WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "Princes All," the Season 3 debut of Young Justice: Outsiders, streaming now on DC Universe.
When fans tune into Season 3 of Young Justice, they'll find the fan-favorite animated series has made some major changes to Aqualad.
For starters, he now goes by the codename Aquaman, which was revealed ahead of the fan-favorite animated series' debut on DC Universe. But that's not the only thing different about Kaldur’ahm -- he has also been bumped up from Young Justice team leader to co-leader of the Justice League.
"Princes All," the Season 3 debut episode picks up two years after the events of the second season, following a five-year time jump between Season 1 and Season 2. Though only a small amount of time has passed since we last caught up with DC's teen superheroes, the changes made to the former Aqualad follow his character progression throughout the series.
"One thing we established in the first two seasons was that King Orin was always training Kaldur to be Aquaman and take his place so he could be King of Atlantis full-time," producer Greg Weisman told CBR. "Now that Kaldur is in his 20s, which is the age Orin started being Aquaman, he was always raised to step up. Everything he did in Season 1 and then going undercover during Season 2 demonstrated he was ready to take on the role of Aquaman and join the League."
"In terms of him being co-chair of the League with Wonder Woman, I think it was a factor of the League's need to split the team into one group that would be out in space, and one group housed on Earth," Weisman continued. "The Justice League is a democracy. They elect a leader or leaders plural, in this case, and I think everyone just felt like this guy's ready to step up and he can do a good job with it. I think it's a testament to Kaldur's character and his accomplishments that make him co-chair of the League with Wonder Woman."
"I think that's one of the textures of the show, where we always try to show character growth," producer Brandon Vietti added. "Kaldur, in particular, has one of the biggest stories across all three seasons in terms of his character growth. Going from a protege of Aquaman to then filling his shoes by the third season, and all the twists and turns in-between. I think it was a natural progression for him, and again, a defining characteristic of the show is to have him take that step in our third season. To show fans that our characters are continuing to grow and don't stick to one point forever."
These revelations come when Kaldur calls an emergency Justice League meeting after the heroes get confirmation that metahuman trafficking on Earth has spilled out into the far reaches of the galaxy. During a mission on Rann, Black Lightning accidentally killed a fire monster that was later revealed to be a 14-year old metahuman Earth girl, who we saw abducted from a Markovian children's hospital at the beginning of the episode.
Aquaman's role as Justice League co-chair isn't all smooth sailing. Batman leads a group of superheroes to resign from the Justice League over concerns the team has outlived its usefulness when dealing with these crises, possibly setting up the formation of an official Outsiders superhero team as Young Justice: Outsiders continues.
Young Justice: Outsiders is now available to stream on DC Universe, with three new episodes debuting every Friday.