Among comic book fans, Batman: The Animated Series is the Holy Grail. The untouchable. The one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. There's no disputing it's one of the best TV shows ever created, but Young Justice covertly pushed it off the top spot without anyone noticing.
No, this isn't clickbait or a controversial statement for the sake of it, it's just true. Let's say it together now: Young Justice is better than Batman: The Animated Series.
When Young Justice was canceled in 2013 -- after just two seasons -- no one expected it. After all, its premiere episode, "Independence Day," had secured a coveted Emmy and the show was beloved among both critics and fans. In the years after its cancellation, the creators and fans campaigned for it to come back, desperately trying to figure out a way to make it happen. Fortunately, DC Universe heard our cries and the third season debuted in early January.
Six episodes in and with universal acclaim, it's safe to say that the series hasn't lost a beat. It's still as progressive as it was the first time around, with mature, satisfying storytelling at the series' heart.
Unlike Batman: The Animated Series, which kept most episodes self-contained and conclusive, Young Justice had an overarching narrative for an entire season. It transcended the typical animation storytelling style of unconnected 20-minute stories in favor of a design mostly found in network dramas. You were in for the long haul, and missing an episode meant you'd miss something important. It was bingeworthy before that even became a thing.
In terms of the actual topics and themes covered, you only need to look at the metahuman trafficking angle of Season 3 to see how ballsy the writers are. While most animated shows would rather tell lighthearted, coming-of-age stories, as they're afraid to step on too many toes, Young Justice acts as a smart metaphor of the current times. These heroes aren't high-fiving each other and making fart jokes; they're dealing with legitimate crises and clever references to the challenges we face as a society today. Heck, the show is even more serious and topical than most of the live-action Arrowverse programming.