fans received a bit of a shock as they watched “A League of Their Own”
— the March 1st episode of “Static Shock” that featured a guest
appearance by the Justice League and the return of the villain Brainiac — and
heard the voice behind the mechanical menace sounding more like Michael Clarke
Duncan than voice actor Corey Burton.
“It’s definitely me,” Burton confirmed to C2F/CBR News. “The
voice was pitch-shifted down to give Brainiac a thunderously deep voice. You
hear my timing and vocal idiosyncrasies, but you can’t really detect my own
voice in it anymore.
“I was a bit taken aback because I didn’t feel it was necessary,”
Burton continued. “Then again, because [“Static Shock”] is aimed
at a younger audience, I think [the producers] wanted to make the villain of the
piece more monstrous and foreboding than an eerie, creepy presence.”
The voice-shift wasn’t the first shocker Burton experienced with this
episode. “I was a little surprised when I first read the script,”
Burton said. “It wasn’t in the same vein as the ‘Justice League.’ The
overall feel of it just seemed, by comparison, a little on the ‘hokey’ side. And
Brainiac’s character had been altered quite a bit, from what I figured had
already been so well established in the other shows. The lines made him come
across as a hands-on-the-hips, challenging-the-universe, stereotypical villain
as opposed to this vast cool intellect.”
Burton continued by explaining how he credits the development of the Brainiac
character to the script rather than to himself. “It’s entirely effortless
for me to voice the character,” he said. “I look at the words and say
them in a steady tone, and they just ring the right way and have such drama.
It’s the choice of words and the way they’re arranged [in the script] that give
the character its wholeness, its power. [With ‘A League of Their Own’] I looked
at the script and panicked — all of Brainiac’s lines seemed to be off.”
However, Burton’s view of the “Static Shock” script changed during
the voice recording session. “Once I started hearing the rest of the show,
I discovered that this show was intended to be sort of campy, even though
presented in a serious manner. I mean, ‘Justice League’ scripts are really juicy
— the show really simmers with great melodrama that’s appealing to the
‘slightly more mature’ crowd. This particular ‘Static Shock’ episode was heading
in that direction, while having some light moments. It’s definitely
Part II of the “A League of Their Own” crossover airs this Saturday
on “Static Shock!”
Animation correspondent Xum Yukinori contributed to this story.
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