WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "First Impression," Episode 17 of Young Justice: Outsiders, streaming now on DC Universe.
Young Justice: Outsiders has quickly taken a sharp-turn upon in the second half of Season 3 of the series. Not only is there yet another team rising up from its ranks, but it's Beast Boy's squad of young, relatively inexperienced heroes, all looking to win the favor of their fellow youth and the digital savvy crowd who believe in online social justice warrior movements.
All of this falls under the nose of the Young Justice leader and the person the Justice League has overseeing proceedings from the Watchtower: Miss Martian. As much as M'gann seems like she's got a handle on things and is simply facilitating the evolution of this budding arm of the larger League, the only thing she's proving is she's the worst leader the Outsiders could have.
As much as Garfield is spearheads the initiative and gives his comrades a home at the Hub, they still ultimately report to M'gann. Which means, as a senior, it's still her team. This is all too evident in the finale, where we see the Outsiders taking down stolen Reach ships. That was approved by M'gann and Aqualad as a means to boost the team's confidence and test its public reception. But when the cabal -- which includes Batman as a rogue leader, Aqualad as the League lead on Earth, Wonder Woman as League chief off-planet, and M'gann as the head of the youngsters -- all meet, Miss Martian makes a decision that reiterates how incompetent and short-sighted she is for the job.
They discuss if Garfield should be brought into the Illuminati, so to speak, which has been formed to work away from Lex Luthor and the United Nations' watch. Batman specifically asks M'gann if Garfield, as head of this public relations team, needs to be included, but surprisingly, she vetoes the motion. She says no explicitly, and the League, trusting her judgment, moves on, but it's a stark reminder she hasn't learned from the team's past mistakes.
By excluding Garfield, not only has she made his team a liability, she's also repeating the errors of old when Nightwing ran a secret operation that saw Aqualad and Artemis (as Tigress) infiltrate the Light. They kept M'gann in the dark, and she almost left Aqualad catatonic. These secrets tore the team apart on the inside, especially as it indirectly led to Wally West's death, and showed that deception does indeed backfire. And more so, repercussions and consequences, at this point in a high-stakes game, could mean teen casualties.
Batman's clearly looking to keep Garfield on track as he does with Batman Inc., so seeing M'gann, who's lived through unnecessary deceit before, turn down his proposal seems especially unwise. Sure, we can understand she's trying to protect the kids, but Garfield is already like a little brother to her. There's an established trust there that she can work with to ensure he doesn't cross lines or put the squad at risk.
Also, the way he bullies her into accepting this decision, basically adopting a "get on or get out the way" approach is unbecoming of a robust leader. Batman would never let his charges do that to him. While these teen heroes show potential, they need to know their place and hone their craft before such responsibility is placed on their shoulders. M'gann should have put a stop to it then and there, but instead she essentially allows them to come into the kitchen without senior cooks overseeing.
No matter how much of an eye she keeps on them, they don't know the large gameplan, and Garfield does not always play by the rules. This will surely endanger the League's endgame, and by allowing this, M'gann's clearly running on emotion and not logic. Rationally, she should have exerted a more hands-on method of control and roped Garfield into their secret meetings with an eye towards the future. She's soft and by enabling this unchecked behavior, all M'gann has done is protect the golden image Garfield has of her as a sister, not realizing that ignorance could lead to their deaths.
New episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders premiere Tuesdays throughout the summer on DC Universe.