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Leary writes...

What was Miss Martian 's age when she first began shapeshifting into Megan form on mars?

Greg responds...

Not sure. Sometime between when the show first aired in 1979 and when she came to Earth. So somewhere between the age of 17 and 48, I guess. I know that's a big range, but I don't want to be held to something that I haven't thought about yet. Closer to 17 than 48, I suppose.

Response recorded on January 24, 2019

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THE SMARTEST MAN IN THE ROOM

The following needs saying, so I'm taking time out from my very packed weekend - not to procrastinate, which would not be unusual - but to write up something that I think is important.

But first, some backstory...

I'm not particularly smart about very many things. I am in many ways a bear of very little brain. Ask anyone. I use an iPhone 4.0 because I literally believe that I don't have the brain space to deal with upgrading. I'm a slow reader. My dyslexia makes math difficult as I am constantly transposing numbers. I'm afraid of change. Etc., etc., etc.

But one thing - maybe the ONLY thing - I am smart about is STORY. Now, I've studied story for decades and decades in small ways and large. I also believe I have an innate gift for story. Like a great pianist, the gift itself would have been wasted without years of study and practice. I've had and done both.

What that means is that - when it comes to story - I have often (not always, but quite often) considered myself - with no modesty and tremendous arrogance - to be the smartest person in the room. In any room where this is a topic of conversation, but especially in any room where story was being professionally discussed. (You can see why - with an attitude like that - I'm so popular with animation executives and the like, and why I've been fired from so many jobs.)

Even on the many, many occasions when I have felt that I am among peers who understand story as well as I do, I never felt like they understood it better than I. As good, yes. Differently, sure. Stylistically, of course. But not better. I never felt anyone knew story better.

Oh, I've made mistakes, missed opportunities, slipped up, ad nauseam. I'm human and have never claimed perfection. I've collaborated with some brilliant and wonderful people. The list is nearly endless. But none of that ever shook my basic feeling that when it came to story, I was as smart or smarter than anyone in the room.

All that changed with YOUNG JUSTICE.

So let me state it for the record: when it comes to story, BRANDON VIETTI is the Smartest Human Being in the Room.

I'd love to tell you - BELIEVE ME, I'd love to tell you - that he learned all this at my ancient knee, and that if the student has surpassed the master, the master can at least take some satisfaction in that. But that, dear readers, would simply be a load of crap.

From Day One of YJ, as witness Kevin Hopps could attest, Brandon Vietti knew story, understood it deep, the way I do. And he was smarter about it than I.

The ultimate example of this dropped this past Friday.

Episode 307 of Young Justice: Outsiders, entitled "Evolution."

SPOILERS coming, so if you haven't seen the episode then please go watch it first before reading any further.

Like all YJ episodes this season, Brandon and I broke this story together. A pretty even 50-50 collaboration. There were certain things I wanted specifically to see, like the Cave Bear. Certain things I had researched such as that in (actual documented non-DC Comics) mythology, Nabu was the son of Marduk. And there were certain things that BV wanted in there, like the meta-human kid that Kalibak sacrifices. Certain things he had researched like The Art of War by Sun Tzu (a.k.a. Vandal Savage, a.k.a. Genghis Khan, a.k.a. Marduk, a.k.a. etc.)

And together, we created a pretty kick-ass story for the episode. I don't actually remember the day of the week, but for the sake of simplifying the story, let's say we finished breaking/building the story with index cards all neatly pushpinned into my office bulletin board on a Monday. Monday evening. We both felt pretty good about it, or at least I did, and we left for the day.

Tuesday morning, he comes in and says, "Something's missing."

I tell him he's crazy. There's nothing missing from 307. Nothing. It's a great damn episode. Maybe one of our best.

BV says no. Something's missing.

I say, "What? What's missing?!"

BV says, "I don't know yet. Something. Give me a day."

I roll my eyes in as pronounced a fashion as I possibly can and say, fine.

Wednesday morning he comes in and says, "I want to add a character."

I'm resistant. "It'll mess up the works, I tell him."

But he explains, and of course, he's right. Because Brandon Vietti is the Smartest Person in the Room.

The character he wants to add is Olympia. Olympia Savage. (I take credit for the first name only.) That's right. In our first version of this story, Olympia simply did not exist.

Try to picture "Evolution" without Olympia. Be honest. It's still a solid story. A few of the actual things Olympia does, we had Cassandra doing. But otherwise the plot remains almost completely unchanged.

But not the ending.

With Olympia in the story, the episode isn't merely a solid YJ episode. It's not merely a great YJ episode. To my mind, "Evolution" transcends YJ. It is a phenomenal, even revolutionary twenty-plus minutes of television.

And I tried to talk the guy out of it.

Of course, BV's contributions don't end there. He wrote the script, too, which is fantastic. And if you knew how much he contributed to every facet of production it would humble you. It humbles me, and as you can see above, I'm NOT a humble guy.

But screw all that. I'm not talking about pretty pictures, or color, or sound, or music or even dialogue.

This post is ONLY about STORY. And when it comes to STORY... BRANDON VIETTI will always be the SMARTEST HUMAN BEING IN THE ROOM.

I bow to his greatness. And trust me, I do not do that lightly.

To be honest, he's so good, it's pretty damn annoying.

But it's an honor to be his partner.


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Anonymous writes...

Are any of the league members embarrassed at having giant statues of themselves in the Hall of Justice? (I can't imagine Batman being happy about it.)

Greg responds...

I'm sure nearly everyone is to some extent. But symbols are important, and no one knows that better than the seven founding Leaguers.

Response recorded on January 09, 2019

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Rosenstein writes...

Did the boy Garfield Logan watch the news in 2010 that show Icon and other new members joining the justice league?

Greg responds...

Probably.

Response recorded on January 09, 2019

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Anonymous writes...

Given that martians can assume male or female forms, does that mean that their sexual orientations are likewise fluid? For example, would M'Gann find females attractive if she assumed the shape of a man?

Greg responds...

She wouldn't necessarily have to assume the shape of a man to find a female attractive.

But basically, I think she finds Conner attractive, irrespective of his gender.

Response recorded on May 17, 2018

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Tasha writes...

How long does a martian pregnancy last?

Greg responds...

I'm tempted to say 27 Earth months, but I don't want to be held to that.

Response recorded on May 17, 2018

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Josh writes...

Did Klarion offer Wotan, Felix Faust, Blackbriar Thorn, and Wizard anything in return for their help with his spell in "Misplaced?"

Greg responds...

Do the Light a favor and the Light does favors in return. (Witness Count Vertigo.)

Response recorded on May 17, 2018

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Anonymous writes...

Hey Greg! I have two questions.
1. Do female Martians get periods?
2. Can Superboy grow facial hair?

Greg responds...

1. I'd lean toward yes, but I have honestly not thought about this. I'd have to study on it with the help of a biologist, I think.

2. To the level of any sixteen-year-old, yes.

Response recorded on May 17, 2018

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Whitebeard writes...

Ahoy Mr. Weisman!

In yer eyes, who is the most redeemable villain in yer show, Young Justice?

I highly appreciate yer work; in fact it was ye who inspired a young scalawag like me to pick up a quill and start writing.

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!
Season 3 looks to be quite fun!

Savvy?

Greg responds...

Lots of villains are potentially redeemable. (It also depends on one's definition.) I'm not going to name names, because it could sound like I'm hinting at future plans, and, as always: NO SPOILERS.

Response recorded on May 17, 2018

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Avid Wingnut writes...

Good day Mr. Weisman
I'm a big fan of Dick Grayson, and as such I've read most of the Titans and Nightwing trades, but my interest in the character was sparked by watching Young Justice, so thanks for that. I was wondering: how would you describe him as a character? There have been varying depictions in the comics so I was wondering how you think of him. In YJ Season 2 he was very serious which reminded me of Nightwing from the Wolfman/Perez era. Anyway, I just wanted to know your thoughts. Sorry for the length of this, thanks for your time, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Greg responds...

I could probably write a dissertation on Dick, but I'm not going to do that here. For the most part, I like to let the episodes and issues speak for themselves. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to justify anything.

But basically, I think Dick was a fun-loving kid who experienced a horrible tragedy, but had two adult male role (Bruce and Alfred) models who stepped up and gave him a way to work through his anger and grief and reclaim the fun-loving kid that he was

Dick is, to my mind, extremely competent, which was born out in both the Teen Titans series of the 60s & 70s and the New Teen Titans series of the 80s. And so with that competence, and with the hard-earned knowledge of the responsibilities of leadership learned as early as "Drop-Zone" and "Failsafe", comes the serious-minded Nightwing that we often see in Season Two.

But I don't think that's his natural disposition. Instead, I look to the Robin of the 40s and 50s. Dick is the acrobat. The trapeze artist. The performer. Dick is the kid who learned to disappear like Batman but finds it so funny, he can't stop himself from laughing. That's the real Dick Grayson. A kid/teen/young adult that is so winning and naturally guileless and honest that even his ex-girlfriends still love him. (That is his super-power, after all.) He knows how to do the other thing - and he's actually scary good at it. But he kinda hates that too.

Response recorded on May 17, 2018


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