The following contains spoilers for Young Justice Season 4 Episode 17, “Leviathan Wakes,” available now on HBO Max.
Young Justice has always used the theme of redemption. He was present when Artemis was bought out after being Sportsmaster’s mole and returned with Arsenal. Even Clayface now works with Bowhunter Security, congratulating himself on his chance to do some good. The Justice League has continued to convey the philosophy that villains deserve a chance to reform, urging their charges to adopt the same mentality.
Young Justice: Ghosts has now paved the way for another villain to rehabilitate. Ocean Master might have the most shocking takeover storyline in series history. Given how murderous Orm had been in the past and how he was reintroduced into the series, that seems unlikely, but the Atlantis arc allowed him a potential second chance.
Orm wreaked havoc with the Light as Ocean Master during his previous young justice appearance, using Lex Luthor and company resources to attack the surface and wage war on Atlantis. He yearned desperately for the throne – but when Orm broke ranks, Lady Shiva killed him. Viewers were stunned that a version of Orm appeared during Ghosts‘Atlantis scenario. Orm launched an attack on the Undersea Kingdom, only to be revealed as a clone.
Vandal Savage dispatched the clone Orm, manipulating the situation so that a clone of Arion could take the throne. Luckily, Orin enlisted the help of Kaldur and Wyynde’s crew to uncover the truth and foiled the coup attempt by orchestrating a new vote that named Mera ruler of Atlantis. The false Arion died in the melee, but Orin was torn over what to do with his imprisoned half-brother. Miss Martian finally arrived and probed Orm’s mind, revealing that he was innocent and nothing more than a brainwashed puppet.
Orin let Orm go free, hoping he could become emotionally stable again one day and rejoin the family. When Orm swam away with a desperate look on his face, Young Justice: Ghosts showed that it was possible to atone for the past of his predecessor. If he can put the clone saga to bed, he could become the heroic symbol Queen Atlanna wanted Orm and Orin to be.
Orm is bitter about how Vandal has desecrated his genetics, so that he forms an alliance with Orin (who has just become Aquaman again) or Wyynde (who also took over when Kaldur took time off to nurse his depression), fans could see a secret Atlantis team in action. Orm has always wanted the adulation of his people, so teaming up with one and earning praise fits his goals. If they retaliated against Vandal for almost ruining the kingdom, they would be loved.
Orm could also be left alone and try to find valuable information that Orin and Mera can use in their ongoing fight, proving his worth to them and Atlantis. Whichever direction he chooses, this is the perfect opportunity to mend the fences and turn Ocean Master into one of the young justicethe most important heroes. It would be a complete 180 of its predecessor’s status as one of the series’ worst villains.
Find out how Orm is rebuilding his life as new episodes of Young Justice: Phantoms debut every Wednesday on HBO Max.
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