NYCC 2010 – Young Justice Panel
October 16, 2010

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?

Erik "Superfriend" Skov
"Gathered together from the four corners of the universe." Oh, wait, that's the show, not me. Erik "SuperFriend" Skov never actually got to appear on the show, although he did watch it every week. Erik spent 6 years working for Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI before leaving for a job that paid more (Why else would a collector leave the company that was making Star Wars, Transformers, and while I was there Batman). I used to post all over the net. These days I tend to hang my hat at AFI.
Read other articles by Erik "Superfriend" Skov.

 

 

 

10 Comments »

  • j1h15233 says:

    After this panel I was pretty excited for this show! Does anyone know if the clips are online? I’d love to see them.

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    I’m much more optimistic about the show now that I’ve seen the preview. Some shots gave me goosebumps like JL/JLU used to, like Batman coming down to punch Freeze, the League descending down on the HoJ, etc. They’ve going to have 150 characters in the first 18 episodes? I’ll be watching as well.

  • texgnome1 says:

    I’m much more excited now than I was. I was very aggravated over the Aqualad change, considering there were other minority characters they could have used. But after seeing the clip and reading your comments I’m very excited. Should be interesting to see why exactly they used Zatara instead of Zatanna.

    • Erik superfriend says:

      There is a link to an earlier interview in ToyOtter’s post on the news page. Watch the video interview there. They clearly state not everyone makes it out of this series alive. I think we may see Zatara dying and Zatanna joining the League in his place.

  • Shellhead says:

    Sounds great guys. Can’t wait to watch it after Thanksgiving. Anything that gives me more animated Aqua-people is okay in my book.

  • red Ricky says:

    I have mixed feelings. There, it’s been said.

    On one hand, I look forward to the interaction between Captain Marvel and Robin. Two of my favorite characters, who hardly ever get to share an adventure (despite being peers, icons and heirs apparent to the DC Universe Trinity).

    So that’s a BIG plus. Batman, Robin and Captain Marvel (who according to voice actor Rob Lowe, “will have an expanding presence”) in an ongoing cartoon is a dream come true for me.

    But on the other hand…

    It’s the little things. They say that God is in the details, and nobody paid attention to the details like Bruce Timm. And there is a difference between his work and what little I’ve seen so far of Young Justice. For instance, I don’t think Timm would have allowed the writers to have Mr. Freeze attack a picnic for no apparent reason than to “shoehorn” an Ice Villain into the intro. Or put a Robin laughing track that made the kid sound like… the Joker?!?!?!? Or allowed Batman show up in broad daylight. Basically, the way he ran things… even the throw away stuff had some thought put into it. And you could tell. That Batman intro reminded me of “The Batman” cartoon series instead of JLU. Only, this time around the skies were sunny gold instead of purplish.

    But… Don’t get me wrong, that was fine for the other lighthearted series. But from what I understand, this series is going to be more DC Universe oriented; and that’s usually more serious in tone.

    Oh, well. The other thing that sort of bothers me. And hasn’t been addressed, as far as I know… What is the role/status of the Teen Titans in this Universe? Do they exist? Were they retconned out of existence? Are they the reason Speedy isn’t part of the team?

    I mean, if that’s the case, GREAT! I welcome the friendly rivalry between the two. But if it isn’t (and they are not part of the show) then I honestly don’t see what using Dick Grayson and Wally West as the character’s secret identities, brings to the table. I mean, for all intends and purposes, Bart Allen/Impulse is seen playing the role of Kid Flash. And Robin’s personality is being characterized as a cross between Jason Todd and Damian. So it’s hard for me to look at Flash and think “Wally West” when Wally has always been portrayed as funny but reserved and sometimes insecure. Anyway, just thinking that you could’ve changed the Secret Identities on those two and not missed a beat; so I gotta wonder what gives? The Timeline? Come, on! After Year 3, age becomes a meaningless limbo in the DC Universe. Superman and Batman are going to stay as old, and on top of their game, as they were in Year 3, Year 5, Year 10 or Year 15.

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