Legion of Super-Heroes Comic-Con Talk

Plus, super-hero animation giant Bruce Timm talks about his long career.
Super-hero animation legend Bruce Timm talked about his career during a Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon panel held during Comic-Con recently. He was joined by producer James Tucker ("Justice League"), story editor Rob Hoagee ("Teen Titans"), and voice actors Shawn Harrison, Kari Wahlgren, Michael Cornaccia, Yuri Lowenthal, and Andy Milder.

The series begins airing this fall on Kids' WB!

Harrison (Timberwolf) said: "I like to pick up stuff and throw it. And I like to maul things with my claws."

Cornaccia (Bouncing Boy) added, simply: "I'm Bouncing Boy. I bounce."

Wahlgren (Saturn Girl & Triplicate Girl) said her Imra Ardeen character can cast illusions (like Princess Projectra) and Salu Digby can split into three separate versions of herself.

Milder said he's been a Legion fan for some time: "I grew up reading 'Legion'…. I was a big 'Legion' fan. My cat was named Streaky when I was kid."

Lowenthal wanted fans to know he plays Superman, not Superboy. Why Superman and not Superboy, as in the comics? Hoagee explained: "The Legion of Super Heroes is a relatively new organization and they get a little over their heads with a little organization that calls itself The Fatal Five. They decide they need some help in a big way, so Braniac 5 decides 'hey let's just go back in time and get the greatest superhero ever.' Only they don't actually end up in the Metropolis in Justice League era. They get there a little too soon and find Clark Kent who is certainly aware of his powers but not quite of his own destiny… so the Legion teaches Clark how to use his power and Clark teaches the Legion how to be heroes… and it's a nice little synergy between this up-and-coming hero who certainly is in a league of his own in the universe and a group of ideological kids who essentially looked up to this person all their lives."

Why the Old School Legion names such as Triplicate Girl instead of Triad, Lightning Lad instead of Live Wire, etc.? Tucker replied: "He's not Live Wire," Tucker said. "What's that mean? He's Lightning Lad. It's what he does."

Expect more Legion characters to appear because "it's a big Legion," he said.

Although longtime Legion fans will like the show, according to former Legion artist Chris Batista, "we're doing this for kids, first and foremost."

Timm talked about how the Superman animated series opened the doors for so much more in the animated DC Universe. "Superman opened the floodgates," Timm said. With Batman, "we tried to play it straight… tried to keep it grounded in a kind of reality," but in "Superman" they began using characters like Green Lantern and the Flash, setting the groundwork for shows like "Justice League."

Regarding Batman Beyond, Timm said: "We hated the idea, too! But once we started thinking about it, it was kind of fun." Timm said one of the successes of "Batman Beyond" is "you don't feel like, okay, we're watching another toy commercial." Timm said the irony of the show is that even though it was "created to be a much more younger-skewing show, it's easily the nastiest show we've done," according to Comic Book Resources.

He added that he preferred Batman Beyond's Return of the Joker to Batman's Mask of the Phantasm. "We were trying so hard to make 'Phantasm' dark, that it's kind of a downer; 'Return of the Joker' is one of the best things we've done."

And, Timm said that he didn't want to make a Justice League cartoon initially because in older JLA comics all of the teammates had "exactly the same personality." He agreed to do it for the money. Competition from "X-Men: Evolution" and "Samurai Jack" forced him to make the series better. "The bar had been raised," he said "and not by us."

Adding in Green Arrow, Black Canary, the Question and other fringe DC characters was also a highlight, he said. "I never thought I'd live to see The Question be a cartoon," Timm said.

Timm's next project is The Death of Superman.

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