Young Justice creators Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman reveal which characters were off-limits to them when they first started the series.
The creators of Young Justice reveal which characters were off-limits to them when they first started the series. Young Justice premiered on Cartoon Network with a special two-episode premiere on November 26, 2010 and continued its run for two seasons on the network until it was canceled in 2013. However, the series gained a passionate fanbase and was eventually brought back for a long-awaited third season on the DC Universe app in 2019 before moving over to HBO Max for season 4, Young Justice: Phantoms.
The series focuses on a covert team of superhero sidekicks that includes Robin, Aqualad, Kid-Flash, Miss Martian, Superboy, and Artemis. The team would be joined by Zatanna and Rocket in season 1, with other popular DC heroes joining in the later seasons, including Beast Boy, Cyborg, Static Shock, and more. As the roster expanded, many of the original team members took a backseat to new additions, but Young Justice: Phantoms has put the focus back on the original team, and at one point, season 1 could have included some other iconic DC characters.
In an open Q & A with Young Justice creators, Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman, held by DC Comics, the duo reveals guidelines that were given to them during the beginning of the series’ run. Weisman revealed that the characters Darkseid, both the Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark version of Wonder Girl, and Ted Kord/Blue Beetle were off-limits during season 1. They have since been allowed to use those characters in the series and reveal that no other character has been off-limits.
“Way back at the beginning of season one, we were told there were four characters who were off-limits to us: Darkseid, Wonder Girl/Donna Troy, Wonder Girl/Cassie Sandsmark and Blue Beetle/Ted Kord. We have no idea why those particular characters were off-limits, and obviously those restrictions were eventually lifted, as all four have since appeared in the series. Since then, there have been no other characters that were declared off-limits.”
The reason the characters were off-limits is not clear, but other DC projects in development at the time may have been the reason. In 2010, it was reported that a Blue Beetle series was in development, and while it was set to focus on the Jaime Reyes version of the character, it is likely that DC did not want multiple versions of the same character in multiple media so as to not confused audiences. NBC was also developing a Wonder Woman series starring Adrianne Palicki in 2010 and likely wanted that to be the only Wonder Woman-related character. DC and Warner Bros. used to have a much stricter rule about having multiple versions of the character at a time across different media, but that has eased in recent years.
Since Young Justice season 1, the various characters have appeared, with Darkseid being teased as The Light’s partner and the main threat of season 3. Donna Troy made her first appearance in season 3 as an ambassador for Themyscira at the United Nations. Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl was introduced in season 2 and has since been a member of both the team and the Outsiders, where she now acts as the team’s leader. Ted Kord was killed by the Light before the events of season 2, with the scarab landing near Jaime Reyes and him becoming the team’s new Blue Beetle. In the 12 years since Young Justice premiered, the inclusions of these characters shows just how much DC and Warner Bros.’ implementation of these characters and rules have changed.
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Source: DC Comics
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