WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "Early Warning," Episode 18 of Young Justice: Outsiders, streaming now on DC Universe.
Young Justice: Outsiders has been expanding its roster significantly, with a swath of new, young heroes added in the third season of the beloved animated series. However, we can't forget such civilian characters as Lois Lane and Alfred Pennyworth, who contribute in their own ways to saving the world. Sadly, however, it's been revealed one of those supporting players has passed, away and while the entire Young Justice universe will feel this blow, no one will take it harder than the Flash family.
Unfortunately, that person is Jay Garrick's wife, Joan.
In the previous episode, "First Impression," when Beast Boy unveiled his Outsiders roster to the world, we caught a glimpse of Jay watching the announcement on television. He was alongside Joan, asleep in a hospital bed. It caught viewers off-guard, because no one knew Joan was ill. The last time we saw her in a prominent role, she was helping Barry and Iris with their kids; her illness was never part of the narrative.
At the end of "Early Warning," however, we learn Joan passed away off-screen. When Beast Boy and his team return with new metas for the Taos rehab facility, Static greets Bart Allen, Jaime Reyes and Eduardo Dorado Jr. As he hugs Bart, he expresses his condolences they couldn't attend Joan's funeral, as they were on duty. Bart is coping, however, and relieved to see the Outsiders expanding the family.
It remains to be seen how deeply Joan's loss will affect Jay, as he's been a father-figure to Barry for so years, and he and Joan took in Bart when he became stuck in their time. Joan was Jay's bedrock, and she treated Bart as if he were her own son. Barry and Iris have lost another mother figure.
What makes Joan's sudden death all the more shocking is, in the Season 2 finale, the Flash family lost Wally West in the fight against the Reach/Light, during which he dissipated into the Speed Force. Artemis, Bart, Barry and the others have only just begun to recover from that, and now they're dealt this blow.
We'll wait to see how Joan's death will be addressed, and what long-term effects it might have. However, one thing is for sure: The Flash family can't seem to catch a break on Young Justice.
New episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders premiere Tuesdays throughout the summer on DC Universe.