Presenting a more light-hearted take on what superheroes get up to when they’re not saving the world, Teen Titans Go! has been a hit with its young audience. Currently in its third season, we spoke to co-creator Michael Jelenic about playing in the DC ball pit…
Do you even need DC superheroes to pull off such crazy jokes?
Michael Jelenic: Maybe, maybe not. I think these characters are the characters that we know, we are staying true to their personalities and a lot of it is drawn from 2003 series. In some regards, yeah, they don’t have to be superheroes, but I think lot of the humour actually comes from the fact that those characters are supposed to be aspirational, you’re supposed to look up to them and they’re supposed to be heroes. And they’re not acting heroically. In some ways it accentuates the comedy, that you have people you have some perception of and then we sort of subvert this perception.
Is there a line you wouldn’t cross?
DC might have some lines, but, surprisingly, they have not told us. I think DC understands what the show is and that it doesn’t affect the wider DC universe. It’s just fun. They are less precious about these characters ’cause they exist in the way everyone is used to in comic books.
Do you have a consultant of sorts to guide you through DC lore?
I’ve been working on DC shows for ten years, so I know the lore pretty well. And some of it definitely influences. If you watch an episode, for instance, where we have Robin teaming up with all the different Robins, from Jason Todd to Tim Drake, that’s drawn from the comic. We have an episode when Darkseid is coming in… But in our version Darkseid is voiced by Weird Al Yankovic, so it’s not like deep, imposing one that you would get from comic book, more serious version.
Can we expect some Easter eggs for comic book readers?
Sure, there are lots of fans working on the show and they’d put Easter eggs whether they’re visual, or sometimes we’d take plotlines and stories from the 2003 series, that also drew a lot from comics. We’d take inspiration from anywhere, but we know that our show is not the show to tell those necessary comic book stories, but if we can do a funny take on one, we’ll do that!
Teen Titans Go! is currently airing on Cartoon Network. For up-to-date news on the biggest TV series, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.