Young Justice: Outsiders Titles (Literally) Spell Out Anti-Life Equation Threat

Young Justice Darkseid and Vandal Savage

An Easter Egg hidden within the titles of all 26 episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders makes reference to the Anti-Life Equation of the New Gods mythology. This may be a hint toward the final battle our heroes may face in the season finale. It could also be a dark harbinger of the plot of the fourth season of Young Justice.

The central storyline of the first half of Young Justice: Outsiders has focused upon the titular team as they secretly bring down various metahuman trafficking operations on Earth, which are abducting young people with the potential to gain superpowers and turning them into mind-controlled soldiers for various powers. Among the groups known to be using these child super-soldiers are the League of Shadows, The Light and the New Gods of Apokolips. A partnership between these groups has been behind many of the sinister events of the first half of Young Justice: Outsiders, with a coming battle between the supervillains running The Light and the forces of Darkseid having been hinted at as an inevitability. The reason for this is that Darkseid is manipulating Earth’s supervillains as part of his efforts to find the elusive power that will grant him ultimate control over the universe – The Anti-Life Equation.

Related: Young Justice: Outsiders – 15 Big Questions From The Part 1 Finale

  • Princes All
  • Royal We
  • Eminent Threat
  • Private Security
  • Away Mission
  • Rescue Op
  • Evolution
  • Triptych
  • Home Fires
  • Exceptional Human Beings
  • Another Freak
  • Nightmare Monkeys
  • True Heroes
  • Influence
  • Leverage
  • Illusion of Control
  • First Impression
  • Early Warning
  • Elder Wisdom
  • Quiet Conversations
  • Unknown Factors
  • Antisocial Pathologies
  • Terminus
  • Into the Breach
  • Overwhelmed
  • Nevermore

Taking the first letter from each title spells out the phrase “PREPARE THE ANTI-LIFE EQUATION.” With the season now half over, we know the episode titles have been accurate so far, as is the report of the Easter egg.

Darkseid and the Anti-Life Equation

Created by legendary comic creator Jack Kirby as part of the mythology for his Fourth World series, The Anti-Life Equation is an artifact of tremendous power and the ultimate goal of Darkseid’s machinations. Given that life is defined as synonymous with free will in Kirby’s mythos, as one must have choice in order to be truly live, there must therefore be a mathematical proof of the opposite idea – a logical formula that proves the futility of existence that can sap the will of any being exposed to it. Such a thing would be invaluable to a god of tyranny like Darkseid – hence his endless search and study of suffering around the galaxy, hoping to find this formula that will allow him to instantly take over the universe until all minds are but a reflection of his own twisted will.

Given that, it seems likely that Earth’s villains will turn against their alien benefactors when they realize the full scope of what Darkseid has planned. The only question that remains is if they will once again team with the six superhero groups now working against The Light (as they did in Young Justice: Invasion) or if they will try to solve the problem themselves. Given that the leadership of The Light is made up of some notably arrogant figures like Vandal Savage and Lex Luthor, there’s a good chance they might try and go it alone.

One frightening possibility is that if Darkseid is successful and the season concludes with his solving the Anti-Life Equation, the next season of Young Justice may loosely adapt Final Crisis – a 2008 storyline which chronicled how Earth was changed when Darkseid finally did acquire the Anti-Life Equation and the efforts of Earth’s few remaining heroes and villains to save all of reality. Time will tell, but it will be a tense wait for fans of Young Justice: Outsiders in any case as the second half of the series won’t air until June.

More: When Young Justice: Outsiders Returns (& What To Expect)

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