‘Robot Chicken DC Comics Special’ Harkens Back To ‘Super Friends,’ Kevin Shinick Says

by Ryan Rigley

If there’s one thing that fans have taken away from Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” it’s that there’s never a shortage of comic book-related humor. It’s no wonder that the Emmy award-winning stop-motion series has set its sights on the entirety of the DC Comics universe for their latest venture, the “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special,” premiering September 9 on Adult Swim at midnight.

“We show you exactly why Aquaman is part of the Super Friends,” Seth Green, co-creator of “Robot Chicken,” told MTV News about the premise behind the special. “After all his putting up with this abuse, his moment has come to shine … and slip on a puddle.”

Kevin Shinick, the creative director behind “Robot Chicken,” also spoke with MTV and told us how this DC parody of massive proportions first came to fruition. “You know we had done the ’Star Wars’ special and that kinda cracked open a whole new world for us,” said Shinick on the beginnings of RCDC. “George Lucas just kinda said ’Yeah, go ahead and have fun with this.’ And that was like a revelation.”

Hardcore DC fans will be ecstatic to hear that Geoff Johns, the chief creative officer over at DC comics, basically spear-headed the entire project. “He had the idea that maybe we do an all DC comics special,” Shinick said of Johns’ involvement with RCDC. “When that came about it was kinda like ’Oh. Well, that’s perfect.’ Because again, you know everybody knows this and we had such fun doing DC comics spoofs regardless we thought wouldn’t it be really fun if we focused our energy on one show and then we could have like a little bit of a linear story?”

Johns has collaborated with “Robot Chicken” numerous times in the past. In fact, he and the entire “Robot Chicken” staff have become somewhat of a family in recent years. “Geoff was great, he let us actually write in the DC offices. So you know we’re surrounded by Green Lantern’s lantern and all these great things,” Shinick revealed. “And because we’re in there, we’re so inspired, we have a 22 minute special which should probably be about a 30 page script; I think we had like an 80 page script. So I think the DVD will have a lot of extras.”

Shinick elaborated on a few sketches in particular that he was sad to see cut from the special, including one involving DC’s most “heroic” time traveler. “I played Booster Gold in a couple of sketches and we had some really funny stuff with him, but you cut it for time because you gotta make your 22 and a lot of stuff falls by the wayside,” he confessed. “Also, I wrote a Deadman sketch that I was really sorry to see go.” Deadman, of course, being played by Paul Reubens, who also lends his vocal talents for The Riddler in the special.

“We want to harken back to the time when we sat in front of the cartoons of Saturday morning to watch ’Super Friends’ but also involve every character that you could think of in the DC universe. In fact, we have a whole segment (a runner) called, like, ‘Did You Realize This Was A Character In the DC Universe?’ and we pull up some really obscure and ridiculous characters.”

How obscure and ridiculous? Ask Mr. Banjo, a Captain Marvel villain created in the ’40s, who makes his television debut in RCDC.

“Not only do we talk about him but we also put him into a big battle,” said Shinick. “So it’ll be a lot of fun. The great thing about this is we get some really great celebrity voices to do the roles. So whereas Alfred Molina gets to stretch his muscles as Lex Luthor, I believe he also gets to take it easy with Mr. Banjo.”

The special will take place primarily in the world of the “Super Friends,” i.e. the Hall of Justice, Legion of Doom. However, Aquaman is said to be one of the main driving forces of the special, as surprising as that sounds. “We have Aquaman kinda take matters into his own hands. Everybody’s picked on him forever and ever, so now we think alright you know well he’s finally had enough,” Shinick said of Aquaman’s role in RCDC. “He’s just the low man on the totem pole. He’s under everything, he’s below sea level. It can’t get any lower for this poor guy.”

In addition to writing for the “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special,” Kevin Shinick will also be narrating the entire episode much like Ted Knight famously narrated the “Super Friends” cartoon.

“I had a bucket list of dreams as a kid and one of them was to play a white haired middle aged man as a voice over guy, so I can rest in peace now,” he cracked.

The “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special” premieres on Adult Swim this Sunday, September 9, at midnight.

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