DCN Exclusive: Interview With Greg Weisman

Greg Weisman on Young Justice Season 3

DC Comics News Assistant Editor Kevin Gunn conducts an interview with producer and writer extraordinaire Greg Weisman. Recently, Weisman has suggested if fans wanted to revive the popular, but defunct, series Young Justice that they watch past episodes on Netflix and buy Blu-Ray versions of the series.

Kevin Gunn: Greg… can I call you Greg?

Greg Weisman: Please do.

KG: First off, thank you for granting us this interview.

GW: You’re welcome.  Is it over now?

KG: (Laughter) Several of our fans are Young Justice fans (and who isn’t a YJ fan), but you have an extensive history in comic books and animation. In animation you did work on Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man to name a few. What other projects have you worked on that we may not know about…preferably DC related.

GW: DC-related, huh?  Okay, I co-wrote Captain Atom for years in the late 80s with Cary Bates.  I’ve also written a DC Showcase: Green Arrow short.  Plus multiple episodes of The Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold and one episode of Beware the Batman.  There’s also been a lot more comics and animation that I’ve written or developed based on DC characters, which unfortunately has never seen the light of day.

Robin, Speedy and Aqualad are about to enter The Hall of Justice with mentors Batman, Green Arrow and Aquaman.
Robin, Speedy and Aqualad are about to enter The Hall of Justice with mentors Batman, Green Arrow and Aquaman.

KG: Ok. Young Justice premiered on November 26, 2010. How did it come to be? How did you find out that you and Brandon Vietti would be working on this project?

GW: Warner Bros Animation head honcho Sam Register teamed us up to develop a Green Lantern series.  That was later postponed, so he put us on Space Ghost, instead.  We were excited about both projects, but neither went, and he finally assigned us Young Justice.  We were NOT initially excited about that.  Instead we were scared of it because Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans had all been recent successes and seemed to leave us no room to do anything original.  But Brandon came up with the covert ops angle, and we were off to the races…

KG: I love how you paid homage to prior shows like Justice League and even The Super Friends, but still made Young Justice something fresh that had not been done before. Who’s decision was it to add those little nuances?

Producers pay homage to "The Super Friends" with pastiches of El Dorado, Apache Chief, Black Vulcan (Static) and Samarai.
Producers pay homage to “The Super Friends” with pastiches of El Dorado, Black Vulcan (Static), Apache Chief and Samarai.

GW: Those touches came from both of us here and there, although Brandon was definitely the driving force behind adding in the Young Justice versions (Tye, Asami, Ed, Virgil) of The Super Friends characters (Apache Chief, Samurai, El Dorado, Black Vulcan).

KG: Was there some aspect from previous DC Comics’ shows you wish you could have added in either one of the two seasons?

GW: We were pretty happy with what we accomplished.

KG: Young Justice brought depth to characters that, quite frankly, hasn’t been seen since Batman: The Animated Series. What character from each team, THE TEAM and Justice League do you relate to the most, and why?

GW: I relate to all of them, heroes and villains alike.  Otherwise, how would I be able to write for them?

KG: Whose decision was it to make a jump of five years from Season One to Season Two?

GW: As with everything, it was a mutual decision between myself and Brandon.

YJS2
Season Two progressed the characters 5 years. “The Team” roster expanded, and Dick Grayson become Nightwing.

KG: If there would have been a Season Three, would time have advanced again, and by how many years?

GW: Normally, my answer to this would be NO SPOILERS.  But we’ve already revealed that there would be a time jump between Seasons Two and Three – assuming we ever get a Season Three.  As to how long… NO SPOILERS.

KG: When did you find out the series would be cancel after just two seasons?

GW: Toward the end of the writing process on Season Two, though they don’t call it a cancellation.  They just say, “You’re not being picked up for a third season.”

KG: Were there plans for a third season before you found out?

GW: There were plans for a dozen seasons before we were done writing Season One.  I’m exaggerating a little.  But only a little.

KG: And if there were plans, what new characters were scheduled to appear? Personally, I would hope The Team would find a way to bring Wally back.

GW: NO SPOILERS.  NO CONFIRMATION.  NO DENIAL.  NO COMMENT.  NO GUARANTEES.  And by the way, we don’t take requests.

KG: Fair enough. Recently, you posted on Twitter that if fans wanted a third season, the best way to get one was to watch Young Justice on Netflix and purchase the Blu-Rays. Did Warner Bros. Animation specifically say this?

GW: No, but it’s obvious.  Fans ask me all the time what they can do.  They suggest petitions, etc.  But most of those don’t hit the studios where they live.  But every single time a fan watches an episode of Young Justice (Season One or Season Two now, as well), that registers with Netflix.  Every time someone purchases (first hand – not second hand) a BluRay or a DVD, that registers with Warner Bros.  Every time someone buys our Young Justice companion comics off of Comixology, that registers with DC Comics.  These are methods that put actual dollars into the pockets of these corporate entities.  These are methods that have the fans voting with their wallets.  And that’s what we need: to prove to these companies that Young Justice is a financially viable property.  It offers no guarantees, but I sincerely believe it’s the best shot we’ve had at getting the show back since we went off the air.

KG: Is there a benchmark that they are looking for to make it happen?

GW: I have no idea.  So #KeepBingingYJ!

KG: Speaking of Netflix, could we get a Season Three on a digital platform like Netflix?

GW: It’s theoretically possible.

KG: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

GW: Well, they’re not DC properties, but I wouldn’t mind shilling a bit for my two comic book series: Star Wars Kanan and Starbrand & Nightmask, both from Marvel.  Also Gargoyles Cinestory Volume One from JoeBooks.  Plus my two novels, Rain of the Ghosts and Spirits of Ash and Foam.  Both are available in bookstores or on Amazon.  If you like my work on Young Justice, I truly believe you’ll like these books.  In addition, we have recorded a full-cast unabridged AudioPlay version of Rain of the Ghosts, featuring an original score by the Young Justice composers and voice work by many of the Young Justice actors (including Thom Adcox/Klarion, Edward Asner/Kent Nelson, Jeff Bennett/Red Tornado, Steve Blum/Count Vertigo, Bryton James/Static, Josh Keaton/Black Spider, Eric Lopez/Blue Beetle, Vanessa Marshall/Black Canary, Jacqueline Obradors/Alanna, Gregg Rainwater/Tye Longshadow, Marina Sirtis/Queen Bee, Brent Spiner/Joker and, <ahem>, Greg Weisman/Lucas Carr).  You can download it now at Gumroad.com/RainoftheGhosts.

KG: Again, thank you Greg for talking to us! And let’s hope fans buy those Blu-Rays and watch YJ on Netflix!

GW: Thank you!  And #KeepBingingYJ!!!!!

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Kevin Gunn

Kevin is married with 4 children and 4 grandchildren. He lives in Louisville, KY. He loves all things related to DC Comics, even movies that get a bad rep like "Batman & Robin" and "Catwoman". Kevin began writing for the site in 2015 as a Staff Writer. His passion for writing stories caught the eye of the editorial staff, and earned him a position as Assistant Editor. He has a degree in Communication from the University of Louisville. His favourite DC hero and villain are Black Lightning and Black Manta respectively. Kevin tries to exemplify being a hero everyday by helping others. Something interesting about him: he was a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune". - Follow him on Twitter - @captsigma