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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.
In YJ at the end of season one Superboy says that he's known about Miss Martian's true form since they first mind melded.
So my question is, in the episode "Bereft" when we see the flash of memories M'gann shares with Conner and there is the flash of Megan from Hello Megan, is that the moment where Conner learns about M'gann's true form and her love of the show?
Similarly, in "Terrors" during the scene where M'gann and Conner are in the psychiatrists office and Conner says something about her' fantasy world where problems are solved in half an hour', was that a hint at him being aware of how much the show has shaped her?
What is the League and the team's stance on killing?
I'm sure they have a rule about not deliberately taking a life, but how rigid is it? I'm not necessarily thinking about M'gann brain-frying someone because in her mind he had it coming. I'm talking about stuff that accidentally and inevitably happens in large scale battles. For example, let's say in that battle with the Light and the Reach in Summit, one of the League's young proteges accidentally hits a foot-soldier too hard and he dies. Is he or she going to be automatically expelled from the team? Or, what if the only way to protect innocent life is to take a life?
I guess what I'm asking is do league and team members have the same discretion of using lethal force that a police officer has?
They are granted LESS discretion than a police officer because they have powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men. They hold themselves to stricter standards. The League's U.N. charter gives them authority to act, in essence, as an international SWAT/Search & Rescue Team. But the Team has no such authority.
Still, as I hope you saw in Season Three, accidental deaths - particularly those that occurred during moments of self-defense and/or while protecting others can happen. Those deaths are reviewed internally, and a decision on expulsion or other penalties will be made by the entire League. It's all on a case by case basis. Nothing's etched in stone.
So I managed to finish streaming YJ on Netflix with my friends, just a day before it's taken off. Hopefully it'll return someday. But in the meantime - I still really love this show, and every time I watched it I think I noticed something new. A few thoughts:
-Kaldur at one point says 'blood is thicker than seawater' as a dig at Aquaman - but the original phrase, 'blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb' meant that families of choice are stronger than families of blood, so was that line meant to be a subtle nod to Kaldur not being a traitor?
-Artemis and Dick have some very fascinating parallels (Gothamites, unpowered, trained from a young age, both Kaldur's second in command at different points in time, and they tend to pair up to attack or recon after Homefront) which I don't think could've come up in any other show. It's really interesting, and I hope we get to explore their parallels and differences more in s3.
-Speaking of character decisions that'd be unlikely in the original canon - having Jade actually care about other people, having Beast Boy as part of M'gann and J'onn's family - even bringing in Sportsmaster as a legitimate villain. I'm really excited to see what's going to happen next, especially since I'm sure that I won't see half of what you have coming.
Now, for actual questions -
-Do the Team or League members get any sort of stipend or compensation as part of their membership?
-Is the public generally aware that Blue Beetle was controlled by the Reach against his will, or do they think he did everything voluntarily?
-If Zatanna has no secret identity, does that mean that everyone she went to school with knows her dad was Zatara and that she could do magic?
1. I'd love to say so, but I never knew the whole quotation until now.
2. I'll leave that for the audience to judge.
3. How have you liked it so far?
4. They can.
5. The former.
6. Most people think the way Wally thought in "Denial" - but yes.
Did Miss Martian think Garfield would reject her if he saw her true form?
Back in Season One? Yes.
First of all, I would just like to say that Young Justice is one of my favorite shows, ever, and I think you and the team behind it did an amazing job. I was rewatching the other day and I noticed something in Alpha Male. M'gann talks to Superboy telepathically a handful of times, but it's never really clear as to whether she's selectively talking to him or if it's a group communication she just directed towards him, what's going on?
In that episode there's some of both, so you'd have to pinpoint for me which scene (or dialogue) you're referring to for me to answer with any specificity.
I was rewatching Young Justice the other day and I was wondering how long it took for the Bioship to fly places. Is it faster than a commercial plane? It can enter space, so it's capable of accelerating fast enough to leave the atmosphere, so does M'gann slow it down while just flying around Earth or is the Team constantly flying at that kind of speed?
As we revealed in episode 313, if the Bio-Ship is traveling long distances on Earth it will fly almost straight up and straight down along the Earth's rotation, allowing it to get almost anywhere on the planet in a couple hours or less. Obviously, it doesn't travel that fast if it's going horizontally. And how it accelerates and decelerates is very important.
Hey, Greg! I'm so excited for season 3, I can't believe the show is coming back after so long. I've never been so invested for so long in a cartoon series, and for that, I have to say thanks for providing this awesome series!
I'm a HUGE Spitfire fan, it's one of my main hooks to the series, that and Artemis is like my favorite female character ever. I just have a couple of questions regarding Spitfire.
1. In one of your responses about the pairing some time back, I recall that you gave a few reasons for why Artemis finds Wally attractive, such as his scientific brain and how he never gives up. Can you tell us some of the traits/aspects about Artemis that make her so attractive to Wally? (I'm not questioning WHY Wally would like her, but rather, from Wally's point of view, just what is it about her that fuels his crush/deeper feelings?)
2. During season 1, before they were together, did Wally and Artemis ever spend time together outside of missions, just the two of them?
And one question just about Artemis:
3. Out of pure curiosity, do you think Paula or Lawrence chose the name Artemis when she was born, or did they mutually choose it? How about Jade?
Thank you for your time!
1. I think she also has an analytic mind that appeals to him. She's quick and smart and calls him on his bulls#!t. She's very easy on the eyes, as well. Which I'm sure sounds sexist, but I will only counter that by saying HE is also easy on the eyes to her. The fact that they are physically attracted to each other just makes sense to me.
2. No spoilers.
3. No spoilers.
What was Miss Martian 's age when she first began shapeshifting into Megan form on mars?
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.
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.
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.)
I'm sure nearly everyone is to some extent. But symbols are important, and no one knows that better than the seven founding Leaguers.
Did the boy Garfield Logan watch the news in 2010 that show Icon and other new members joining the justice league?
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?
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.
How long does a martian pregnancy last?
I'm tempted to say 27 Earth months, but I don't want to be held to that.
Did Klarion offer Wotan, Felix Faust, Blackbriar Thorn, and Wizard anything in return for their help with his spell in "Misplaced?"
Do the Light a favor and the Light does favors in return. (Witness Count Vertigo.)
Hey Greg! I have two questions.
1. Do female Martians get periods?
2. Can Superboy grow facial hair?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.