Warner Brothers animation had a lot to show on Friday at Comic-con, with clips from new seasons of both the Emmy-winning “The Batman” and a revamped “Legion of Super Heroes,” all moderated by TV Guide’s Rich Sands. This article is part two of that reporting.
Michael Goguen returned for this panel, alongside Emmy-winning writer Alan Burnett, casting icon Andrea Romano and writer Stan Berkowitz, who’s done it all from “Static Shock” to the adaptation of “DC: New Frontier.”
They showed a trailer with The Batman being taken into space to meet Green Arrow, Green Lantern, The Flash and Hawkman, leading to him joining the Justice League.
“it’s kind of always been a plan of ours,” Goguen said. “We’ve always been interested in doing teamup episodes, so this is our teamup season. 13 episodes involve team ups. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of action, just very fun episodes.”
This Batman’s more of a social animal than the dark knight detective many comics fans know.
“He’s evolved now,” Burnett said. “Sort of a natural leader, he tends to take control because he always seems to have a plan. I think you’ll see him work individually with all the heroes you saw on the screen, and one other, and you’ll see a finale with all of them. It’s the natural evolution of Batman, sometimes he needs help, and then and more often than not, they need his help.”
The season premiere shows Batman meeting Superman, but joining the League first. Returning as Superman and Lois Lane are voice actors George Newbern and Dana Delany. “Sometimes it’s an artistic decision,” Romano said of the casting. “Sometimes we need to recast, we’re given a directive. This is a case of our series was picked up on Monday, and to hit our schedule, we had to record on Thursday. It takes a long time to cast, so I thought ‘I think i did a good job the first time, I think I’m gonna ask them to come back.’ So Clancy Brown came back, and George Newbern and Dana Delany. They’re all just awesome. We try not to duplicate exactly what we’ve done, but sometimes it’s all about the acting. I just let them loose and get out of their way.”
Goguen explained a little about why the two icons would meet. “Gotham is rebuilding, Superman is coming to present a check from Metropolis. Batman has joined the Justice League before Superman, Superman is more of a loner, and more reticent to join up with any kind of League. He’s a younger Superman, he’s a little bit remote and serious.”
To be definitive, what league is this? That’s unmistakably Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, and of course Oliver Queen as the Green Arrow (his episode is an origin tale told with flashbacks, and he’s voiced by Chris Hardwick). Hawkman didn’t have a lot said, but Berkowitz admitted that the Flash here is intended to be Barry Allen. “All you Wally West fans can pretend it’s Wally,” Burnett suggested. “Our Batman has evolved, it’s an updated version of the Silver Age. All of these characters are based on the Silver Age version of the characters.”
“Marvel people have better origins,” Berkowitz said, “and by that I mean more painful origins. This is our effort in trying to change that.”
What about villains? This season we’ll see Harley Quinn (voiced by erstwhile Starfire Hynden Walch), Sinestro (voiced by Miguel Ferrer), Black Mask, Scarface, Clayface, Black Mask, Bane, Metalllo, Lex Luthor, Mercy, Phosphorus, The Wrath, Mirror Master (voiced by John Larroquette — “You wonder if Gotham’s going to survive this guy,” Burnett said), Hugo Strange, Toyman and Poison Ivy — to name a few. Movies have Ra’s Al Ghul, Two-Face and Scarecrow off the table for now.
Dorian Harewood returns as Martian Manhunter, Jerry O’connell will return as Nightwing (around mid season), as well as guest turns from Peter MacNicol and Patton Oswalt.
“I think there should be more chicks,” Romano mused. “When I rule the animation kingdom, there will be more chicks.”
“You don’t rule it now?” Goguen asked incredulously.
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