Tim Sheridan Talks Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Teen Titans, and more! (part two)
We are lucky enough today to get to sit down with writer Tim Sheridan and talk about his work on the new Masters of the Universe Revelations! Join Jeff in this wonderful conversation and before to come back for part two!
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Part one of this interview:
“Drinks and Comics with Spoiler Country!”
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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas
Theme music by Ardus
Tim Sheridan – Video Interview Part 2
[00:00:00] Jeff: the cast is absolutely amazing. I mean, Phil Lamarr is playing hero.
I mean, there’s, so there’s so many amazing actors in this and I mean, as you, and I think it’s really cool that when you found out who, um, evil was playing evil Lynn, you changed the dialogue to fit in, you know, to make it sing for the actress, who’s going to be doing it.
Tim Sheridan: Can I stop you for a second and just say, I don’t even think of that.
As, as in my mind, the way that work situation work, it wasn’t me going in and. And adjusting the dialogue to her. It was her speaking to it was her work that I just, I heard it all differently because of everything I knew about her as an actor, I don’t know her personally, you know, I didn’t know her. I didn’t, I couldn’t have spoken to a person, but you know, or who she was, the person, I didn’t know her, but I knew her work and it changed everything.
So I, in that situation, it’s weird to say it, I guess, but all [00:01:00] credit goes to her. It was only because of her work up to that point, that changed how that, you know, that dialogue works to, to match, you know, her abilities and her talents.
Jeff: And how about something, like I said, you had so many great voice actors and I mean, it’s a who’s who of voice acting or the other characters who like, when you found out that Alan Oppenheimer is being Moss made that you thought I got to beef up boss Mosman now, because I got literally Alan open-hand, Bruce skeletal from the original show, not playing Mazda that now I gotta do.
Was there other instances where you felt something had to get beefed up because the actor was so cool who was doing that role now? Well, I mean, look,
Tim Sheridan: you know, I’m, I, the easiest one for me is Lena, but the, the fact is when we knew that we had, you know, that mark Hamill was gonna play Skeletor. You know, that I think understandably, right.
It, it, it, it makes you feel so safe. You know, I’ve worked with mark before on justice league action. When he played joker, [00:02:00] I had also worked with Diedrich Bader who played booster gold on justice league action, which was a, a go-to character for me that I, because, because of, and that’s another example of it because of Dietrich’s work on that character.
It just, I couldn’t get his voice out of my head. And I don’t mean just the sound of it. I mean, the way he embodied that character, couldn’t get it out of my head. I still can’t to this day, everything, I, every time I write a comedic sort of, you know, you know, for lack of a better word for booster gold, buffoonish kind of character you know, which he kind of was on that show.
Although I think he’s more than that. He you know, that, that, that informed everything and it just, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I kept wanting to write more and more of, of him playing that character. So he he’s playing king Randor and then, you know, which is a very different character than booster gold, but I know that guy.
And I know what he can do and I never for a minute thought, he’s, you know, whoa, he, he’s not gonna bring something amazing to king Randor no, he’s going to do an incredible job. Just like mark [00:03:00] Hamill. You know, you’re going to get a fantastic rendition of skeleton, embodiment of Skeletor and Alan Oppenheimer.
I mean, you know, the legacy. So, you know, how lucky are we, how lucky are the fans to get to to have these actors playing these, these, these characters. That means so much to so many
Jeff: people and, and w and also the, the, the, the Mondo side character that show up in He-Man over the original series is immense.
I mean, are their surprise characters like Festo could show up, is there extend or going to show up a real blossoming? Are we seeing other, gonna be some surprise characters are gonna be like, holy crap.
Tim Sheridan: I mean, I don’t know. I can’t speak to any of that. Yeah. Okay. Go translate that to, I know. And I won’t tell you, okay.
Jeff: I can either wing grab your ear,
Tim Sheridan: That, that kind of juicy gossip to to folks like to Kevin , to [00:04:00] reveal to the world about sort of what we can expect from the show I, in terms of plot and characters and things like that, you know, for me, I just like any opportunity and thank you for giving me one here to talk about what a joyful experience it was working on that show, and then the joyful experience of getting to revisit it with these prelude comics for dark horse that will lead into the story in the series.
You know, I it’s, it’s nothing but huge joy that I feel, and, and I don’t want to get away from this topic without. Being very clear about not only I’ve talked about my, my obsession with with Rob David and Mattel and Ted vs Elliott, Netflix were just two, the greatest executives I’ve I’ve ever seen worked with.
But but I can’t, I can’t get out of an interview without telling the world what they already know, but I am happy to add my voice to the pile to say that [00:05:00] Kevin Smith is, if not just the kindest and most generous human being I have ever met in my life, let alone in a Hollywood, but also one of the hardest working, most talented people I’ve ever met.
I didn’t expect any of that. I thought this guy’s a big Hollywood guy and you know what? I didn’t know what to expect. I think I cynically thought, you know, he, he was a guy who was going to lend his name to a project and we would do all the work or, you know, things like that happen in Hollywood. You know, not with Kevin.
Kevin is, I can’t say enough about the man. He was a, he is just so generous. So smart. So talented, joyful, joyous, spreads that joy to everyone else. It’s the thing I, I knew I liked the guy, like from his public persona. But his public persona, it [00:06:00] turns out is very much who he is in private ISA. Just a funny, kind smart, talented guy who made going to work.
Absolutely. Just one of the best times of my life.
Jeff: And if you’re listening to Kevin Smith, come to the show, goddammit, you’re invited several times. So when, when you’re for He-Man, I don’t, you know, you probably can’t tell me, or maybe you can, if, if, if you do know the answer, maybe like, put your nose as a yes.
Is there is a setup for a particular season two already that we are thinking about or know about coming or is this considered a one season in completion?
Tim Sheridan: All right. Now I just, I have an itch on my nose now. I don’t want you to take that as a signal of any kind, because the truth is I have no idea they don’t, I that’s.
So above my pay grade, I don’t know. Okay. I will tell it all. I don’t the way I can answer that question is to say that if, if they called me, I think you can tell from my previous answer that I [00:07:00] would waste no time in in rejoining that amazing group of people. So if, if, you know, let’s, let’s hope that people tune in and that it provides an opportunity for us to go back to it is, you know, that’s the only way these things happen.
I mean, you know, the only way that we get, the only way we get. More DC animated movies or transformer shows or masters of the universe episodes is if people watch it. And if, especially on Netflix, watch it the first weekend, it comes out, you know, they they’re really watching them, the numbers, they wanna, they want to see the fans tuning in and to know that there’s a, that there’s a fan base for it, you know?
So, so, so, so, and, and, and, and I bring that, and I mentioned this because I see there’s always a lot of people online when I have a movie coming out you know, that, you know, at home video and they talk about, you know, just sort of usually will say, oh, where can I download this for free? You know, give me a link to where I can, you know, [00:08:00] it’s just like, it’s so grotesque.
Hmm. Somebody like me to see that being just like discussed openly the way they do, frankly, I don’t want them to discuss a private either because I don’t don’t do that. Right. You don’t get these movies. And these shows, if you steal them, the only way they actually cost money to make. And I know you think these are big giant companies that are making them and, you know, they have all kinds of money.
They only have as much money as you paid them for their products. Companies go out of business all the time companies. And so, you know, please kids. Pay for the thing, if you want it or, or don’t, but then don’t steal it.
Jeff: You know, same thing with Chromebooks books, people, what you need to do buy the fucking comic book.
Right? You want the comma to make another issue? Is that okay? Just to download it? That’s how
Tim Sheridan: you get more. It’s the only way you get more, if you, if everybody [00:09:00] downloads it and you think, I know people think, oh, well not everybody’s downloading. And so it doesn’t matter if I do or not, you know, that kind of mentality of like one person can’t make a difference.
I’m sorry. I don’t want to live in that world.
Jeff: So, yeah. And same thing too. Like once again, we’re thinking of comic books as well. If you’re one of those people who want something to exist, because there’s a lot of people I always hear well, when I’m going to fan groups, shit like that, is that there they’ll talk about a picker combo character.
And they’re like, I love that character. I want them. It’s like, okay, well the issue came out. Did you buy it? Well, no, I just kept up on what was happening. Cause I didn’t want to, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t want to buy it. Right. I was like, no, you idiot buy the damn comic book. That’s how you get your character to show up again.
Don’t wait for maybe commending them 20 years down the road by it. Yeah.
Tim Sheridan: I had a review recently. I think it was on a, kind of a popular site where somebody kind of gave a negative review to something that I had done. And then I, I was told by someone else, cause I know I don’t frequent these things and I don’t look at these things up.
But somebody looked at like there was a Reddit thread or something. In which the author of, of that [00:10:00] review of that bad review was, was on the thread, defending themselves against, you know, fans who really liked the book I put out. And and, and the guy admitted that he had not read it. He said, I, I read a summary of it that I saw somewhere.
And that’s what I was reviewing. And I’m just like, what? You don’t have a job. Like, that’s the law. It’s like 20 pages. Like, come on, just read the thing.
Jeff: I feel the same way when I do these interviews. You know, sometimes, you know, there’s some, you know, movies sometimes it’s, oh, I’ll get like a free preview.
And then when, when the combos come out, I read the column books. If you can spend 25 minutes to read a 20 page column book to properly discuss something, you should just quit.
Tim Sheridan: I tell you what, when I was a kid comic books were cheap, man. Like, you know, you could get comics. I think the first comics I ever had were like a quarter.
Then they went up like [00:11:00] 50 cents. Then they went to 75 cents and they went up to like a dollar and it was like, oh, a scandal. And I get it like comic books, you know, if you’re not into it, they can, they can feel like a big expense. Cause they’re not, they’re not cheap. Although let me tell you, comic books have gotten better.
Like when I was reading comics, they were like, you know, They were cyan, magenta and yellow dots early on when I was a kid, you know, and, and, you know, on, on newsprint, like really crappy newsprint, you know, but the, the, the actual books have gotten better, so you pay for it, but you’re getting something better now.
But you know, but I get it. There’s a, you know, it’s a, it’s an investment that if you want these things, if you like these things, you just have to figure out how to work it into your, your budget. You know, you know, if you want, you know, Netflix, you, you, you buy a Netflix subscription, you know, and even if like, there was a time when I think HBO was like, yeah, it’s okay to share passwords or something, you know?
And even then it’s like, just cause they, you know, don’t do that.
Jeff: Right. [00:12:00] No, I agree. I agree with you a hundred percent. Now, then another thing that you’re working on is teen Titans academy. Did, did, did they come to you with the idea or did you come to them and say, I have an idea for teen Titans academy?
No, no. So
Tim Sheridan: I came in I was very fortunate to I had you know, a bit of a career in animation behind me and the folks at DC wanted to meet some, some new voices and bring in some new voices. And they brought me in and I met with some of the some of the editors there and a couple of them I spoke to and, and we started talking about just stuff that we liked, but.
I did not pitch a teen Titans academy, whole cloth. It was brought to me by Mike Cotton. Who’s my editor at DC. He said, look, we’ve got this thing. We want to do teen Titans academy. What does that sound like to you? And and so, you know, he gave me some, some sort of very general materials that they had been working on and search terms of what the, [00:13:00] what the idea, the basic premise of it would be the, the idea being that the original new teen Titans from the Marv Wolfman George Perez book, which I grew up on that, that would, that those characters would be reunited and that they would be forming an academy to train the next generation of heroes.
And the minute I sort of saw that, I said, okay, yes. And here’s what I would do. And and so then I kind of pitched on where I wanted to go with it. And then we started talking about future state, which were some books that came out earlier this year, my first books that I did, and we sort of used those and we tied those into the teen science academy story.
So it’s all basically one, one, one story. And that includes the Shizam mini series I’m doing as well. It’s all part of the same, the same story arc. So yeah, so they came up, they came to me with, with with a premise and I, I, you know, Took that and ran with it. And I’m very, very grateful to them.
I’ve had a, it’s been an interesting thing. I didn’t know the first thing about writing comics and [00:14:00] some people who read me now will tell you, I still don’t know the first thing about that.
Jeff: Well, one thing I noticed about you is that apparently you love massive casts. You work with transformers and a massive cast.
You work at, He-Man a massive cast and now you got two titles and it’s a massive cast of characters. Well, don’t put this out in the world, please. I beg of you, please.
Tim Sheridan: Let me tell you something. I get this all the time. And like, I it started for me on ring of the Superman. Yeah. It, the Superhead was a very difficult story to adapt, to be a movie because it had so many characters.
It’s like, oh, you’re going to rise. When I got to write Superman man of tomorrow that came out last year. It was like a relief because it’s like, I only had one Superman in Rita, the Superman, I had four plus Lois who was kind of a defacto Superman leader in that story. And then Superman, spoiler alert comes back.
There’s just, there were [00:15:00] so many, so many characters that there’s only so much screen time, and it’s very difficult to make sure that everybody shines and gets their moment. And I said, oh, I never want to do that again. And then, like you said, like it turns out. Like then, then, then I’m doing, you know, the long Halloween part one is coming out this year and like that’s a huge cast.
You know, the comics that you’re transformers is a huge cast, you know, master of the universe. There’s a, as we’ve talked about, there’s a lore, there’s a, I had a whole character compendium, like this big that I brought into those meetings, you know? And then obviously teen Titans academy comes along.
Let me tell you something, this is, this is where you learn how stupid I am. They come to me with yeah. The original Titans, you know, new teen Titans are a form of school to teach some new kids. I could have left it at that, but now I’m like, okay, so [00:16:00] we’ve got the faculty of the school, which are the original Titans, Starfire and Nightwing and cyborg.
And then. We’ve got the upperclassmen at the school, which is a whole other team. You know, the, the characters we’ve seen recently in teen Titans, like roundhouse and crush and Wallace west, you know, and, and and then we’ve got freshmen, which will be these all new brand new characters that I will create that will come in to the school.
And so now I’ve got a book that is a team. It’s not just people tell you when you go into comics, they’re like, don’t do a teen book. Teen books are the hardest books to do. And I, I never really thought about it, but I came in, I accidentally fell into a teen book that I then turned into a okay, stupidest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m having a ball.
And I, I hope people will forgive me if they don’t feel like everybody, every single obscure character that they want to see gets their shiny moment, because I’ve got [00:17:00] only so much real estate, you know, and a lot of story to tell. Well, speaking of not wanting people
Jeff: to give you who they want to see in their comic book, I wouldn’t give you a quick pitch.
If you ever can find room for firestorm and Kyle Rayner. Cause how random was in one of the Titans books, please find room for both. At some point in the future, they’re both two of my favorite cars of all time. Firestorm Kyle
Tim Sheridan: Raynor. I’m a
Jeff: big fan of Colorado. My favorite character of all time. Really?
Yeah. I, I mean, I’ve been buying group. I’ve ever green lantern combo going back to the 1960s, but Kyle Rayner has always been my favorite. Something about him. That they made that you got to watch him grow into being green lantern. That just always sold me on the cars. Like the fact that I knew more about the legacy than he did
Tim Sheridan: always sold me.
Well, that, that’s why I’m a big fan of, I’m a big fan of the Robbins, like all the Robins anywhere. And I’m a big fan of Nightwing. What Tom Taylor you know, is doing Tom and Bruno are doing in in the Nightwing solo series right now is fantastic and everyone should read it. And but I I’m S I love those characters.
[00:18:00] We’ve watched grow up who, who have all these different facets of their personalities that we’ve seen, we’ve gotten to explore and you know, yeah. You know, I, I love characters like that. And unfortunately, when you work in a place like, you know, when there’s a universe of characters like a DC, you know, you never know what is going to be available to you, and what’s not available to you.
I could not believe that I was going to get to use the original new teen Titans lineup from the Wolfman Perez books. But I, I did. And then, you know, we got started on that. And then they announced the Nightwing solo series. And, you know, I was nervous about that, but I remember like when I was a kid, I would read Batman and detective comics at the same time.
And they would have different stories going. And I never felt like. It couldn’t happen. I never felt that was a problem. It could all had to be one continuity. Like I needed to know what Batman was doing on this exact day. There’d be room for what he was doing in detective comics. I never felt that way. And so I don’t feel that way now.
I love what they’re doing in the Nightwing [00:19:00] book. And and I think that we’re a one big happy multi-verse and let’s, let’s all tell our stories side by side and they can all be friends.
Jeff: You know, I agree with you a hundred
Tim Sheridan: percent. Yeah. I think that at the same way, between animated movies and the live action movies in the comics and everything, like there’s no right way to do this.
And there’s no, you know, the, and I don’t, I don’t want to be in a place in a world where there’s only one way to do, you know, Nightwing or only one way to do that. And, you know, I just like to celebrate it all and, and, and, and have fun with it. And and I, and I, like I said, I’m a big fan of the night when you book.
And I, I just think Tom is one of the best writers out there, and I I’m really excited to keep watching his career.
Jeff: And I agree with you a hundred percent on the different version of the characters. I will throw out the name one more time, firestorm, you know, he’s teenager could fit anyways.
Tim Sheridan: So yeah, we had a great firestorm by the way, on, on On on justice league action.
Did you see justice league action? Do
Jeff: you ever see that? I saw a few of the episodes. I think when [00:20:00] it came out, I was one of them. I was like twenties, probably Byrne
Tim Sheridan: played firestorm. And do you, did you watch avatar, like Cora, did you watch that? Like I did.
Jeff: I did watch avatar and core. I did watch those shows.
Bernie is a
Tim Sheridan: genius and we were very lucky to have him as firestorm and he brought a whole new sort of fun angle, you know, to firestorm and Stephen Tobolowsky you know, was, was was the doctor as well. So it was it was really great. I love, I love the character, which version of firestorm though.
Are you talking about
Jeff: the, the original professor Stein, Ronnie Raymond version, pre doomsday clock, where they kinda messed up that connect, that relationship living today clock, but the original idea of it when they were both an accident not caused by Stein.
Tim Sheridan: Yep. Yep. Yeah, no good, good times. No, this, you know, what did did you what did you think about all the stuff they did on the CW with the fires?
Jeff: I think they did a great job with that. I mean, I think the only issue I had with the CW with legends [00:21:00] of tomorrow is that they obviously didn’t have the budget to keep using him. So they would always find an excuse to keep the two characters separate. And I, and I, that was obviously a budget. Problem because they can’t afford to keep showing the firestorm stuff.
But I think the characters did a great job. I, I had no Ronnie remembered barber
Tim Sheridan: as professor Stein. Right. It was a great cast. Yeah. I mean, and this is what I mean, like I said, a great, big, beautiful multi-verse, let’s all enjoy all these different incarnations. Can you believe we get live action. Buyer’s animated by us mom.
We get comics. We get everybody.
Jeff: Like I said, I think the only thing I miss on the legend tomorrow was that they didn’t, they couldn’t do it more for obvious reasons. And obviously he’s so powerful that once he shows up, there’s not a whole lot of the other characters to do, but I think the actors did a wonderful job as firestorm.
And there’s a place for him in the comics as well. But for me, I’m I, I, for me, firestorm was, you know, from the eighties, the original Virgin of, you know, that, and they were so fun. I always loved that character. So, Hey, can you believe Dan Jurgens is doing blue and gold? Yes. I [00:22:00] read that. Not too long ago.
It was very excited by that. Oh
Tim Sheridan: man. I am like first in line. I can’t wait. Jan, I’ll wait. That’s just got my name all over it. I well not. Cause I don’t really do with it. I just mean as a fan, it’s got my name. I can’t wait to read it.
Jeff: This there’s some social wealth of great characters from DC like DC is basically my I’ve been buying comic books now for about 30 plus years and I primarily DC.
Now it’s Marvel is getting a little bit, a few more cause I’m loving Donnie Kate’s work, but there’s so many wonderful characters and there’s like what the DD was doing for a while. With Hockney before that show got canceled, it was a wonderful comic book. Aqua man. When I think it was Dan avenue was handling him was just amazing how, how, what he did with them.
There’s there’s so many great. I think DC does better side characters than any other company there they’re like C and B-list characters are so much fun. Well,
Tim Sheridan: I, I just love playing in that sandbox. I mean, it’s, I grew up as Mo you know, almost exclusively a DC kid and I never grew out of it. And, you know, Marvel is wonderful.
I love what [00:23:00] Marvel does and other companies in the too, but but for me it, you know, it was, it was just always going to be, it was always DC, DC just made more sense to me. And so I’m just very, very lucky. I’m getting to get the keys to the, these cars, you know, here and there when, when they, when they allow me to, to, to have them
Jeff: well, w w when you’re creating brand new characters for your team title academy, and I like that, that you’re creating a lot of these characters.
Are you, when you’re planning who these characters are going to be, are you projecting? I was like, this character will be great. As a character or this character would be great to create for the storyline?
Tim Sheridan: Well, it’s both. I mean, th the, the thing that the first inspiration for me was, you know, who would be a great character.
I mean, I came up with a whole bunch of characters and I kind of picked who I thought all sort of fills a different role. And and then assembled a group of freshmen that I, I thought all had something different to bring to the table. You know, but, but then, but [00:24:00] then it’s like, then it’s just like, I just want to have some fun.
And, you know, like for instance, one of my favorite characters who, you know, and then this is the case with a lot of the characters in, in taking teens academy right now. Because again, there’s only so much real estate, you know, a lot of them are, are sort of, you see them in a couple of panels here and there, and, you know, we’re going to get to tell more of their story.
But we haven’t gotten there yet. And and one of them is gorilla Greg Greg with two GS, which I loved, I thought it was just a funny joke, but I love the idea of a character who is. You know, and in his case, I don’t know that I don’t know that I’ve ever talked about this, but you know, he is the nephew of Grodd.
Jeff: and he’s, he is
Tim Sheridan: sort of the, the, you know, in grads eyes, he’s a disappointment because he’s, you know, he’s going to this hero academy and but you know, he’s a character, he’s got his own thing. He’s got his, you know, he’s, he says this tech whiz kind of genius, and he’s kind of most [00:25:00] likely to succeed at school.
And you know, but, but, you know, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll explore more about him later, but what’s great about him is you get a lot about him from the visuals and from his name right away. And so he, he does a lot of work without me having to tell, you know, his backstory yet we can save that for a later issue, which is fun.
Another, another character, you know, that I came up with early on was, was stitch who is you know, magically animated, you know, not, not a human being is a magically animated, sort of a life-sized ragdoll who, who, who doesn’t really, who was not imbued with any particular you know, human qualities, like for instance, expression of gender.
It’s not really something that is part of stitches life. So it’s hard to sort of take. I, I played a little bit in the first issue with pointing out [00:26:00] that, you know, terms that we use for different types of people who identify different ways in terms of gender identity. You know, how there, there are lots of different ways that we’ve sort of seen over the years to do that, but that ultimately what it comes down to is how that person or that, that, that being you know, which is to identify.
And so that’s that, that was, that was something that kicked in, it sort of kicked in with me early on with, with stitch and and I thought it would be an interesting counterpoint when you’re a kid in high school. You know, when you’re watching other kids around you who are coming into themselves and experiencing their gender and what it means when they start, you know, feeling things for, you know, the same or opposite sex or, or no no other beings, no romantic feelings.
You know, when you’re seeing everybody around you going through all of that, what does it mean for someone like stitch? What what is, what are they seeing? And so I just thought there was [00:27:00] there’s rich storytelling potential there, but then, so that was how it started. But then I found when, when writing stitch that stitch was just hilarious, like just, just really has a.
Oh, a good sense of humor and is kind of weird and funny and you know, the voice kind of, kind of presented itself for them. And and so you kind of let that lead you as you, as you as you write and as the, as you develop them. So, anyway, so yeah, so there’s, there’s, there’s characters like that, that there’s other characters that I needed to have that would service the larger story that I’m, that I’m telling.
I knew I needed a character like this, a character like this. And and so I kind of tried to figure out what the best versions of those
Jeff: see that. Interesting. What are you talking about gorilla Greg? I actually, for a second thought he was the son of a Congo gorilla. If you know who that is, that’s, that’s one that popped to mind.
I was like, is he kind of gorilla’s kid cause kind gorilla. The card does little use. Hasn’t been around for a long time, but I never remember [00:28:00] him.
Tim Sheridan: I know the name. I don’t really
Jeff: he, he was around the guy who did star man, Jeremy Robinson. I think it’s the guy’s name, who for a while was writing for justice league had Congo Rilla and star man as the two, as two of the members.
So they introduced kangaroo kangaroo, I guess it was a guy who was like a hunter who got turned into a gorilla at some point. And that’s my knowledge of the character
Tim Sheridan: and, and that’s, that’s, that’s super cool. And I understand why you were led to that because here he is, he’s going to Titans academy. So he, you don’t get the impression that this is a character who has a legacy or pedigree of villainy behind him.
And that to me is the interesting thing about a character like gorilla Greg, is that he has made a choice that he is not going to be like his uncle, that there is something else he wants to do with his life. And in that way he’s a little rebellious. Right. But you know, th th the, the dramatic potential that exists there is the kind of stuff that [00:29:00] interests me.
Jeff: Yeah. It’s when somebody looks, I have somebody to go into like, like, stitch every so far when I’m reading online, it’s the rumor that stitch is somehow tightly connected to rag, man. Is that going to be that the direction we’re going in, or, yeah, no
Tim Sheridan: people just speculate because they see like the visual and they think this is, you know, but that was like Rafa Sandovall, who is the genius, my partner genius artists who I’m working with on teen times academy. He he designed a stitch. And I, I think used. Some rag man, imagery for inspiration. But you know, but ultimately at this point, you know, I th the character was not created with any, you know, connection to rag man.
But you know, I’m not always gonna, right. This is the beauty of creating new characters, any universe, like in a [00:30:00] continuity, like the, that of DC is I’m not always going to be the one writing these characters. If they, if they catch fire, if people really like them and they show up again, later on, some other writer is going to take them on and maybe fill in more parts of their story.
That, that I am not pitching right now that I don’t have. So it’s entirely possible that someday in the future you’ll see something, a connection like that. But right now, that’s that, wasn’t part of the Genesis of, of stitch except in terms of inspiration for Rafa and the designs. Well, most,
Jeff: most of the teen Titans, historically speaking with a few exceptions, I think beast boy, and a few others all have a adult superhero who they’re kind of connected to.
That can be true of stitch and brick and then the others as well, because most of them, I mean, start fire, I guess, not you, but the original athlete, Nightwing kid flash on those characters. Yeah.
Tim Sheridan: So I don’t know. I mean, it’s hard to say, like, not summers that he’d, who is black ice. I don’t know that she really has a.
[00:31:00] A direct sort of you know, adult character that she’s connected to. You know, I certainly wouldn’t think about that. We knew that we needed, we knew that we wanted to have a Linta who is bolt the speedster. You know, we, we knew we wanted to have that care. Like that was when, when I was creating the, the new class of Titans, there were only two characters that DC came to me and said, Hey, we, we are doing this other thing.
And we, we, we want to, we want you to create a character. So like for instance, for summers that he, they said, can you create a character that will meet in the endless winter event? And that you will then be able to introduce as a character, as a new classmate and you can take the academy. And they, all they said was, it should be a character that has some kind of ice power or connection to, to, to, to ice and cold, cold character.
And and so I came up with summers that he’d, [00:32:00] who is, you know, here are named black ice. And and you know, who is a Muslim character who lives in grew up in, in, in Brooklyn you know, and so I think that was that one. And then it was. There was also Alinta they said we want to have a S a speedster character.
And I don’t remember if DC asked me, I don’t think they asked me to make the speech. I don’t remember, but I don’t think they suggested that the speedster would be a double amputee. But I’m not gonna, I’m not willing to just take credit for that, but I, that might’ve been me or it might’ve been my editor who suggested it.
And and then, so Alinta bolt was born. I really loved the idea of a character, a speedster character who ran on blades, runners blades, and what that sort of meant for this character. I think that there’s something, this is where I think we do. We can do [00:33:00] good things if we do it right. If we tell the story, right.
And I think there’s something about a character who, a lot of people, and I think people, my age in particular might look at a character and think that’s a disabled person. Right. And I thought it was exciting to not really live in that part of her story, because to me, she has incredible abilities. She is her abilities are these so out shine, what, you know, a normal human mortal would have that that, that if anybody’s disabled, when compared to bolt it’s, it’s, it’s the rest of us, you know?
I love that. I love turning something on its head a little bit like [00:34:00] that, and giving you a chance to look at somebody differently. It’s not original territory. It’s not stuff that’s never been talked about or done before, but when we’re doing a book like teen Titans academy, which gets some, some eyeballs from older fans who are my age, who may be sort of backwards in their thinking or set in their ways, and then younger kids who don’t really, you know, who may be better about that stuff, or maybe don’t have exposure to, to, you know, seeing different types of people.
I think I think it gives us an opportunity to do that. I don’t, I don’t want to say like we have this, that there’s all this weight of responsibility. It’s still, it’s a fun, it’s a fun, it’s a comic book. It’s one story it’s. But but there is some satisfaction in if we do it right in sort of turning something that is a stereotype and a trope and a thing that.
That has existed for probably too long and getting to sort of spin it a different way and pointing the finger back at somebody else and saying who’s really [00:35:00] disabled here. And exactly. You know, she’s got a great story and people are going to see more of Alinta story play out in you know, right now when we’re recording this today teen tides academy to hit shelves.
And so that’s out now. And and so we begin to see Alinta story begin to play out bolt’s story begin to play out and and we’ll see some more of it in a crossover with the suicide squad book that’s happening. And then continuing into the next issue of, of teen Titans academy, is she three and and and you know, so, well, we get to, we get the opportunity to sort of focus and spotlight different, different students in different characters.
And so this is sort of a Lintas time right now, which is why I’m talking to her about her talking about her a little bit. So Cocopah go pick it up everybody.
Jeff: Well, I know one of the, one of the big mystery honestly, is a right X and who’s the new red X now for that character goes, is this going to come from a member of the new team, or is this a character that exists come from outside the team?
[00:36:00] That’s going to be a mystery who that is?
Tim Sheridan: I don’t know. No, I mean, I, I, it’s a mystery and I, so I want to be very careful about what I say, but. You know, we’ve a lot of the solicit texts that’s come out. And a lot of the articles that have been written have, have, have said that, you know, that the, the new red X is a student at the academy.
You know, I, I think that some of that came about because there was some confusion among some of the people writing that stuff. I’m not saying it’s true or not, but I will say that some of it was a little bit of confusion between like, there is a big threat from one of the students that is on the horizon that we talked about in future state teen Titans and Shizam.
And and I think people equated that with red X because red X is involved in that story. So, you [00:37:00] know, I just think everybody should keep their options open. Red X is, you know, very possibly a student at the academy you know, X might not be a student at the academy. It’s, it’s all, there are ways in which it it’s possible.
Red X is not a student.
Jeff: I think probably everybody
Tim Sheridan: follow the clues, keep, keep reading, follow the clues. Unfortunately, it is a little bit of a strip tease. I’m not going to tell you right away, because it’s important to the story and. What teen Titans academy is about, you know, teen times academy, the academy itself, it represents something to the older Titans.
This is a thing that a project that they have taken on that they look at as something new and, and a, and a, and a, a way for them to pave the way for the future generations of heroes and to continue taking care of the world by [00:38:00] providing us with more heroes. And but, but, but, but rednecks, you know, it’s very possible and red X sees what they’re doing.
They’re very differently. So, and, and may not be wrong. So there’s lots to unpack in that, I think, but it won’t be unpacked until you keep reading routine Titans
Jeff: academy. So, so you’re also running shoes. I am going to, as you said, it ties into Tito’s academy. So how tightly wound are those two titles to each other?
Tim Sheridan: It’s all part of the same story. It’s you know, that’s the beauty of this. What I really love about teen Titans academy is it gives us an opportunity to break out from the main story. And follow some of our other characters and, and and focus and spotlight them for a little bit. You know, Billy Batson is a character who is very integral to this story as we saw in future state.
And so, you know, his involvement in, in, in the academy storyline is it was always going to be [00:39:00] important. It was only, you know, his place was always going to be very important in it. And so I’m very, just very happy. They gave me the opportunity to take four issues of of a book and, and, and be able to, you know, explore what’s going on with him a little bit.
And, and ultimately how that ties into the main, larger story of future state and teen Titans academy. And you know, because, because if, if I had to do it within the pages of, of Titans academy, you know, it would, we wouldn’t get, you know, to really focus our attention on characters, like the backpack. The backpack are a trio of golf kids from, from God or orphans from golf, from Sydney who are obsessed with all of the Batman lore that they’ve heard on the streets of Gotham.
And they all have these, these ideas about Batman, they kind of idolized Batman. And and, and, you know, these are characters who are going to be able to get a spotlight in, in the, in the, in the book in teen Titans academy. And in fact, we have, you know, obviously Rafa Sandovall [00:40:00] is my partner on, on teen types academy, but he’s, we’re giving him a little bit of a vacation for a couple of issues, letting him rest his his drawn arm.
And and Steve Lieber, who’s a genius. Another genius is coming in and doing some some fill-in work and filling in on those issues on some issues this summer. And those that storyline we’ll get, we’ll get a chance to focus on, on the backpack and who they are and what they’re about and how their story ties into the main story of T Titans academy.
And and we, we wouldn’t necessarily get to do that if we had to sort of tell a Billy story as well, within the pages of, of Titans academy. So I’m, I’m just really grateful that I’m getting to do all of that because I just, I care so deeply about these young, new characters that I’ve created. I want to make sure that they get out there in a way that.
You know, gives people an opportunity to decide, you know, is this a character I want to see more of or not? Hopefully people will love the backpack as much as I do and, and want to see more of them going forward. Yeah.
Jeff: And the infant’s [00:41:00] email Billy Bass on this Trans-Am is that you have Shizam has a very long history in the decent universe, even in continuity, his history and the DC universe is very long.
So as a part of teen Titans academy, where does he fit in? Where really is his fit? Cause technically, I mean, ignoring the age, I mean, he’s been in the super hero realm in the continuity for as long as the faculty probably has been for the most part. I mean, when you think about the continuity of when they’ve existed, however, he’s also new into the academy.
So we’re, where’s this place
Tim Sheridan: in this academy. Well, I’ll tell you this. Where, where Billy is in his life right now is he ha he doesn’t know why, but he cannot seem to access the powers of Suzanne with any reliability. And he doesn’t know why, and he’s not able to find. The rock of eternity or [00:42:00] contact the wizard Shizam and and so he’s a little bit of drift in that way.
He doesn’t, he, he, he can’t share the power of Shizam with the rest of the Shas Emily, because he, he doesn’t have it with any reliability isn’t he can’t contain it. And, and so it’s so he’s in a transition period. He doesn’t, and the reason, the story I wanted to tell with Billy was a story about growing up for somebody who has spent his entire life and career as a hero growing up every day.
You know, he, he is someone who is at an age where he looks in the mirror and, and he, he knows that one of these days he’s going to be this, this big burly guy in his prime. And he won’t be able to change [00:43:00] back into a kid anymore because we all grow up. Right. So, so for somebody like Billy, too, Sort of, you know, look at his life from that perspective, even as a kid, a kid, who’s seen some things and seeing them through the eyes of an adult you know, for him to, to figure that out is a story about, I think that we all go through about growing up.
We all, as kids, I think at some point, if we’re, if we’re, if we’re smart, at some point we realize our are the, the, the, the the, the, that there’s an end date, that there’s an expiration date on childhood, you know, and the wonder and excitement and freedom that we have as children. Sometimes if we’re lucky that that’s gonna, that’s gonna go away and we’re going to have to pay bills.
Yeah. Put on a tie and, you know, be [00:44:00] responsible for everything. And and so I, for me, that’s the kind of story I wanted to tell with teen times academy and through the lens of superheroes and through somebody like Billy Batson, Shizam, you know, it it’s for me, it’s his story has always been about growing up.
As he does it, he does it every day. And then he gets to, he gets the chance. What a lot of us as adults, see, I look, this is, this is maybe the perspective of being somebody who’s not a kid anymore writing this stuff. When I was a kid. When, when you were, when you’re a kid and you’re reading, Shizam, you’re identifying with Billy.
And you’re like, how great that I get to say the magic word. And now I’m an adult with power and I can make my own decisions and I can do whatever I want. Right. That’s how you think of them when you’re a kid. But when you’re an adult, you’re looking at it from the other side and I’m looking at it from the Shizam side and, and thinking, how wonderful would it be to be able to put all of this away and just be a kid for five minutes.
And Billy knows that someday coming there’s, there’s a day coming when [00:45:00] he won’t be able to do that anymore. That’s a big moment. That’s a moment of growing up. That’s the kind of moment I felt when I watched optimist prime die in the movie theater, you know, it was oh, stakes consequences. And it’s not all here forever.
That’s, that’s the stuff I want to talk
Jeff: about, but probably won’t always, you know, as someone who has a career writing, comic books and writing, you know, transformers and He-Man and Superman, I was thinking like, in some way, It’s kind of like living a shazamm life, you know what I’m saying? Like you’re an adult, but you still get to transform to a kid when you get to write all this, know what I’m saying?
Like, it must be interesting damn life. And I wonder that part of the, how do you identify with the character?
Tim Sheridan: That’s a really, really brilliant observation that really honestly never considered you’re right. I basically live the life of, you know, of Shizam or, or He-Man getting to turn back into, you know, Billy and prince Adam.
When I, when I get to [00:46:00] sit down and write these things and, and explore my childhood from a, from a new angle. Yeah, that’s really cool. Thank you for saying that. That gives me a lot to think about.
Jeff: And as you were talking to me about your channel is like, it’s basically the Shizam life that you had just popped in.
My brain was like, that’s being shown as Amazon Dodger. So you can’t go back. I was like, you kind
Tim Sheridan: of are, it’s a reverse Shizam right. Because I use the magic words, you know, to, you know, to become a kid again. Right, right. That’s what I do.
Jeff: So when, when, when you think about shazamm Suzanne has had. A bit had a bit of a change over the last 10 years on his character from the earlier choosing, which is a very wholesome character, a very wholesome Billy Batson to a later version of Billy Bass.
And that’s a little bit more street, tough version of him. You know, you had the hooded shoes and stuff like that. Is your Virgin going to be closer to the original version? Or are you going to say more to the hooded? Shizam kind of a streetwise version?
Tim Sheridan: Well, I’ll tell you this. So, so this is, [00:47:00] we talked a little bit about this earlier.
I think you know, future state Shizam, which I wrote showed a very dark future, a grim future for, for Billy, for Suzanne. And some people, you know, really, I think got a little upset because they, they, they think of Shizam they think of Billy and they think of all the fun that you can have. And now, you know, when you’re that character and and they don’t like seeing a dark version of that character, again, the purpose of that book was to show you just how big the stakes are, you know, just to just so you know, that this is always a possibility for Billy, that it can be terrible, that, that it can be that, that the good guys can lose, like, like, like optimist did you know, like that, that, that is always something we should keep in mind.
But having done that now, The reason I wrote that story. So that now that we’re in teen [00:48:00] Titans academy and Shizam now we get to come at it from the other direction and we get to explore the fun of, of what it means to be Billy and tippy Shizam. I know we’re, we’re working, we’re in the middle right now.
I’m getting pages back from Clayton, Henry. Who’s the artists working, I’m working with on shazamm and and you know, I think we’re working on, we’re working on issue two right now and he you know, he’s, he’s capturing all of the fun. I tried to really get some at the spirit of fun in to certainly an issue too.
And, and he’s capturing all of it really beautifully. And, and so I think that people, when they, when they opened Shizam probably an issue one, there might be some people will go, oh, this is this going to be a darker story. What is this going to be? I don’t know what this is. But stick with us because I think that you’ll see that the end of the first issue, you know, Tate tells you the fun we’re going to be having.
And then we really [00:49:00] just throw you right into the fun and issue too. So, and then, and then we, you know, there’s a lot of important stuff that’s going to happen that then Billy will get to, to to, to learn from and maybe grow from. So let me see. Well,
Jeff: I also think it’s interesting that in the, in the solicitous, cause I, I have not had the opportunity to, to read the first exam.
But in the solicits I’m able to read for it. Nobody has. Right, right. Yes. Yeah. I would love to have had a preview of the first issue, but anyways I
Tim Sheridan: would love to have a preview of the first issue. They’re still cooking on stuff so
Jeff: well, and this was, they talk about how Shizam Billy Batson is going to hide his identity from the other teen Titan academy members, which in the realm of teams, usually the identity is given kind of freely among the team themselves.
So does he see something among, within the team or maybe connection to red X or whatever that he feels is unsafe to let them know who he really is?
Tim Sheridan: I it’s, you know, with him it’s twofold [00:50:00] because there his role at the academy. And I think the reason why he was sort of recruited to the academy is that, you know, somebody like Nightwing and people like Starfire, like they look at Billy and they see somebody who has had a lot of experience.
And do we real world hero work that these kids now are learning, you know, that they should, well, it’s all theory to the freshmen class and he’s really been out there doing it. And so they see him as someone who, who can be a mentor, an older brother type of kid who’s been through it. But the faculty of teen Titans academy just not reveal any identities to the student body.
So the student body, you know, they refer to Nightwing as Mr. Nightwing and Ms. Starfire. And, you know, they, they don’t know that, you know what you, and I know that Nightwing is Dick Grayson. [00:51:00] And so in, in from the faculty’s perspective, Billy, you know, I think early, yeah, they probably, he probably sort of followed their lead and didn’t talk about it.
Maybe. I don’t know. But but then really Billy story is about he is, is about identity and he doesn’t, it’s hard for him to really identify as Shizam anyway, Because it’s really impossible. It almost implies it’s very hard for him to reliably use his powers. So, so the, the very idea of Shizam for him is up in the air right now.
He doesn’t even know if he’s going to be able to really ever be Shizam again. So, you know, it’s a very personal decision, I think then for him. So yeah, so he’s, he, he doesn’t, they don’t the kids around him don’t really know what he’s done and what he could potentially, I really do. And so that’s a mystery to them and it’s something that he’s going to have to figure out.
I mean, I think you took a cue from the faculty, not telling their identities to the students, but then the [00:52:00] faculty is there to sort of say to him, Hey, maybe you should tell him and who you are and be a mentor and, and, and lead, you know, and, and maybe that’s a good way for you to do it. And you know, of course, but it’s hard for Billy to really see himself as Suzanne right now.
So it’s, it’s complicated for him at this moment in time. So yeah, that’s, but that’s sort of my angle on, on secret identities right now is the, the the, the faculty is kind of keeping that information from the students.
Jeff: So I want to spend just a minute or two pointing out that you are writing the upcoming Batman long Halloween a movie.
So as far as anyone who has already know that it’s coming out, it’s going to come out,
Tim Sheridan: man, the long Halloween part one, I think June 22nd, it will be digital and Blu-ray, it’ll be available same day for digital and for blue. Right? So, and then they’ll, there’ll be a part two coming later, but yeah, that was, that was one of the greatest thrills of my life is getting to adapt that story for the screen.
Jeff: So this is another [00:53:00] instance where you’re more than welcome to give a signal to, to the fans who are watching you know, any kind of secrets. But when I was thinking about that in the long Halloween, one of the DVD movies of DC that popped in my brain was Batman hush. In other words, they took a storyline as well-known, but they did change it.
There’s some putting ingredients towards the end of it to keep it new for the viewers who have already read the comic books when you’re writing the long Halloween. Are you following a similar format where it’s going to be basically what you know, but significant changes. So it’s still new to the readers
Tim Sheridan: who have read it.
Let me be very clear. Like I, I am under strict you know, a gag order on long Halloween part one. I can’t really talk about anything about it, except to say that I’m, I’m so thrilled that I got to work on it and more information is going to be coming out. In fact, if you want more information about it, [00:54:00] there is, I believe it’s like 10 minutes long of a sneak peek that came out the day that you and I are recording this right now.
As part of the of the next movie, justice society, world war II. And so one of the special features on justice society, world war II is a 10 minutes sneak peek at a long Halloween part one. So that should hopefully be able to give people some, some idea of, of where we’re heading and what we’re doing.
And and and then, you know, then I’ll come back and answer some more questions if you want after everybody checks that out.
Jeff: Well, let me ask one more question that you can’t answer. So DC animated movies tend to fall into two different, two different categories. There’s ones that exist within the larger continuity of, of, of their universe and ones.
I live in a stand alone universe for anyone who’s watched like. The dark side war movies. And some of the other one that lived within the power paradox, the flashpoint paradox ones that live within a larger universe. Does the long Halloween movie exists within the larger universe, or is it going to be a [00:55:00] standalone universe
Tim Sheridan: that exists?
I can’t, you know, I, again, I can’t really talk, like you said, I can’t answer any questions. So I can’t answer the question, but I will say this, that I have been online today, the day that justice society, world war II came out. And and there seemed to be a lot of definitive opinions today about that. So I don’t know if those opinions are correct or not, but all you need to do is go online and check out.
And see what people are saying and maybe engage in the conversation. But yeah, I that’s, that’s my clever way of not answering, but, but again, I, you know, I haven’t, and I haven’t seen I, so I, I could also just like speculate with you if I wanted to, but I haven’t seen justice society, world war II yet.
It was written by friends of mine Jeremy Adams, who is right now writing the flash, a book for DC comics and Megan Pitts, Martin both of them by the way came they were writers on supernatural. [00:56:00] And and Jeremy had a movie out earlier, this, your soul of the dragon, a Batman movie that he did with Bruce Timm.
And you know, he’s got a lot of great stuff happening, so I can’t wait to see it. You know, producer Jim Creek was a great friend of mine. Butch look at you know, produced justice society, world war II. You know, I worked with him on Superman man of tomorrow and long Halloween part one. So these are all my, my friends and I’m sharing them on.
And that’s why I’m telling you and your listeners to to, to check out this movie, which is getting. Rave reviews today to the point where I’m just jealous beyond.
Jeff: Well, this one, I know you can answer this question about long Halloween. I know you can. I’m a huge supernatural nerd. I’ve been watching it.
I should have started watching season two by I’ve been watching it. I have all the seasons. I want them all. Anyone who knows the show knows. I interviewed people from supernatural all day long on Jensen Ackles is Batman in the long Halloween. So tell me your, what you know of it. What for [00:57:00] not 49, but let’s tell me, what did you already experience I’m
Tim Sheridan: going to get in trouble, but I will, I will simply say that the day that I went to the first record with Jensen as Batman, I sat in the booth which writers don’t always get to do.
And it was very fortunate to be invited in by the brilliant voice director and, and, and west, west Gleason and also supervising pretty surface lookup and and the director, Chris Palmer. And and I sat there and he. I think it must’ve had to be his very first line that he recorded.
And I, I just, this smile that I’m, you can see right now on my face is, is what, what was immediately, I was, I was running around the studio, like a little kid because I knew [00:58:00] Jensen’s work. And I knew, you know, I, as red a hood and everything, I knew that he would be, he was a great choice to take on Batman at this particular moment in time in his career.
And but I was very happy to have my, my, what I knew, quote unquote proven. So right. And, you know, by Jensen’s work I’m I grinned like a little kid. I called you know, people who were, who were in the know on the production and and, and just could not stop raving and how happy I was. And I said, this Jensen to me, sets a new Sets the sets a new standard for a new age and a new, a new time with Batman.
And I’m a guy who has worked with the best, you know, I’ve worked with Kevin Conroy and, you know, Diedrich Bader and you know, I think Jensen is right up there. He’s he’s terrific. Oh, and Jason O’Mara too. That’s great. But the Jensen is right up there, man. He really is well for our
Jeff: listeners. You already know that the voice of just an ACO, not just from [00:59:00] supernatural, if you ever watched Batman under the red hood, he plays Jason Todd and he kills it as Jason Todd.
And I’m assuming, and it sounds like he killed it as Batman in the long haul Wayne,
Tim Sheridan: in my opinion, certainly, you know, like, you know, he, he certainly made this writer very, very happy that, that the, the brilliant people who cast the movie went with, with Jensen, who, you know, was born to play Batman.
Jeff: Well, I can’t wait to see that movie. And hopefully when it’s ready to come out, you can come back on and talk to me about it again. That would be fantastic. I mean yeah. When they take
Tim Sheridan: the shackles off and I can find them talk about
Jeff: things. Yeah. And we’ll talk about the next week, but you can’t talk about as well for that.
But even confirm
Tim Sheridan: if there are any more movies.
Jeff: Well, Tim, I think I had a great pleasure talking to you. You’re you’re a great fun.
Tim Sheridan: I had a terrific time. I mean, I think you’re gonna have to edit the heck out of this because. We’ve been chatting for a million years. People be bored.
Jeff: We’ll keep it in chapter.
We’ll [01:00:00] have we’ll be, it will be probably a three-part episode. Yeah. All right. All right. Well,
Tim Sheridan: very grateful. Thank you so much. And and all the best to you and and you’re listening.
Jeff: Thank you so much. Have a very good night. [01:06:00] [01:05:00] [01:04:00] [01:03:00] [01:02:00] [01:01:00]