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I've been trying to answer at least five questions a day here, every weekday, for quite a few months running. I'm still nowhere near coming close to emptying the queue.
But, as I'm certain some of you have noticed, the questions are, well, starting to grind on me. To get on my nerves. To tick me off.
Sometimes it's folks asking questions that are clearly answered by the material itself. On screen or on the page.
Sometimes it's folks asking for story spoilers, when that's clearly something I'm not going to reveal.
Sometimes it's folks ascribing motives for what I do that they can't possibly know.
Sometimes it's folks demanding that I acknowledge that my show sucks, with intense explanations for why I should do that. I'm okay with people not liking my stuff - wish they did, but you can't please everyone, all the time - but I resent people trying to convince ME that my stuff is bad. Maybe it's all in the phrasing, but it is, frankly, infuriating. Besides, I like my stuff.
I don't know if I've just hit a bad batch recently, but I think what's more likely is that I'm just burned out on it. That I'm reading negativity into perfectly innocent or at least neutral questions and statements. It's very possible I'm over-reacting.
Either way, my responses recently have been ire-filled, and I don't like that. It's not what I want ASK GREG to be. It's not, generally, what I think it's been for the last couple decades plus. (Give or take a tirade or smart-ass response, here and there.)
I took a few days off, posting Hercules premises, and thought that might help. And it did, a little. But clearly not enough. So I'm going to take an extensive break.
I'm tempted to close the question asking function for a time. But Young Justice: Targets is still coming out. And the new Gargoyles comic launches in December, and I want folks to be able to respond to those. So I've decided to leave the function alone for now. I realize that means that the backlog is going to continue to grow. But such is life, I guess.
I'm hoping that in a month or two, I'll be ready to come back. But for now, I need a break. Thanks and sorry.
if you only intended for there to be a handful of characters that are leads, why didn't you keep the cast small like season 1 instead of adding a bunch of characters you have no intention of focusing on? that way, people could have focused on the mains without being distracted by the characters who are background. can you really blame people for being disappointed when their favorite character shows up, only for the show to do nothing with them and move onto someone else?
I don't blame people.
Why are you blaming me for making the show I want to make? (Or more accurately, the show that Brandon and I want to make, and which many, many, many fans seem to enjoy?)
I've already answered over and over again why we have always continued to expand our cast. Why some characters are leads in a given season. Why some are supporting. Why some are cameos. Why our spotlight moves around as it does. Feel free to go through the ASK GREG archives and get the lowdown. I'm definitely not in the mood to repeat myself.
But I will make these points:
Blue Beetle was a lead in Season Two. In Season Three he was supporting. In Season Three he only cameod. But should we have NEVER introduced him, just because we didn't make him a lead EVERY season?
Zatanna was supporting in seasons one, two and three. She became a lead for a chunk of Season Four. Should we never have introduced her either?
And if, for example, we made Wonder Girl a lead in Season Five (assuming we get a season five and assuming that's in our gameplan), should we have waited UNTIL Season Five to introduce her? Or might not her Season Five characterization BENEFIT from her having been introduced earlier and us having watched her grow at least a little from a Wonder Woman fangirl in Season Two, to the leader of the Outsiders in Season Four, leading up to whatever might be depicted in Five? And if we then dropped her back down to Supporting in Season Six, would that mean we should never have made her a lead in Season Five?
Different fans might disagree about their specific favorites, but I'd bet anything that NO FAN wanted us to have six heroes and NEVER introduce any more ever. It's a big DC Universe out there. And nearly every fan is frickin' greedy for their favorites to appear.
Hello I have another question!
I remember reading something about how there was some unused ideas for Young Justice Invasion! What were those unused ideas?
There weren't unused ideas specifically for Invasion. Brandon and I simply have a TON of unused ideas for Young Justice and Earth-16, in general. But I'm not going to tell you what they are. Cuz I don't give out spoilers.
Notice how in season 1, no one felt the need to bring up the fact that Aqualad is black? He just is, and he was a well-developed character. Same with Jaime in season 2 - he's clearly Latino by his name and appearance and sprinkles Spanish into his speech, other than that his character had a compelling storyline that had nothing to do with his race. That's how you do diverse representation properly.
Whereas with Halo and Khalid, the audience is outright told that they're Muslim instead of shown, and it's a big part of both of their arcs. YJ is a superhero show with an ensemble cast that doesn't go super deep into the character's personal lives, and religion is personal - that's why we don't know the majority of the characters' religion.
To harp on it so much with the two Muslim characters reinforces this idea that Muslims are "others," that we're not "normal" like white Christians and that we're all extremely conservative and ultra religious. It would have been nice to have a character that's visibly Muslim (Halo's hijab) or shown to be Muslim in subtle ways (like by saying certain Arabic phrases or mention celebrating a holiday) and just let them be a normal character with a compelling storyline.
You guys had representation down perfectly in the first two seasons, I don't know why you've changed the approach?
Wow, I disagree with just about EVERYTHING you've written above.
For starters, you're not TOLD Halo is Muslim. You're shown that they're exploring whether Islam might hold some meaning for them. You're not TOLD Khalid is Muslim, you're shown what his Muslim heritage means to him.
And I think both characters have extremely compelling storylines. You don't have to agree, of course. But I don't have to agree with you, either. And I think you're just WRONG.
And we sometimes do go into religion for other characters. Zatara immediately springs to mind since we showed his faith in the very same episode in which we explored Khalid's religion - and in the one that follows.
I don't think either Khalid or Halo are presented as ultra religious, either. Certainly, Halo's not. They're not even certain they want to be Muslim yet. (They're exploring!) I don't even think Khalid's mother is presented as ultra religious, really, though I'll admit you could make that argument about her. And Gabrielle's mother is talking about religion ONLY because Violet asked her about it. She's not proslytizing.
Zatara's the only guy, actually, whom we see kneeling in church and praying. Why doesn't THAT bother you? Is he suddenly "other" and not "normal".
I mean, sure, he is. That's the point. WE ARE ALL OUTSIDERS. Everyone is different. With different needs and different wants. Faith being one of many, many, many variables worth exploring.
And we have other Muslim characters who NEVER mention their faith at all. Queen Bee and Noor Harjavti, to name a couple. One's a villain, and one's pretty minor. But my point is that we don't have any rules. We're doing what we think is right for each of our characters individually.
And I don't think we have "changed the approach." I think we've evolved it. We're going deeper. (Cuz, you know, we're in our fourth season.) Deeper in TONS of ways. Deeper into Beast Boy's mental health. Deeper into Artemis and Jade's difficult childhood. Deeper into Halo's sexuality. Why should religion be off-limits? Especially, since EVERY single Muslim we consulted with and who worked on the season liked what we were doing and helped us get there. This has a positive meaning to many people. I know cuz they've told me that. And again, that doesn't mean YOU have to like it. It just means you can't possibly claim to be speaking for everyone. Not even for every Muslim.
And while I'm at it, I wouldn't be shy about going into Jaime's Mexican heritage. Hasn't come up yet. But I'm not saying it won't. It could become a big issue, if and when we go deeper into his character. Might hit on his Catholicism. Might not. But I wouldn't shy away from it.
Kaldur's blackness is pretty much a non-issue in Atlantis, but we have dealt with his lack of "purity" to certain racist Atlanteans in our companion comics. It's a metaphor. And not a subtle one. So you are OBJECTIVELY WRONG when you say we didn't deal with race. We did. IN DEPTH.
But my real issue, is that I really, REALLY don't like you trying to rein us in and tell us what is and isn't worthy of our attention. It grates on me that you're speaking in absolutes, as if there's only ONE GOOD WAY TO MAKE A SHOW. And, again, I disagree. Strongly. (Or was that not clear?)
1) Is there any particular reason why Troia and Sergeant Marvel have their hair tied back? I ask because I donât think this is the case in the comics, and because other superheroines in YJ do not have their hair tied back (Miss Martian, Zatanna, Wonder Girl). (I suppose maybe Artemis and Batgirl did though and Iâm just not remembering that fact for some reason.)
2) How does Sergeant Marvel compare in terms of strength to Superboy, Troia, and Wonder Girl?
1. Artemis did as Artemis. She doesn't as Tigress.
Out of Universe, it's a design choice, made in a three-way discussion between our character designer(s), Brandon and myself. In universe, chalk it up to each character's personal choice.
2. I've never liked these kind of comparisons, but of the four, Superboy is the strongest. The other three are all pretty close to equal. Although, everything is situational.
Questions about the Memorial Holograms
1. How long does it take for them to display the memorial hologram when a hero has died?
2. Do they do it immediately or wait sometime until itâs ready?
3. Who came up with the idea to display the holograms in the first place?
4. Who is responsible for setting them when they are ready?
5. When exactly did the Team display Wally, Conner and Tulaâs holograms? Specially day and month!
1. I'm not clear on what your asking. Like how long does it take to prep a hologram? Not long.
2. How could they do it before it's ready? It would be fairly soon after the funeral, I suppose.
3. No spoilers.
4. I dunno. I guess ultimately it is the responsibility of the League Chair. The buck stops with them. Doesn't mean they do it personally.
5. Again, it would have been shortly after the funeral. I haven't fixed a specific date for it.
Are Arsenal and Arrowette public heroes in Star City ?
No. Not particularly.
Why have there been multiple episodes where tim drake is involved in a scene but doesn't speak? In the season 2 episode before the dawn, he is on alpha squad with Barbara, but she is the only one who talks to nightwing and he just pulls faces the whole time. Same goes for that infamous season 3 episode antisocial pathologies where once again, only Barbara talks and he makes faces. Even when Beast Boy addresses him directly.
This isn't just due to him being a supporting character - Barbara is a supporting character too and she's allowed to speak. Even Stephanie Brown got a line in before the dawn, and she wasn't spoiler yet. These are scenes in which he's featured and it would make sense for him to at least say a few words. It looks awkward when he doesn't, it's almost like you're going out of your way to ensure he gets no lines.
Tim is the only Robin that has never been in an animated movie or series (the DCAU version doesn't count, it was Jason with Tim's name) but his traits are constantly stolen and given to the others. I was so excited to finally see him in YJ. I can accept that he's not a main character, but the way he's treated in the show is bizzare and to be honest, feels borderline disrespectful to the character and his fans.
So, there's this thing. It's called a BUDGET. It forces us to make hard choices ALL THE TIME. And, I will admit that poor Tim has taken the brunt of that a few more times than I would like. But that's the reality. There's no disrespect intended toward either the character or his fans. I do feel bad for Cameron Bowen, who is immensely talented and does a great job playing Tim/Robin. And I'd love to give him more work as the character. But the fact is that him speaking isn't always essential to our story, and we do not have an unlimited voice budget.
But let me try to spell a few things out.
1. Stephanie Brown is voiced by the same actor who plays Wonder Girl. So if we're using Cassie in an episode, we get Stephanie for free. So why not give her a line or two? Note that, like Tim, we also didn't give Virgil a line in that episode, cuz we didn't have the budget for it.
2. We felt, in "Antisocial Pathologies," that we NEEDED Barbara to speak. She had a scene with Bruce that required her to speak. On the other hand, we felt we could get away with Tim not speaking in the episode. I'll admit it's a little awkward, but the audience still gets the gist of the thing. And by the way, neither Conner or M'gann spoke in that episode either. We'd have liked all three of them to speak, but the budget wouldn't allow it.
3. When Tim does have a significant role, such as in "Triptich," then of course we bring Cameron in, gladly, and give Tim lines. And if you look at that episode there are other characters who appear who do NOT get to speak. Because we chose to spend our budget on Tim and the other characters that did speak.
Now, with that out of the way, let's talk for a moment about disrespect. About the ASSUMPTION that just because you don't like something or it doesn't live up to your pre-conceived expectations, that characters and fans are being disrespected. Because I find that incredibly grating. You don't have to like my stuff - but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop assigning MOTIVES to me. THAT is disrespectful.
Hi Greg, you previously answered that you needed to keep Halo's origin of Gabrielle being dead because that's built into the character in the comics: https://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=24738
I have trouble accepting this reason, because you already changed the character's entire race and background from the comics. Moreover, you've changed the origins of Beast Boy and Oracle, and I get the sense you may have created a different story behind Jason Todd's death. You created an entirely different version of Aqualad. These characters are far more well-known than Halo, and you weren't afraid to change key things about them.
You could've easily made it so that the Motherbox resurrected Gabrielle instead of killing a teenage Muslim refugee and reanimating her corpse. You chose not to. Why?
Agreed. We chose not to. We liked the basics of Halo's origins from the comics and wanted to keep it. I'm not disowning that. Why should I?
What's the hardest casting choice you've had to make in your showrunner career?
Hardest casting choice?
Not sure what that means in context. Like we had two people and couldn't decide which one to pick? I can't even think of an example of that.
We've had some roles that were hard to cast. Goliath and Elisa come to mind, but once we found Keith and Salli, respectively, the decision was easy.
There have been roles where my first choice was over-ridden by TPTB, but it's always worked out pretty darn well, anyway.
Is Brion fully mind controlled by Zviad? Does he not have his own will? Is every decision he makes really a Zviad decision?
He has his own will. As STATED CLEARLY on the show, Zviad can only nudge him toward his own worse impulses. (Or occasionally toward any impulse, really.)
How many people (roughly, by orders of 10, or you can confirm that it's a non-zero entity if the specific number is a spoiler) has Jade killed?
What kind of notoriety does Jade have as a professional assassin in the grander world? Was her zenith ever just "another shadow" or did she build up a bigger rep to the level of her father?
It'a a non-zero number.
Most people don't know she exists. She had an impressive rep in the clandestine world she operated on, but she was never a Super-villain, per se, like Sportsmaster.
1-How durable are Martians in their natrual Form? miss martian was able to take a casual hit from superman so could she resist low calibr bullets with no physical damage? Or could she survive being hit by a bus?
2-Are atlanteans more durable than Martians in their natrual Form? (If comparing two races is not possible take martian manhunter and aqualad for comparasion)
1. I doubt she could take any bullet - unless someone threw a bullet at her - without ANY damage, unless she was ready for it and used some combination of her morphing and telekinetic abilities to avoid injury. She might survive being hit by a bus, but I'm sure it would do damage.
2. Both are extremely dense, relative to your average Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Beyond that, I'm not interested in making hypothetical comparisons.
Does Tim have stealth-tech in his costume or is he capable of sneaking without it like Dick?
We generally play the Robins as not needing it, do to their training.
Here are some questions about M'Gann:
1. How did Martian Manhunter learn about the value of tolerance and acceptance? Given the fact that he went to Earth in the 1960's, he must have learned about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. He probably even learned about the Holocaust. Was the Civil Rights Movement the reason how J'onn learned about acceptance?
2 Since Earth television was introduced to Mars in the 1960's, what classic TV series would the Martians have seen?
Did these include I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Bewitched?
3. What about when M'Gann and Em'Ree started watching Hello Megan? Did the Martians watch series such as Little House on the Prairie, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family and Happy Days?
4. Would the Martians be exposed to classic films, such as the Godfather, The Wizard of Oz, and Dirty Dancing?
5. Given the caste prejudice occurring on Mars, have the Martians ever seen TV series that deal with racism, such as All in the Family and some episodes of Little House on the Prairie?
6. In India, there is also a caste system that is quite similar to the one on Mars. The Indian caste system is based on one's surname. Like the caste system on Mars, there are four to five categories in the Indian caste system. There are also priests in the caste system that are similar to the yellow Martians. I would like to know if the caste system in India is an inspiration for the caste system on Mars?
If you don't know anything about the caste system in India, you may want to google it and learn more about it.
For the record, please note that her name is M'gann. Not M'Gann.
1. There's no simplistic answer for me to offer here, and I'm not going to write a novel about J'onn's early adventures on Earth on an Ask Greg post.
2. I'm also not going to come up with anything like a comprehensive list. So feel free to use your own imagination for now.
4. To some, yes. I'm not going to give specific examples.
5. I'm sure they've had access to television that deals with racism, yes. I'm not going to give specific examples.
6. It was, in part.
Why did superman not realize Garfield was also has depression over suberboy's death during the trip back to earth from mars?
The trip back was on the Javelin, which can travel at post-light speeds, and thus took very little time to return to Earth. AND BOTH OF THEM were understandably down over Superboy's death. It's hard to notice any distinction between depression and mourning, especially in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy.
Hey Greg, after watching the spectacular Spider-Man a thought came to me about Young Justiceâs Mary.
Do you think her situation with power obsession is comparable to what happened with Eddie Brock? With him being obsessed about Being Venom,
The biggest difference I see is that the symbiotic is somewhat sentient, and the power of SHAZAM is not.
Second question was that power withdrawal /obsession Mary suffered something Black Adam, Billy or Freedy also felt?
Also, do you think Maryâs obsession with her power had to do with low self steem on her normal self?
Blank Adam is also transformed all the time, but he also has that rapid aging problem to have him donât bother, doesnât he?
It seemed like this only affected Mary of all the holders of Shazam we know so far. Unlike, say, Venom who was trying to corrupt the minds or both Peter and Eddie, The problem seems to be on Maryâs end completely,
Thank you Greg.
1. It's an interesting thought.
2. No spoilers.
3. I don't want to oversimplify, but I think that's in the mix.
4. No spoilers.
5. No spoilers.
What happened to Dr. Strange before Economos became warden?
When did Courtney Whitmore become Stargirl?
1. He freed everybody and ran.
2. Team Year Nine.
How exactly did Granny Goodness know about Mary Bromfield's magic power-abusing problem, and what exactly does she have to gain by manipulating Mary into becoming Sergeant Marvel again?
1. That's a very good question. Maybe she's following her on Twitter?
2. A lot. See episode 426 for starters.
1. Since it seems original to this series, what influenced the decision to make Harm's sword specifically a sword of Beowulf? Was it possibly a reference to DC's 1970s sword-n-sorcery Beowulf book, just a personal fondness for the original poem, or some other reason?
2. Some DC properties drawn on the Juedo-Christian Bible- i.e., sometimes the Phantom Stranger is hinted to be Judas Iscariot, or Vandal Savage to be Cain. Without going into any specific future character plans, are you COMFORTABLE incorporating details like that, given... ah... possible contention? (I think you mentioned something like that being a concern when working on Gargoyles)
Anyway, I love all I've seen of work and hope you are well.
1. So long ago... I'm guessing it seemed to fit our needs. Though I am very familiar with the Beowulf story, so that may have had an influence.
2. We haven't hit any walls in that regard so far. And I doubt we would on HBO Max. So, the short answer is, yes, I'm comfortable.
In episode 4x11,
1. Was the version/appearance of Billy Batson seen by Mary his 2010 appearance? Or was it meant to mimic his hitherto unseen 2014-ish appearance that he would have looked like the first time he convinced Mary to stop transforming? And whichever the answer is, why did Mary/Nabu (whoever conjured the illusion) choose to make him appear that way?
2. Is there a reason besides availability that Eric Lopez voiced Billy here and not one of the previous voice actors? I thought it was good, but you could kinda tell that it was an adult trying to be a child.
3. Is the fact that she needed outside intervention (if an illusion of Billy even counts as outside intervention since she may have conjured it herself) a sign that she kinda cheated the test and was not in fact ready for the fight?
4. Previously, as far as I can find, the only descriptor given by you of the Marvel family's relationship has been that the other 3 are Billy's "three best school friends". Is there a reason beyond that that he referred to her as sis, or are they just that close of friends?
1. It seems it was supposed to be his 2011 appearance. I can't remember why.
1a. Her subconscious brought forth this young version of Billy. I'll leave it to each viewer's interpretation as to why she chose that specifically.
2. In nearly ALL animation, adults play children. YJ occasionally was the exception to that rule. Robert Ochoa, the original actor for Young Billy is no longer that young, so it didn't make too much sense to bring him back and have him pretend to be young. I'm very happy with the job Eric did. And it saved us money on our budget, which is always a concern.
3. That was our thinking, yes.
4. I think I've revealed before that Billy and Mary are biological twins, separated at birth. They eventually learn that they're siblings.
1) Do Beast Boy & Miss Martian know that it was Queen Bee who murdered Marie Logan?
2) Do they want justice or revenge?
3) Have they not pursued justice because there just isn't a viable way of doing that - short of murdering a head of state?
3. Who says they haven't pursued it?
Some Zeta questions that hopefully don't cross the line into spoilers.
1. You've revealed that Jay Garrick and Bart Allen were given the Zeta designations A-13 and A-14 respectively, but we haven't seen those numbers used on screen. So how are they actually read out by the computer? Is it Flash A-13 and Impulse A-14, or Jay Garrick A-13 and Bart Allen A-14, or one codename and one secret identity?
2. Same question for Lucas "Snapper" Carr A-01. Is he Snapper, Snapper Carr, Lucas Carr?
3. Is there an in-universe reason why Dick, when assigning G-series designations, used the last name-comma-first name format when the A-series designations we've seen are just first name-last name?
And a couple that I think will be spoilers:
4. Did Eduardo Dorado, Sr receive a Zeta designation during/because of his work on the Erdel Initiative?
5. Were the Doom Patrol ever given Zeta designations during a hypothetical JL/DP crossover adventure?
1. A-13 was Jay Garrick. A-14 was Impulse.
2. A-01 was Snapper Carr but was updated to Lucas Carr between Seasons One and Two.
5. No spoilers. (You had to push your luck, Caleb.)
Hi, Greg. Amazing show, loving Phantoms so far (ep. 13, waiting for the date for the 2nd part of the season).
Why you can say that Robin (Tim) and Wonder Girl (Cassie) are done for but not if Zatanna and Dick are done for? Itâs because Tim and Cass are not as important as Dick and Zee?
Did you expect for your new relationships to be as well accepted as they were or they surpass your expectations? Iâm talking about Spitfire, SuperMartian and Chalant that became fan favorites in no time.
Anyway hope you and yours stay whelmed and much health to all of you.
1. This is exactly why I shouldn't ever say anything. Because fans compare responses to different questions and then make assumptions based on those comparisons. Cassie and Tim are very clearly over in the show. Dick is very clearly with Barbara. Beyond that... write your own fanfiction, I guess.
2. Everyone forgets. Back in the day, I got a TON of negative feedback on both the Superboy/Miss Martian relationship and on the Artemis/Kid Flash relationship. Now, they're held up as perfection and used to attack what we've done since. It's a head shaker, mostly.
Hey, follow up to an earlier question.
This one, specifically two where you were confused. By Stellar Geography I had meant a map of the Milky Way Galaxy in the verse, like this one that Transformers Animated has.
You also see them in series like Star Wars and Star Trek, where there are maps to show you how close planets are and where they are relative to each other. Do you have anything like that for Earth-16?