REVIEW: ‘Young Justice: Phantoms,’ Episode 19-“Encounter Upon The Razor’s Edge!”

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Young Justice Episode 19

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 19 finally delivers the answers fans have been seeking about the season’s antagonist, as well as a few more surprises. “Encounter Upon The Razor’s Edge!” has Chameleon Boy (Dee Bradley Baker) and Saturn Girl (Kari Wahlgren) approaching Kid Flash (Jason Marsden) for help while revealing their reason for traveling back in time. Meanwhile, the mysterious time traveler from Phantomsfirst story arc reveals himself as Lor-Zod (Phil Morris), son of General Zod. Lor-Zod also reveals to Male’feak  (Ben Diskin) why he’s traveled back into the past and his hatred of Superboy (Nolan North).

Meanwhile, Rocket (Denise Boutte) attempts to convince the New Gods and the Green Lantern Corps to help Earth with its battles against Darkseid’s forces. Trouble springs up with the appearance of Blue Lantern Razer (Jason Spisak), who seeks to retrieve his Red Lantern ring from the New God Metron (Phil LaMarr). However, Metron isn’t quite willing to give up the ring, which leads to a battle that may tear New Genesis in half.

If the name “Razer” sounds familiar, it’s because Spisak is reprising his role in Green Lantern: The Animated Series — which featured Razer’s transformation from a rage-filled Red Lantern to an agent of peace. Like Young JusticeGreen Lantern: TAS was cut down in its prime, and this episode more or less serves as a continuation of the series, to the point where co-showrunners Jim Krieg and Giancarlo Volpe penned the episode. Kevin Michael Richardson even reprises his role as fan-favorite Green Lantern Kilowog! With the Green Lantern Corps playing a significant role in this story arc, I’m glad that Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti let Krieg and Volpe briefly revisit this world. I’m also glad the episode has Razer learning that hope is something you have to keep alive rather than chase; Spisak brings a world-weary vibe to the character that instantly makes him endearing to the audience.

On the villain front, Lor-Zod falls into the tradition of previous Young Justice villains such as Vandal Savage and the Reach; his machinations throughout the season show how methodical and how dangerous he is. While Superman fans will no doubt tell you how deadly of a foe General Zod can be, it seems his son has followed in his footsteps. The season also continues its deep dive into Superman lore, setting up the concept of the Phantom Zone and revealing how much of an influence Superboy had on the Legion of Super-Heroes. And to keep things interesting, director Christopher Berkeley cuts between the conversation that Kid Flash has with the Legion and the conversation Lor-Zod is having with Male’feak, making sure viewers get both sides of the story.

If there’s one downside to the episode, it’s that Rocket only briefly appears in a few scenes. After the last episode paid attention to her life as a superhero and mother, I expected that balance to permeate more. And while there is a scene where Rocket talks to her ex Noble about potentially getting a tutor for their son Amistad, she feels more like an afterthought which is worrying considering that this is supposed to be a story arc focused on her. Hopefully, the next episode rights the ship because as great as it is to see Green Lanterns and New Gods, a large part of what’s made this season great is the focus it’s put on the original members of Young Justice.

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 19 reveals the secrets of the season’s time-traveling antagonist while paying homage to another DC animated series. Since we are now halfway through the Rocket story arc, I hope to see her take the focus in these next two episodes—  and to see how the building blocks of the finale are laid out.

New episodes of Young Justice: Phantoms are available to stream on HBO Max on Thursdays.


Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 19
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 19 reveals the secrets of the season’s time-traveling antagonist while paying homage to another DC animated series. Since we are now halfway through the Rocket story arc, I hope to see her take the focus in these next two episodes—  and to see how the building blocks of the finale are laid out.