Episode guide

"Alpha Male" is the 13th episode of the first season of Young Justice, and the 13th of the overall series. It aired on October 7, 2011.


Already exhausted and rattled after a home turf invasion of the Cave, the Team learns that Aqualad – their friend and leader – withheld vital information that put them all at risk. When Batman sends the Team and new “den-mother” Captain Marvel to India to investigate bizarre reports of armed animals attacking human beings, can Aqualad pull his fractured Team together?[1]


Northern India
September 10, 14:43 IST
Hill and his hunting party

Mayor Hamilton Hill treading on dangerous territory.

Gotham's Mayor Hamilton Hill is leading a tiger-hunting expedition. He spots a tiger nearby, but before he can shoot it down, Hill and his party observe strange pylons coming out of the ground that subdue the tiger. Hill ignores the occurrence and decides to shoot anyway. However, an armed gorilla steps out of the shadows and opens fire, and the hunting party runs and screams.

Mount Justice
September 23, 06:34 EDT

John Stewart, Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter and Captain Atom are repairing the damage from Red Torpedo and Red Inferno's recent incursion. Green Arrow and Black Canary tend to the Team, who is still shaken up by the recent developments—namely Red Tornado's apparent betrayal—but Robin presses for answers.

Superboy lashes out

Superboy lashes out at Aqualad for keeping secrets from the Team.

Superboy eavesdrops on Aqualad who tells Batman that Sportsmaster revealed the possibility of a mole within the Team and assumes that Tornado was him, whether willingly or coercively. Upon hearing this, Superboy violently grabs Aqualad and blames him for putting them—and especially Miss Martian—in harm's way. The rest of the Team joins the two and berate Aqualad for keeping that a secret from them.

Batman assigns another mission

Batman dampers the tension and sends the Team on another mission.

Batman stifles the argument and announces that in Red Tornado's absence the Team will be overseen by rotating supervisors, starting with Captain Marvel, who volunteered to take the first shift. Superboy turns to Aqualad and vows to annihilate Red Tornado, but before he can extend that threat to Aqualad, Batman tells them that as a Justice League member, Tornado is a League responsibility. He then assigns the Team to investigate a series of gorilla attacks, the latest of which involved Gotham City's Mayor Hill. The Team is unhappy with this and Robin wonders if he's joking, but Batman insists he never jokes about the mission. After instructing Aqualad to take the Team to India, Kid Flash scoffs in derision at their leader, leaving Aqualad staring apprehensively.

As they board the Bio-Ship, the Sphere rolls in to tag along, but Superboy sends it away. Captain Marvel joins them and is eager to take part in this mission. Robin confides in Kid Flash that Marvel blames them for the Red Tornado incident and doesn't trust them. When Aqualad arrives at the hangar, Kid Flash hurls another trust issue jab at him.

Northern India
September 23, 21:36 IST
The Team splits up

The Team splits up.

As they land, Robin and Artemis scout the perimeter. Aqualad orders them to switch to stealth mode and wants to go over the mission's parameters. However, Robin and Kid Flash are not amenable to cooperate, and after blaming Aqualad again for withholding vital information, run off on their own. Superboy tries to lead Miss Martian away, but his smothering attitude doesn't agree with her, and he explains he only wanted to protect her. Artemis intervenes and declares they don't need their protection—at least not the kind that Aqualad had tried to purvey by keeping secrets from them. So, the two girls set off together on their own too. Superboy scolds Aqualad for not deterring them, as he is their leader, but before Aqualad can retort, Superboy leaps away. Captain Marvel is perplexed by the whole situation and notes that Aqualad didn't lay down a plan. Disheartened, Aqualad walks into the jungle and Marvel follows behind. Meanwhile, a growling figure is lurking in the bushes.

An enhanced elephant tackles Aqualad

An enhanced elephant tackles Aqualad.

The split-up Team makes their way through the jungle without noticing they are being stalked by shrouded figures. Aqualad and Captain Marvel find the spot where Mayor Hill and his party were attacked. Marvel tries to discuss it with Aqualad but the Atlantean is fazed and second-guesses his decision to withhold intel from his teammates. Their discussion is interrupted by the loud sound of footfalls. An engorged elephant emerges from the jungle to attack them and Captain Marvel lunges at him, but the behemoth slings him away. Two other elephants appear and a skirmish ensues.

Aqualad removes an inhibitor collar

Aqualad removes an inhibitor collar.

Marvel awakens to the sounds of a tiger growling at him, all the while Aqualad is being knocked around by the elephants. Elsewhere, Superboy is attacked by a pack of brown wolves, while a white wolf oversees. Meanwhile, Robin and Kid Flash find themselves attacked by three unusually large vultures. They take notice of this particularity and surmise that they've been enhanced with Kobra-Venom. Somewhere else, Artemis and Miss Martian are jumped by two crocodiles. Artemis is pulled underwater and Miss Martian plunges to rescue her. The other teammates struggle with their own assailants. Amidst the battle, Aqualad notices that the elephant is wearing a collar, so he rips it off with his Water-Bearers and the elephant retreats. He instructs Captain Marvel to do the same, and after doing so, the two remaining elephants back away as well.

Captain Marvel's words of wisdom

Captain Marvel imparts some wisdom of Solomon upon Aqualad.

Marvel praises Aqualad for his astuteness, but the Atlantean figures that these attacks were commissioned and so his teammates may be in peril. He tries to contact the Team to warn them but to no avail, as the communication line is jammed. He bemoans about how the Team disbanded before Miss Martian could establish a telepathic link, but Captain Marvel points out that he allowed them to leave. Aqualad argues that they refused to listen to him, but Marvel reminds him of how Batman ended their argument with just one word. He admits that when he first joined the League, Batman came off rather bossy, but following his orders is what kept him alive. Aqualad concludes that Batman takes command, for the sake of the League, and thanks Marvel for helping him realize that.

Captain Marvel caught

Captain Marvel falls prey of Monsieur Mallah.

Meanwhile, Miss Martian calls in and reports that they were attacked by animals wearing inhibitor collars similar to the ones used at Belle Reve Penitentiary. Suddenly, Captain Marvel spots the tiger he saw earlier and flies off after him, before Aqualad can deter him. The tiger's collar crackles with electricity and the animals comes to a halt. Marvel tries to remove his collar but is stunned by three pylons that emerge from the ground. The armed gorilla—now wearing a red beret—jumps down from a tree and beats his chest in triumph.

Aqualad contacts Miss Martian and tells her to establish a telepathic link for the entire Team, and she does so, albeit with contempt. Robin reports that he and Kid Flash were also attacked by mutated animals but it quickly dissolves into more bickering, all the while Superboy is struggling with the white wolf. Aqualad picks up on Captain Marvel's trail and determines he was abducted. He assertively puts an end to the telepathic argument and declares he is the elected leader, and after this mission he will willingly step down, should they wish to elect a new one.

Brain surgery

A mysterious captor prepares to examine Captain Marvel's brain up close.

In a laboratory, Captain Marvel wakes up strapped to an operation table, wearing an inhibitor collar tailored to negate his powers and paralyzed him from the neck down. An unseen figure (speaking with a thick French accent) gloats about the brain enchantment he performed on the tiger that secured his captive. He announces he is going to surgically remove the Captain's brain to see the effects the "wisdom of Solomon" has on it. He instructs the gorilla—Monsieur Mallah—to prepare for surgery.

The Team breaks in

The Team works together to break into the compound and save Captain Marvel.

The Team finds the laboratory and Miss Martian decides to fly in, but Robin deters her. He examines the security system and determines a way to disable the pylons barring the entrance. Aqualad tears a hole into the force field using his electrical powers and Artemis shoots an arrow through the crevice and deactivates the force field. They approach the entrance when the alarm goes off and they are attacked by macaques. Captain Marvel's captor dispatches Monsieur Mallah to deal with the interlopers while he carries on with the procedure.

The Team wards off the beasts and Aqualad notices they too are wearing collars. He extracts one of them and tells his teammates to do the same. They succeed, though with some strain. As Monsieur Mallah emerges from the gates, a camouflaged Miss Martian attempts to sneak past him but the gorilla sniffs her out. He slams her to the floor and Kid Flash dashes to her aid.

The brains behind the ordeal

The captor revealed.

Inside the operating room, Captain Marvel's captor prepares to carry out the brain extraction and reveals himself to be a disembodied brain lodged inside a robotic shell. As he is about to cut open Captain Marvel's skull, the tiger jumps him. Outraged, the captor activates the tiger's collar and electrocutes him. At that moment, the Team bursts in and Kid Flash recognizes the instigator—the Brain. The villain nudges Monsieur Mallah to activate the room's pylons and subdues them. Aqualad telepathically gives the word to Miss Martian and Superboy—Miss Martian snatches the remote control from Mallah and deactivates the apparatus, and Superboy shows up with the white wolf in tow—no longer wearing the collar and apparently on their side.
The Brain prepares to escape

The Brain prepares to escape.

A battle ensues. Aqualad frees Captain Marvel, who in turn releases the tiger from his collar. Outnumbered and overpowered, the Brain decides to retreat. He dispenses an array of apparatuses and bids farewell. Suddenly, the lights go out, and when they come back, both him and Monsieur Mallah are gone.
Made amends and a new friend

Miss Martian and Superboy make amends and a new friend.

Later on, Kid Flash keeps Mallah's beret as a souvenir and the Team finishes up removing the collars from every animal, with the tiger's help. Captain Marvel appoints him the keeper of the animals and christens him Mr. Tawny. The white wolf doesn't seem to want to leave Superboy, who wonders if he can keep him. Kid Flash and Miss Martian taunt Superboy for having a penchant for strays. Miss Martian and Superboy make amends (telepathically) and both agree that on a mission they are teammates—not a couple. Kid Flash decides the beast needs a name, and suggests "Krypto", but Superboy declines and Miss Martian asks if it isn't already taken.

The Team votes

The Team decides to keep their incumbent leader.

Meanwhile, Robin asks Aqualad why he kept the possible mole a secret. He states that he got the information from Sportsmaster, whom Artemis vehemently declares as untrustworthy. Aqualad agrees and explains he suspected Sportsmaster was merely trying to instill dissent, but as a responsible leader he could not completely rule it out. Robin agrees that it was the right decision, but Aqualad still offers to step down. The Team unanimously votes to keep him as leader. Captain Marvel congratulates Aqualad and takes off alone. As they board the Bio-Ship to head back home, Superboy decides to stick with the generic Wolf as a name for his new pet.

Fawcett City
September 24, 22:16 CDT
Marvel's true form

Captain Marvel true form: ten-year-old Billy Batson.

Captain Marvel arrives at his Uncle's home. He tells him how the Team is so much better than the League, but his uncle tells him it's time to brush his teeth and go to bed. Marvel agrees and as he turns away the uncle asks him if he's forgetting something. Marvel teases him and yells "Shazam!", changing back into the 10 year old form of Billy Batson. He yawns and bids his uncle goodnight.


The term "Alpha Male" is used in social animals to refer to the leader of a pack, i.e. the individual in the community with the highest rank. The term alludes to the central plot of this episode, which revolves around the Team going to investigate a strange series of animal attacks. Wolf is introduced in this episode, and he is the alpha male of his pack. When Superboy defeats him in combat, he becomes Wolf's new Alpha. Figuratively speaking, the term can also refer to Aqualad's status as team leader, which is put into question in this episode. Finally, it can also refer to Mayor Hamilton Hill, who, as Gotham City's highest-ranking official was effectively demasculinized and replaced as alpha male by a gun-toting guerilla gorilla.

Cast and characters

Voice actor Character
Stephanie Lemelin Artemis
Jesse McCartney Robin
Danica McKellar Miss Martian
Nolan North Superboy
Khary Payton Aqualad
Jason Spisak Kid Flash
Dee Bradley Baker Monsieur Mallah  
Mr. Tawny  
Corey Burton Brain
Hamilton Hill  
Dudley H. Dudley  
Bruce Greenwood Batman
Rob Lowe Captain Marvel  
Billy Batson  
Non-speaking roles
John Stewart
Martian Manhunter
Captain Atom
Green Arrow
Black Canary
Full credits
6 Character debut
1 Speaking debut
0 Episode debut



  • Main title clips:
  • Number 16: Captain Marvel returns to Fawcett City after the mission in Northern India on September 24, 22:16 CDT.
  • Captain Marvel names the tiger "Mr. Tawny". In the DC Comics, Tawky Tawny is a humanoid tiger and a close friend of the Marvel Family.
  • As in other media, Captain Marvel/Billy Batson resides in "Fawcett City" a reference to the fact that Captain Marvel was originally published by Fawcett Comics and DC purchased the characters later. (In the 1940s DC sued Fawcett and stopped publication of Captain Marvel claiming it was a violation of their copyright to the character Superman)
  • In the comics, Uncle Dudley is Uncle Marvel, a member of the Marvel Family.
  • When Superboy is allowed to keep Wolf, Kid Flash suggested to name the wolf "Krypto", Superman's, and later Superboy's, pet dog in the comics. It is mentioned that the name is already taken.
  • When encountered by Hamilton Hill, Monsieur Mallah was not wearing a beret. He apparently stole it from one of the other members of the hunting party.
  • This episode is featured on Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets.

Cultural references

  • When Kid Flash says "Parameters? We don't need no stinkin' parameters" he's paraphrasing the famous line "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" from The Treasure of Sierra Madre, a 1927 novel adapted to the movies in 1947. The line is, however, a misquote, as it actually goes "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" Its most recognized short version spawned from Blazing Saddles (1974).
  • When Kid Flash tells Monsieur Mallah "Get your paws off her, you darn dirty ape!", it is paraphrase of the famous line "Take your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" from the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes. Much like in this episode, in the movie the main character was captured by intelligent gorillas.
  • Before retreating, the Brain tells Mallah that that fight won't be their "Waterloo". The Battle of Waterloo was a 1815 battle between the Imperial France and the Seventh Coalition in present-day Belgium. This loss of this battle by France marked the end of Napoleon's hegemony as emperor.


  1. Do not answer here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.

Answered questions

Unanswered questions


  • Miss Martian: You're my boyfriend, Conner, not my keeper. Stop behaving like a character from a '70s sitcom!

  • Captain Marvel: Batman stopped everyone from arguing with one word.
  • Aqualad: Because Batman is... Batman.

  • Captain Marvel: Cool, a tiger! I'm gonna go see!
  • Aqualad: Captain, wait! (Captain Marvel leaves) Hey. Speed of Mercury.

  • Brain: I'm told you have the courage of Achilles, mais non? Perhaps you should have asked for his invulnerability instead.

  • Kid Flash: It's the Brain!
  • Artemis: Uh, I can see it's a brain...?
  • Kid Flash: Not a brain, the Brain!

  • Artemis: What are you grinning about?
  • Kid Flash: One word: Souvenir!
  • Artemis: Two words: Gorilla lice!


  1. Harvey, James (2011-09-27). "New "Young Justice", "Batman: The Brave And The Bold" October 2011 Episode Details". World's Finest. Retrieved 2011-09-27.

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