.

Why is Artemis a virgin? ›

Being associated with chastity, Artemis at an early age asked her father Zeus to grant her eternal virginity. Also, all her companions were virgins. Artemis was very protective of her purity, and gave grave punishment to any man who attempted to dishonor her in any form.

What were Artemis weaknesses? ›

Artemis' Weaknesses

She does, however, have a few. Her primary weaknesses are her lack of mercy and her pride. There are several versions of the death of her friend, Orion, but all seem to lead back to Artemis being his killer, either directly or indirectly.

Who is Artemis Crock married to? ›

Paula Brooks
Team affiliationsInjustice Society Young All-Stars All-Star Squadron
PartnershipsSportsmaster (husband) Artemis (youngest daughter)
Supporting character ofArtemis Crock
9 more rows

Is Artemis dating Jason? ›

Jason Todd's had a pretty rough life all around, but in Batman: The Three Jokers #3 and Red Hood and the Outlaws #50, he suffers some serious romantic hits. Jason Todd has been romantically involved with the Amazonian Artemis while working alongside her and the other Outlaws.

Who is Artemis boyfriend Greek? ›

The most famous story involves Orion, a long-time hunting companion of hers. In fact, he may as well have been Artemis' only love interest.

Does Artemis get with Will Harper? ›

In the penultimate episode called "Overwhelmed," the relationship between Artemis and Will Harper begins to heat up, partially due to their cohabitation and raising of Will's daughter Lian. This causes Artemis to breakdown and, eventually, reunite with the man who was taken from her at the end of Season 2.

Did Artemis have a child? ›

She was represented in art and literature with her bow and her hunting dogs, and often with her short dress that made hunting easier. One of Artemis' other major attributes was her virginity. Unlike most Greek women, Artemis remained unmarried and never had children.

What race is Artemis? ›

Artemis is a half-Caucasian and half-Vietnamese, teenage girl of average height.

What is Artemis real name? ›

Artemis, in Greek religion, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation and of chastity and childbirth; she was identified by the Romans with Diana. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo.

Do Artemis and Kid get together? ›

After months of antagonism and quibbles, they eventually grew closer to each other, and ultimately formed a relationship that lasted up until Kid Flash's death.

Did Talia Al Ghul sleep with Jason? ›

At this point, she renounced her love for Bruce and urged Jason to cross the line and be a vigilante without limits. The two of them slept together to spite Batman and their journey can be viewed in the Red Hood: The Lost Days graphic novel.

Who did Jason Todd marry? ›

In DCeased: Dead Planet #5, the main cast meets up with Jason Todd, who reveals he's married to Rose Wilson, aka Ravager. The two heroes have been happy together, despite the chaos that surrounds them.


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