Episode guide

"Cornered" is the 11th episode of the second season of Young Justice, and the 37th of the overall series. It was originally scheduled to air on October 20, 2012,[1] but was pushed to a later date in a last minute schedule change that preempted the entire schedule of October.[2] It aired on January 12, 2013.[3]


The Team is trapped inside the Hall of Justice for a cage match against a brutal alien gladiator![1]


Milky Way
April 1, 00:16 UTC
L-Ron's holograms

L-Ron informs his master about Earth's finest champions.

Aboard a spacecraft wandering through space, L-Ron presents Despero holographic projections of multiple superheroes from Earth. L-Ron runs down on a list of superpowers that Superman possess. Despero grins wickedly, until L-Ron informs him that Superman is on Rimbor—a planet under the protection of the Green Lantern Corps. Despero is displeased. The robotic majordomo reassures his master of other superhuman beings from Earth that he can pick from. Hovering around a holographic Captain Marvel projection, he asks his master how would the heroes' head look on his trophy wall. L-Ron then encourages his master acquire more than one trophy from Earth; Despero then opens up his glowing third eye.

New York City
April 1, 19:20 EDT
United Nations Reach meeting

Captain Atom participates in a political outreach with the Reach ambassador.

Captain Atom meets with Tseng Dangun and the Reach ambassador during a press conference at the United Nations. The ambassador tells those in attendance he is pleased the Justice League wishes to welcome the Reach to Earth, but the initial meeting between him and Captain Atom is tense. Captain Atom tells the ambassador and Tseng that there are some issues that need to be discussed privately.

G. Gordon Godfrey reviews the footage of the conference on his TV show, accusing the League of keeping too much information private and criticizing the League for having some members who wear masks.

April 1, 17:23 MDT
Therapy time with Black Canary

Black Canary debrief and consoles the abductees the Team rescued.

The Team members who had been abducted by the Reach, along with the teens the Reach had experimented on, are seated in a hallway at STAR Labs. Tye Longshadow emerges from a makeshift conference room as Black Canary, who is debriefing everyone, asks Virgil Hawkins to speak to her next. Blue Beetle was quick to greet Tye, but the Scarab reminds Beetle that Tye does not know he was really Jaime Reyes, so Beetle pretends he is getting up to stretch.

In the conference room, Canary asks about Virgil's experience with the Reach as Virgil fiddles with a paper clip. When the two finish talking, Virgil tosses the clip back to the holder, but the clip knocks the holder over. Canary notices the clip had become magnetized and had pulled the other clips into a ball.

April 1, 21:15 EDT
Nightwing shows everyone around

With Mount Justice destroyed, Nightwing relocates the Team to a new headquarters.

Nightwing brings Superboy, Miss Martian, Mal Duncan and Wolf to a warehouse. Mal is initially impressed, but not as much when he sees the inside. Nightwing tells them that the warehouse is not their new headquarters but a place for those who had lived at Mount Justice to stay at. He says that the Hall of Justice will serve as the Team's temporary headquarters. Mal tells Nightwing that he will make other arrangements. Nightwing tells the others to pick up their salvaged belongings at the Hall of Justice.

Washington, D.C.
April 1, 21:24 EDT

Captain Marvel, Zatanna and Bumblebee are with Superboy, Miss Martian and Mal Duncan at the Hall of Justice, as the latter three are gathering their salvaged belongings. Mal asks Karen about staying at her place but Karen tells Mal she's busy with her studies and that her place is too small. Their conversation is interrupted when they hear a noise, followed by somebody announcing a challenge to Earth's heroes.

L-Ron generates the energy field

L-Ron announces Despero's arrival as he activates a force field around the Hall of Justice.

Marvel and Zatanna head outside the Hall to investigate, where L-Ron awaits and declares that everyone is his prisoner. Marvel thinks it's an April Fool's joke by Plastic Man, but then L-Ron generates a force field around the Hall and Despero teleports in front of the Hall. He attacks Marvel, prompting Zatanna to chant a spell, but Despero grabs her and opens his third eye, blindfolding Zatanna's mind and leaving her unresponsive.

In the library, the Team members see what is happening. Superboy and Bumblebee quickly leave the library and Mal is about to follow them, but Miss Martian, who initially hesitates, looks at Mal, who pauses, then turns back to assess the situation. He tells Miss Martian that communications are down, as are the zeta tubes. Meanwhile, Superboy and Marvel battle Despero, with Despero getting the upper hand, as Bumblebee tries to revive Zatanna but is unable to do so. Bumblebee then tries to get through the force field but fails.

Meeting with the Ambassador

In a private meeting, Captain Atom and the Reach ambassador level accusations against each other.

Back at the United Nations, Tseng meets privately with Captain Atom and the Reach ambassador. The three discuss recent events, with the ambassador revealing the Justice League members are wanted criminals elsewhere and about the young heroes targeting the Reach research ship. Captain Atom retorted that the young heroes were rescuing people the Reach had abducted, but the ambassador said he was confusing the Reach with the Kroloteans. Tseng asked Captain Atom for evidence about the accusations toward the Reach. The conversation is interrupted when Captain Atom is notified about the situation at the Hall.

At the Hall, a military force led by Wade Eiling and efforts by Black Lightning to bring down the force field are unsuccessful. Inside the Hall, Mal and M'gann emerge from the library and meet Bumblebee, who tells M'gann she needs to help Marvel and Superboy, who are unable to stop Despero. M'gann first uses her telekinesis and, when that fails, Mal suggests M'gann brain blast Despero, but M'gann refuses.

Billy Batson 2016

Despero renders Billy unconscious.

Captain Marvel tries using his transformation powers against Despero but it has no effect. L-Ron, seeing that Marvel is really the teenager Billy Batson, declares him unworthy of fighting Despero. Despero opens his third eye and Batson's mind is left blindfolded. The Team members confront Despero, who then targets Superboy.

Back at STAR Labs, Canary finishes her session with Impulse and asks to speak to Lagoon Boy. Blue Beetle confronts Impulse privately, who says he didn't tell Canary about the Reach apocalypse and suggests it remain secret from the League. The Scarab tells Jaime this is a good idea and that Beetle should kill Impulse before he changes his mind.

At the Hall, Despero is dominating Superboy, to the point M'gann telekinetically pulls Superboy away, despite L-Ron's protests. As Despero continues his assault, Mal notices the statue of Guardian knocked out of a display during Despero's attack.

Superboy is down

Despero prepares to kill a defeated Superboy.

In the library, Despero has Superboy down and Bumblebee pleads with M'gann to try a mental attack. Remembering what happened when she had brain blasted Kaldur, M'gann says she can't do it, prompting Bumblebee to take action. Despero opens his third eye to leave Bumblebee's mind blindfolded, and at L-Ron's suggestion, is about to crush her underneath his foot, but Mal arrives, dressed in Guardian's armor and declaring Despero and L-Ron have found Earth's champion.

Back at STAR Labs, Canary meets with Blue Beetle, who tells him the League knows the Scarab was not designed by Ted Kord but by the Reach. The Scarab tells Jaime there is no reason to believe what Impulse has said and not to share that information. Beetle tells Canary that the Scarab was not functioning as the Reach designed it to. Canary suggests that may make Beetle the best weapon against the Reach, to which Beetle uneasily agrees.

Mal Duncan Guardian

Malcolm Duncan as Guardian.

At the Hall, Mal declares himself Earth's Guardian and greatest champion. L-Ron tells Despero he has no knowledge about Guardian but may have incomplete information. Communicating telepathically with the others, Mal says he will buy some time until the others come up with a better plan. M'gann escapes with Superboy and Bumblebee as Mal stalls Despero. As M'gann takes the others down an elevator, she tells Superboy she can't attack Despero telepathically. Superboy tells her she needs to come up with another idea before something happens to Mal.

Despero eventually subdues Mal and L-Ron concludes that he was just distracting them. Superboy tries to intervene but is also subdued. M'gann, however, is able to reach Zatanna, Billy and Bumblebee telepathically, snapping them out of their trances. Zatanna casts a spell to take possession of Mal's body, just as Despero opens his third eye. Another spell from Zatanna reverses the effect of Despero's power and leaves him stunned, allowing Superboy to take down Despero. L-Ron proclaims they have dishonored the challenge, but Billy jumps L-Ron and changes back into Captain Marvel to prevent an attack. L-Ron then activates a self-destruct sequence that causes the Hall of Justice to crumble down. Zatanna is relieved to find that Marvel has saved the Team members.

Hall of Justice in ruins

The Hall of Justice is destroyed in the aftermath of the battle.

Captain Atom arrives at the Hall, but he, Captain Marvel and Zatanna are unable to bring down the force field. The Reach ambassador arrives with Tseng and uses a device to remove the force field. Captain Atom reluctantly thanks him and the ambassador says the League is fortunate to still have the Watchtower—but this fact was not known to Tseng.

On the next day, G. Gordon Godfrey criticizes the League for keeping the Watchtower a secret from the public. Nightwing, Superboy, La'gaan and Beast Boy are at the warehouse, watching Godfrey's broadcast. They are surprised to see Mal come by, who tells them his other arrangements for a place to stay didn't work out. He asks where M'gann is and Nightwing says she is staying elsewhere.

April 2, 21:08 CDT

Ida Berkowitz greets John Jones at his apartment complex, but once John enters his apartment, it turns out to be M'gann. She receives a phone call from La'gaan but chooses not to answer. Superboy knocks on the door and says they need to talk, so M'gann lets him in.

Back at STAR Labs, Captain Atom, Black Canary and Nightwing discuss recent events. Captain Atom is not happy that the Reach has publicly discredited the League and that he couldn't turn down the ambassador's offer to take Despero into their custody. Canary discusses what she has learned about the Meta-Gene and that she believes the Reach plans to cultivate and weaponize it.

Jaime wants the Scarab gone

Jaime wants the Scarab removed, regardless of the cost.

The three are interrupted by Blue Beetle, who asks to speak to them. Despite a plea from Impulse and a warning from the Scarab, Beetle reveals to the others about the Reach apocalypse that Impulse says Beetle will be responsible for. Saying that he doesn't want to be responsible for such an event, Beetle tells everyone he wants the Scarab removed.


The title can refer to several characters being "cornered", i.e. trapped in various forms, by others. Despero "corners" the Team in the Hall of Justice with a force field placed around it, and in the end the Team turns the tables on Despero and corners him in the underground of the Hall. Figuratively speaking, the ambassador corners Captain Atom in a brawl of accusations by casually, albeit deliberately, slipping the Justice League's secrets and thus undermining their credibility. Finally, it can also refer to Black Canary ascertaining that the dormant Meta-Gene within some humans becomes active when the individual is "cornered" through exposure to extreme trauma.

Cast and characters

Voice actor Character
Lacey Chabert Zatanna
Tim Curry G. Gordon Godfrey
Bryton James Virgil Hawkins  
Phil LaMarr L-Ron  
Eric Lopez Blue Beetle
Chad Lowe Captain Marvel/Billy Batson
Jason Marsden Impulse
Vanessa Marshall Black Canary
Ida Berkowitz  
Jesse McCartney Nightwing
Danica McKellar Miss Martian
Masasa Moyo Bumblebee
Nolan North Superboy
Yuji Okumoto Tseng Dangun
Kevin Michael Richardson Guardian
John Jones
Michael T. Weiss Captain Atom
Khary Payton Aqualad (archive footage)
Stephanie Lemelin Tigress (archive footage)
Non-speaking roles
Asami Koizumi
Beast Boy
Black Lightning
David Wilcox  
Eduardo Dorado Jr.
Eduardo Dorado Sr.
Icon (image)
Lagoon Boy
Martian Manhunter (image)
Nathaniel Tryon
Superman (image)
Tye Longshadow
Wade Eiling
Wonder Woman (image)
Full credits
4 Character debut
1 Speaking debut
0 Episode debut


  • L-Ron informs Despero that Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, and Icon are on Rimbor. The former three, as well as Batman, John Stewart, and Hawkwoman headed to Rimbor in "Alienated" to stand trial after going on a rampage there under the Light's control. Icon accompanied them because of his experience with intergalactic trial law and Hawkman joined to support his spouse.
  • Black Canary takes the position of a therapist, a role she first took on in "Disordered".
  • Nathaniel Tryon (Neutron) from "Bloodlines" joins the abductees for debriefing.
  • The Scarab stymies Blue Beetle when he is about to address Tye Longshadow, and reminds him that he does not know Jaime in the armored suit. Jaime and Tye are friends, as established in "Beneath".
  • Nightwing houses the teammates who lived in Mount Justice in a temporary warehouse, after their home was destroyed in "Darkest". It's the same warehouse in which Nightwing, Aqualad, Wally and Artemis convened in "Depths".
  • Karen keeps brushing Mal off for unknown reasons. This also happened in "Happy New Year" and "Darkest".
  • Bumblebee laments having to use her stingers to wake up teammates from a state of unconsciousness again; she previously had to do it to Batgirl in "Beneath".
  • The ambassador mentions the Justice League are wanted criminals, which the League (via Miss Martian) discovered in "Earthlings" and "Alienated".
  • He also mentions the Team's attack on his ship in "Before the Dawn".
  • Tseng says he knows that the League has young covert operatives because he was rescued by them in "Happy New Year".
  • Captain Atom accuses the Reach of abducting people, which happened on-screen in "Beneath" and "Before the Dawn", but the ambassador shifts the blame onto the Kroloteans, who also had been abducting humans and replacing them with duplicates, as evidenced in "Happy New Year".
  • Miss Martian is still uneasy about using her psychic abilities after wrongfully putting Aqualad in a catatonic state in "Before the Dawn". The incident is revisited via flashback.
  • She also exchanges glances with Superboy when the Team asks her to use her powers, referring to their earlier conversation about the topic in "Depths".
  • Impulse and Blue Beetle tap the issue of Beetle's eventual betrayal of mankind, which Impulse told him about in "Before the Dawn".
  • Black Canary states that while they previously thought that the Scarab was invented by the previous Blue Beetle, they now know it is of Reach origin. This assumption was also stated by Jaime in "Salvage".
  • Blue Beetle recalls that in "Before the Dawn" the Reach failed to restore the Scarab to their control and that the scientist claimed that the only way to reboot it was to kill him.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Captain Marvel's "Billy Batson" form since "Auld Acquaintance" and shows how Billy has grown into a teenager in the past 5 years.
  • According to Mal's side remark, he learned martial arts from Black Canary, as the original Team did, starting in "Schooled".
  • Nightwing concludes that the Kroloteans and the Reach came to Earth to study the Meta-Gene, after the Light sent them on a spree to Rimbor in "Auld Acquaintance", thus attracting attention to humankind.
  • Miss Martian takes on her uncle's alter ego "John Jones" while staying at his place. He was first seen in "Targets".
  • The first thing M'gann does after entering her uncle's apartment is fill a watering can; upon his departure in "Alienated", he had asked her to water his plants.


"Cornered" garnered an average of 1,596 million viewers.[4]


Backwards spells

Speaker Spell Translation
Knis nwod otni eht... Sink down into the...
Ees tahw I ees! See what I see!
Etativel! Levitate!


Cultural references

  • Most of this episode takes place on April 1, hence the repeated references to April Fools' Day.
  • Despero's ship strongly resembles the Jem'Hadar fighters from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Bumblebee compares Despero's power to render people motionless to the powers of Medusa. Staring into Medusa's gaze will change a living being into stone.


  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

Partially answered questions

Unanswered questions


  • Mal: Nice. Perfect cover for our new digs. On the outside, I mean it's down right nasty...and it's nasty on the inside too.

  • L-Ron: Greetings and salutationisms, Earth champions! I am L-Ron. Majordomo to the great master and you are my prisoners.
  • Captain Marvel: This is Plastic Man's April Fools joke, isn't it? Okay Plas, you got us.
  • L-Ron: No, I have you.

  • L-Ron: Do you Earthlings truly have no concept of honorable single combat?

  • L-Ron: Do not follow, Earth females! Do not interfere! It is poor sportism!

  • Guardian: You are going to reimburse us for damages, right?

  • Guardian: Come on, chatterbox, you're gonna show me something or not?


  1. 1.0 1.1 Harvey, James (2012-09-28). "Young Justice: Invasion," "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" Episodes For October 2012. World's Finest Online. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  2. Harvey, Jim (2012-10-13). Cartoon Network Pre-Empts DC Nation Programming Block For Remainder Of October 2012. The World's Finest. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  3. Harvey, Jim (2012-12-28). Titles For "Young Justice," "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" Episodes Airing January 2013. World's Finest Online. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  4. Bryan (2013-02-05). Did #SaveYJandGLTAS Campaign Help "Young Justice" Score Season High Ratings?. Nick and More. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
  5. Weisman, Greg (2013-04-03). Question #18197. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  6. Harvey, James (2013-05-08). New “Young Justice: Invasion – Game of Illusions: Season Two, Part Two” Two-Disc DVD Set Announced. World's Finest. Retrieved 2013-05-10.

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