WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "Terminus," Episode 23 of Young Justice: Outsiders, streaming now on DC Universe.
In three seasons, we've seen a lot of leaders rise up from within the Young Justice ranks. Miss Martian has taken charge of Beast Boy's Outsiders movement, Dick Grayson/Nightwing has been a covert ops leader for some time, and Aqualad/Kaldur'ahm's transition into Aquaman, a captain of the Justice League, has captured the rise of a major DC hero.
However, Young Justice: Outsiders offers one of the original members of the team a shot at leadership at long last, and it's one that Connor Kent, Superboy, grasps with open arms, especially during a time of turmoil for the heroes.
In "Terminus," Connor pulls the heroes up by the bootstraps following a nasty civil war. Black Lightning's revelations about the League and Batman Inc. manipulating the Outsiders led to a huge bust-up, with Halo then being kidnapped by Granny Goodness in the wake of Helga Jace's betrayal. Aquaman, Nightwing, Batman, Tim Drake, Wonder Woman and Oracle were all complicit in these shadow op missions prior to this disaster, and Conner decides to rein Miss Martian in for her part in the subterfuge.
He steps up in a big way and reprimands his fiancee and teammates in general, the same way Superman would do to the Dark Knight. Kal-El would truly be proud as Connor calls Megan out for this deceit, something which almost cost Kaldur and Artemis their lives in the "Invasion" arc last season. He can't understand why they'd repeat such activities and create distrust amongst the members. Connor questions all the leaders, especially Megan, and then rakes Nightwing for his part as well. It's a rude awakening but something they need to hear, and Dick admits that Connor's has stepped up to become a true leader. He shows Connor respect and acknowledges he's the best to follow right now since their ledgers are all so tainted.
Connor's honest, direct approach comes full-circle when Brion insists he also goes on the mission to rescue Halo from Granny Goodness after Vandal Savage betrays Darkseid. The heroes now have intel on how to raid the Orphanage where the Anti-Life Equation is being weaponized, but rather than limit the Outsiders and treat them like children, Connor briefs Brion and spreads a mature philosophy as they're being promoted to soldiers on the frontlines in an all-out war. In fact, his concern, care and fatherly disposition even trumps the way Superman treated him and the teens in Season 1, as Connor isn't scared for his charges -- he believes in them.
The pep talk does wonders for Brion and Forager and the senior members of the team quickly fall in line at the Orphanage and let Conner dictate the pace. Even Megan, the team's official leader, and Kaldur step back to let Conner shine. However, they disagree when Megan tries to sacrifice herself to break the League's brainwashing by Granny. While Connor says that he doesn't want to lose the love of his life, he has to let Megan take the risk for the greater good.
And this patience, composure and overall sense of unity is what makes Connor a true blue leader. He has a solid reputation and is fair-minded, mentally stable and doesn't sugarcoat the truth. By finally giving the test subject formerly known as Kon-El his time in the spotlight, Outsiders emphatically remaining us that he's grown into a Man of Steel himself.
New episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders premiere Tuesdays throughout the summer on DC Universe.