Joey Sack ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Official Description: The league is back! For the first time in over a decade, the founding members of the acclaimed series “Justice League” will reunite at NYCC! Join Batman (Kevin Conroy), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), Superman (George Newbern), Green Lantern (Phil LaMarr), Hawkgirl (Maria Canals-Barrera), Martian Manhunter (Carl Lumbly) and legendary Voice Director Andrea Romano as they reminisce about their fondest memories from the show, answer questions from the Fans, perform a live table read from an original JL script and more. The Watchtower is calling – we’ll see you there!
For people growing up from the early 1990s to the mid 2000s, there are only a handful of voice actors from superhero shows who truly stand the test of time. These are, of course, the voice actors behind the final shows in the DC Animated Universe: Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. And in this panel, six of the seven original members of the League joined forces after nearly a decade since their last meeting.
Andrea Romano, the voice director behind all of the DCAU shows, as well as many other beloved animated series, recalled some of the challenges of figuring out the voices behind such classic characters: “Each one, by itself, is daunting,” Romano said. “The responsibility is so huge … we were lucky because Kevin Conroy agreed to go on as Batman.” She touched on how she met the other voice actors, while also taking time to talk about how much she enjoyed working with the late Dwayne McDuffie, the writer behind many DCAU projects, including Justice League and Static Shock. She noted how McDuffie would adapt Justice League episodes from various graphic novels, and said “there’s a skill to writing comic books, and [Dwayne was a master at it].” Phil LaMarr, the voice actor behind Green Lantern, particularly appreciated the subtle nods to various DC Comics storylines in McDuffie’s scripts, remembering times when he would look over at McDuffie when he spotted them and McDuffie would nod at him.
Conroy, meanwhile, spoke to the transition from Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League: “Up until [Justice League], I had been the superhero … [Batman] was the hero … then, suddenly, I’m one of seven … and I was the only one without superpowers.” He also noted that it was like being the lead actor and then having “six other leads;” as such, the actors only had a few minutes to establish their characters in order to make way for the other characters onscreen.
The voice actors also did table reads of three episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited: “Secret Origins, Part 2,” “This Little Piggy,” and “Destroyer.” All three episodes elicited laughter and cheers from the audience, the highlight was probably Kevin Conroy and Susan Eisenberg reprising their roles of Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively, in a scene from “This Little Piggy.” During the reading, Conroy, as Batman, lists off the reasons why he and Wonder Woman shouldn’t date, and after he says “I’m a rich kid with issues … lots of issues,” Conroy ad-libbed the line “Baby, have I got issues,” which was both unexpected and hilarious for all involved. Of course, the crowning achievement of this moment was when Conroy began singing “Am I Blue?” from the episode, eliciting thunderous applause.
The subsequent Q&A featured some of the typical questions, mostly aimed at Kevin Conroy’s Batman (because, as everyone knows, he is Batman). During the Q&A, Conroy talked about the decision to use different voices for Batman and Bruce Wayne, to make it more plausible that the people of Gotham wouldn’t recognize the most eligible billionaire bachelor with a mask on; in Conroy’s own words, “He puts on a mask and no one believes it’s him?!” Another question asked was about how to be a good voice actor, which gave Andrea Romano a chance to point out how important being a good actor is to being a good voice actor; she also emphasized the need to learn everything you can from any and every source of voice acting, from movies to commercials. The panelists also talked about what their favorite lines were, with the highlights being Susan Eisenberg’s “Great Hera!” and Kevin Conroy’s “Am I Blue?”
The panel was not, however, just a chance for fans to reminisce about Justice League and Justice League Unlimited with the voice actors; Andrea Romano also used the panel to announce a Justice League Unlimited DVD box set, coming this fall, which will mark the first time the entire series was available in one place.
At the end of the panel, the voice actors talked as their characters, with Conroy’s Batman once again being a highlight. Another highlight was when they talked, in character, about doing this kind of thing again some time, indicating that the next time this team meets up won’t be so far away as before. For now, as always, the adventure continues. For more New York Comic Con coverage, be sure to check back on Emertainment Monthly.
Joey Sack ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer