Super Types

February 7, 2013

The Dark Knight Returns Part 2: Paley Center Interviews

The Dark Knight Returns may be one of the most important Batman stories ever made, and it’s finally finishing its animated adaptation with the release of The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2. The Paley Center in Beverly Hills, California had the premiere of the feature there, and they had both cast and crew on hand to talk to people. I was there and got to talk to everyone about Batman and dinosaurs, you know, the important things in life.


Andrea Romano was the first person who came out to be interviewed.

My first interview was with dialog/casting director Andrea Romano. She’s responsible for getting just about every voice actor for DC’s cartoons since Batman: The Animated Series. So if you’ve ever loved a voice actor so much you feel they are the voice of a character, you have her to thank for getting them in there. From the mid-1980s she’s been providing voices for so many of the shows I grew up watching; it was an honor to meet her.

Who is your favorite Batman character, hero or villain?

I adore Batman because he’s human, but I’ve recently been fascinated by the character Nightwing. I think he’s fascinating. We haven’t done any sort of extended stories for him. We’ve had him appear a couple of times, and Neil Patrick Harris played him very successfully for us. But that character is fascinating to me because he’s a hero, because he chose to break off from Batman to become his own hero. I’d like to do something with that story more developed.

You’re off to save the day, what dinosaur do you ride in on?

Ooh, dinosaur, brontosaurus. I think I’d want the big, tall, and strong brontosaurus. I’d like a brontosaurus. Good question!

Jay Oliva was wonderfully eager to answer questions.

Jay Oliva directed both Dark Knight Returns films and several other DC animated features and shows. He’s also done storyboard art for tons of shows over the years. He’s been drawing out the ideas for some of my favorite shows, like Batman: Brave and the Bold.

Who is your favorite Batman character, hero or villain?

Villain? I’d say Joker, because of his unpredictability. Depending on who writes or draws him he can have so many different looks, so many different versions of him. Batman, you can only have so much you can change, but with Joker you can come out of left field with anything.

You’re off to save the day, what dinosaur do you ride in on?

Tyrannosaurus Rex, of course, or Spinosaurus. I’d probably have to ride on his head.

Bob Goodman was hard to get a photo of when the interviews started going all over the place.

Bob Goodman has been writing Batman cartoons since all the way back to The New Batman Adventures. He wrote some of my favorite episodes of the Justice League cartoons, including the “Cat and the Canary.”

Who is your favorite Batman character, hero or villain?

Can I say Batman? (Laughs) I do have a real partiality to Scarface and the Ventriloquist. There is an element of split-personality to Batman himself. So you get to play with those parallels with Scarface and the Ventriloquist, plus they are just so much fun. I think in the rogues gallery that’s a character/characters that get short shifted.

You’re off to save the day, what dinosaur do you ride in on?

(Laughs) Wow, that’s a weird question. If the T-Rex is on my side, I guess that’s a pretty good one to have. Have you seen there’s a cartoon on the web recently with those grabber arms screaming, “Now I’m invincible!”? I love that.

The man; the legend.

Executive Producer Bruce Timm would be legend enough just for his art style, but he also was responsible for helping bringing Batman: The Animated Series into the world. He’s written, drawn, produced, and directed all sorts of amazing work for DC.

Who is your favorite Batman character, hero or villain?

Oh god, Batman himself. I know that’s boring, but he’s awesome. He’s just made of awesome. Head to toe.

You’re off to save the day, what dinosaur do you ride in on?

I’m going to save the day? What dinosaur do I ride in on? Damn, that’s a weird question. I’m scared of lizards so I don’t think I’m riding off on a giant lizard. Sorry. Animals freak me out, too, so I’m riding a Vespa. Easy to control.

My last words on this mortal plane may well be "I interviewed Robocop."

This man was someone I grew up watching bust criminals back in the eighties using the latest in technology; Peter Weller was and is Robocop to me. He’s played many roles since, whether it be detectives or serial killers, and now he’s another man busting criminals in the eighties using the latest in technology as the voice of Batman.

Who is your favorite Batman character, hero or villain?

The guy I like the best? The best performance of a villain, as much as one loves all the villains, was definitely Heath Ledger as the Joker. I can’t say I prefer the heroes or the villains as much as I can say for performance. You know and Heath, he has a special place for me ’cause we did a movie together that kind of went nowhere called The Order. He was a marvelous guy and it’s sad that he’s gone. What a stupendous interpretation of the Joker, that particular was it for me.

You’re off to save the day, what dinosaur do you ride in on?

The bird, man. The bird. What’s the bird? Pterodactyl, that’s the one. Gotta fly. Ready for air wars.


So there you have it, folks. Some wonderful people were nice enough to indulge my silly questions, and I thank them, Gary Miereanu, the Paley Center, and Comic Attack for letting me be a part of this event. I’ll also have a review of the Blu-Ray up soon, as well.

Alexander Bustos



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