In 1999, Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch would introduce something of an anti-hero version of the Justice League in the Authority. Years later, Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke would tackle aspects of this concept with the Elite. Founded by the extremely powerful psionic Manchester Black, the Elite is a small group of anti-heroes who doled out harsh judgment on criminals much to the public’s satisfaction and in the face of everything Superman and his generation of heroes stood up toward. Following escalations between Superman and the group, the hero finally challenged them to a showdown on an alien world. Taking advantage of their battle being recorded, Superman made it appear he murdered the group to prove to the world why this type of behavior could not be tolerated. Black would return as perhaps one of Superman’s greatest foes in recent history as his team aligned with the Justice League as a proactive black ops unit (similar to how the Team is used in Young Justice). The initial critically-acclaimed storyline that involved the group would be the basis of the animated film Superman vs. The Elite (2012). Mentioned before, with many of the villains believed to be imprisoned in YJ, new villains will likely emerge but the Elite provides for a much more challenging opponent. While a conflict between the Elite and the Team would be entertaining, YJ has a tendency to try and make its viewers think which this battle of not only powers but ideas would certainly fit the bill. Plus, it could see Black emerge as a significant new foe as the rest of his group could adopt a similar role to that of the runaways in Invasion.
As Earth celebrated its survival from the Reach’s Magnetic Field Disruptors (at the cost of Kid Flash), several of its saviors chose to either retire from active service or simply abandon the Justice League and Team. Specifically, three of the Reach’s test subjects in Tye Longshadow, Eduardo Dorado Jr., and Asami Koizumi (based on the Super Friends characters Apache Chief, El Dorado, and Samurai, respectively) and Arsenal. However, it’s likely these four would be viewed as unknown quantities to the Light as something they couldn’t make work for them and which they couldn’t risk would return to the League/Team in later conflicts. It would make sense then to take them off the board but rather than kill them (when they could be viable test subjects or bargaining chips with the League), they could be imprisoned. Depending on Lex Luthor’s position by the start of the third season of Young Justice (as he entered the field of politics in Invasion‘s conclusion), he could very well institute a legal measure where exceptional individuals must either join the Justice League in some capacity or be branded outlaws (placing him within his rights to jail those like just described). In such case, a facility for these individuals could yield an interesting cast of characters outside the conflict between the Light and Justice League (one that could in some manner come into play later in the season). DC Comics offers many several characters whom seemingly could fit this bill, the likes of Ragman, Creeper, Black Orchid, Shade the Changing Man, El Diablo, Man-Bat, She-Bat, Negative Man, Ambush Bug, Odd Man, and so on.
Since the beginning of Young Justice, one character who has likely been anticipated to appear has been that of Klarion the Witch Boy’s nemesis. Jason Blood was a knight in the service of King Arthur who was bonded to the demon Etrigan by the wizard Merlin to combat Morgaine le Fey, Camelot’s chief enemy. Made immortal by that contract, Blood used the power of Etrigan against the forces of evil in the centuries since eventually crossing paths with Klarion the Witch Boy. Learning sorcery against the wishes of his elders, Klarion sought refuge with Jason Blood who protected the young warlock. However, Klarion began to observe the demon Etrigan as his servant which drew his ire, banishing the boy from Earth. Klarion would make his way back and made destroying Blood/Etrigan his top priority. Klarion would subsequently battle the Young Justice League before being re-imagined around the time of the Infinite Crisis. For YJ, Klarion would be re-imagined in a manner similar to Mordru (an alien sorcerer) who were both retroactively turned into Lords of Chaos (also reminiscent of Nabu, who empowers Doctor Fate, whom was an alien mystic turned Lord of Order). Certainly, the original story couldn’t be closely adapted, but if Klarion is indeed a timeless Lord of Chaos older perhaps than mankind, it would make sense for an immortal, mystical champion like Jason Blood to have faced him prior. Further, thus far it appears Doctor Fate, largely the nemesis to Klarion in the series, seems unable to do anything to actively halt the progress of the villain. It may then take an outside party like that of Blood to finally topple the Witch Boy.
Perhaps best known today for the upcoming motion picture, the Suicide Squad is a US government sponsored black ops group composed mostly of villains who’s prison sentences are commuted for performing highly dangerous assignments. Made popular in the 1980s under the pen of John Ostrander, it made the obscure character of Deadshot a prominent assassin in the DC Universe and provided a spotlight to others such as Rick Flag Jr., Nightshade, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, and Count Vertigo. The group would be adapted for Justice League Unlimited and Smallville but has seen a resurgence of late. In the popular Batman: Arkham video game franchise, the Suicide Squad would emerge in the Origins games before starring in a film based in that universe called Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014). They would also emerge in the second season of Arrow becoming so popular, it was rumored it might transition into its own spin-off series (it’s possible this concept might have morphed into the upcoming live action film). For Young Justice, as noted, many of the villains in the series have seemingly been incarcerated creating prime ground to adapt the Squad (especially having already introduced characters like Amanda Waller, Deadshot, and Count Vertigo). Add in that Lex Luthor may have a prominent political role which he used in the comics to have the Squad take down his enemies and a possible need to capture outsider heroes unaffiliated with the Justice League and the group seems like a viable possibility.
Since the beginning of Young Justice, New Gods have been teased. Thus far, we’ve seen the Forever People from New Genesis and several foes from Apokolips. With the reveal of Darkseid in the final moments of Invasion‘s season, it’s all but guaranteed we’ll see a strong presence of Apokolips. This, of course, means the prominence of New Genesis. Originally a single world until a great war split the planet in twain, Apokolips has been home to the Gods of Anti-Life and New Genesis to Gods of Life. New Genesis is lead by Highfather as the likes of Orion, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Himon, Lightray, Fastbak, and Lonar form something like his Justice League. The Forever People, introduced in the first season of YJ, is something like their Team and as with Earth’s version, it’s likely ten years have passed meaning the group is not as young as they once were. It is then likely the third season could see the arrival of the Young Gods. As the name implies, this is a recent, younger generation of New Gods with Esak likely its most well-known member. A brilliant scientist and protege to the neutral traveling god Metron, Esak would see his face disfigured in an accident twisting his mind into a servant of Darkseid (another Esak would emerge following Infinite Crisis). Other Young Gods include Little Barda and Power Boy, the former idolizing Big Barda and latter somehow inspired by Power Girl, who came to Earth to join the Teen Titans.
At the start of Young Justice, the Justice League had sixteen members and by the start of Invasion, it blew up to twenty six. It’s highly likely, provided many Team members are promoted to the League, the group could be around fifty members strong by the start of the third season (if you also account for viable recruits like Blue Devil, Adam Strange, and B’arzz O’oomm as well). Being so vast, it would make sense for the scope of the team to grow having an Earth presence beyond the Hall of Justice and Watchtower (not to mention, as the Hall and Secret Sanctuary was destroyed and the difficulties that caused, multiple bases also make sense). There’s also the fact the Light has become a multi-planetary player as elements of its plans stretch across Mars, Rimbor, Rann, War World, and Apokolips. Thus, the series might adapt the comic book concept of Justice League International with multiple groups across the Earth in embassies. Specifically, if there’s seven council members of the Light and seven founders of the Justice League, this could escalate to seven international Leagues each with a founder at the helm based out of locations in places like Washington D.C. in North America, São Paulo in South America, Vlatava in Europe, Taipei in Asia, Gorilla City in Africa, Poseidonis in Atlantis, and the Watchtower (Antarctica and Australia purposely left out, though I would hope a joke about the former be made with Guy Gardner nominated to lead). This international flair could extend to include new members out of groups like the Global Guardians, Great Ten, Rocket Red Brigade, Club of Heroes, and Big Science Action (perhaps Fire, Ice, Impala, Vixen, Congorilla, August General in Iron, Rocket Red #4, and Sunburst). Also to consider, if Earth has become such a hot bed of interplanetary activity, the Guardians of the Universe might feel three Green Lanterns insufficient and assign the likes of Arisia Rrab, Katma Tui, Salaak, Ch’p, and Kilowog. Of course, Red Tornado could try to resurrect his siblings in Red Torpedo and Red Inferno with the help of Brom Stikk. There are also scores of other members that could appear, names like Animal Man, Hourman, Katana, Dr. Light, Metamorpho, Atomic Knight, Steel, Sandman, Elongated Man, Question, Hardware, Firestorm, Starman, and Booster Gold.
When Wally West appeared to be dead at the hands of Abra Kadabra, a new Flash emerged. Referred as Dark Flash, this new version was the Walter West of an alternate timeline where his wife Linda Park was killed by Kobra. Grief stricken, Walter became a dark vigilante who brutalized his enemies. Witnessing the apparent deaths of Wally and his wife Linda, Walter decided to go to Wally’s timeline to seek revenge on Kadabra. Eventually, Wally and his Linda would return and the presence of both Flashes disrupted reality forcing Walter to leave and try to find his way home. In Young Justice, Wally West appeared to have died saving the Earth from the Reach. Considering how the series has thus far played around a bit with reality and time travel (Klarion making two Earths, Impulse changing the future, etc), it wouldn’t be a surprising turn to introduce the Wally of an alternate timeline. This darker, older version could create an interesting dynamic as the Earth might have gone through five years without its Wally, affecting the entire Team especially with the Flash, Bart Allen, Artemis, Aqualad, and Nightwing. Not only would they have to essentially see the ghost of their friend, it will be one damaged by dark battles leaving physical and emotional scars.
Childhood friends of Superman from the 30th Century, the Legion of Super-Heroes were founded at a time where the galaxy had enjoyed a relative peace only to be on the cusp of emerging threats. Sponsored by R.J. Brande and formed originally by Lightning Lad of Winath, Cosmic Boy of Braal, and Saturn Girl of Titan, the group would take on dozens of members across the galaxy including the likes of Brainiac 5, Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Invisible Kid, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet, Bouncing Boy, Ultra Boy, Mon-El, Matter-Eater Lad, Element Lad, Light Lass, Dream Girl, Ferro Lad, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, and Timber Wolf. The veritable army of youths inspired many where teams like the Legion of Substitute Heroes, Heroes of Lallor, and the Wanderers would pop up. In 2007, “The Lightning Saga” would emerge as the Legion came back in time and teamed with the Justice League and Justice Society in order to capture the essence of fallen hero Bart Allen (who hails from their time period) to be resurrected for a coming battle. This comes to fruition in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds where Bart and Connor Kent are resurrected to combat Superboy-Prime and his Legion of Super-Villains. While no guarantee that this will happen, Young Justice has dropped hints of the coming Legion with its use of Interlac (the language of choice in the 30th/31st Centuries) and the prominence of Rimbor (homeworld of Ultra Boy). Another connection is that in the comics, it’s likely the greatest Legion story of all time featured Darkseid in “The Great Darkness Saga.” With an upcoming season likely focused around Darkseid, elements of this might come into play as a reason for the Legion to become involved. YJ also has on occasion featured team-up episodes seeing the Team and Justice League partner to take down large threats. The emergence of the Legion would be prime for this as groups made up of Legionnaires, Leaguers, and Teamsters could break off to collect Wally’s essence across locations of note established in the first two seasons. Such places could include his childhood home in Central City, Cadmus Labs, the ruins of Mount Justice, the Tower of Fate, his home in Palo Alto, and the North Magnetic Pole.