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"Forbidden Secrets of Civilizations Past!" is the 20th episode of the fourth season of Young Justice, and the 93rd of the overall series. It debuted on April 28, 2022 on HBO Max.


Rocket learns that nothing stays buried forever.


August 28, 11:43 UTC

Orion asks Celestia if there had been any word on Metron; she tells him there has been none. Rocket approaches Orion and asks to talk privately. She admits that she handled the Ruction Cell situation poorly, and asks for a fresh start. Orion agrees, then walks away. Out of sight, the Time-Sphere appears before him. He enters and reverts to his true form as Ma'alefa'ak and tells Lor-Zod and Mantis that he has what they need.

Ma'alefa'ak explains that he had found that Metron accessed his Infinity Vault two days ago to deposit a Ruction Cell; he had easily read the information from Rocket's surface thoughts. Ma'alefa'ak notes Rocket's continuing distrust of the Son of Darkseid, and Lor-Zod is shocked that the Lord of Apokolips tolerates his disloyalty. Zod then hands Ma'alefa'ak a tracer linked to the Kaizer-Thrall, confirming they need to go back two days, with Ma'alefa'ak ready to provide the location.

Mountain Hive
August 26, 21:59 UTC
Two days before present

As the Orion, Rocket and the others talk with the Bugs outside the hive, Ma'alefa'ak slips inside and inserts the tracer into the Ruction Cell.

August 26, 23:00 UTC
Two days before present

Highfather hands the Ruction Cell to Metron, who boom tubes it to his Vault, unaware they are being observed from the out-of-sync Time-Sphere. Lor activates the Kaizer-Thrall, which releases several beams of light which hit the Sphere, creating a number of spectral duplicates of the Sphere, before it teleports away.

Star City
August 28, 09:00 PDT

Garfield arrives for his therapy appointment at Dinah Lance's office above Sherwood Florist. Gar admits that he had basically felt forced to come by Black Lightning's mental health check policy, but also that he understood it and wanted to prove he was ready to rejoin the Outsiders. Dinah tells him she just needs to check some boxes to clear him, and asks simple questions about his sleeping, leaving Space Trek 3016, his relationships, and how he's dealing with Conner's death. Gar answers each question briefly, admitting past difficulties, but also insisting he is now managing okay.

Back in Supertown, the conference is back in session, and Rocket is frustrated. She had hoped that her talk with Orion earlier might have smoothed things, but Orion doesn't understand what she means and has his own frustrations; he feels the Justice League has not taken the New Gods' request to turn Halo and Cyborg over to them seriously. Vykin tries to compromise by just asking for Halo, due to their connection to the Anti-Life Equation, but Rocket insists they stay with their family who loves them. To Vykin's surprise, Orion immediately withdraws their request.

Before anymore can be said on the matter, Bear bursts in, eager to see Rocket and Forager, to Orion's annoyance. After greeting his friends and being introduced to Flash, Bear offers his condolences about Superboy's death. As Vykin, Flash and Forager express their own sorrow, Tomar-Re stands to join them. As the Green Lantern assigned to Krypton's sector, he had been friends with Jor-El and Zor-El and deeply regretted he had not been able to save Krypton or the House of El, and so was greatly saddened by the loss of one of the last Kryptonians, especially an El.

The Phantom Zone
---- --, --:-- ---

Dru-Zod leads Superboy through the Zone. He explains the dangers of the Zone, and that the best way to keep safe is to stick together. He takes Superboy to his encampment, where five Kryptonians emerge from the crude building made of piled rocks and kneel before Zod.

Mobius Dimension
August 26, 23:06 UTC
Two days before present

The Time-Sphere appears and the Kaizer-Thrall deactivates. The Sphere's occupants are disorientated by the rough journey. Once recovered, Lor follows the tracer's signal, leading them to a vast series of tall towers lined with containers; the Infinity Vault. They observe Metron deposit the Cell and leave, but it is of no further interest to them. Lor wants the Phantom Zone Projector. Mantis notes the search could take days or weeks, but Lor simply tells them to get started. Behind them, a strange red cloud approaches unnoticed.

Back at Dinah's office, she asks Gar about Perdita. He admits they have fallen out, which was his fault, but is sure he can call her and smooth things over. Dinah suggests he call her then, but Gar quickly turns the offer down, suggesting he'd need privacy for a "hot" make-up call. Dinah then asks about the sleeping pills. Gar says he is no longer using them, but when Dinah asks if he would be willing to take a routine blood test, he says they might still be in his system. Dinah wonders if he is ready to return if he has only just stopped using them, but Gar insists he is managing his symptoms. Dinah asks if he is working for the short- or long-term. Gar grows frustrated, and says his long-term solution is to rejoin the Outsiders. Dinah asks why when he had taken himself off mission rotation. Gar insists that had been his decision, and Dinah suggests Gar didn't really want to go back, he just didn't want it taken away from him by someone else. Gar insists he made the squad and cannot lose it. "Like he lost Conner?," Dinah asks. Gar tries to blow it off at first, but finally admits that he thinks he is to blame for Conner's death and has accepted that.

Back at the conference, Orion wants to move on from talk of what cannot be changed and resume business, but Bear wants to talk to Forager about the rumors he has heard about him and Forager. Forager admits his feelings for her and that he is considering staying on New Genesis to be with her. Rocket is shocked given that they have only known each other for two days. Vykin explains that Bugs have accelerated courtships compared to humans and New Gods, which leads to Bear and Flash talking about their relationships with Dreamer and Joan Garrick, and their ages. Kilowog is then embarrassed as his power ring loudly announces it has initiated bio-waste recycling. Rocket is appalled, but an increasingly frustrated Orion thinks it is no worse than any of the other irrelevant conversation.

In the Phantom Zone, Dru takes Superboy to meet his life-mate, Ursa Zod. Telepathically, Dru tells Ursa they are "slow playing" Superboy, before vocally introducing them. Ursa asks about the girl Superboy is carrying. Superboy tells her he knows nothing about her, but Ursa notes they share similar burns, suggesting a connection. She is also concerned that she is unconscious, noting that all they are is consciousness there. Ursa theorizes that since no one heals while in the Zone, if the girl was unconscious when she arrived, she might stay that way for as long as she is there. Still, Ursa offers to care for her, as that is what family does. This triggers Superboy's memories: training with Beast Boy in Mount Justice; playing with Jonny with the Kents at Kent Farm; taking a photo with the Team; and proposing to M'gann.

At the Infinity Vault, the Lor and the others continue to search containers for the Projector with no success. Lor does find something of interest however; a glowing green eyeball which he quickly pockets. The trio are then suddenly surrounded by the red cloud, causing all three to scream in pain. Ma'alefa'ak brain blasts the cloud, which causes it back off momentarily, long enough for Lor to carry the other two into the Time-Sphere and take the Sphere out of sync with the timestream. As they recover, Lor explains that he believes the cloud is a baby Sun-Eater, which devours heat and energy, left as a security system. Ma'alefa'ak says that the Sun-Eater's rudimentary consciousness limits the effect of his brain blast, and Lor admits that neither he nor Mantis nor the Kaizer-Thrall have much hope of affecting the cloud. They will simply have to avoid it.

Back at Dinah's office, she sets aside her "checklist", which was in fact a blank page, and asks Gar how he killed Conner. Gar tells her he knew Conner was weakened, that he should have dealt with the gene-bomb. Dinah asks is he knew how to diffuse it, or if he could have taken it into the lava. Gar admits he couldn't. Dinah notes that M'gann left Conner with the bomb too and asks if he thinks she was also responsible, which Gar hotly denies. Dinah reminds Gar about their talk about losing Brion Markov last year, and asks if he feels responsible for that too; Gar tells her he was the squad leader, he should have seen the signs. Dinah asks about the deaths of Wally West and Rita Farr; Gar insists he should have been there to do something. Dinah asks about Gar's mother; Gar says he should have stopped Queen Bee. Dinah asks how he could have done that as an eight-year-old when the Justice League and the Team combined still hadn't stopped her. Gar breaks down and insists he could have done something, he just needed to be better. Dinah tells him that even when they do everything right, there are somethings that are beyond their power to control. Gar doesn't want to be powerless, feels he should have done something, though he doesn't know what, and, finally, admits that he needs help. Dinah tells him that admitting that is a real start.

Mobius Dimension
August 27, 14:11 UTC
One day before present

Lor, Mantis and Ma'alefa'ak continue their search, with the latter growing frustrated at the time it is taking and how often they have had to flee the Sun-Eater. They are interrupted by Metron's arrival. The New God does not see them as he retrieves Razer's Red power ring and leaves. Lor realizes that Metron holds the answer to their problem.

August 27, 14:16 UTC
One day before present

Metron blasts Razer, ready to retreat through a boom tube back to the Vault with the Blue power ring, but the ring goes to Razer and the new Red and Blue Lantern pushes Metron through the boom tube empty-handed.

Metron careens back into the Vault, and Lor punches him out of his Mobius Chair before he can recover. The Kaizer-Thrall then locks beams onto both Metron and the chair, locking both in a torturous state, seeming to push and pull them in between dimensions. Lor tells Metron that they will hold him like that until he provides the location of the Projector.

Back in the Phantom Zone, Dru gives Superboy a tour of his "kingdom". Dru shows him the other Kryptonians moving an asteroid, and explains that willpower is the key to everything there: moving things; even communication, with or without the use of their mouths. Faora leads Zod's followers in a chant, praising the "words of Zod" and pledging to "save the House of Zod". As they use the asteroid to add to their construction, Superboy remembers building his wedding altar at the Hollow Hill with his Martian friends and family. Zod offers Superboy the choice to stay and be part of the House of Zod or leave and face the Zone on his own. After a moment's thought, Superboy bows his head and kneels in front of Zod.

Mobius Dimension
August 28, 16:55 UTC

Mantis continues searching, as Metron's torture continues. Ma'alefa'ak is concerned the immortal New God could just wait them out. Zod tells the Martian to read Metron's mind, but Metron is able to shield himself even in his current state. Lor then tells Ma'alefa'ak to keep watch for the Sun-Eater. Ma'alefa'ak obeys, calling Lor Kryptonian aloud. Moments later, Metron relents.

Metron takes them to a series of containers with the seal of Krypton. Lor warns Metron to open it slowly, threatening him with his heat vision, but when Metron opened the container, a green light spills out, hurting Lor. Metron pulls out a piece of Kryptonite, then snaps his fingers to summon the Sun-Eater. With the trio and the Kaizer-Thrall incapacitated by the Sun-Eater, Metron summons his Mobius Chair and leaves.

At the conference room in Supertown, Rocket objects to Orion dictating what is and is not important, but is interrupted by Metron boom tubing in with a dire warning. He tells the group to join him if they wish for the galaxy to survive.

Back in the Vault, Ma'alefa'ak and Lor are thoroughly disabled by the Sun-Eater, but Mantis is able to summon the strength to throw his companions and the Kaizer-Thrall into the Time-Sphere. He remembers how to close it and take the Sphere back in time one day.

Mobius Dimension
August 27, 17:06 UTC
One day before present

Mantis leaves the Sphere and heads for where Metron had stored the Kryptonite. He begins to quickly rifle through the other boxes labelled with Krypton's seal and soon finds his prize, and holds up the Projector in elation.

End credits scene: Forager looks up at the statues of Highmother, Highfather, Forager and herself in Supertown, as Forager recites a soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet, suitably modified to reflect his and Forager's names, New Genesis's multiple moons, and the Bugs' disuse of pronouns.


Continuing this arc's theme of Jack Kirby-esque dramatic titles, the title can refer to Lor-Zod's unburying elements of Krypton's past; both the desired Phantom Zone Projector, and the undesired Kryptonite. It may also refer to Dru-Zod introducing Superboy to the House of Zod.

Cast and characters

Voice actor Character
Dee Bradley Baker Green Lantern Tomar-Re
Denise Boutte Rocket
Faora Hu-Ul  
Greg Cipes Garfield Logan
Ben Diskin Ma'alefa'ak
Bill Fagerbakke Bear
Andrew Kishino Mantis
Phil LaMarr Metron
Vanessa Marshall Dinah Lance
Ursa Zod  
Phil Morris Lor-Zod
Nolan North Superboy
Geoff Pierson Flash
Kevin Michael Richardson Vykin
Green Lantern Kilowog
Jason Spisak Forager
Jason Spisak Razer
Non-speaking roles
Artemis Crock (flashback)
B'arzz O'oomm (flashback)
Dick Grayson (flashback)
J'emm J'axx (flashback)
Jonathan Kent (flashback)
Jonny Kent (flashback)
Kaldur'ahm (flashback)
Larva (blue)
Larva (red)
Lex Luthor (flashback)
Lois Lane (flashback)
M'aatt M'orzz (flashback)
Martha Kent (flashback)
Match (flashback)
M'gann M'orzz (flashback)
Mountain Forager (purple)
Mountain Forager (red)
Phantom Girl
Sphere (flashback)
Superman (flashback)
Wally West (flashback)
Will Harper (flashback)
Wolf (flashback)
Zatanna Zatara (flashback)
2 Character debut
4 Speaking debut
0 Episode debut




  • Halo is referred to by Rocket with a third personal singular pronoun, despite having declared preference for they/them pronouns in "Nautical Twilight". Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti stated that this was an unintentional production mistake.[3][4][5][6]
    • Vykin also misgenders Halo in the same scene, but this is not explicitly acknowledged in Weisman's apology, so it is unclear whether he was intended to be unaware of Halo's transition.
  • Superboy's memory of the group picture doesn't have the same background as the ones found in Artemis and Will's and Raquel's homes.

Cultural references


For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.

Answered questions


  • Flash: I knew Joan was the one the moment I laid eyes on her. I made my move fast. And that was before I became the Flash.
  • Black Canary: What could you have done differently to save any of them?
  • Garfield: I don't know. I just needed to be better. They needed me to be better.
  • Black Canary: Don't you see? Even when we do everything right, bad things still sometimes happen. There are some things we have the power to control, but the hardest thing to admit, especially for people in our line of work is that sometimes, we're...
  • Garfield: Powerless.
  • Garfield: Dinah... I need help.
  • Black Canary: Admitting that... It's a start, Gar. A real start.
  • Metron: Come with me if you want the entire galaxy to survive!


  1. Lenine (2022-04-25). Tweet. Twitter. Retrieved 2022-05-02.
  2. Spisak, Jason (2013-05-07). Wally Reads the Classics. YouTube. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  3. Weisman, Greg (2022-04-29). Tweet. Twitter. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  4. Weisman, Greg (2022-04-29). Tweet. Twitter. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  5. Vietti, Brandon (2022-05-04). Tweet. Twitter. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  6. Vietti, Brandon (2022-05-04). Tweet. Twitter. Retrieved 2022-05-04.