A Station Eight Fan Web Site
If you had all the time in the world to work on the second seasons of your TV Series such as:
and The Spectacular Spiderman,
What exactly (from the specifics to not-so-specific) would you change/alter them?
Change or alter? Nothing. Even errors and missed opportunities are errors and missed opportunities I can live with.
What country did Kraven and Calypso live in before they came to New York?
I don't remember.
I've read the synopsis of the radio play crossover you made for "Gargoyles", "The Spectacular Spider-Man", and "Young Justice" (it'd be neat if you could put up the script for it at "Ask Greg" as you did for "Religious Studies 101", and noted that, near the end, you had Batman asking Goliath to join the Justice League. Now, the obvious reason why you had Batman be the one approaching Goliath was for the joke about Xanatos trying to get both Batman and Iron Man to join his club for rich guys with fancy equipment. But I remember how, back when you were making "Gargoyles", you were concerned that people might see it as a rip-off of "Batman: TAS" (to the point where you even drew up a list of differences between the two series); did you choose Batman for that role as a sort of callback to that?
As a fan of Spectacular Spider-Man (I pretty much hold it as THE gold standard for Spider-Man and indeed, adaptations in general) and Young Justice, I like many others were crushingly disappointed by their cancellation.
My question is; as well as focusing on current projects, do you still, if occasionally, look for ways to continue or even complete the stories you started in the past series cancelled?
Even if it has been years since cancellation, do you still hold out hope or even consider options for revival?
I've really enjoyed all your work. Spectacular Spiderman s one of my "gateway" superhero shows! Thanks for that and Young Justice. This is a retype of my question because I forgot to mention how much I love Rain! I love big mystery/treasure hunts that build on themselves, and the way that Rain and Charlie save the day (no spoilers!) was so fun and cathartic. Rain's relationship with the other generations in her family is such a valuable dynamic that you just don't see elsewhere. :)
One thing still confuses me about Young Justice, though-I'm trying to understand some of the logic behind Dick's decision to keep Wally "hanging back," as you said.
Why would Dick feel there was "no shortage" of heroes? At the least, they were down the six most powerful heroes on Earth with most of the JL off-planet, and in the War World episodes, almost the entire Team was kidnapped. Why wouldn't he call Wally in then? (M'gann is really powerful, but that was a small planet they were fighting. Also, later, the Reach showed that they had an armada with hundreds of ships left over the fight with the War World - surely he'd want all hands on deck, particularly with so much of the League gone?
Why would Wally's appearance be able to catch the bad guys "off guard" after Bloodlines? Wally was already in the game; the nuclear bomb in Central was well publicized; why would his appearance be any more a surprise after that?
On the War World, Dick knew Artemis wouldn't be an issue because M'gann knew she was down under the ocean, so that wasn't a big concern. Even if Artemis did teleport to the alien world, it seems foolhardy in the extreme (almost unbelievably so) that Dick would attempt to take on a planet with only one other hero when another was supposedly waiting in the wings, ready to help whenever.
It doesn't make sense to me that Wally's appearance would be most needed and the biggest surprise only in Summit, when Dick had more backup than at any other point in the entire season and Wally had already showed up in Bloodlines. How was he more useful or a bigger surprise in a huge crowd than in a group of three on the War World, propotionally, when Dick was in the biggest trouble?
It also seems very, very strange that Dick wouldn't let Wally contribute to the efforts of bringing the people who nuked his hometown to justice. No one died that day, but their livlihoods were destroyed and there would be nuclear fallout. Even if Dick was too worried Wally would hurt himself (?), or whatever, Wally showed in Homefront that he was very capable of support - moral and technical - without necessarily getting into the fray. It seems just so strange that, if Wally really *wanted* to help, that he'd shut him out of something that had so ruined Wally's home. It seems strange that Artemis wouldn't have an issue with Dick forcing Wally to stay home, too.
As an aside, why would Dick initially try to keep the truth about Artemis's death from Wally if he *wanted* Wally to hang back for some reason? How would they guy who wanted to kill every alien robot dead in when he really believed Artemis to be dead in Failsafe be easier to control and tell to "hang back" if he REALLY thought Artemis was dead?
Logistically, to me it feels like Dick was more adept and logically minded when he was 13 than 19 with five more years of experience, which is strange. No real judgement against "Dick," really, but none of this seems to hold water at all.
I'm just trying to wrap my head around it.
I enjoyed the rest of the show a lot, though! And Rain is the best!
Dick has learned the value of (1) holding heroes in reserve (for example, in "Failsafe") - and (2) of not making any single squad too big or unmanageable and (3) of keeping people who had trained together working together.
As for Summit, Kid Flash was certainly useful there, but mostly he was there because Artemis' undercover op was coming to an end, and Wally wanted to be there, which at that point was fine with Nightwing.
Beyond that, if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. But it works fine for me, and I won't apologize for it. Nor do I agree with your interpretation of Dick's skills as a leader, season to season. But your mileage may vary.
For The Spectacular Spider-Man, did you have any specific spin-offs in mind or ideas for other series set in its version of the Marvel Universe, and, if so, what were they?
Well, it was less about spin-offs and more about occasional guest stars. Then if someone (in authority) had said, "HEY, DO THAT!" we would have.
I think I've mentioned we wanted to use Johnny Storm, so that could have led to a theoretical Fantastic Four spin-off.
We wanted to use Beast, Cyclops and Professor X, which could have lead to a theoretical X-Men spin-off.
We wanted to use both Hulk and Captain America, which could have lead to theoretical spin-offs for either and/or for the Avengers.
Oh, and I did have one other spin-off idea that really was a spin-off coming out of Season Three or Four, that would have largely featured characters that had already appeared in the series by that point, including (but not limited to) Flint, Hobie and Felicia.
4. I was looking at the TV Tropes 'What Could Have Been' page after someone on Ask Greg mentioned it and I stumbled across this snippet about The Spectacular Spider-Man (SPOILERS for the end of second season pretty much go without saying after all of these years but whatever): "It was planned for a five-season run (ending with Peter's graduation from High School) - the timing of the Disney/Marvel buyout would have limited it to only three seasons, but because the show also switched networks, it only got two. And because of that, we wind up ending with the revelation that all of Peter's friends save Mary Jane are alienated from him, Harry hates Spider-Man, Gwen remains his girfriend after some emotional blackmail from Harry, and Peter didn't even stop the bad guy." Now I'm not interested if a longer run would have resulted in a happier ending because that seems like the kind of thing that you would interpret as SPOILERS. I know this is just a fan run site with no sources and It seems it makes a couple of assumptions right off the bat because it wasn't so much planned for a five-season run as much as there was a long term plan that could have spanned five seasons ideally. But I'm interested in if what it was saying about the switching of the networks limiting the show's run from three to two seasons holds any shred of truth.
No. What limited us to two seasons was the fact that Marvel got the animation rights to Spider-Man back from Sony, but Sony still held the rights to "The Spectacular Spider-Man" work product. Sony couldn't make more seasons of Spectacular, because they no longer had the animation rights. Marvel couldn't make more seasons of Spectacular because they didn't have the rights to that version of the character.
It had nothing to do with the network switch between seasons one and two. And it had nothing to do with Disney buying Marvel either.
Hi Greg, I wrote many months ago about the correct episode order for Gargoyles. I actually live in Australia so getting Gargoyles Season 2 Vol. 2 is hard and because I know I won't be able to finish it, I haven't watched all of what I have of Gargoyles yet. That information wasn't really needed but I figured I would put it there as a precursor to saying I'm practically obsessive about The Spectacular Spider-Man, (as a Spider-Man fan like yourself, albeit a much narrower breadth of knowledge as I am only a teenager) love Young Justice, particularly the second season, and am enjoying Gargoyles (I think I'm only just past City of Stone, which was epic in the literal sense) and Star Wars Rebels, that twist in 'Rise of the Old Masters' in particular was really well crafted, which as I write this is six episodes or seven episodes in, I'm slightly behind.
Before I get started, I want to make it clear that whatever I say in my first question, I have no intention to argue with you about what you put in the show as others have been about Wally West at the time I write this. I actually have a few different questions on Young Justice, one on The Spectacular Spider-Man and one about you which are split up and these two paragraphs sort of serve as an introduction to all of it.
1. I'm fairly certain there's an undeniable change of pacing and generally a slight tinkering in the type of storytelling from the first season of Young Justice to the second. In the first season the episodes were relatively self contained episodes that contributed to larger character arcs but in the second season almost every episode, if not every episode, contributed to a constant driving narrative. I've noticed something like this in all of your shows, between their first and second seasons before they all were sadly cancelled. Gargoyles felt like its first season set up the character dynamics and world before the second season expanded its universe, probably due to such a large episode order. And The Spectacular Spider-Man felt like it just grew more confident and ambitious. If you don't think these assessments are correct I'd be very different to hear why your shows evolved. I believe Young Justice evolved the most though. Was that planned from the start or was the show readjusted due to what direction you and the rest thought the show could best move in? Or was it some external factor like a change in writing staff, or a smaller amount of episode? In conclusion, why was the show's overall pacing changed? And if you think I've answered my own question can you elaborate?
2. Was there any break in production? I know there wasn't much space between the airing of Young Justice's first season and its second, but did you have any break between seasons?
3. I'm not sure if this has been asked before, and it seems like a fairly obvious question so I apologize if it has been, but how far into production of season 2 of Young Justice, if at all, did you know it was your last season and how sure were you? When I say you I mean everyone who worked on the show.
1. I think much of what you says feels right. But that's a key distinction. It "feels" right. It isn't objectively correct. I do think that on YJ, the second season was without a doubt more driven by narrative than by character, as the first season was. This was in part intentional. We didn't need to intro concepts. But you may be overstating it a bit as well, since every episode was still designed to stand alone and tell a great story that could hook new viewers. One other factor, as you noted, that definitely contributed to this sense of momentum was the fact that we only got 20 episodes for the second season. That forced us to dedicate more episodes (and storylines within episodes) to the main "novel" we were crafting. With a larger order, we'd have had more plotlines that weren't directly tied to the main throughline, and the feel would have been more like Season One.
2. A short break. Nothing significant.
3. I don't remember exactly, but it was before we completed production. I think maybe even before we had completed the final script.
1. Why did Liz and Flash break up, and who broke up with whom?
2. How does Peter stick to walls through his costume? Wouldn't the hairs on his fingers be blocked? And how do his feet stick to walls, especially if he's wearing boots in his costume?
3. What is Hammerhead's real name (first and last)?
4. Were you allowed to use Marvel objects not related to Spider-Man? For example, could you mention Adamantium or Latveria?
5. How did Vulture, Sandman, Rhino, and the Mysterio robot escape from prison in Reinforcement? And why did they bother breaking the robot out?
1. It was kind of mutual, since Flash was interested in M.J. and Liz was interested in Petey.
2. It's a thin costume (even the boots). That's why he's so cold all the time.
3. NO SPOILERS.
4. It never came up. If I had to guess, I'd assume Adamantium was okay and Latveria was not.
5. I don't recall.
5a. I don't think they knew it was a robot.