Via MTV’s Splash Page:
Premiering on November 26 at 7 PM Eastern, “Young Justice” will begin with a one-hour adventure.
When the series was first announced, the team’s roster was said to include Robin, Superboy, Artemis, Kid Flash, Miss Martian and Aqualad. It’s interesting to note that Green Arrow protege Artemis and the alien shape-shifter Miss Martian don’t appear in the trailer, though Speedy (Green Arrow’s former sidekick) has a big role.
“Young Justice” is executive produced by Sam Register (“Batman: The Brave and the Bold”) alongside producers Greg Weisman (“The Spectacular Spider-Man”) and Brandon Vietti (“The Batman”).
Comic fans will likely recognize the title of the show as a reference to the 1998 “Young Justice” comic book series that ran for 55 issues and was created by Todd DeZago and Todd Nauck (though the majority of the series was written by Peter David). Of the television series’ roster, two characters from the comic appear to have been omitted: Wonder Girl and Secret.
Thanks to Russ for the heads up!
What if…? #23
Reading the current Dark Son storyline reminded me of a similar Hulk story written in the first volume of Marvel’s What If. The title on the cover says ‘What if the Hulk became a Barbarian?’ The inside title however is ‘What if the Hulk’s girlfriend, Jarella had lived?’. This story was written by Peter B. Gillis and pencilled by long time Hulk artist Herb Trimpe. It is interesting to see how this story mirrors the current Dark Son storyline.
Warning Spoilers Ahead
The timeline of the story diverges from regular Marvel continuity at the point in Hulk 205 where Jarella sees a little boy about to be crushed by a falling wall. As the story begins Jarella sees the boy disappear and in her confusion does not act. Jarella therefore is not killed in this timeline. The Watcher explains the unknown figure who sent the crypto-man was a worshipper of the Dark Gods who was attacking Jarella because they wanted him to do so. This was never established as fact in the original story or later stories since this one. It is hard to say if this explanation is considered cannon.
The entry on this story in the Marvel appendix website is critical of retcon. In fairness however the very first story to show Psyklops in Avengers 88 showed there were humans who worshipped the Dark Gods. Amazingly,this plot thread has not been mentioned,let alone covered in any Marvel comic that I know in the last 40 years. This is by no means a unreasonable retcon on Peter Gillis’ part.
As the story goes on Henry Pym sends the Clay Quartermain find the Hulk and Jarella. He has discovered a way to send the Hulk and Jarella back to the microverse and her home planet of Kai. On their journey they pass through several worlds of the microverse. They is even one panel of the Micronauts homeworld. Peter Gillis,ironically enough would take over writing the Micronauts a few years later after Bill Mantlo left.
Something seems to be holding Jarella and the Hulk back but they make it home to Kai.
Once on Kai Bruce Banner once again has control of the Hulk’s body. This is due to a spell cast on him by the magicians of Kai. The Hulk and Jarella immediately get married so that he can officially become king. However soon things get worse. Jarella is attacked by a strange tentacle creature whom the Hulk destroys. He asks the magicians of Kai for help in figuring out what is going on. One of the magicians,a telepathy traces the source to a hidden underground room that has been sealed off. It appears there are some people on this planet who are worshipping the Dark Gods. The magician explains some members of Kai had worshipped the Dark Gods in the past. Once again this has not been established as part of official continuity. The Hulk confronts the worshipper who cast the spell that cast on Jarella. He warns the Hulk that the Dark Gods want to destroy him and Jarella. He then melts away and dies.
Jarella and the Hulk hold a conference about the threat with their advisors. It appears that Kai also has super-powered creatures. They are recruited to help the Hulk fight the Dark Gods. The magicians have found that the source of the worshippers come from the mountain of Wol Ulrai. The Hulk takes his fellow superheroes to the mountain with him.
It these last few pages of this story that simiarlity to the Dark Son story are most obvious. Once they arrive at the mountain they meet soldiers of Kai brought back from the dead to fight Hulk and the other heroes. This is very similar to what we saw have seen the world mind of Kai do with Hiro in the current storyline. There is no war mind or world mind in this story but the method is the same. After they finish fighting the soldiers the next thing that happens exactly mirrors what happened in Enigma Force 2. The corpse of Lord Visis whom the Hulk fought before appears to meet the Hulk. He is controlled by the Dark Gods. Just as Visis is shown part of the war mind in issue 2 of Enigma Force. Visis reveals that the little boy was a illusion meant to trick Jarella. If she was dead it was believed that the Hulk would not returned to her world. He also explains the Dark Gods exist on a plane parallel to Kai. Visis uses the technology seen in Hulk 156 to try to defeat the Hulk. It produces a physical embodiment of what the person fears the most. In his case,becoming his other self again. The Hulk learns to accept the other side of himself and defeats the machine produced Hulk. The mountain crumbles and Visis’ corpse is destroyed. The story ends with threat of the Dark Gods still a possibility. But the Hulk will be ready for any attacks in the future knowing he has overcome his fear of his own rage.
End of Spoilers
In my final analysis this is decent story. It is wrapped a bit too quickly and if it could have gone into more detail but Gillis and Trimpe only had 20 pages to work with. The first 2 or 3 were needed just to explain the original story to new readers. With 18 pages you can only cover so much ground. It is worth buying if you find it in the back issue boxes.
The ideas in this story are very similar to what as been shown in both Incredible Hulks and the Enigma Force limited series. Interestingly the Dark Gods and their worshippers control the ancient technology of the planet. Something that has been hinted at about the war mind in current stories. One could simply replace the war mind with the Dark Gods in this story. This makes me wonder if the War Mind itself will be revealed to work for or be controlled by the Dark Gods.
Also note that the name of the story is Dark Son. This may be because Hiro is working with the Dark Gods through the War Mind,if he knows it or not.
One problem with this story applying to continuity is that it contradicts the events of Hulk 245-248 that Bill Mantlo was writing that same year. In those issues we learned the planet fell into chaos from the Hulk was teleported back to earth in 205. This is not what we saw in this issue. It is still possible that certain ideas about this issue will applied to this series even if the story itself is not. The last issue of the Enigma Force showed the idea of the Spiral Path that surrounds the Micornauts portion of the Microverse and separates it of the rest is now part of continuity. Despite the fact other things from the New Voyages series,especially the death of the Micronauts are ignored. The New Voyages was also written by Peter Gillis.
We learn tomorrow when the Enigma Force limited series and the Dark Son storyline both conclude.
Will Friedle chats about his time in the Batcave;
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series on DVD Tuesday, November 23
Will Friedle took a futuristic Dark Knight in altogether new directions as the voice of Terry McGinnis in Warner Bros. Animation’s breakthrough 1999 series Batman Beyond.
The popular voiceover actor took time last week to speak about his days as the new Caped Crusader in preparation for the Tuesday, November 23 release of Batman Beyond: The Complete Series, a nine-disc limited edition DVD set that presents nearly 20 hours of animated action spread over 52 episodes, as well as including all-new bonus featurettes and a 24-page, 8”x 12” collectible booklet.
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series centers on Terry McGinnis, an ordinary teenager … until his father is mysteriously murdered. Suspecting foul play at his father’s company, Wayne/Powers Corporation, Terry meets Bruce Wayne and learns of a secret identity hidden for decades. Now too old to don the cape and cowl as Batman, Wayne refuses to help – so Terry does what any brash young kid would do: steal the Bat-suit and take matters into his own hands! Vowing to avenge his father’s death, Terry dons the high-tech suit tricked out with jetpacks, a supersensitive microphone and even camouflage capabilities in search of his father’s assassin.
The all-star production team was headed by executive producer Jean MacCurdy and producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami and Paul Dini. Writers on the series included Burnett and Dini, as well as Stan Berkowitz, Bob Goodman, Rich Fogel, Hilary Bader and John McCann.
Friedle made his mark in live-action television and film from the time he turned 10, starring in hit series like Boy Meets World and Don’t Just Sit There. He gradually shifted his attention to voiceover work, taking the lead in Batman Beyond and co-starring in Disney’s Kim Possible to name but a few. Today, he primarily stays behind the microphone, voicing such notable roles as Doyle on The Secret Saturdays and Blue Beetle on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Here’s a brief Q&A with Mr. Friedle …
When you think back on all those Batman Beyond sessions, what are your favorite memories of recording the series?
This sounds like a cheesy answer, but working with Andrea (Romano) is just the greatest experience. Every week you go in and it’s amazing and fun. You just never knew who the guest cast would be. My favorite was recording Return of the Joker. Sitting between Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill for five days was pretty incredible. I learned more about being a voiceover actor in those five days than I did in the five months before that. Just watching the two of them work – how Mark got so into the character, completely losing himself in that role. And then there’s Kevin with that deep, booming voice, always sitting with his back straight and working perfectly with the microphone. It was an education.
Do you have a favorite Batman Beyond episode?
There was an episode called “Out of the Past” where it’s Bruce Wayne’s birthday and as a birthday present Terry takes Bruce to see a new play, “Batman: The Musical.” So there’s Bruce sitting in the audience, watching these people in costume jumping on stage, singing about the Dark Knight, and Terry’s right behind him humming the songs. And Bruce just hates it. Seeing Bruce Wayne watching “Batman: The Musical” was pretty funny.
Out of the Past- Clip
Were you a fan of Batman: The Animated Series before you were cast for Batman Beyond?
I have been an animation fan my whole life. Love cartoons, always have. But I thought Batman: The Animated Series changed the whole ballgame. Every generation thinks they grew up with the best cartoons – I had Thundercats and Transformers, shows like that. Very bright, and the acting was very big. But then Batman came out and there was nothing cartoony about it. The acting was very real and the overall feel of the show was dark. It was like nothing you’d seen before, and I was a huge fan of the show. This was pre-Tivo, so this was one of those shows where you had to see it every day. You didn’t want to miss an episode. So when I got a call to be the voice of a new Batman, and the series was being made with the entire team that did Batman: The Animated Series, well, that was huge.
You spent a lot of time with Kevin Conroy over the course of the series. What was that experience like for you?
First of all, Kevin is a classically trained actor. He’s very professional. I’ve had the good fortune of working with several characters like that, but I’d never done an animated series before, and I was kind of slumped in my chair saying my lines. And Kevin started giving me tips. Simple things, but things that really make a difference. For example, he had me sit up straight, and showed me how that helps open your diaphragm naturally. Little things you look for in an actor of his caliber like the right ways to play to the page, the right ways to not pop your P’s. He was nice enough to take me under his wing and teach me, and I’ll never forget him for that.
What set Batman Beyond apart?
To me, it always goes back to the writing. Batman Beyond was so strong that you couldn’t wait to get the script for the next week. The character development was outstanding – from the new villains they’d invent to the way they brought back the old villains. And the way they treated Terry and Bruce, and their relationship. The casting was phenomenal, but even the greatest actors can’t make bad writing good – so it all comes down to what was on the page, and that’s where Batman Beyond became a great show.
Batman Beyond- Inque – Clip
How important are super heroes to you?
I love super heroes, and Batman was always my favorite. I was never a huge Superman fan. I like the idea that Batman was just a man. He doesn’t have super powers. As you’re reading comics or watching animated series, I think you normally gravitate toward one or the other. But for me, it came down to this: Superman had to come from another planet to save us. Batman said “Look what we can do for ourselves – with our heart and mind and soul, we can save each other.”
Why are super heroes important to society?
I love to read. I’m a voracious reader. I think the super hero genre is really our modern day Greek mythology, These are our gods; this is Homer writing the Iliad. We’ve got super heroes; they had gods. From a literary standpoint, this is the next generation of mythology. From a fan standpoint, with authors like Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson and even the Harry Potter series, a great fantasy book just takes you away. You can disappear into an entire world where you can forget what is going on in your world. For kids, I think it teaches a sense of right and wrong. For the most part, these stories are tales of good vs. evil. That’s important for kids – to see what is good and bad, and how it can be fought without violence. And just for the fun of it all, who doesn’t want to get lost in a great book or series?
So now you’re back in the super hero realm – and Batman’s universe – on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. How do you like your role as Blue Beetle?
Blue Beetle is a ton of fun to play. I wasn’t totally familiar with the character, but I studied up for the role quickly. It’s been tricky because we wanted to make sure that we played to Jaime Reyes’ heritage – as he is the first real Latino super hero – but we didn’t want to do a cartoony Latino voice. But at the same time, you also have to make him Hispanic. So there was more riding on this role. Terry could be created in any way, shape or form. Jaime had already been established. It’s not a heavy character, but there’s more of a history. So to step into a world that’s already established was more difficult than creating a character from the beginning.
Batman: Brave and the Bold- Clip
You’ve been solely focused on voiceover roles for several years. Are you no longer interested in on-camera acting?
I retired from on-camera work at 30. Plain and simple. I started acting on camera when I was 10, so it had been 20 years. I really enjoyed it, but the on-camera side of the industry isn’t as fun anymore – it’s definitely not the same as when I started. I‘m now more established in the voiceover world, and I get to do it in a far more fun, more fulfilling way. I think I went out on a high note. I was still doing films and television series and I thought I’d rather walk away when it was my choice. I know you’re never supposed to say never, but I can pretty much say never to on-camera again.
What’s the best thing about playing a super hero?
At the time we were doing Batman Beyond, I thought the coolest thing was telling my nephews I was Batman and not being lying to them. One time, my oldest nephew Huck came out from Brooklyn. He pulled me aside and said “Look uncle Will, I want you to know I’m six now. I think I’m old enough to see the Batcave.” He actually thought I was Batman, which is very cool. It can’t get much better for an uncle.