Geoff Johns, Seth Green & Matt Senreich on the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise
“Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise” airs Sunday, April 7 at 11:30PM on Adult Swim. It features an all new collection of stop-motion animated sketches, like Aquaman talking to a woman’s fish on a first date, the villains going to a nude beach (or so they think), and Lex Luthor’s college band Sexx Luthor.
In the Burbank offices of DC Comics, comic writer and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns joined “Robot Chicken” creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich for an interview about the new special and the seventh season of “Robot Chicken,” which premieres the following Sunday, April 13 at 11:30.
CraveOnline: We’ve heard about a lot of new characters for Batman Vs. Superman, including Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor. We have not heard anything about Supergirl. I would like to suggest Brit Marling to play Supergirl in Batman Vs. Superman.
Matt Senreich: Get on that.
Geoff Johns: Noted.
You know her work?
Geoff Johns: Yes.
Doesn’t she look like Supergirl?
Geoff Johns: She’s not in the “Robot Chicken” special.
Matthew Senreich: She’s not.
Seth Green: Did she play Supergirl somewhere?
No, she just looks like Supergirl and I’m a big fan of her work.
Matthew Senreich: We’ll look to bring her on “Robot.”
Geoff Johns: She can play Supergirl on the next “Robot Chicken” special.
Seth Green: That’ll be November, maybe January before we’re recording.
So Bizarro always says the opposite of anything, and he’s always confused that nobody gets him?
Seth Green: Nobody bothers. You’re talking about an organization of a**holes. None of them have ever bothered to inform him what his handicap is. They just let him fail.
Matthew Senreich: That’s pretty much been Bizarro’s trait since the old “Super Friends” cartoon.
Seth Green: Lex Luthor, nobody in the Legion of Doom has sat Bizarro down and gone, “Hey man, you know, everything you’re saying is the opposite.”
Geoff Johns: I think they just kind of don’t bother with him. He’s just there. I think he probably showed up one day and he’s like a dog and they let him hang around.
Seth Green: He doesn’t get in the way.
Geoff Johns: He has a house though. So he’s not doing that bad.
Matthew Senreich: He’s doing all right for himself. He’s making a good living.
Geoff Johns: He’s living alone, no assisted living.
Seth Green: Get some potted plants. It’s not beautiful.
Matthew Senreich: It’s amazing what we learn from our special about their mundane lives, huh?
Geoff Johns: But his address is upside down though. There’s little details, easter eggs.
The Poison Ivy in this special is extremely busty. Is she based on a specific action figure?
Seth Green: It is. It’s based on a beautiful picture, I can track it down, but it was based on this one graphic that we saw and they just did their best to sculpt it.
So it turns out Aquaman has a very useful power for dating. Has he been undervalued?
Seth Green: Nobody talks about this. but fish are like the ultimate spies in the human world. They see everything, they hear everything, they’re witness to everything.
Matthew Senreich: He’s trying.
Geoff Johns: He’s actually much more powerful than you give him credit for.
He’s the most unsung of all the DC superheroes.
Matthew Senreich: That was kind of what we tried to focus on in our first special. We just love that here’s this character that’s just looked down upon for having no powers whatsoever, and it’s turned into we’ve just accepted his fate for the second special.
Was it time to come out and specifically say that villains all have small penises?
Seth Green: We actually made a universal penis attachment. It started with the DC Special, but we made a universal penis scale. In the season opener of “Robot Chicken” 7…
Matthew Senreich: It’s an Eyes Wide Shut parody.
So every character has the same penis?
Seth Green: We made a universal appendage that could be attached to the puppets.
Matthew Senreich: I think it’s less about the size than the fact that they’re exposed in that moment.
Geoff Johns: That they would mistake a private beach for a nude beach.
Seth Green: They’ve all got identical penises.
I can understand the confusion. It is about privates.
Geoff Johns: Yeah, but they made a leap. Penguin was quick to go there.
Seth Green: You can tell he wanted that to happen.
Matthew Senreich: He might’ve needed that to be the way he wanted it.
Geoff Johns: Scarecrow and Braniac I think were the only ones that were a little bit specialized.
Seth Green: Scarecrow and Penguin both had slight custom ones. Scarecrow, his pubic hair is yarn.
Geoff Johns: So it’s obscure.
Seth Green: Highly customized.
Can we download the Sexx Luthor song on iTunes?
Seth Green: Everybody’s asking that. I can only tell you that when I’ve tried to make songs available in the past, it has not quite worked but I will do my best.
Seth Green: Let’s just not get into it.
Matthew Senreich: We always tell people just e-mail Adult Swim.
Seth Green: E-mail Adult Swim over and over and over again because maybe if the audience let the corporate side that handles that, which is totally separate from the programming side which distributes the actual content, maybe they would do that if they knew there was an interest.
“Family Guy” has a lot of music. Do they have a different arrangement?
Seth Green: I think FBC is a much different supercorp.
Matthew Senreich: Adult Swim is a small cult little family and we love them to death.
Seth Green: They’re a boutique extension of a much larger massive corporation, so trying to do simple things sometimes takes a really long time.
Were the Swamp Thing bumpers a fun way to make fun of the whole death/return trend in comic books?
Geoff Johns: Oh, absolutely. It’s funny, that stuff came out in the last day or two of writing. We were sitting there riffing and just ripping on multiple covers on comic books and the death and return, and it felt like a really fun nod.
Seth Green: There’s that whole sketch about Batman giving Green Arrow a eulogy talking about the death and return.
Geoff Johns: Because really these characters, they’re never going to really die. Part of that is because someone’s going to have a better story for the character later. Yeah, that was definitely a nod at the fun death and return and multiple covers. Then we really did it.
Seth Green: Just to fold inside the looking glass a little deeper.
Geoff Johns: But if we’re making fun of DC comics as a whole, let’s make fun of them as a whole.
Is there more DC material in the upcoming season of “Robot Chicken?”
Matthew Senreich: There is.
Seth Green: We have a couple Man of Steel sketches.
Matthew Senreich: We have a Bane sketch from the movie coming up.
Seth Green: There’s a couple of Bane things. It’s pretty deep in the season right now so I don’t really recall, except for that Eyes Wide Shut. We know that.
The Bane in Dark Knight Rises would have been two years ago. Man of Steel was last year. is that still on the same production timeline?
Seth Green: Right, so we do the Tom Hardy Bane in the opening of the special with the bulldog, and then in the season there’s a Tom Hardy Bane, him trying to talk to Siri with that mask.
Geoff Johns: [Laughs] That’s really funny.
Seth Green: Then my favorite one is that Man of Steel sketch, it’s just that moment where Costner’s like [hand outstretched telling Clark to stop]. We go to town on that moment. Then the notion that Jor-El in holographic form follows Kal-El throughout his time on earth, we play around with that a lot too.
Matthew Senreich: We also have a Donner Superman sketch too. We’re all over the place. We just don’t limit ourselves when we’re writing a regular season of “Robot Chicken.”
Seth Green: There’s a Superman sketch at Christmas too.
Matthew Senreich: Oh yeah, Superman and Santa Claus.
The season premiere is “G.I. Jogurt.” Do you still have more to say about “G.I. Joe?”
Seth Green: So each one of the episodes are named after a fictitious store inside the pop culture mall that will be our DVD. So when you see the DVD, it’ll be a map of a mall and each one of the episodes are going to be a store. So it’s stuff like G.I. Jogurt.
Matthew Senreich: Batman Forever 21. Just dumb weird things.
Seth Green: It’s just stupid. It just made us laugh honestly.
That’s pretty forward thinking to name the episodes for the DVD.
Matthew Senreich: Season four we had “I’m Trapped,” “In a DVD Factory.” If you go back and look at the list, it’s like a message in a bottle.
Seth Green: It was about that time that we realized that the DVDs were that valuable.
Matthew Senreich: Every season has something like that with a hidden message.
Geoff, you’ve got “Gotham” coming up on Fox. Is there any overlap between the rights for characters on “Arrow?”
Geoff Johns: Oh, I can’t really talk about that kind of stuff, sorry.