New characters, bigger baddies, and bolder stories await fans in the second season of the 'Legion of Super Heroes' on the WB. The second season was previewed last week at San Diego Comic-Con. Comics2Film caught the panel and also spoke with director Brandon Vietti.
Probably the biggest change fans will recognize is that time has passed between season one and two - approximately 1-2 years. Executive producer James Tucker explains, "Well the great thing about Legion is, if you're a Legion fan of the comic book every so often they do a reboot working in different eras, and so going into the second season the mandate was to up kind of the ante."
This change allowed the crew to tell more intense, exciting, and adult (relative) stories where the danger is great. While Vietti enjoyed the first season, he thinks the second season is going to be even better: "I love what they've done with the show - everything's more grown up."
Vietti, who is himself new to the show in the second season, has had a great time working with the show's crew. Plotting out the second season, Vietti praised his old 'The Batman' coworker Michael Jelenic who joins the show as story editor and writer, "I thought he did a great job and I love working with that guy."
Yuri Lowenthal returns as the voice of Superman but will also be voicing a new futuristic cloned version of the Last Son of Krypton. During the preview clip there's some silhouetted clips suggesting that Drax (the Phantom Zone criminal from Season 1) will be involved with somehow with the clone. M'Onel was one character that the new clone will apparently resemble in terms of personality and attitude. Lowenthal let slip that he'll end up playing three Supermen (Supermans?) in one episode.
On the decision to go with Imperiex as big villain this season Tucker said he wanted to go with a lesser known character who they could pump up and improve upon, "We picked someone who maybe the fans wouldn't care too much about if we tweaked him a little. He's way cooler in the show and I think you'll grow to appreciate him as a villain in his own right."
Phil Morris, the voice of Imperiex, is no stranger to the DC Comics universe having voiced Vandal Savage in 'Justice League', acted as 'Smallville's John Jones (Martian Manhunter), and recorded the voice of King Faraday in the upcoming 'New Frontier' movie. A genre fan to begin with, Morris was very enthusiastic about voicing the over-the-top evil character, "Imperiex is such a bad cat that you don't know if someone's going to get killed in the episode or if he's going to accomplish his task."
Morris and Lowenthal recall Morris' reactions to leaving the voice recording, that he'd would exercise out all his anger and frustration voicing Imperiex and then leaving the studio in a bubbly mood.
Regarding the new Legionnaires for season 2, quite a few characters were mentioned: Karate Kid, Dream Girl, Dawnstar, Star Boy, Tyroc, Invisible Kid, and Chameleon Boy who Vietti noted would be a member of the unofficial core team. Jelenic explains the process for selecting team members, "That's sort of the thing about the Legion there's like a ridiculous amount of characters - there's like hundreds and hundreds and its like who are you going to choose. At the end of that we're talking about who would be a great addition and I think Chameleon Boy is pretty obvious."
In choosing other characters to feature, Tucker looks at what characters' stories are most compelling and will make for great half hour episodes, "Well with animation you have to go by what's the strongest visual. What's going to pop off the screen and people will instantly know what that character's about. Some of the Legion characters aren't quite that visual. And you don't get them right at first glance so that was our first way of picking who to use."
Jelenic thinks Chameleon Boy is the perfect mix of humor and heroism, "We wanted to bring another thing of added comic relief and that's the one thing that Alex [Polinksy] really brings to the character he voices it in such a way where's it's still you know he's a fierce super-hero and he can still kick ass and I think everyone will really like him a lot. We kind of describe him as Eddie Haskell as a shapeshifter."
Alex Polinsky, the voice of Matter-Eater Lad and Chlorophyll Kid in the first season, says that Chameleon Boy will be a smack talker, bantering in higher pitched, impish tones. Because the time passed between seasons, Chameleon Boy will already be a member of the team and his father ( R.J. Brande?) will be helping to finance the team.
Tucker said they save more complicated characters as cameos or else they've gradually pulled them in over the course of the show so that people will get to know them. In the preview clips other 'minor' characters appear such as Blok, Chameleon Boy, and Colossal Boy also appear, many with new costumes. Wildfire was one hero mentioned as being saved for future seasons.
In terms of villains there were mentions of perhaps Computo being involved in the 'creation' of Duo Damsel, Nemesis Kid, Grimbor, the Dark Circle , and a return of the Light Speed Vanguard (Legion of Super Villains).
When asked about merchandising Vietti has heard mentions of an action figure line but notes that August's McDonald's Happy Meal Legion figures will be making it to fans first.
The second season of 'Legion of Super-Heroes' premieres on Saturday, September 22 on the Kid's WB on the CW.