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"Failsafe" is the 16th episode of the first season of Young Justice, and the 16th of the overall series. It aired on November 4, 2011.


During an alien invasion, the Team faces the ultimate challenge when they are forced to replace the fallen Justice League![1]


The Leaguers attack.

A spaceship flies past the moon, and makes its way to Earth. As it approaches, Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart investigate, with Batman in a spacecraft behind them. Stewart orders the spaceship to stop and shut down its weapons, but it does not comply. It disintegrates the two Lanterns instead. Batman deploys the backup—Superman, Captain Atom, Martian Manhunter and Captain Marvel. They too are killed. Batman narrowly escapes the destruction ray by jettisoning in an escape pod, but he is helpless as a smaller craft shoots him down as well.

Mount Justice
October 16, 16:01 EDT

Zatara informs Red Tornado of the disaster. Now that celestial defenses have failed, they organize the defense on the ground. Red Tornado leaves the Team, and tells them that should the Justice League fail to meet the threat, it will all be on their shoulders.

Flash and his wife.

Iris West-Allen reports from Central City. Multiple alien jets have attacked the city, and kill several bystanders. Flash manages to whisk away Iris in time, and Zatara teleports cameraman Danny to safety. Iris thanks her husband, and the two heroes go off to save more civilians. They don't get far: on the next building, they are disintegrated. Iris watches in horror. From the studio, Cat Grant cuts in, warning Iris that another ship is heading her way, but it's too late. She is killed as well. Cat moves to the feed from Taipei, where Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Green Arrow and Black Canary are disintegrated as well.

The Team formulates a plan.

In Smallville, Wonder Woman manages to destroy multiple spacecrafts, but she cannot evade the disintegrator ray. Red Tornado, the last surviving Leaguer, contacts the Cave. Moments later, he is destroyed as well. The Team watches on, determined to take up arms. Aqualad suggests a different strategy, as taking them head-on does not work. Robin checks global proliferation of the extraterrestrials, and finds one stray ship in the Arctic, near the Fortress of Solitude. Superboy is surprised Superman had a fortress, but now that he's gone, there'll be a lot he will never know about. Kid Flash vows to kill all aliens, but Artemis points him at the poignant fact that they have a Kryptonian and a Martian on their team.

Artemis is "killed".

The lone alien ship hovers outside the Fortress, seemingly unaware that Artemis and Miss Martian approach. Miss Martian telekinetically disables the ship's communication and propulsion systems, and Artemis covers the hatch with foam to seal the aliens inside. Aqualad attacks from underneath, and is saved from a direct hit from the gun by Superboy and Wolf. Robin analyses the cannon and orders Miss Martian and Superboy to detach it. But as Superboy pulls it off, a smaller blast forms up behind his back. Aqualad sees it, but before he can react, Wolf pushes Superboy out of the way and bears the full load of the shot. The Team is a bit dazed, but Superboy urges them on. With Miss Martian, be connects the cannon to the Bio-Ship. She has to decloak the ship for the transfusion to work, and at that moment, they are spotted by two more ships. Artemis manages to shoot down both, but the second craft's weapon is still functional, and hits Artemis. Miss Martian and Kid Flash scream in terror as they watch their teammate die. Aqualad destroys the ship.

In the Bio-Ship, the Team tries to cope with the loss of Artemis. Generally, everyone is silent, except Miss Martian, who cries, and Kid Flash, who is enraged. Aqualad pulls them together, and they set course for the Hall of Justice.

The Team takes its responsibility.

General Eiling leads a handful of soldiers against the alien invaders in front of the Capitol. Their tanks are destroyed, but as the three ships swoop in to finish the soldiers, the Team arrives. Superboy takes down one, the Bio-Ship shoots down the other two. They are greeted with cheers. Jason Bard thinks it's Superman, but David Reid remark that Superboy is too young, and lacks a cape. Eiling cuts in, and Aqualad formulates a plan: a counteroffensive with alien cannons.

Miss Martian finds her uncle.

They all regroup at the destroyed Hall of Justice. The Team is trying to come to grips with their mentors being really gone. Miss Martian cries at the statue of her uncle, but suddenly senses something. She lifts the statue, and finds Martian Manhunter under it. The Manhunter is dazed, and cannot remember how he got there. Miss Martian posits that perhaps he was density shifting when he was hit by the disintegration beam. Wally gets an epiphany: he detects Zeta-Beam radiation around the cannon. It doesn't disintegrate, it teleports. Everyone has to be still alive, somewhere. As they rejoice with the thought that everyone can be saved, more aliens converge on their location. The Bio-Ship is destroyed, and the feedback knocks out both Martians. Aqualad leads Eiling and his troops further into the Hall of Justice, to the teleporter.

Eiling orders the heroes out.

He wants the soldiers to go first, but Eiling overrules him—the world can't lose more heroes. Martian Manhunter clears each member individually, but as Kid Flash enters the tube, the aliens breach the room. Aqualad shoves him in, and with Superboy helps in the defense. Superboy manages to drag the wounded Jason Bard to the teleporter, and goes in after him. Eiling, Reid and many other soldiers are destroyed. Aqualad carries Martian Manhunter to the gate, and pushes him in. He is hit by the beams directly after.

At Mount Justice, Robin takes command. If people are being teleported instead of killed, they would have to be detained.

Rocket, Zatanna and Red Arrow join the fight.

The most likely location is the alien mothership, in Smallville. He needs Superboy to be the distraction. Miss Martian objects, but Robin rebuts her concerns. Aqualad would have sacrificed himself—and he did, so now they're without their leader. Superboy accepts; it's what Superman would do.

All around the world, survivors tune in to a televised speech by the young heroes. In shelters in Happy Harbor and Gotham City, on the battlefield; everyone listens as the Team spreads a message of hope. Young heroes gather to take up arms against those who took their mentors.

In Smallville, Robin organizes the Team. Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter head in first, using camouflage and density shifting to sneak past security. When they're in position, Superboy breaks loose. He destroys several turrets, allowing Kid Flash and Robin entrance to the ship. They evade surveillance for a while, but are discovered.

Superboy's sacrifice.

Miss Martian takes out a surveillance craft that snuck up behind Robin. The four of them head off further into the ship. Superboy still fights the ships, but can't hold on. One blast knocks him off his feet; when he gets up, he is hit by the beam. Miss Martian collapses from emotions, but Martian Manhunter's mind clears. He tells Kid Flash that there are no prisoners to be found; the disintegration beam really did kill everyone. Robin agrees; he's found no trace of any humans on the ship. The only thing left to do is destroy the mothership. They reach the core, and Robin plants explosives. Kid Flash realizes Robin planned this all along, and knew there were no survivors.

Martian Manhunter wakes his niece.

On their way out, they are trapped and surrounded. Robin orders Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter away, and vows to follow as soon as they blow through the closed door. But with only nine seconds left until the charges go off, neither Robin nor Kid Flash makes any attempt at blowing the door. They are caught in the explosion.

Outside, Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter watch the explosion and Miss Martian laments that the price of victory was too high. To her horror, a second mothership arrives. She urges her uncle to leave, but he refuses. Instead, he drives his hand through her chest, killing her.

Mount Justice
October 16, 16:21 EDT

Miss Martian awakes. It takes her a moment to realize she is not dead, and her teammates are all alive as well. Batman asks Martian Manhunter what went wrong with the exercise. But Robin interjects, claiming to have no knowledge of any exercise. Batman explains:

Martian Manhunter devised a telepathic dreamworld in which the Team would fulfill a mission. They were aware it was a simulation, but they did not know it was a doomed-to-fail mission. They did not grieve over the Justice League or Wolf, because they knew it wasn't real. That all changed when Artemis died. Miss Martian's subconscious took over, wrestling the command of the exercise from Martian Manhunter's control. As a result, all the heroes now thought it was real, and Artemis was trapped in a coma. To stop the scenario, Martian Manhunter entered the simulation, but was overwhelmed by the emotions. He could not get a clear mind until everyone except Miss Martian was killed, and shocked her into waking up.

Captain Marvel consoles Miss Martian.

He apologizes to the Team, and Miss Martian, but it cannot console her. She is devastated that she put her teammates in peril, and Captain Marvel steps in to console her. Martian Manhunter collapses, and tells Batman that they all underestimated M'gann. She is untrained, but in terms of raw power, she is far more powerful than him.


The title may have come from the Team being Earth's last hope against the aliens, or the fact that J'onn was sent in to the simulation to shock Miss Martian back to reality as a "failsafe" after the exercise couldn't be stopped.

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
Jeff Bennett Red Tornado
Wade Eiling  
Jason Bard  
Nicole Dubuc Iris West-Allen
Bruce Greenwood Batman
Masasa Moyo Cat Grant
Kevin Michael Richardson Martian Manhunter
David Reid  
Green Lantern  
Stephanie Lemelin Computer
Non-speaking roles
Alfred Pennyworth
Barbara Gordon
Bette Kane
Black Canary
Captain Atom
Captain Marvel
Green Arrow
Hal Jordan
Henry Fyff
Karen Beecher
Lucas Carr
Mal Duncan
Marvin White
Pete "Danny" Danbury  
Red Arrow
Wendy Harris
Wonder Woman
Full credits
3 Character debut
1 Speaking debut
1 Episode debut


  • Kid Flash still has the cast after he broke his arm against the Injustice League in "Revelation", but now, he can wear it under a shirt.


  • Main title clips:
  • Number 16:
    • This is the 16th episode.
    • The Team gets word that many heroes have fallen to alien invaders on October 16, 16:01 EDT.
    • The Team wakes up from their training simulation on October 16, 16:21 EDT.
    • In the mothership, Robin says that the countdown of the explosion reached 16 seconds.
  • This is one of two episodes that has shown Robin's skills as team leader, the other being "Homefront".
  • Wally said his own version of "Hello, Megan!" by shouting, "Hello, Wally!" which was noticed by Robin. Artemis said that to him in "Revelation".
  • This episode is featured on Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets.

Backwards spells

Speaker Spell Translation
Zatara Tropsnart siht namaremac ot ytefas! Transport this cameraman to safety!
Noitativel won! Levitation now!


  • The number and position of stars on Wonder Woman's costume changes between shots.
  • At the Fortress of Solitude, Superboy's eyes are white/silver instead of light blue. This could have been due to the reflection of the white snow onto his eyes, making them appear as though they were silver.
  • The American flag has 48 instead of 50 stars.
  • Marvin's eyes are colored blue, whereas they're brown in "Targets".

Cultural references

  • The opening shot, of a spaceship's shadow gliding over the moon, is a reference to the opening scene of the 1996 movie Independence Day.


  • Kid Flash: They're dead! Every single alien! If it's the last thing I do!
  • Miss Martian: And though we know all seems lost, the one thing the aliens cannot destroy is hope.
  • Superboy: Hope survives because the battle is not over, not as long as even one of us is willing to fight.
  • Kid Flash: It doesn't matter how many fall, for new heroes will always rise to carry on, bringing all their resources, their skills, their talents to bear to defeat the enemy.
  • Robin: The people of Earth will survive this. We will rebuild and we will thrive. Never doubt and never forget, the Earth will never surrender!
  • Miss Martian: Don't, don't tell me the mission was a success, the price was too high.
  • Martian Manhunter: In terms of raw power, she has the strongest telepathic mind I have ever encountered. Stronger, by far, than mine.


  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.

External links