On November 7, 2016, Warner Brothers Television announced that the show would return to production due to huge demand after a three-year absence. A little over two years later, the 3rd Season of the show made it's debut on DC's streaming service in January 2019.
Aqualad/Kaldur'ahm was created for this series. Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis liked the character so much that they subsequently adapted him for the DC comic books (with dreadlocked hair and the alter ego Jackson Hyde) debuting in Brightest Day #4. Johns revealed the reason the new Aqualad was added to the comics was because his voice actor Khary Payton asked for the character to be included in the comics.
The Producers went into this series with two goals: to capture the interests of not only the youngest kids but also the older crowds and to make the show feel as realistic as they could with animation.
One of the deciding factors on how the producers chose the main characters (Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian, and Artemis) is that they wanted to have adults that the kids viewed as mentors or as parental figures.
Fairly early on in development the decision was made that this was going to be a young DC universe, where the heroes haven't been around that long. Once that decision was made, producer Greg Weisman decided to use Dick Grayson and Wally West as Robin and Kid Flash because he felt that rather than be a strict adaptation of the comic Young Justice, which used Tim Drake and Bart Allen, they were really working with an entire history and legacy which were critical to the story.
Lead character designer Phil Bourassa and producer Brandon Vietti made a conscious decision to try to handle the Justice League with a little more of a classic design sensibility than the Young Justice team. They did this to try to visually show the difference between generations since the series is all about that dynamic.
There was a spin off comic based on this series. Even though it's based on the show, the creative team wanted the comic to have it's own continuity that runs alongside the series and be interesting in its own right.
In January 2016, producer Greg Weisman finally revealed the reason for the show's cancellation stating was due to Mattel canceling the toy line, pulling the funding for the show since the show's funding was based on a toy deal with Mattel. With no sources of income large enough to replace the money from Mattel, the show was not picked up for Season 3.
Although it's adapted from a combination of comics from the 1960s Teen Titans run through the 1990s Young Justice run, the series mostly draws from Geoff Johns and Mike McKone's Teen Titans (vol.3) comic run.
The Justice Leagues member numbers are based on when they joined the team such as Batman is 002, Aquaman is 006, and Martian Manhunter is 007 because they were original members yet Green Arrow and Red Tornado are 008 and 016 respectively.
In January 2013, Cartoon Network announced that the show would be canceled after remaining episodes of Season 2, Young Justice: Invasion, aired on their DC Nation Saturday morning block. Cartoon Network replaced the show on their DC Nation block with reruns of Teen Titans Go! (2013) (which aired new episodes on Thursdays). Though the Block still used artwork for this show on it's commercial bumpers.
The Young Justice team is similar to the Impossible Missions Force from Mission: Impossible (1966) with teenage superheroes. They operate from the abandoned Justice League cave, are supervised by the android Red Tornado, trained by Black Canary, and given their covert assignments by Batman.
It took months to have this series get the green light, because Warner Brother and Cartoon Network and DC are all part of the same Time-Warner family, so getting them to communicate with each other takes a long time. In October 2009, the series finally got the green light.
Aqualad's tattoos are only visible because he never finished his training in the sorcery of magic. The tattoos would have become invisible if he had finished it, just like the other atlantian magic users Garth and Tula whose tattoos are hidden and become visible when they use their magic.
A new Robin joins the team in Season 2. This Robin is a character named Tim Drake, the third character to take the mantle. Tim's Robin costume is similar to the original, but updated with Batman like rippled cape and gloves and an italicized "R" that doubles as a shurken.
After the team formed, Kid Flash was very fond of collecting souvenirs, often exclaiming "Souvenir!" upon acquiring one. Kid Flash eventually grew his collection from taking an item from every mission he goes on with the team.
In Season 2, Wally West is semi-retired as Kid Flash, wanting to live a normal life with Artemis. In the comics, Wally West questioned his super hero career and eventually gave up being Kid Flash during the Marv Wolfman & George Perez era of "The New Teen Titans" comic.
Most of the cast from Greg Weisman's previous series Gargoyles (1994) play small or recurring roles in this series; including Jeff Bennett (Owen/Brooklyn - Red Tornado), Thom Adox-Hernandez,(Lexington - Klarion the Witch Boy), Bill Fagerbakke, (Broadway - Big Bear), Edward Asner, (Hudson - Kent Nelson), Marina Sirtis (Demona - Queen Bee), Brent Spiner,(Puck - Joker) and Keith David, (Goliath - Mongul). Notable exceptions include Salli Richardson, (Elisa Maza), Frank Welker, (Bronx), Brigette Bako, (Angela) and Jonathan Frakes (Xanatos)
This version of Blockbuster has a very different appearance from the comic book version. The creative team purposefully redesigned him because they felt the original design was too similar to Marvel Comics' The Incredible Hulk.
The Super-Cycle makes its first animated appearance in this animated series. It first appears as a Sphere with artificial intelligence and it is rescued by Superboy he adopts it as a pet. The Sphere was revealed to be originally called the "New Genesphere", as told by the Forever People, and had the ability to change into a flying advanced tricycle from New Genesis. It had several weapons that it could use and could program itself with technology from New Genesis.
The original wielder of Nabu's Dr. Fate helmet, Kent Nelson, dies in a conflict between the team and Klarion the Witch Boy. Nelson's spirit stays in the helmet a little longer convincing Nabu to allow Kid Flash and Aqualad to remove the helmet after they use it. However, in a later incident, when Zatanna has to use it to fight Klarion, Naba refuss to release her stating the world needs Dr. Fate. Zatanna's father, Giovanni Zatara, offers to wear the helmet and become the new Dr. Fate. Zatanna then stays with the team and joins them full time.
Garfield Logan, Maria Logan's son that Miss Martian saved through a blood transfusion in "Image", becomes Beast Boy and has joined the team by Season 2. He is now green all over with a monkey-like appearance including a tail, and the super power to change into any animal. changing powers are a side-effect of the blood transfusion from Miss Martian, whom he considers a blood sister. He also quite often says "noted" when speaking.
Impulse arrives from the future and joins the team during Season 2. This is the first time Impulse is used on an actual aired animated series for the first time. In the comics, Impulse is a founding member of Young Justice.
Artemis goes undercover as Tigress, the right hand lieutenant to Black Manta Jr. She uses a magic amulet necklace that alters her appearance to everyone except: Wally West, Kaldur'ahm, Nightwing, and herself.
The Reach are the primary villains in the invasion story in Season 2, thanks to the suggestion on DC comics writer Mike Carlin. In the series, the Reach started their invasions Millennia ago by sending out a scarab to every planet sporting primitive life. The scarab bonds with and takes full control of its native host giving the Reach an advanced operative for their inevitable invasion.
The Hall of Justice is similar to the one that was introduced in the comics in "Justice League of America" (Vol. 4) #7 where it is not designed to be the central headquarters for the heroes, but rather more a museum of sorts to allow the public to witness firsthand what the heroes do. There are many exhibits, including trophy rooms of weapons used by villains and heroes, all of which were dismantled and made useless. The Hall also works as a transfer station for the heroes in which has teleporters to teleport the League's main basis of operation, the orbiting Satellite Watchtower, which is considered a more secured location for the JLA to assemble. This is unlike the previous animated Hall of Justice from Super Friends which did serve as a central headquarters for the JLA.
The team's headquarters is a base called the Secret Sanctuary and is located on Mount Justice, which was the original headquarters of the Justice League. The Young Justice team in the comics also used the Secret Sanctuary after the Justice League passed it on to them.
The first adversary the team faces after officially forming is Mister Twister. In the comics, he is also the first villain Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad fought together in "The Brave and the Bold" #54 and formed the Teen Titans soon after.
Most members of the team can turn their costumes darker color scheme in stealth tech, which helps them try to blend in with their environment on covert missions. Robin and Superboy are the only ones who don't have costumes that change to stealth mode. Although, Mattel did release a Robin figure in the toyline with a blue Stealth Tech costume instead of his usual red look.
On the late-night program Conan (2010), Conan O'Brien visited Bruce Timm during one of his segments and they developed a super hero named The Flaming C. However, on several occasions, their original creation would be animated in preexisting sequences from this show using the voice acting of whichever character Flaming C was placed over. These scenes were taken from "Fireworks", "Welcome to Happy Harbor", "Schooled", and "Denial". In the comic book "Young Justice/Batman: The Brave & The Bold: Super Sampler", the Team is seen watching the Flaming C on television.
Wendy Harris and Marvin White are student peers of Megan (Miss Martian) and Conner (Superboy) at Happy Harbor High School, along with Karen Beecher and Mal Duncan. This is the first time Wendy & Marvin appeared outside of the official mainstream comics since being introduced in "Teen Titans" (Vol. 3) #62 and their first time in an animated show since being first introduced on Super Friends (1973).
The Forever People (Vykin, Beautiful Dreamer, Serifan and Big Bear) make their first full expanded animated appearance in this series. They arrived on Earth in order to reclaim the "New Genisphere" (the same sphere that the Bialyans found) where they witness Intergang using technology from Apokolips and strike a friendship with Superboy and Wolf to take Intergang down.
Red Tornado is revealed to be one of several super powered androids created by Dr. TO Morrow. Morrow decided to create his own super hero to infiltrate and destroy the Justice Society of America (JSA). His first creation was Red Torpedo, hero of the ocean deep, who was programmed to think he was a man, but never fit in. Morrow continued and made another android. Red Inferno, who joined the JSA as Firebrand but was also a failure. The plan worked the 3rd time and Red Tornado was inducted into the Justice Society, but Red Tornado's original heroic programming and Pinocchio-like desire to become more human caused him to betray his creator and actually became a legitimate super hero.
The Number 16 is referenced in the show numerous times: the show is set on Earth-16, Superboy was created in 16 weeks and is 16 years old, there are 16 members in the Justice League, and in issue #0 of the "Young Justice" show companion comic Kid Flash takes Superboy to a clothing store called Forever 16.
The man that raised Aqualad/ Kaldur'ahm was Calvin Durham, a henchman of Black Manta, who was biologically altered by Black Manta so that he could live under the sea. He was meant to infiltrate Atlantis, but instead fell in love with Aqualad/Kaldur'ahm's mother and left Black Manta's organization. Aqualad always believed Calvin Durham was his father until he found Black Manta was actually his bio logical father, which led to the events in Season 2.
The second season was fundamentally plot-driven and less about the core six characters established in the first season. The goal was never to give everyone equal time, but rather to make the most of what time they had to offer.
Season 2 features new team leader Nightwing (formerly Robin) along with founding members Superboy & Miss Martian and several new members to the team: Wonder Girl, Blue Beetle, Batgirl, Bumblebee, Mal Duncan, Lagoon Boy, Beast Boy and a new Robin (Tim Drake).
A full opening sequence is discontinued in Season 2 with a new intro that's just 5 seconds that shows the title "Young Justice: Invasion" with only a small portion of the theme music. This was done for time constraints when the show aired on Cartoon Network's "DC Nation" block to make room for more commercials and the DC Nation shorts.
Lagoon Boy joins the team in Season 2. He is an Atlantean named La'gaan and was originally shown as a student at the Conservatory of Sorcery alongside Lori Lemarisin Season 1. Lagoon Boy is prone to use Atlantean slang or euphemisms in regular conversation, usually when caught off guard, such as "Neptune's Beard!" He is also dating Miss Martian whom he refers to as "Angelfish".
The Kroloteans appear as major villains throughout the invasion story in Season 2. In this show, the Kroloteans are presented as a culture that revolves around theft. Their presence is first made known after the bounty hunter Lobo captures a Krolotean who had kidnapped and replaced Secretary-General Tseng, leading to the revelation that there were numerous Kroloteans disguised as humans on Earth. They appear to be extremely afraid of Blue Beetle due to the fact that the Kroloteans and The Reach are fierce rivals. The heroes discover that the Kroloteans have been arriving on Earth via the use of stolen Zeta tubes from Rann.
Wonder Girl/Cassie Sandsmark makes her first official animated appearance outside of the comics in this series. In the comics,she is an early member of the Young Justice team and was the second to use the name Wonder Girl after the original one, Donna Troy.
Black Beetle is used for the first time outside of the comics in this series. Though, Black Beetle in this show is a member of the Reach, and based off the character named Dawur, while the Black Beetle from the comics simply stole Reach technology. The two are often confused as being the same because they have the same name.
Midway through Season 2, Deathstroke replaced Sportsmaster as the Light's enforcer and assassin after Sportsmaster wanted revenge on fellow Light member Black Manta and Mata Jr. (Aqualad) whom he believed killed his daughter Artemis.
This is the first animated series to allow Slade Wilson to use his codename Deathstroke. Ironically, the show aired on the same network as Teen Titans (2003) which simply called him Slade since the network refused to allow that series to use the name Deathstroke.
The runaway heroes from S.T.A.R. Labs Virgil Hawkins, Tye Longshadow, Eduardo "Ed" Dorado Jr., and Asami "Sam" Koizumi are inspired by the ethnic heroes from "Super Friends": Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, El Dorado, and Samurai.
Season 2 was only 20 episodes instead of 26 like Season 1, because of a reduced budget. The toyline was not doing well and Mattel cut back a on funding for the show. Mattel was so underwhelmed with the toyline and only released 2 action figures for "Young Justice: Invasion": a Kid Flash and Batman figure for their 6" action figure series. None of the new characters from "Young Justice: Invasion" received an action figure.
Issue #25 of the show's "Young Justice: Invasion" companion comic revealed the fate of Marie Logan, the mother of Garfield Logan/Beast Boy. Marie was enthralled by Queen Bee who used her mind powers of attraction to convince Marie Logan to kill herself as revenge on the team for foiling her plots.
A video game based on this series called Young Justice: Legacy (2013) made for PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS. The game takes place between Season 1 and Season 2 to bridge the gap and show what happened between the seasons.
Green Beetle is an archaeologist from Mars who two Earth years ago stumbled on a scarab that attached itself to him. From the scarab he learned of the Reach and their plan for the Galaxy. The scarab was not prepared for a Martian's physiology allowing him to take control of the scarab instead of the other was around. He learned the Reach were on Earth through television signals Martian Manhunter sent to Mars (all Martians love television) and figured his assistance would be required on Earth.
The six Justice League members who are sent off world by Vandal Savage at the end of Season 1, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkwoman, Martian Manhunter, and John Stewart, is a reference to Justice League (2001-2004). In that show those heroes, plus The Flash, are the founding members of the Justice League. The reason Flash wasn't sent off world is likely because in this show's continuity he is Barry Allen, while in Justice League he is Wally West.
During the episode "Agendas" the clone Superman that fights Superboy/Connor Kent uses his heat vision to burn a backwards S symbol into his chest via a reflection. This is most likely a hint to fans that this clone is Bizarro Superman who, in the comics, had a similar S on his suit, was pale, deformed, and much bulkier than the original Superman. He also had a violent temper and would speak in broken backwards English eg "Me am hurt you".
When looking at the memoriam statues after Artimis dies, there is an unnamed Robin amongst the fallen. This is most likely the 2nd Robin Jason Todd (1st being Dick Grayson/Nightwing, 3rd being Tim Drake). In the comics Jason eventually returns as the villain/anti-hero Red Hood and eventually creates his own super team called the Outlaws. There have been two versions of this group, one featuring Arsenal and the other featuring Bizarro Superman, both characters have appeared in the show.
Miss Marian's main form is modeled after the main character from her favorite TV show "Hello Megan", which aired in the 1979-1980 TV season, only with green Martian skin. When choosing a secret identity, she uses the name Megan Morse and changes to Caucasian skin. She uses this form to hide what she really looks like and the fact that she is really a white Martian, who faced constant rejection from on Mars.
When Superboy finds out that half of his DNA comes from Lex Luthor, Superboy is given shield patches by Luthor that suppress his human DNA and gives him full Kryptonian powers. As a side effect, these shields also make Superboy angrier than usual.
In Season 2, Kaldur'ahm has given up being Aqualad and the role of leading the team to join Black Manta after the team let his former girlfriend Tula die and Aquaman withholding the identity of his biological father, Black Manta. It turns out he is actually undercover completing a mission.
Match, the Superboy clone, appears outside of the comics for the first time. In this show, Match is not an actual clone of Superboy, like in the comics, but Cadmus' first attempt to clone Superman. Match has full Kryptonian DNA which proved to be too unstable making him excessively violent. Project Match was considered a failure so Cadmus created another Superman clone, Superboy, with only half of Superman's Kryptonian DNA. The other half is human DNA from Lex Luthor.