The Young Justice panel started with a preview of the new show. Two clips actually, run one right after the other. "Today is the day," they all kept saying as each sidekick and hero pair fought an ice themed villain. Robin, Speedy, Aqualad, Kid Flash. The new Aqualad. More on him later. Every scene brought out oohs and aahs from the audience, but none as much as the appearance of the Hall of Justice. The second clip is a "mission". "This is too dangerous for you younger heroes," the older heroes say. Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad go on their own. Cadmus. Where they find … Superboy.
Panelists: Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman.
1 hour pilot broadcast November 26, 2010 (the day after Thanksgiving). The series itself premieres in January 2011.
Earth 16. There will be a monthly comic book which is in continuity with the show. Comic starts in January. Written by the award winning writers of Tiny Titans.
The series covers the entire DC Universe. This is a young universe. Heroes are new. Sidekicks are even newer. Superman first appeared about 10 years ago. This is a more "grounded" series than Teen Titans go. The villains are more organized. The JLA has gotten so well known that their popularity gets in their own way. Young Justice is kind of a covert operation.
Robin – Dick Grayson. Age 13. Youngest of the group, but has the most experience. Been doing this for about 4 years. (Yes, he started as Robin at the same age Ash Ketchum left home to become a Pokemon trainer, and the same age Ben Tennison got the Omnitrix)
Kid Flash – Wally West. Age 15. Best friend of Robin. Has to accellerate and decellerate. Uses momentum as a weapon. Special goggles.
Aqualad – Age 16. From Atlantis. Garth, the traditional Aqualad, is his best friend and will be in the show. Black Manta is confirmed as his father. This version is slightly different than the comic version. Geoff Johns gave his version a much deeper back story.
Superboy – Age 16. Superman’s clone. Really about 16 weeks old. Will eventually take name of Conner Kent, but not right away.
Miss Martian – Age 16, but 16 Martian years, which is 48 Earth years. Here she is the neice of the Martian Manhunter. I am not aware of any connection between them in the comics. She is ‘new’ to Earth and has a skewed version of earth life, having learned about it from watching TV.
Artemis. Would not tell us who she is. Not Arrowette. Not Artemis from the Wonder Woman stories. (My bet is Mia).
One cool thing was that we had Robin, Superboy and the new Aqualad in attendance at the panel (people dressed up like them).
A full 16 member Justice League. All the usual and expected characters, plus a few surprises. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, 2 Green Lanterns (Hal and John), Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Red Tornado, Shazam, Captain Atom, and Zatara.
In terms of balance, the series focuses on Young Justice, but the JLA is around. Batman gives them their missions. Red Tornado acts a kind of a den mother. Black Canary is theri combat trainer. Shazam hangs out with them because, well, because he’s really their age. These and their mentors will be seen more often than the other JLA members.
Secrets and lies are a big theme of the show. Robin keeps his identity a secret the whole time. The kids will be in plain clothes on occasion. Robin wears sunglasses (yes, they do still work to protect a secret identity even in 2011).
Questions and answers:
Cadmus is a place where a team is forged. It is populated by a variety of characters, some good, some bad, some ambiguous.
Why Zatara instead of Zatanna? – Will become obvious during the show.
Are Wonder Girl and Capt Marvel Jr going to be on the show? – We have 150 characters in the 1st 18 episodes (Season 1 is 18 episodes).
Why is Speedy featured so much in the opening clip, but not on the main cast of the show? – This is a key plot point in the first episode.
Why Dick Grayson and Wally West instead of Tim Drake and Bart Allen? – This is the early years of the DCU, and these guys were there in the early years.
Will the series focus on teenage drama or be lighthearted? – Darker than Teen Titans Go, but lighter than Justice League. Angst and humor. Comedy to offset drama.
Are there any character restrictions? – There were during production, but those are gone. So there are a few character that got left out. They will probably be included in future episodes.
The team read back issues of Young Justice, old Teen Titans from the 70′s, and are using the DC Encyclopedia for references. There will be no universe crossing in the first year.
The JSA did exist a long time ago. We will see a few members, but guys who were fighting crime in World War II are really old. Tech is modern day, but realistic. We are not using lasers yet.
Merchandise? – Mattel is very enthusiastic about this show.
They finished off the panel by showing the preview again.
And now, my reaction:
Loved the preview. Was on the edge of my seat. Well, except I did not have a seat. I was lucky to be in the hall as it filled up before I got to the door. Anyway, lots of treats in the preview. The 4 classic hero-sidekick pairings. The Hall of Justice. The scene where the rest of the Justice League sets down out of the sky onto a roof top. Finding Superboy at Cadmus. It hit all the right beats. Sign me up to watch the whole series.
I found myself later reflecting on how they had chosen to go with a character set almost completely different from Teen Titans Go. While I love the boys, the two women they’ve chosen for this team leave me bored. Hopefully the series will change that. Right now, I’m wondering why they chose them. Kind of odd that we still have no Wonder Girl in animation yet. I am sure, based upon their assurances of "150 characters", that we will see Cyborg, Starfire, Beast Boy and Raven at some point. When the series was first announced, I found it odd that Aqualad had been recast. The mention that Garth still exists and will be appearing has softened my concerns about that. Yet it brings up another.
If they will go to that length to diversify the cast, why not adjust the makeup of the Justice League to make it more diverse as well. Why not include Black Lightning and Vixen? Would expanding the JL from 16 to say 20 to diversify it be so bad? (aside – Captain Atom is on the team because one of the writers likes the character. I do too.)
Back to the actual show as it is. I liked the animation style. Thanks to the WB/DC animated movies, we’ve seen a variety of styles used on the DC Universe. This one really hit home with me (and I got to meet the writers of Tiny Titans who were in the audience).
Looking forward to this and seeing what Mattel cooks up to go with it. What does everyone else think of what they have seen or heard about Young Justice so far?