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A comment this time, rather than a question. One of my favorite details in the "Stone of Destiny" story was Macbeth's presence at the Battle of Bannockburn. It recently occurred to me that this might be an example, if a subtle one, of the time-honored motif of a legendary hero from long ago who returns to his country to aid it in a time of need.
The concept has attached itself to King Arthur, of course, and his return has featured in "Gargoyles" (if with a premature re-awakening). The returns of the Golem and Cu Chullain, elsewhere in the Avalon World Tour, also evoke it. For that matter, I remember your once saying that the Avalon gargoyles looked upon Goliath (from what they had learned of him through their human guardians) as a great sleeping hero who would one day awaken and return if ever they needed him - and he did indeed return in their hour of need, when the Archmage attacked Avalon.
I also recall, outside of "Gargoyles", the legend that Theseus returned to aid his fellow Athenians against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon (and Mary Renault including it in her Theseus novels) - which forms a great parallel here to Macbeth's presence at Bannockburn, both cases of a desperate struggle against an invading army.
At the same time, your use of the "return of the king" motif for Macbeth's participation at Bannockburn (assuming you had it in mind at the time) came with a twist. Macbeth returns incognito; so far as we know, none of the other Scotsmen taking part in the battle know that he's fighting alongside them. Robert the Bruce is the Scottish king who will be associated with the victory (deservedly, of course, from what I've read about the battle). No chronicle or legend even hints at his presence there. As far as we know, only he knows that he was there (we don't know if Shari knows or not; the panel depicting him at the battle is in one of her stories, but she does not mention him in the text itself). The king returned to aid his country in need, but in secret, his presence unremarked on.
Very cogent analysis.
Among the objects in the Illuminati's treasury on Eastcheap Island was a shield (medieval, by the shape of it) with a picture of a swan on it. Was this your idea, or Karine's when she drew the page?
Karine's, I believe.
In "Bad Guys" #4, you had Thug mutated into an alligator-like Mutate. While the specific choice of an alligator obviously tied in with the "armored Mutates" theme of Sevarius' new experiments, I wonder if you had the "alligators in the sewers" urban legend in mind, since Sevarius' lab was adjacent to the sewers. (Not to mention, also, that the "alligators in the sewers" myth was referred to in both "The Thrill of the Hunt" and "Hunter's Moon Part One", and whenever a legend, urban or otherwise, is alluded to in "Gargoyles", we know what that means....)
Did you guys actually post acting auditions for the parts of Young Justice in the newspaper or did you guys already know who you wanted? I know you cant and trust me I don't want you to spoil the show before it even starts, So will this show be dealing with anyting supernatural and magic or will it be completely grounded and confined to realism? Now this question I about to ask you is from a image I saw on the wall in the Behind the Scenes Young Justice interview in the background show Aqualad holding up The Joker while jokers trading cards are falling out of his hands, it was called Graduation Day or Final Exam. Anyways was that Joker if you cant answer that then okay cool. I'm totally fine with that, now did you, Brandon and Phil consult with Geoff on Aqualad's powerlimit and have you read any of the Brightest Day with Aqualad init? If so did you guys and Geoff say what would happen in the issue with the character? Because in issue #10 Aqualad's abilities are seen and he blows Black Manta back a couple times displaying that he's very powerful and there was a chest shown that was given to Aqualad's adoptive parents by Mera. Now I know you can't and won't spoil anyting, but will is power limits and parents be explored in the show? or Will his origin only be seen in the comics?
2. It covers the depth and breadth of the DC Universe.
3. That was Joker, but that was also development material not production material. I'm neither confirming or denying Joker's appearance in the series.
4. Geoff came to us to discuss our Aqualad, and we laid out how we were using him, including how his powers work in the series. Geoff came up with some great ideas for the character as well.
5. I have read some of Brightest Day with Aqualad.
6. Geoff ran with Aqualad. We were happy to have him pick our brains, but Brightest Day is his baby.
7. No comment.
Will you be posting an update on the statistics of Young Justice episodes as you did before? I also was wondering if you were going to post the reel or trailer of Young Justice that you showed a comiccon after the Batman Brave and the Bold Panel, because in an interview you showed the guy on your iphone and it showed a few villains in it, So that's why I was wondering will you be releasing that on to youtube? Will this show be similar to Batman Under the Red Hood since you mentioned there would be deaths of main and supporting characters? Will Victor crook be caliborating with Brandon Vietti on the show with the animation and fight sequences? Will you be providing your voice to a character in the series? Did Brandon, Phil and you enjoy creating and coming up with Jackson Hyde? Since you yourself have already created a full on tv show aka Gargoyles from scratch. I'm sure it was a overwhelming challenge at first when you were asked to basicly create a whole universe in the DC Universe what did you guys even begin with?. I truely love what you guys did in creating this new Aqualad, the thing that's intriguing is his background, it's like a mixture of a heroes/lost tv episode, very mysterious and addictive which keeps you following him in Brightest Day of course, But even the way you guys brought him into the DC Universe by introducing him to comic and cartoon fans at the same time such as what Bruce Timm did with the character Harley Quinn launching the character into both medias, I'm especially excited for this New Aqualad because I'm a fan of mainly anything involving the ocean and it's hidden depths, and now you guys have Aqualad as the leader of a team that has Robin and Superboy on it all I can say is PURE AWESOMNESS!!! even if he may only be the leader for a time being. So how much input did Phil Bourassa have on the Aqualad character, did he create the characters full design or did you and Brandon say this is how his costume and powers should look and this is how his face should look? Also will he be the exact same character in the comics, but just a different appearance? I'm greatly inspired by you, Brandon, and Phil's work and I hope this show will be another success for you guys that can add to your belt, I hope this show stays on air as long as possible so you guys can keep getting paid so thank you for your hard work.
In the future, it would be really, REALLY helpful if you would (a) number your questions and (2) not present them in single paragraph form.
1. I'll try to do the statistics update periodically.
2. I have no means of posting a trailer.
3. You're misquoting me, for starters. But as for Red Hood, it's a different adaptation. We're neither trying nor not trying to be "similar" to Red Hood.
4. Vic Cook is a guest director on one episode of YJ. So of course, he'll collaborating with Brandon and myself on that episode.
5. I am providing the voice for one character on the series.
6. Phil, Brandon and I enjoyed coming up with our new Aqualad character. But his name isn't Jackson Hyde.
7. I wouldn't call it an "overwhelming challenge" though it was certainly a challenge... but one that an old comic book geek like me relished. As I've said many times before, Brandon and I began with lists of teenage characters and a basic mindset about what we did and didn't want the series to be, so that we weren't simply rehashing the great work done on Teen Titans or Justice League/Justice League Unlimited.
8. Phil absolutely created the design, but Brandon and I and Sam Register all talked to him about the basics and gave notes on the various iterations leading up to the final product.
9. I don't know how to define "exact same character" for you. There are going to be some differences. Some minor, some more significant. But the fundamentals are the same. Parallel versions in multiverse terms.
10. Thank you.
Okay, this may seem like a weird question, but...why did you guys create Aqualad? How did the decision come about? What went into making him? Also, this may be a weird request, but could you answer the question without spoiling the show?
Let me answer your last question first: No.
If you're still curious after the show's been on for, say, half a season, feel free to ask again.
I'll have to ask this question again after Young Justice premiers because obviously a complete answer would include spoilers, but are there any DC characters you wanted to use but couldn't because they just didn't fit into the universe you were creating? I think you mentioned your old character, Captain Atom, in a previous post as an example.
I'd imagine there would be a lot of characters you couldn't use because their essence is too tied up with them being third, or even forth generation characters. ie. How can you have Tim or Bart in a world premiering Dick and Wally? Or perhaps characters that could appear on their own, but they are too tied to legacy characters to feel whole without those attachments. Any examples like that. Or perhaps other, even silly reasons; maybe an iconic weapon animates badly, or an accent or action that is fine in comics is hoaky on screen? Or maybe someones back story would be necessary, but too long for a guest appearance?
If there are characters like that, which (among the none spoiler ones), bugs you the most not to be able to play with?
Captain Atom is in the series. What I said is that he doesn't have a major role. That the sentimental side of me kept trying to give him a bigger role, but he just didn't have a connection to any of the leads, so it never worked out.
The idea of characters not "fitting into our universe" doesn't really enter into it. The fact is we're a kind of adaptation, and any character we DO choose to include is adapted to fit into our universe, while still maintaining the elements that we feel are essential to said character.
We always make choices, but again, it's premature to discuss those choices.
I have three questions for you about Young Justice. No I don't want any spoilers. I wanted to know about the creative process about it. So here are my three questions.
1.Since you were allowed such great amount of character to use from DC Universe. How did you decide which ones to choose? What was the process for that?
2. How do you come up with oringal story lines while still keeping true to the comic book character's mythos?
3. It has been said there will be romance in Young Justice since we're seeing teenagers. How do you decide who is going to like who in the show?
If by answering these questions might lead to spoilers then please don't answer them. I do want to see the surpises that are to come. But I'm really curious how writers decide these for a show based on comics.
1. It's a VERY fair process question... but there's no way for me to answer it AT THIS TIME without SPOILERS, beyond the general, which I've already done (check the ASK GREG Young Justice archive). Feel free to resubmit the question after, say a half dozen or so episodes have aired.
2. Uh... practice?
(Seriously, we try to internalize the characters as much as possible and, in effect, ask THEM what they'd do next.)
3. Some things feel right. Again, I'd be happy to go into much more detail AFTER the episodes have aired than now.
I'm finally all caught up on the ASK GREG queue. Gonna take a short break, but we'll open the queue again on September 27th, 2010 in preparation for the release of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse which also contains the DC Showcase Green Arrow short that I wrote.
As always, I urge you guys NOT to flood ASK GREG with questions. Check the archives. Check the FAQs. Ask questions of the loyal fans in the Station 8 comment room.
AND, please, THINK BEFORE YOU POST. I am NOT, for example, going to SPOIL "Young Justice" before it airs. I'm not going to SPOIL "Gargoyles" either since I still have hopes of bringing that back. I'm not even going to "SPOIL" Spectacular Spider-Man, because I don't see any real point in revealing future plans and ideas independent of their execution.
Happy to talk process. Happy to talk about what's ALREADY aired or been published. Happy to talk about Mecha-Nation and many other things. But. NOT. GONNA. SPOIL.
What comic universe would you say you're more knowledgeable about: DC or Marvel?
I'm pretty equal on both companies.
Fairly knowledgeable (all things considered) on pre-1970s stuff.
More knowledgeable on the 70s.
Extremely knowledgeable on the 80s.
Less knowledgeable on the early and mid 90s.
Almost completely ignorant of the mid 90s through 2006.
Somewhat knowledgeable but with huge gaps on 2006 through the present...
Of course, I worked at DC as a freelancer from 1983-1991, and on staff from 1985-1987, so I have more INSIDE knowledge of that company, but during that period I was reading ALL the Marvel books too, so if we're talking CONTINUITY and CHARACTERS, I know both companies pretty darn well. I certainly grew up reading both. And when I was a little kid, I didn't even get that there were different companies that made comics. I'd see Green Lantern team up with Superman in one book. And Spider-Man team up with the Fantastic Four in another. And I didn't know that next month I might not see Captain America team with Batman. It took me a while to get the whole competing companies idea.