NYCC – Young Justice Panel

Unfortunately, I was unable to get into the YJ panel at New York Comic Con. The room was packed with another 60 or so people waiting outside…and I got there like a half hour early!

I was able to get a signed YJ poster at the DC Booth, though! Young Justice producers Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood) and Greg Weisman (Gargoyles) ran the panel (and signed my poster),

Thanks to Newsarama for their summary.

  • First thing’s first, we have an airing date!! November 26 for the one-hour pilot. Show itself won’t start until sometime next year. Guess we’ll have to tide ourselves over with Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes until then.
  • They did show a video, and it’s up on Youtube.
  • Gargoyles alum Jamie Thomason will be handling the voice direction for this series!
  • Young Justice is set on Earth-16, and there will be a comic book special written by Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps in January. With the YJ cartoon, they are looking to create a more grounded approach to the DC universe with Earth-16.
  • Approximately 10 years before the cartoon Young Justice, Superman put on the cape and rebooted the Earth-16 superheroic tradition. The JSA existed in the 1940s in their continuity, but Weisman says in their universe there’s been a gap. Most of the JSA “retired, died, whatever.” But we will be seeing Jay Garrick, and a handful of older characters. “But we’re keeping in mind if we’re starting over, characters age. If a character started fighting in 1940, he’s not 25 in 2010.”
  • The Justice League itself has just recently been formed with 16 members: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Red Tornado, Hawkman, Zatara, Captain Atom, Black Canary, Green Lantern John Stewart, Captain Marvel, and Hawkwoman.
  • ZATARA! Interesting! Bet something awful happens to him and we see Zatanna soon.
  • Red Tornado acts as a bit of a live-in den mother for the team, Vietti says. Black Canary is the combat trainer, so we’ll see her a lot, too. The mentors of the six leads, like Superman, Batman and the Flash, we’ll see them a lot, too. We’ll also see a lot of Zatara, and Captain Marvel “will be hanging out a bit at the cave”… because secretly he’s a 10-year-old kid.
  • Vietti: “It’s getting harder for the Justice League to do what they do.” They’re celebrities, easily tracked, easily seen, and the bad guys are getting smarter, working together and working under the radar to stay under the Justice League’s noses.
  • Weisman: “The fact that the Justice League exists has pushed the villains to get organized as well. That’s sort of the Catch-22 the League is dealing with.”
  • The Young Justice team will consist of Artemis, Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, Ms. Martian, and Aqualad. Vietti likens them as a covert-ops team assembled by Batman to help deal with the villains and come into their own.
    • Robin is Dick Grayson, voiced by Jesse McCartney. He’s the youngest member of the group at age 13, but he has the most experience. His parents were killed at Haley’s Circus and adopted by Bruce Wayne four years prior.
    • Kid Flash is Wally West, 15, and good friends with Robin. Voiced by Jason Spisak. Not as fast as the Flash, and he can’t stop on a dime — he has to skid to a stop. He’s very much into using his momentum as a weapon, so his costume has shoulderpads and kneepads. Vietti: “His body is like a human cannonball… he has a little bit of a parkour approach.” Kid Flash’s goggles can also see different light spectrums!
    • Khary Payton (Cyborg from Teen Titans) will be playing Aqualad. This 16-year-old Atlantean is not Garth — but Garth, his best friend, WILL be in the series. Apparently Payton really wowed the producers with his voice. As seen in Brightest Day, Aqualad has a big secret — his father is Black Manta. Aqualad can bend water and control water with his mystical eel tattoos.
    • Nolan North will be playing Superman AND Superboy. Superboy is 16 WEEKS old, but he looks 16 years old. He will take on the name Conner Kent — eventually. Wiesman says this is a new interpretation of Superboy, but he thinks the character will be the breakout character of Young Justice.
    • Danica McKellar (Winnie from Wonder Years) will play Miss Martian. She’s 40 in Earth years, so 16 in Martian Years. She knows what it’s like to interact with Earthlings… because she watches a lot of TV sitcoms and the like.
    • Artemis, voiced by Stephanie Lemelin (The Whole Truth) is not Speedy, not Wonder Girl, not from Apokolips, but she IS a character from the DCU. But who, they’re not telling!
  • How about secret identities? Dick Grayson keeps his identity a secret through the rest of the series — Kid Flash is the only one who knows. Vietti: “You will see the kids out of costume quite a bit, they’ll be in plainclothes.” Even some missions they’ll be undercover! Robin has sunglasses, though. “This is still the same DC Universe where glasses can hide your identity,” Vietti says.
  • Talking about tone of the show, Vietti said “we were trying to shoot right down the middle” of Justice League and Teen Titans. Weisman says he digs Joss Whedon’s style, and he feels comedy can help offset drama and tragedy. There’s also a lot of relationship and angst, “but there’s a lot of humor here as well.”
  • Weisman says there are NO EMBARGOS on ANY CHARACTERS for this series! Originally there were four characters embargoed, but now they’re not embargoed anymore. Since Weisman and Co. found out late, we likely won’t see those four in the first season, but if there’s a second season, we’ll see them “by Season Five.” Considering the track record of superhero cartoons only getting 2 or 3 seasons, getting five seasons would be a miracle!

Questions and Answers!

Why Zatara and not Zatanna?

Weisman says the answer will become obvious halfway through the season.

Will Wonder Girl or Captain Marvel Jr show up on the show?

Weisman: “We’re not going to come up here and spoil a ton about a show that’ll premiere in a month and a half. My short answer is we have over 150 existing DC Universe characters in the first 18 episodes alone.”

Which Black Canary?

The daughter of the original.

Why is Speedy (Roy Harper) not in the original group shot?

Vietti says that will be apparent after the first episode.

Why Dick and Wally and not Tim and Bart?

Vietti: “We wanted to start over with the DC Universe.” Weisman: “Dick was the original, original, original DC Universe sidekick. If you’re going to reboot the DC Universe and not use Dick Grayson?”

Why does this version of Aqualad have a different origin than he had in Brightest Day?

Weisman says they created the new Aqualad for the show, and that Geoff Johns came on later and “fell in love with the character.” Johns had to make adjustments to make the character work for Brightest Day — but Young Justice isn’t Earth-0, it’s Earth-16.

Is Cadmus a team of villains, or just an obstacle?

Weisman: “Cadmus is a place where a team is forged. And Cadmus is populated by a number of characters, some good, some not so good, and some very ambiguous.”

Might we see the Wonder Twins?

Weisman: “Over 150 characters in the DC Universe. We’re including the Superfriends as part of the DC Universe.”

Will we see anything from the Young Justice comics?

Weisman says yes, he did a lot of research “from all over the place,” including the original Young Justice series.

Will the other Earths crossover?

Weisman says not at this point, they want to focus on Earth-16 as the core.

Will there be any merchandising tie-ins?

Vietti: “I hope so.” Hopes for toys, which Weisman says there’s been some interest.

Where are they in history as far as technology? Will the villains be using things like Facebook?

Vietti: “We’ve thought about that. It’s very modern-day in terms of technology… we really want this series to be as realistic as possible.” Although Facebook doesn’t necessarily have a role in the show — but fans of the superheroes in that universe might make fan pages and the like. They didn’t want to start out with laser guns just yet — but things will get pretty interesting when they eventually DO hit. The most advanced thing we’ll likely see are holograms.

Skitch Commentary: Looks like they have a lot of great plans here. This should be an excellent cartoon! I’m really surprised they didn’t mention Peter David’s involvement, but I guess they don’t want to make it seem like a clone of the comic.

I love that they are packing 150 different DC characters in the first 18 episodes!


Source: Newsarama