Episode 21 Review
Young Justice: Phantoms

Summary - Review

The fifth arc of Young Justice: Phantoms comes to an end. Trapped in the present, Lor-Zod has no choice but to power the Phantom Zone Projector on New Genesis. In doing so, he dooms the planet and the stakes couldn't be higher as he seeks to free his father Dru-Zod first. All that stands in his way are Rocket, Tomar-Re, Orion, the Foragers, and Flash. But Mantis, Ma'alefa'ak, and the Kaizer-Thrall are there to bar their path. A heroic sacrifice will be needed to prevent utter disaster. Meanwhile on Earth, Zatanna continues her search for Conner Kent. Episode 21 "Odyssey of Death!" concludes the summit with an edge of your seat thriller filled with action, tragedy, acceptance, and new beginnings.

While traveling through subspace, Chameleon Boy asks Saturn Girl what the plan is. She admits there is none and they're making it up as they go. She does state the goal is to destroy the Phantom Zone Projector one way or another. In the Mobius Dimension, Mantis orders Kaizer-Thrall to take them back to the real world. He drags Lor-Zod outside the Time Sphere and collapses. Metron booms back to his dimension but the villains are gone. About a day later, Lor comes to and thanks Mantis for saving them and finding the Projector. However, the Projector has no power. Mantis knows a place with substantial power to charge it. Metron's team arrives at the Time Sphere too late. He does learn the sphere is damaged and therefore, the villains cannot time travel anymore. Forager of Mountain Hive reveals she won't make Forager choose and will go with him to Earth. Metron's team arrives in Supertown and he is eager to make preparations.

Dru-Zod is impressed with Conner's strong will and ability to keep pace with Non but warns Ursa they have to be patient and not push him hard because of the depth of his exposure to Zone Sickness. Metron finishes "briefing" everyone on the threat of the Kryptonians in the Phantom Zone and Lor-Zod. Supertown is put on high alert while Metron, the Lanterns, Foragers, Forever People, Orion, Rocket, and Flash split into two teams and cover to areas on the planet. The Forever People combine into Infinity Man and leaves with Metron's team. At the Boiling Lake Crater, Mantis becomes impatient after waiting hours for the Projector to recharge off the energy in the lake. The Projector finally announces its power levels are at minimum function and begins charging faster off the lake. Rocket, Orion, the Foragers, Tomar-Re, and Flash boom to the area of the lake. Orion realizes the energy from the lake is overloading Mother Box and she is unable to perform many functions, including communication, so the team is on their own. Ma'alefa'ak attacks them with a brain blast. Tomar is able to recover and create a soft landing pad for the others to fall onto. Everyone disperses. However, Ma'alefa'ak puts the mental whammy on Rocket and Orion almost immediately, Flash is attacked by the Kaizer-Thrall, and the Foragers are opposed by Mantis. Tomar takes on Lor-Zod alone and is outmatched. To makes matters worse, the Projector reaches optimal power levels. Lor-Zod activates it and tasks it with retrieving his father from the Phantom Zone.

Dru-Zod is amazed to see a retrieval at last. Non leaps to the portal but is rejected. Forager takes on Mantis one-on-one while Forager of Mountain Hive leaves to help Flash. Rocket and Orion are locked into a scenario based on the Ruction Cell incident. In the guise of Lightray, Ma'alefa'ak tries to trick Rocket into keeping Orion imprisoned in a bubble. Tomar is horrified to see the lake was really just part of a slumbering Promethean that has awakened thanks to Lor-Zod's machinations. A pillar of fire erupts from the Promethean's mouth and it threatens to incinerate the New Genesis atmosphere, destroying the planet. Tomar refuses to let another world die on his watch and makes a giant funnel construct to safely disperse the energy into space. Conner misinterprets what is going on and tries to save Dru-Zod. Zod is naturally displeased but realizes the Projector doesn't recognize Conner's DNA signature, so he wasn't not imprisoned back on Krypton. Forager of the Mountain Hive rolls into the Kaizer-Thrall and frees Flash while Rocket overcomes Ma'alefa'ak's influence and frees Orion. She finds his inner struggle against the darkness within him as a mark of a hero and tells him she sees him. Orion regains his faculties and blasts Ma'alefa'ak in the real world. Kaizer attacks Forager while Flash runs off to obfuscate the portal with a tornado. Forager easily defeats Mantis thanks to Nightwing's training. He, too, is blasted by Kaizer. Surprisingly, Forager of Mountain Hive makes a minute break from the Kaizer with one of her hands as she reaches for Forager. Lor-Zod attacks Tomar with heat vision as he tries to maintain the funnel. Unable to concentrate with a shield and funnel at the same time, Tomar makes the ultimate sacrifice. He drops the shield and the heat vision bursts through his chest as the funnel finishes completely dispersing the energy into space. He smiles content he saved New Genesis and his ring leaves to find a successor. Lor watches Tomar plummet and is decked and pinned by Orion. On his signal, Rocket traps them in a bubble. Orion goes into his berserker mode and wails on Lor. Tomar's ring chooses Forager of Mountain Hive and she recites the Green Lantern Corps. She shoots the Kaizer and liberates herself and Forager.

The cloaked Bio-Ship arrives at New Genesis and blasts the Projector to pieces. Saturn Girl concentrates and senses Phantom Girl and Conner in the Phantom Zone as the portal closes. She sends a telepathic push to wake up Phantom Girl then collapses. Lor-Zod is distraught and breaks free of Rocket's bubble and breaches the Bio-Ship. He takes Saturn Girl hostage and forces Kid Flash and Chameleon Boy to take him and Ma'alefa'ak off-planet. Rocket is confused as to what just happened. She checks on Orion, who is... well enough. Green Lantern Forager arrives with Mantis and Kaizer imprisoned in a bubble and Forager and Flash on a platform construct. Orion inquires about Tomar-Re. Some time later, they gather around his body. The other team booms to them. Kilowog cradles his fallen comrade and cries out in anguish.

Metron takes some solace in acquiring a damaged Time Sphere and boxes it. It still feels like waste to him. Kilowog and Vykin inform Flash that in principal, the treaty can be considered signed. Flash is relieved and notes they can all help each other hunt down Lor-Zod and Ma'alefa'ak. Kilowog promises there will definitely be a hunt. Vykin informs Flash that Mantis will be tried in Supertown, while the Kaizer-Thrall will be taken by Kilowog to be locked up in a Sciencell because it possesses some sentience. The Foragers say their goodbyes and decide to attempt a long distance relationship from Earth and Oa. Forager gives Probationary Green Lantern Forager his copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare with passages circled that reminds him of his love for Forager. She happily takes it. Rocket and Orion say their goodbyes with new respect for each other. Before she leaves, he stops her and thanks her for seeing him. On the trip back to Earth, Rocket processes. A few days later on September 2, she arrives at Noble's apartment and hugs Amistad, repeating what she told Orion. She sees him. Meanwhile in Central City, Jay returns to his house but Bart is still gone. Forager looks up at the sky from the Hub as Probationary Green Lantern Forager reads a passage from Hamlet.

On August 27, Madame Xanadu's latest attempt to track Conner's spirit fails in the Bayou Bartholomew. With only two bars, she manages to call up Zatanna with the bad news. Zatanna takes it well, because Zatara is trying to get Nabu to help. However, it's to no avail. Zatanna is optimistic with her changes and puts on the helmet. On September 3, a gathering takes place in the Tower of Fate at midnight: Dr. Fate, Madame Xanadu, Zatara, Isis, Garth, Mera, Thirteen, Khalid Nassour, Jason Blood, Blue Devil, and Phantom Stranger. Xanadu is curious how Zatanna got Nabu to comply. He admits she swore she would give him to peace until they complied. Everyone joins hands and even their spell fails to find Conner's spirit. In the mental plane, Zatanna comes to the realization that the spell failed because Conner is still alive and she's going to need a detective.

The recurring theme of accepting the truth in things and seeking help compounds in the finale of Rocket's arc. Zatanna gathers a who's who of the magical community, even the obstinate Nabu, to locate Conner's spirit but she comes to the realization that Conner is still alive and she's going to need the help of a certain detective. All of Supertown is mobilized to help stop Lor-Zod from freeing his parents and the other Kryptonian criminals of the Phantom Zone. And last but not least, Rocket sees Orion and her son in a new light, what they really are.

Rest in peace, Tomar-Re. You redeemed yourself and saved many lives, going out as a true hero. It was heart breaking watching those beams burst through his chest but he singlehandedly saved New Genesis and died content. And the murder did galvanize Kilowog and by extension the rest of the Green Lantern Corps and New Gods to sign the treaty with the Justice League, an important alliance in the ongoing conflict against the Light and Apokolips and an important step in the Justice League Reserves program. Tomar's death also led to the shocker of Forager of the Mountain Hive becoming his successor.

It wouldn't be a true love story if it wasn't stomped on Young Justice style and made more complicated. Such is the case for the Foragers. Mountain Hive Forager makes a compromise and can't wait to go on a big adventure to a new planet. But things don't work out as she planned. She's still going on a big adventure, just to another planet and as a new Green Lantern. I guess the Star Sapphire ring couldn't get to New Genesis in time.

It is an intriguing game changer that Lor-Zod is trapped in the present with no Time Sphere but now has Saturn Girl as a hostage with the only other time travel device he knows of. And the Phantom Zone Projector destroyed, now what? Will he try to go back in time and steal the Projector from himself? Going back in this arc, it was mentioned the United Planets found the last Phantom Zone Projector on New Genesis. So could there be more out there like one on display in Superman's Fortress of Solitude? That aside, it was rewarding to watch him get his butt handed to him by Orion.

Equally intriguing, in the Phantom Zone, Dru-Zod now knows Conner wasn't from Krypton and now Phantom Girl is conscious. I suspect it won't be long until Zod and Ursa put it all together and try to exploit Phantom Girl's ability to escape the Zone despite any detriment it would be to her. Oh but won't it be so delicious when Zod learns Conner's connection to the House of El and when Lor-Zod sees his dad has taken in someone he despises to the nth degree?

Going to odds and ends, what a lovely shocking surprise it was for a Promethean to pop up! All because Mantis's hot idea to recharge the Projector nearly got the whole planet of New Genesis wiped out. An interesting nugget was Metron mentioning the technology exchange with Krypton that got him the Projector in the first place. Wonder what he gave Krypton... and hopefully it's not a weapon that can be used against Earth in the season finale. As for Rocket's last scene, I'm on the fence it didn't last longer. For a second, I thought it was going to end on her taking him to school and she meets his special aide who turns out to be Sharon Hawkins or basically a name DC character. But still, it was satisfying to see she's come to terms with both seeing Orion as a hero rather than a monster and seeing her son. Also, sure, another Shakespeare nod in the end tag. This time Hamlet, specifically Act II when Polonius reads a letter to Gertrude.

The penultimate arc of Young Justice: Phantoms has concluded. With the season finale looming, the Justice League now has an official alliance with the New Gods and the Green Lantern Corps and Lor-Zod was dealt a major blow - he longer has a Time Sphere and the key to freeing his parents and allies has been destroyed. Zatanna now knows what we do, Conner Kent is alive. Plus, Phantom Girl is awake. But on the flip side, Lor-Zod has the next best thing to a Time Sphere as well as hostages while Dru-Zod is close to finding out the truth about who Conner and Phantom Girl really are. Can they be safely brought back to Earth without freeing Dru-Zod and his crew? Can Conner be cured of the effects of the Phantom Zone Sickness? The thrills and action in "Odyssey of Death!" finally thins revving and leaves you at the edge of your seat chomping at the bit at every twist and turn of the crater conflict and perfectly sets up the season finale with Zatanna leading the search for Conner. Rating: 4.5 out of 5