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You once said you held auditions for Impulse, Blue Beetle, Tim and another. Was that Static?
Yes, at the beginning of S2, we held auditions for Impulse/Bart Allen (Jason Marsden), Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes & Scarab (Eric Lopez), Robin/Tim Drake (Cameron Bowen) and Static/Virgil Hawkins (Bryton James). We already knew we wanted Mae Whitman to play Wonder Girl/Cassie Sandsmark. And we already had Crispin Freeman for Arsenal, Logan Grove for Beast Boy, Yuri Lowenthal for Lagoon Boy, Alyson Stoner as Batgirl, Kevin Michael Richardson for Guardian, and Masasa Moyo as Bumblebee.
Note that for extra security/secrecy, we created a completely non-existent series for Jason, Eric, Cameron, Bryton and others to audition for. They had no idea they were auditioning for Young Justice.
I want to repost this question like you suggested:
I'm interested in your thoughts (and possibly Brandon Vietti's and Jamie Thomason's as well, if possible) on the casting process for the voices of the main characters of Young Justice. What was/is it that the main cast - Jesse McCartney, Khary Payton, Nolan North, Stephanie Lemelin, Danica McKeller, and Jason Spisak - bring to their respective characters that you, Vietti, and Thomason were looking for? In another question, you answered that the members of Young Justice were chosen based on a variety of factors (i.e. personality, dynamics, etc.). How did that play out in the casting process?
I'm not going to attempt to speak for Brandon or Jamie, though I'd lay odds our thoughts on this subject are at least similar. But I'll take the original six leads and - one by one - give a little bit about what I remember from ... nearly a decade ago.
B-01 Jesse McCartney as Robin - Jesse was one of the last actors cast, mostly because we were having trouble finding a Robin, and Jesse was part of a second (or third?) round of auditions that we went through in our search. We were looking for someone who could bring the fun of our thirteen-year-old kid. Who could do that gleeful laugh and pull off words like "whelmed" ... and still bring the serious when we needed it. Jesse could do all that. Was that because he himself had been a pro since he was a kid? I don't know. All I can tell you is he brought all those qualities.
B-02 Khary Payton as Aqualad - Khary actually had a strike against him, going in, because he played Cyborg on Teen Titans. As we wanted to distinguish ourselves from that series and Justice League Unlimited, we weren't too inclined to use regulars from those series as regulars in ours. But Khary's audition just nailed it, leaving us no choice. (Thank God.) He instantly "got" the character and instantly mastered that combination of wistful steadfastness, maturity and leadership we were looking for, without making the character suddenly older than his sixteen years. Plus he really nailed that feeling of English-as-a-second-language that we wanted our Atlantean to have.
B-03 Jason Spisak as Kid Flash - As Jamie often said, no one was better than Jason at bringing out his inner douche. Wally had to be both obnoxious and lovable. He had to be smart and a dope. He had to be Robin's best friend and a bit of a pain. Enthusiastic and insecure. Blustering and vulnerable. Jason was able to bring all those contradictions to life.
B-04 Nolan North as Superboy and Superman - This was tricky, too, as we needed someone who could play both Superman (age 33) and his clone Superboy (age 16). Nolan does an amazing job at playing both characters, making them sound distinct and yet genetically the same. Conner had to start out angry but have somewhere to go. There had to be heart and depth beneath his hardened exterior. Nolan did all that.
B-05 Danica McKellar as Miss Martian - We were actually looking for someone who had a bit of experience as a sitcom actress to play M'gann (and eventually Megan Wheeler and Marie Logan). Someone who understood those rhythms but could transcend them, as well. Someone who could play the insecurity that comes with hiding big secrets from the people she's closest to, but also be a bad ass when necessary. Someone who would be unafraid to be soft and (traditionally) feminine and not be hamstrung by that.
B-07 Stephanie Lemelin as Artemis - Artemis needed edge. She was the tough girl, particularly in contrast to Miss Martian. But underneath it, she - like most of the other characters - had some vulnerability and a lot of insecurity because of the secrets she too was hiding. Stephanie brought that edge.
And, of course, all six brought - in addition to their acting skills and intuitive understanding of the character - certain vocal qualities that just felt like they fit the designs of the characters.
Hey Greg. I have a few questions.
1) I've read somewhere that you stopped reading comics all together in the mid 90s. Not asking why as you've already abetted that but rather did that ever stop. The abstaining from comics that is for lack of a better word. I assume that you've picked up a read a comic every now and then since you quit obviously but was there a time where you went back consistently?
2) How do you determine when you will answer questions. I tend to check this site maybe once a month and sometimes I'll be back and you've answered dozens of questions, a lot of the times in one day. Other times you'll haven't answered a question in weeks. Is it just as simple as whenever you have free time and want to our is there some uniquely complicated schedule that you follow. (The question sounded more silly as I continued.)
3) Do you consider yourself to have a dry sense of humor. I've been told I do and I find some of your replies downright hilarious that to others might seem to come off as blunt. Or on the contrary are you just more of very blunt person.
4) Can you explain the little joke you do every time someone asks you who would win what fight and you reply with that quote about the hulk and the thing.
1. I started reading comics again when I started working on The Spectacular Spider-Man (around 2007, I think) after about a decade break. By the time Marvel did a soft reboot after Secret Wars in 2015, I was reading nearly everything in their line, in part because I was also writing Starbrand & Nightmask for Marvel. Plus I was reading all their Star Wars Books, in part because I was also writing Star Wars Kanan for Marvel and Lucasfilm. Both those books were cancelled, and Marvel no longer had any work for me. And then the third season of Young Justice began, right about the same time as DC did its own soft reboot with Rebirth. I started reading everything in the DC line at that point, edging out any free time I had for Marvel for the time being. I've continued to read the entire DC line (with very few exceptions) ever since. I'm about three or four months behind in my reading, but I'm still purchasing everything and reading as fast as I can manage.
2. It's just when I have time. Ideally, I try to answer five questions every weekday, but there are some days (many days, really) when even that is impossible. And then there are some (rare) days when I find myself with free time, and I just go to town on the queue.
3. I like to think I have a dry sense of humor. Certainly when I write. My verbal humor may be goofier or more sarcastic or whatever. I may also be blunt. The two things aren't mutually exclusive.
4. I think it's fairly self-explanatory. "Hulk vs. Thing, who would win?" is one of the oldest fan questions in comics. It's all situational, and the question - and those like it (including most hypotheticals) - just doesn't interest me. Fans can decide that sort of thing for themselves. They don't need me to weigh in.
Can you tell us the meaning of the colors of the index cards you use to plan your shows?
It changes from show to show, even from season to season. And on YJ S3, because of index card shortages of specific colors (this happened, believe it or not), it changed more than once DURING the season.
As an example, in YJ S1:
Green - villains
Red - Justice League
Blue - The Team (hero stuff)
Purple - The Team (teen stuff)
Yellow - Stuff where a specific date matters (like holdays)
White - Stuff that we're laying pipe for but will not objectively reveal to the audience at this time
Just curious, the Atlanteans in the comics worship the Greek Gods, like the Amazonians, but in Young Justice there's a lot of Neptune references and outside of Poseidonis, I can't recall anyone talking about Poseidon.
I guess what I'm asking is do the Atlanteans of Earth-16 worship the Greek Gods or the Roman Gods?
Sea gods, generally.
1. Does Sportsmaster realize he is bad (not good/perfect) father?
2. Does he care?
1. I'm sure he doesn't think he was perfect.
2. I'll leave that to your interpretation.
How do you pronounce Ra's name?
I was taught - by Denny O'Neil, who created the character - to pronounce it the way we pronounce it in Young Justice, i.e. as Raysh-ahl-gool.
Thank you for answering several of my questions now, it's really great to have my curiosity rewarded!
Can Beast Boy turn into an extinct animal? If so, would he need to see/study an accurate and detailed reconstruction of it first?
2. He'd need to connect with an actual living inidividual of the species. If somehow one were cloned or something, that would make it possible. But a fossil or computer simulation wouldn't cut it.
Did Artemis and Wally had sex before start to live together?
Was Marie Logan's death reported on the news?
Yep. As a car accident.