Jesse McCartney, the Voice of Robin Talks Young Justice!

Jesse McCartney sheds some light on what it's like voicing Robin in Young Justice and some of the things we may be seeing in future episodes.

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By Hawksblueyes - 11/26/2010
Young Justice featuring Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, Aqualad, Artemis and Miss Martian premiered this evening on Cartoon Network with a two part pilot titled Independence Day. Jesse McCartney who provides the voice for Robin is a former member of the band Dream Street and is known these days as a singer - songwriter. His previous voice work includes Theadore in Alvin and the Chipmunks as well as it's sequel.

He talked with CBR recently about Young Justice and what it's like to voice Batman's protege.

From CBR...

You’re playing Dick Grayson in “Young Justice” as opposed to Tim Drake or the current Robin, Damian Wayne. What do we need to know about your take on the original Boy Wonder heading into the pilot?

These are only 22-minute shows, so they’re really just trying to re-introduce the relationships. You see a lot of scenes of him and Batman where Batman is encouraging him to step up and be a leader of this team and Dick Grayson is very reluctant to do that because he still feels that he doesn’t know enough, which you do see throughout the episodes. You’ll see that he’s still very young and still very green when it comes to leading a team like this. And they incorporate a lot of drama, as well, outside of the team. There is a lot of Superboy and Miss Martian. I was talking to the producer about this and how this show, this time around, they have a lot of outside drama that wouldn’t have been read in any comic. And I think that’s another cool appeal for the show.

Robin also learns pretty early on that no else is going to be able to lead this team. And everyone does get a shot. Aqualad has a huge episode where he tries to take on this team and essentially can’t do it, and there’s a nice scene between him and Robin where you see Robin realize for the first time: “I’m not that kid anymore. I can’t just be this cocky, brash little kid that can’t step up.” And then there’s this scene between Aqualad, Robin and Batman where Robin has to take the reins and that happens pretty early on in this season. Eventually he shows that he is a natural born leader. And that’s just part of what you’ll see from Dick Grayson.


Do we get to see much of Robin teaming up with Superboy as kind of a World’s Finest 2.0?

Actually, that’s probably the least amount of interaction that I have with any of the characters is with Superboy. For the first season, a lot of Superboy’s scenes are with Miss Martian. There’s definitely that sexual tension and in the writing, they play that up a lot. So except for when they’re fighting crime, there’s not a whole lot of interaction between Superboy and Robin. But Nolan North, who plays the voice, does an incredible of job of making him this real brooding, dramatic, emotional, hormonal character that really kind of brings another level to this team. Each person really has a job to do. Superboy is the guy who is very moral and he wants everything to be right. And he’s very dramatic. And he’s loud. And he’s ready to rip the head off anybody who gets in his way. And sometimes that includes even his own teammates. But everybody has their place and for me, I’m the guy who realizes this team won’t survive without a leader. And that I really have to keep everybody together and that’s one of the things that Robin does constantly, is try to keep everybody on the same page and stays on task and stays on mission. Because there are people constantly bickering with each other and if it wasn’t for Robin, my character, he would never get these people to work as a cohesive group.

Are these primarily done-in-one, supervillain-of-the-week type episodes or is there is a larger mythos to “Young Justice”?

Both. Some of the storylines continue week-to-week and then within each episode there is a new mission, a new supervillain, like you said, to conquer. But within the characters’ storylines, their personal storylines, that carries over episode to episode.

Click on the link below to read rest of this interview at CBR.

Hawksblueyes: I have to admit after watching the pilot episode, I am really looking forward to seeing more.

Source: CBR
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26 Comments
Hawksblueyes - 11/26/2010, 7:12 PM
;P
Ibz - 11/26/2010, 7:17 PM
he really sounds like he has a great understanding of dick i havent seen the episode, negative side of being a brit,i hope this shows last for a while i would like to see dicks transformation in to night wing
vermillion - 11/26/2010, 8:05 PM
Great first episode. I'll definitely be tuning in regularly to watch this. Animation is great for this.
batmbl - 11/26/2010, 8:38 PM
DVR'd the episode and can't wait to see it. I would watch it tonight but my 5 boys will probably be mad.

@Ibz...I agree Jesse does seem to know the material. It actually gives me some respect for him. My teenage daughter loves him so I haven't been that impressed until now.

This show looks like it may be better than JLA but time will tell.
longbowhunter - 11/26/2010, 9:05 PM
I thought the pilot was on par with any of DC's animated movies. Really good animation. Aqualad was suprisingly my favorite out of all the kids. Loved all the Justice League members we saw towards the end. I still dont get why they would go for Dick Grayson as Robin and not Tim though.
Rosso - 11/26/2010, 9:34 PM
Amazing first episode. I have no problems with it thus far. I would have liked to see a bigger team, but 5 for now is a good start.
Jib7z - 11/26/2010, 10:36 PM
The show was pretty good. But this article has officially set me off. Dick was NOT in any group with Superboy. The Aqualad that they are using came about in the comics during Brightest Day. They are COMPLETELY throwing comic fact out of the window. That Robin needs to be Tim Drake for ANY of this to make a half assed bit of sense.
chainsawhand47 - 11/27/2010, 12:49 AM
Young Justice was pretty awesome. I had my problems with it like all things, but it was all around awesome. I'm new here, but I REALLY need to get the opinions of you experts on something. Who is more Bad A$$ - Bruce Lee or Captain Falcon? It's Bruce all the way right?
comicb00kguy - 11/27/2010, 12:57 AM
WTF? That's the GRAYSON Robin? That Robin acts NOTHING like him! Grayson was a happy-go-lucky Robin that never questioned Batman. This Robin is a lot more like the Drake Robin. Smart and serious.

I watched the first episode tonight, and was pretty whelmed with the whole thing. Nicely developed story. It's a bit different from the 90s comics, but it can stand alone as an interesting group. I'll be watching this show to see where they're going with it.
Hawksblueyes - 11/27/2010, 4:59 AM
comicbOOkguy: I found it strange that Grayson Robin was so lippy when it came to Batman myself but I also, still enjoyed the show very much. I also liked the way Robin couldn't get his mind past "whelmed" through the entire show. Mice touch.

On a side note. What did you think about our first heavy dose of Hawkeye last night on EMH? I loved it! I hope they have Renner watch this show to see how Hawkeye should be portrayed.
Jib7z - 11/27/2010, 10:47 AM
@Anil Rickly: I'm a GIANT Dick Grayson fan, and yes, i am going to enjoy the show, but the fallacies are going to annoy me. Even at the end of the episode, there were two different Green Lanterns shown. I just want them to have used Tim Drake over Dick Grayson. Or hell, have Grayson as Batman and use Damien for Robin. Damien is supposed to be joining the Teen Titans in the comics soon anyway. And to be honest, there was a group called "Young Justice" that Dick Grayson was never apart of, but Tim Drake was.

@comicb00kguy: Yes, that's Grayson as Robin. I do believe you're mistaken when it comes to Grayson never questioning Batman, because he DID question Wayne a lot. Tim never questioned Bruce. But Jason Todd questioned and insulted Bruce all the damned time. To me, it looks like they just added the three original male Robins and just decided to call him Dick. Which bothers me.

Regardless, I'm still going to watch the damned thing, but that's because I'm a DC fan and DC has no other animated shows out right now.

Side note: The new Avengers show is pretty good.
golden123 - 11/27/2010, 12:09 PM
I never read the comic series but in the show Young Justice is going to be used as covert operation team. Was that what they were in the comics?i know the outsiders are currently a team for the league that does those kind of mission.
The Dick Grayson isn't the biggest identity concern here it's why they didn't use Bart Allen as Kid Flash thats annoying me. To keep this in line with Earth-16 it needs to be Bart. Wally (the person who is Kid Flash in this series) is supposed to be the founder of the leauge according to the season finale of justice Leauge.
Also I'm glad that unlike the last two DC team seires (Justice leauge and Teen Titans) We won't constanly be seeing our heroes in costumes (in Teen Titans they sleeped in their costumes). This way we get to see them in civilian identity as well.
otakux3r0 - 11/27/2010, 2:12 PM
Why isn't this Robin Tim Drake? Seriously I thought this was gonna be Tim Drake. Seriously, sapposed to be Tim Drake. Think about it, good in a leadership role, actually useful, and a computer genius. sounds like Tim Drake to me.
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 11/27/2010, 4:02 PM
I don't mind Dick Grayson, me getting more and more into DC, I can say NightWing is easily my favorite character.
Jib7z - 11/27/2010, 4:17 PM
@gambitfreak: I agree with you on the Nightwing statement, obviously, just look at my profile picture on here. The Robin character (as otakux3r0 said) needs to Tim Drake, and acts like Tim Drake. Now, Tim Drake is the current Red Robin, unless something changed recently because i havent been able to afford my comics lately. The kid is a computer freak, and apparently has good detective skills. Also, he didnt go gung-ho into ANY fight. He avoided the fight itself more than once. Batman came into take out Freeze, and even later, Robin literally avoided the fight and Aqualad and Kid Flash to take care of it. THAT is Tim Drake. Dick Grayson takes on a fight. It's been stated more than once that Dick Grayson is in fact a better fighter than Bruce Wayne, and Tim Drake is a better Detective. This Robin needs to be Tim Drake.
xmentheeight - 11/27/2010, 4:59 PM
Heres an idea ladies....when U watch the show, dont think about the books or when U read the books dont think about the show. So long as they have the characterizations correct lets just enjoy the high quality entertainment. Yes, we know that Superboy never served on the same team as Grayson in the books, but the same thing can be said for Wally West not being a founding member of the Justice League in the books either, but yet there he was in the Justice League show. As far as Grayson being nice with the computer, it makes sense if he's the interpretation of Dick Grayson growing up in the 21st century, where computer skills are second nature to kids, and for him to be Batman's partner, he BETTER know how to handle a computer.....but if U were to put him next to Drake on a keyboard, Drake may still be miles ahead of him in skill. Next time U watch the show, just tell urself that ur watching "Young Titan Justice"....that way all the continuity clashes and changes will just work themselves out in ur mind.
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 11/27/2010, 6:04 PM
@Jib7z

Exactly, It's because, Dick had the same thing happen to his parents, that happened to Wayne, but he delt with it differently, he puts his anger into his fighting, he is, in a word, darker, and he even killed Blockbuster, but not exactly on purpose, referring to Batman: WarGames. While Jason Todd had his little frazzled moment, The Red Hood, while Drake, well honestly, I'm not that far into the DC universe yet, sorry my mind belongs to Marvel, but I don't think anything ever happened Tim, therefore leaving him, weak and not as interesting a character. In my opinion.
Jib7z - 11/27/2010, 9:28 PM
@xmentheeight: For real dude? What's the point of a forum if we don't bs different opinions? Btw, the show is called "Young Justice." There's no Titan in the title.

@gambitfreak: Trust me, i remember the death of Blockbuster, and the "Blockbuster syrum" or whatever it was, was another thing that bothered me about the premiere of Young Justice, but they screw up villains all the time, IE Bane. I honestly don't remember Jason Todd being in War Games, are you sure you're not talking Battle for the Cowl?
batmbl - 11/27/2010, 9:29 PM
watched it tonight with my 5 boys and I really enjoyed it!!!...so did they!!!...granted it's nothing continuity wise like the comics but it was a great fresh take on the original...I love the art style and noticed that Bruce Greenwood is reprising his role from Under the Red Hood...good to see some new continuity in the animated products for a new generation...still we all know Kevin Conroy will always be the best because we grew up on him...but I think Greenwood is a great new generation Batman...
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 11/27/2010, 9:52 PM
@Jib7z
No, he wasn't, I was just saying how interesting Todd, and Grayson were compared to Tim Drake, his story just isn't appealing to me, while theirs is. Sorry I worded that strangely.
Jib7z - 11/27/2010, 10:08 PM
@gambitfreak
I've always liked Tim because the reason he was Robin was because he found out who Batman was, and by association, he figured out the original Robin. It was later when he had his trauma and had the actual WANT to fight crime. He gave it up right before War Games if you remember. Stephanie Brown was Robin for a little while after Tim gave up the mantle. I digress. Dick and Jason were definitely the better of the Robins. Especially with Jason's death, etc. It just seems to me that with the way that this Robin operates, it just makes more sense for it to be Tim.
TheGambitFreakIsBatmanOfCBM - 11/28/2010, 8:40 AM
@Jib7z: Oh, ok, see I never knew how he became Robin. Yeah now that would make sense. Gosh DC, why do you not have online unlimited digital comics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
xmentheeight - 11/28/2010, 9:41 AM
@Jib- Not really focusing in on the opinions per se, just putting things in context. As comic heads we all know the continuity for the most part, but at times its best to not become married to lest it diminish our enjoyment of the show. But we also understand how this new show is an amalgamation of certain elements from Titans and Young Justice...much like how Batman TAS combined the personality and origin of Jason Todd with Tim Drake. Me pointing out ur thing about the Robin on Young Justice, and him having to be Tim becuz this Robin seemed to be a computer whiz, was not a strike at U, but again me putting things in context that I could maybe be the writers imbuing Grayson with Drake like skills or, as I processed it, him having to be pretty damn good as a Grayson growing up in this age, but probably still being nowhere near what Drake could do with a keyboard.
xmentheeight - 11/28/2010, 11:57 AM
@Anil- no doubt. Tim has grown into a hell of a detective. I dont know if the creators did this much forethought, but if u look at all of the Robins, they each reflect different aspects of Batmans personality or his make up. Grayson is the skill, fighter and hopefulness.....despite Bats image everyone knows hes a humanitarian to the utmost. Jason is the rage, anger uncontrolled that Bats could have become, but he reflects that inherant rebel\lone wolf attitude that Bats has. Drake is the brains, detective brillance and overall critical thinker/strategist that already figured out how to take u apart before u have even finished making a fist. And even Damien may show to be an amalgation of all three.....is incredibly skilled in combat, vicious and pretty intelligent.




odie00 - 11/28/2010, 12:48 PM
damien is going to be awesome and actually already is. keep reading batman and robin, hes badass. hes a little shit but with skill. i never liked jason todd. he was more of a whinny little bitch back then then a angery kid. he just whined about everything thats why they got rid of his ass. now hes better but everyone is making a big deal of him just because NOW hes pretty cool. i never cared for tim drake to be honest i just never really liked him all that much. dick grayson is and always will be the real robin and nightwing. its a shame he is still batman cause there is no nightwing now.
Jib7z - 11/28/2010, 2:00 PM
@xmentheeight: Very nicely put. The only thing i have any sort of issue about what you said was that you said it was Batman: TAS when they had Tim Drake. It was The New Adventures of Batman when Tim was introduced. But you are VERY right when it comes to that back story. It was very much a mixing of Todd and Drake. I do see your point, but being a very devout Robin fan, it bothers me. Given, I am very much going to continue watching the show. It was very enjoyable. I just don't like that they used Grayson...as much as I am a Grayson fan.

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