HBO Max Surprise-Drops New Episodes of Hit Show out of Nowhere

While many of the DC FanDome announcements this weekend were expected, DC Comics had at least one big shocker to deliver. After HBO Max released the first trailer for Young Justice: Phantoms, the fourth season of the beloved series about DC's younger heroes, the first two episodes were also released. There were no previous hints that this was coming. New episodes will be released every Thursday, starting on Oct. 21.

Young Justice debuted on Cartoon Network back in 2010 and originally aired for only two seasons. A devoted fan base kept the show alive, and eventually, a third season, Young Justice: Outsiders, was finally released in 2019 on the now-defunct DC Universe streaming platform. Last year, plans for a fourth season, titled Young Justice: Phantoms, were announced, but no release date was ever confirmed until this weekend. All three previous seasons are available to stream on HBO Max.

During the 2020 FanDome event, executive producer Greg Weisman confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic disrupted production on Phantoms. "We're all working from home and, for the most part when it comes to the pre-production, the scriptwriting, the storyboards, design work - we've successfully transitioned to working at home," Weisman, who also created Disney's Gargoyles and worked on Star Wars Rebels, explained last year, reports ComicBook.com

"It's not quite as much fun to not be in the office and not have everyone together. We used to record everyone together as much as possible in a room for the first three seasons," Weisman continued. "Every once in a while, there's someone who couldn't make a session. And that obviously has changed; everyone is mostly recording one at a time from their closets... But the fact is we're all pretty lucky working on the show."

The plot for the new season has been kept under wraps, but the trailer shows many of the show's central characters in grave danger. Miss Marian, Superboy, and Beast Boy are sent on a dangerous mission, while Artemis is still struggling with her past and relationship with her sister, the villain Cheshire. In March, Weisman told fans that nine episodes were complete at the time, with five others in post-production and 12 being animated overseas.

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The original cast for Young Justice features Jesse McCartney as Dick Grayson/Nightwing, Khary Payton as Aqualad, Jason Spisak as Kid Flash, Nolan North as Superboy, Danica McKellar as Miss Martian, and Stephanie Lemelin as Artemis. Each season has introduced more DC Comics characters, and the show exists in its own continuity. Other characters who appeared on the show include Blue Beetle, Wonder Girl, Arsenal, Static, Batgirl, Bumblebee, Forager, Cyborg, Terra, and Spoiler.