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EXALT writes...

1)Why is Dinah Lance/Black Canary your favourite DC character?
2)Who is your favourite Marvel character and why?
3)Do you happen to know Brandon Vietti's favourite DC character?

Greg responds...

1. To some extent, I'm not sure I have an answer to this. She just... is. But I think it's a combo of factors. Part of it, I'm sure, goes back to the adolescent boy in me that just thought she was hot. (I'm not necessarily proud of this, but I'm not ashamed of it either.) She's a strong, beautiful woman, who holds her own in the company of folks like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, etc. - even without any super-powers. (And you need to keep in mind, I'm old enough to remember a Black Canary who didn't even have a Canary Cry.) She's developed over time into a leader. I also REALLY like her relationship with Green Arrow (though I haven't always liked the way some writers and editors have portrayed it.) I love the martial arts skills, and I love (and even miss a little) her original undercover m.o., i.e. the way she operated as a criminal underworld figure, secretly working on the side of the angels. I mean, the lady kicks ass! What's not to like? Then add in the fact that one of my very first assignments at DC in the eighties was to write a Black Canary mini-series (that never got published). So I feel a personal connection to the character also.

Now, having said all that, there are a TON of DC Heroes that I really love. Black Canary is the first among equals, really.

2. See the last sentence of my previous answer. I don't feel like there's a single character that stands out in the same way for me over at Marvel, though there are many, many, many that I love. Of course, working on Spectacular Spider-Man gave me an insight into Peter Parker that almost qualifies. (Same with Flash Thompson, actually.)

3. Nope, but you can ask him on his website: http://brandonvietti.blogspot.com/

Response recorded on March 23, 2012

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Anonymous writes...

Hi Greg.

Okay Wally. He always gets the rep as the clown and flirt, and in JL cartoon he was the not so smart one and of course the girls aren't very impressed by him. But Wally has a good heart and he isn't stupid and I would just love to see that an alpha girl could learn to care for him. The girls are eying Conner. Sure moody tall well built good looks. Teenagers.I would love to see the clown come up trumps for once. Be nice to see Conner like a girl who doesn't go for him at first sight. Yeah I am not a fan of that Miss Martian.Thank you for Artemis. I hope to see some more girls soon too.I really hope we see Zatanna and Wonder Girl.

And I hope to see more interaction with the older heads too.

And you like Black Canary I am reading. Figures. Though how do you feel about her an Green Arrow as a couple? Myself? I think she's too good for him.

Bye Greg.

Greg responds...

It depends on how Green Arrow is written. This notion of him being a dog, who constantly sleeps around on Dinah is relatively new (to my old eyes, anyway). Sure, if you write him that way, he doesn't deserve her.

But I prefer the Green Arrow who simply had commitment issues, not infidelity issues.

Response recorded on April 07, 2011

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Algernon writes...

"Schooled" Review

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Yo Greg, sorry I've kinda fallen behind with these reviews but life sometimes gets in the way. Anyway, I enjoyed this ep a lot. I have to admit I did find Superboy's anger issues a bit one not in "Welcome to Happy Harbor" even though I did understand why it was so. Lets face it, being raised in a tube by psychic goblins is probably going to leave you a little lacking in social skills. But this ep, (and to a certain extent "Drop-Zone") has done a great job of letting us see other sides of his character, as well as exploring the underlying reasons for all that anger.

I particularly liked his exchange with Clark, poor kids practically giving Big Blue puppy dog eyes. Not that I don't sympathise with Clark. Even with the best will in the world, dealing with your own clone/son has got to be a pretty daunting prospect. If I were brutally honest, I'd have to admit Clark is handling this way better then I would be. I know if I met a clone of myself, my first instinct would probably be to reach for a torch and pitch fork. Hardly the rational or ethical response I'll readily admit, but luckily the Man of Steel is a lot more level headed then me.

Loved Peter MacNicol as Professor Ivo, he brought a great sense of humour and menace to the character without making him sound like a clone of Doc Ock. I just dig the idea tha this short skinny middle-aged nerd is able to strike terror into the hearts of the Justice League. I also noticed that his character design has a very similar colour scheme to AMAZO, red hair and green clothes. I loved this because it neatly explains AMAZO's goofy silver design, Ivo designed the android to basically look like and idealised version of himself, brilliant! Hope we see the M.O.N.Q.I.s again. J

Black Canary was pretty cool, it's good to hear Vanessa Marshall again. I've heard she's your favourite DC character so I'm interested to see how you handle her.

All and all another great ep, I'll try and get my "Infiltrator" review up sometime tomorrow.

Greg responds...

Vanessa Marshall is indeed my favorite DC character, so she'll be joining the Justice League in Season Two. Since Vanessa will be voicing/playing herself, we'll be recasting Black Canary to avoid confusion. Our leading candidates are all single-named celebrities: Roseanne, Cher, Lindsay, Madonna or Prince.

Oh, and in case it hasn't been clear for this and the last four questions as well: APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!

Response recorded on April 01, 2011

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Back Issue

I should have posted this long ago...

I received a complimentary copy of Back Issue #46. Inside is an interview of me conducted by John Wells (who incidentally has -- through Peter David -- provided considerable DC Comics related research for us on Young Justice). It's all about the Black Canary mini-series that I wrote a good chunk of for DC Comics back in the 80s before it was cancelled and never published to make way for Mike Grell's Longbow Hunters.

But that's not the only article of interest in the magazine. In fact, one of the reasons I'm so late in referencing this here, is because I took the time to read the magazine cover to cover. Lots of great stuff. I heartily recommend it.


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Greg Bishansky writes...

I've written a lot in the past about why Demona is my favorite character, what it is about her that speaks to me and fascinates me. I've always been interested in why some characters are favorites for other people.

I've read a while back that you said that Black Canary is probably your all time favorite comic book character. So, I'm curious, what is it about Black Canary that interested and fascinated you to put her at the top of a list like that, with so many other characters potentially fighting for a top spot like that?

Greg responds...

The short answer is that I just think she kicks ass. Strong, in all sense of the word, without being a "Man-in-Drag" superhero. And I like that her power level isn't through the roof. I can take or leave her Canary Cry, though I don't shy away from using it when it makes sense for her to do so, but it's the way she's trained herself. I also always really liked her relationship to Green Arrow, who's another favorite of mine. I like her ties to the old Justice Society (even if nowadays, those original connections were really her mother's) and I even like the retconning that makes her her own daughter and establishes that she trained with guys like Wildcat. I like the legacy hero idea. Plus - I'll admit - she's hot.

I guess the SHORTER answer is: "What's NOT to like?"

Response recorded on March 16, 2011

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Matthew writes...

I have two questions on Green Arrow in Young Justice:

1, I noticed that you went with the Green Arrow look with the hood from the Mike Grell series. I always liked that look . I also believe he was using a long bow. What made you decide on the hooded look?

2, I've recently read Green Arrow: The Long Bow Hunters and the first for issues of GA's first series. Have you read Mike Grell's GA comics and what did you think of them?

Greg responds...

1. It looked cool and provided us with a nice contrast from Speedy's hat.

2. I didn't read them. I'm sure it sounds petty, but Grell's G.A. was the reason my Black Canary mini-series never went forward. So there seemed no upside to me reading them. If they were great, I'd be envious. If they were awful, I'd be frustrated. (Yes, I'm a heavily flawed individual, but at least I admit it.)

Response recorded on February 09, 2011

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John Derrick writes...

I hate to say it, but I was extremely disappointed in the Young Justice premiere. Don't get me wrong--the animation was gorgeous, the dialogue entertaining, the story intriguing. But the gender imbalance was a huge turn-off for me.

Why was it that the women of the Justice League were only shown in the last five minutes of a two-part pilot? Why did the male sidekicks get to go on a rebellious adventure and force the League to accept them as a team of their own, while the first girl is only added to "Young Justice" at the very end, introduced by her uncle and guardian like some sort of token?

I expect that the women will have a lot more to do in the episodes to come, but I still find it profoundly problematic to introduce the characters in such an unequal manner. I believe there are too many men in the world as it is who see women as mere supporting players in their stories. Why reinforce this stereotype for a whole new generation of superhero cartoon fans?

Greg responds...

It's a legitimate gripe. And I doubt my answer will satisfy you, but it came down to a couple factors that we at least found important: (1) practicality and to a lesser extent - but intertwined with - (2) tradition.

Let's start with practicality.

You asked why there were no female Leaguers until the end. But where would they have fit? There are no female Leaguers with traditional first generation sidekicks. So Batman, Green Arrow, Aquaman and Flash could not be replaced by Wonder Woman, Black Canary or Hawkwoman. That leaves the four Leaguers introduced at the Hall of Justice. I needed Martian Manhunter to be there to set up Miss Martian. I needed Red Tornado there to set up his interest in the teens. I needed Superman there to set up Superboy. That leaves only Zatara. He was certainly replaceable. But then I would have had to hire another voice actress to read ONE LINE. I couldn't afford to do that. We have budgets. (And you'll notice that Red Tornado never speaks in the episode. Couldn't afford giving him a line either. None of which had anything to do with gender.)

There was NEVER any intent to introduce Artemis this early in the season for story reasons. Wouldn't make sense for her character. And I think the reasons why will become clear as the season progresses.

As for Miss Martian, yes, in theory, we could have introduced her sooner. Manhunter COULD have brought her along at the beginning. But then I'd have had FOUR characters running around the first half hour and FIVE in the second. That steals screen time and characterization from everyone. I think the entire production would have been weaker for adding another character -- ANY other character (gender notwithstanding).

Of course, that begs the obvious question - why not ditch one of the boys in favor of her to create a little balance.

But it seemed to us that would create balance at a cost.

There are FOUR TRADITIONAL sidekicks: Robin, Speedy, Aqualad and Kid Flash. To leave one out seemed wrong to us. Which brings in the Tradition argument, which I'll admit is somewhat feeble, but as an old comic book geek, I'll also admit it matters to me and to everyone else here.

The very first Teen Titans story ever in Brave and the Bold featured only THREE heroes: Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash. Wonder Girl did not join until their second adventure. So we felt there was a precedent for beginning with Robin, Aqualad and Kid Flash and saving the real introduction of Miss Martian (beyond hellos) for OUR second adventure.

For what it's worth, if you give the series another chance, starting with episode three (i.e. the one immediately following the pilot "movie"), I think you'll see that female characters including Miss Martian, Black Canary, Artemis, Wonder Woman and MANY others will be playing ESSENTIAL roles in the show as we progress. I think the balance - and then some - is absolutely present in the first season when viewed in its entirety.

Yes, the pilot was very boy-centric, but that's not the rubric for the series. Personally, I love writing female characters, and if you're at all familiar with my past work, you'll know I have a history of doing them justice. (At least, I think so.) Gargoyles, for example, is FULL of strong female characters, including Elisa, Demona, Angela, Fox, etc. WITCH was nearly ALL female leads. Even Spider-Man had a strong female supporting cast, in my opinion at least.

If we did "reinforce a stereotype" (which I think is overstating it) then perhaps we've lured in kids that we will reeducate over the course of the season - organically without forcing it.

So I'd beg a little patience, a little indulgence... maybe even a little trust that we'll do right by this issue.

But judge for yourself.

Response recorded on December 21, 2010

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Anonymous writes...

I really dont know how your gonna respond to this you might wanna keep it to yourself so people dont read to much into it, but could you tell us the ages of some of the people on Earth-16?

These are the ones I'd like to know
Black Canary
Zatanna
Jamie Reyes
Static
Zachary Zatara
Supergirl

Yeah those arre the main ones Im curious about

Greg responds...

I'm not going to address ANY characters who have not appeared in the series. Period.

So the only character on your list who HAS appeared is Canary, who is 24.

Response recorded on December 21, 2010

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Grant writes...

From NYCC, the Black Canary is suppose to be the combat trainer for YJ, is this modelled after Gail Simone's take on the character in the Bird of Prey comic of her being one of the most elite martial artist in the DCU on par with Batman?

Greg responds...

I haven't read Birds of Prey, but I've always seen Canary as an elite martial artist.

Though only Batman is Batman.

Response recorded on November 09, 2010

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GA FAN writes...

First off congrats on the new series...
Secondly, I would like to comment on the Green Arrow featurette... It was brilliant, it perfectly showed Green Arrow for what he is... Human (probably the most human of any costumed hero, no powers, not an expert martial artist, or worlds greatest detective, just a guy trying to make a difference) I sincerely thank you for your interpretation. If you were the writer on GA/BC it probably wouldnt have needed a reboot, you seem to really get him, and his relationship to Dinah.
Okay, first question... will the Shorts DVD in November have a longer version on it?

2) Are you personally a fan of either Green Arrow or Black Canary...?

3) How much experience do you have with Green Arrow and Black Canary?

4) I am looking forward to Young Justice, and from reports (here and on other sites)GA & BC seem to have somewhat prominent roles in the young teams mentoring process... Is it too early for you to confirm or deny these reports? If you can please do...

5) and finally, is there a possibility of a sequel to the Green Arrow featurette?
or you writing a featurette for another DC character for future Direct to video release?

Thank you for your time... and best of luck with the new series... me and my kids will be watching...

Greg responds...

I think I've answered all these before AND recently, but briefly...

1. People keep asking me. I didn't know there were two versions.

2. Black Canary is probably my all-time favorite comic book character. Green Arrow's definitely in my top ten.

3. I wrote half of a never-published Black Canary mini-series in the mid-eighties. Both characters appear in Young Justice. And then there's this short.

4. I'll confirm this, because we've already stated that both are in the show. Green Arrow is a mentor to Artemis. Black Canary trains the Team.

5. Not up to me. But I'd love to do either or both.

Response recorded on November 06, 2010


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