DC Comics has uploaded podcasts of all of its San Diego panels to its website. That includes the WB Animation: Batman: Brave and the Bold Panel (MP3) which includes a few minutes of Young Justice intro by producers Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti. It starts around the 24 minute mark if you want to jump straight to it, but the rest of the panel is quite fun and it’s only 32 minutes long. The rest of the hour-long slot was spent watching a new episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which unfortunately, isn’t included on the podcast.
The panel was moderated by Sam Register, the Executive Vice-President for Creative Affairs at Warner Brothers Animation. He introduced the Young Justice segment by describing how it came about.
We were working on Batman when I got to the studio a couple of years ago and we had one show in production. We had to put other shows into development and somebody at Marvel messed up in my opinion because they let Greg Weisman [supervising producer of The Spectacular Spiderman] go. So I went hunting after Greg Weisman immediately. And at the same time Brandon Vietti, who has been working on many great shows, was directing on Under The Red Hood [the latest DCU direct-to-DVD feature]. I got these guys together. Now… they look alike, they think alike… and what came from this pairing was Young Justice.
Now guys, this is decidedly a different take on the other show [i.e. the comedy of Brave and the Bold which had just been discussed]. So what we wanted to do is, this show will be premiering this November, I think, on Cartoon Network. And what we wanted to do today, because you are fans of DC and Animation DC, we wanted to give you guys the oppurtunity to share for the first time some animation from what the Young Justice series will look like.
Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti then take over the microphone, but its hard to tell which one is which. I think Vietti may be the one with the slightly deeper voice. Sorry if I’ve got them back to front.
Vietti: We’ve been working on this show for about a year now. It’s all about secrets and lies and we’re going to share a few secrets with you right now.
Weisman: Young Justice is firmly part of the DC Multiverse, specifically our TV series and the in-continuity comic book that’s coming this fall, are set on Earth-16 out of the 52 Universes that DC has. This isn’t Teen Titans or Justice League Unlimited. Those are both great shows, our tone is different thou. We’re looking at a more grounded, realistic approach to the DC Universe. We’ll be covering the breadth and the depth of DCU continuity within Earth-16. This is a very young Earth so to speak, a young Universe. Not a lot has happened in terms of the continuity of DC.
Vietti: It’s sort of a new age of heroes [shows a picture of some of them]. Superman’s only been around for ten years, he made his first appearance in Metropolis just ten years ago. The Justice League is a brand new organisation, they’re actually 16 members strong [...] The character design may look familiar. Phil Bourassa is our lead character designer [clapping as Phil stands up]. He did a great job on the [Justice League] Crisis [on Two Earths] movie and you may remember him from that. So of our Leaguers will be regular to semi-regular in the series.
You’ll see a lot of Batman and Batman is going to be voice by Bruce Greenwood. Check him out in the Under the Red Hood movie. We’ve also got Aquaman voiced by Phil LaMarr. Green Arrow voiced by Alan Tudyk. Captain Marvel voiced by Rob Lowe. That’s just a few to start.
So, the Justice League in our world are super high-powered, high-wattage celebrities. Like most celebrities every movement they make is tracked by the public and so unfortunately by the badguys. It’s hard for them to move around because they’re just too big. Because of the Justice League the badguys are getting more organised, are getting better at operating under the radar and the Justice League realises that they need a team that is also good at working under the radar. A sort of covert ops team. And in our series you’ll watch Young Justice forged into that team.
Weisman: So we’re just going to quickly run through the members and tell you a little bit about each one. First is Robin played by Jesse McCartney. This is Dick Grayson, aged 13. He’s the youngest member of the group, but he’s also the guy with the most experience. He’s been doing this since he was 9-years old so he’s been doing it four years. He’s the guy with all the chops.
Veitti: This is out Kid Flash. He’s voiced by Jason Spizak. He is Wally West. He’s 15, he’s not as fast as the Flash. He has to accelerate and decelerate.
Weisman: This is Aqualad played by Kari Peyton Khary Payton. He’s age 16 and he’s the leader of the team. He’s not Garth, but Garth will be in the series. This is a new character, who if you’re reading Brightest Day you’ll have already met.
Veitti: We get to tell you guys another cool bit of information about Aqualad. Geoff Johns [DC Creative Affairs Officer] has authorised us to reveal a really cool secret about this character that affects the entire DC Multiverse – this is the comics included. This is a secret that not even Aqualad knows about himself. That is, that Aqualad’s father is… Black Manta [gasps from the audience].
Weisman: Next is Superboy played by Nolan North. Superboy is aged 16 weeks. He’s newly cloned. He’ll eventually take the name Conner Kent and this is a new interpretation of the character, but is one that is very true to the character’s origin.
Veitti: This is Miss Martian, voiced by Dana MaKellar. She’s 16 in Martian years, that’s 48 in Earth years, but for all intents and purposes she is an adolescent. She is the niece of Martian Manhunter and she’s new to Earth, new to being a superhero.
Weisman: This is Artemis played by Stephani Lemelin. She is aged 15. She is an existing DC character. She isn’t Arrowette, she’s not Speedy, she’s not Wonder Girl, she’s not an Amazon, but she is an existing DC character. Beyond that, well… we’ve got to keep a few secrets.
Veitti: That’s pretty much our line-up.
Notice the line about an in-continuity comic-book – which would be a first for a tie-in book. This could be interesting as previous DC tie-in books have generally skewed younger than the apparent tone of the cartoon. This is actually going to be one of the mainstream DC Earths. The comic books could cross over to it any time they wanted to.
It’s the Artemis tease that got me interested. An “existing DC character” they said. She could be the Secret. Peter David’s already hinted that he may be writing that character. Hawkgirl or Supergirl possibly. Or she could, just possibly, be [scratch that they've never include her].
There was also a design for Red Arrow (Roy Harper) shown in the preview reel and they’ve mentioned that the original Aqualad (Garth) will be in the show in some capacity.
Let’s the speculation begin…