Young Judge Teased Orion’s Dark Family Tree

The following contains spoilers for Young Justice: Phantoms, Episode 18, “Beyond the Grasp of the Gods!”, now airing on HBO Max.

After several teases over the past three seasons, the final story is on. young justice finally explores more of the history of the New Gods in the DC Universe. While New Gods have been teased in the past, most of them have only appeared through cameos on the show. However, the latest episode seems to place them at the epicenter of the story, specifically the one known as “Hound of War”, Orion.

“Beyond the Grasp of the Gods!” takes viewers to New Genesis, one of the two home planets of the New Gods, as it follows Justice League members Rocket, Flash (Jay Garrick) and Forager, who arrive to attend a summit between the New Gods and the Green Lantern Corps. There, the group encounters Orion, who is the son of New Genesis ruler Highfather. However, things go awry very quickly after the Justice League arrives, when a Bug of New Genesis, who is of the same insectoid race as Forager, steals a powerful device. When Orion and the Justice League confront the Bug, Orion is hit with an energy blast in the face by mistake, which sends him into a fit of uncontrollable rage, attacking everyone around him. This event seriously upsets Rocket, who calls Orion a “monster”.

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During the fight, Orion’s eyes turn red, resembling those of another much darker New God, Darkseid. In the comics, Orion is Darkseid’s biological son and he suffers from berserker rage outbursts due to his inherited genes. Orion’s eyes turning red are a clear nod to Darkseid’s Omega Rays from the comics. Interestingly enough, later in the episode, Orion mentions that he inherited his loss of control from his biological father.

In the source material, Orion and Highfather’s biological son Scott Free (later known as Mister Miracle) was traded between the two rulers as part of a peace treaty between New Genesis and Apokolips. Consequently, Orion was lovingly raised by Highfather in New Genesis, where he was supported to learn how to control his dark nature, while Mister Miracle was tortured for years under Darkseid’s tyrannical rule in Apokolips.

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Growing up, Orion learned to embrace his adoptive home and family, control his powers, and escape the fate Darkseid hoped he would follow. As the first son of New Genesis, Orion ended up facing Darkseid many times, but also his biological brothers, Kalibak and Grayven.

Since the first seasons of young justice, Darkseid has been shown to be behind many plans for the secretive, villainous organization known as Light. In Season 3, it was revealed that Darkseid had attempted to invade Earth in the past but impressed by Vandal Savage’s metahuman forces, he decided to join forces with him to conquer the galaxy. With the recent failure of Vandal Savage’s plans and the appearance of Orion in the series, it would be interesting to see if young justice slowly plots Darkseid’s defeat, perhaps by the combined forces of the Justice League and his own son.

To follow the final story arc, watch Young Justice: Phantoms, streaming now on HBO Max, with new episodes Thursdays.

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