By Christina Pham
The “The Super Hero Squad Show: Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 4” hits stores in less than 24 hours! To celebrate the second season’s fourth and final DVD release, we chat-up someone who’s been involved with “The Super Hero Squad Show” since day one, Supervising Producer Cort Lane!
|"The Super Hero Squad Show: Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 4" DVD box art|
As the Vice President of Animation Development and Production for Marvel Television, Lane’s work should be very familiar with fans. Apart from being Supervising Director for “The Super Hero Squad Show,” he’s also been a Producer then Supervising Producer on “Iron Man: Armored Adventures,” and currently serves as Supervising Producer on “Ultimate Spider-Man” inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD.
Lane’s worn such a wide array of hats, so we figured it was more than necessary to let him share his side of the story with us. Sit back, read on and get your copy of the “The Super Hero Squad Show: Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 4” DVD tomorrow!
Marvel.com: As the Supervising Producer on “The Super Hero Squad Show," what did your role entail?
Cort Lane: I was very fortunate to work with the two other creative leads on the show--Mitch Schauer (Supervising Director and Lead Character Designer) and Matt Wayne (Story Editor)--in shaping the show from concept to post-production. Mitch and Matt are really funny and collaborative guys, and the comedic success of the show is definitely due more to them than me. I loved every part of the process on “The Super Hero Squad Show,” [from] brainstorming story ideas, scripts, storyboards, rough cuts and mixes. One little thing I am especially proud of are the Title Cards. Being an epic Marvel fanboy, I really liked picking each classic comic that we created an homage for in every Title Card.
|The Squaddies in "The Super Hero Squad Show" Season 2|
Marvel.com: Having been involved in the series since its very beginning, what was your overall experience like? Is there anything you miss most about working on “The Super Hero Squad Show"?
Cort Lane: My background was more in feature-length animation or mini-series, so maintaining (and improving) quality over 52 episodes was a huge challenge, but really gratifying in the end. What do I miss? Definitely the recording sessions. Our cast got along incredibly well and loved to improvise and one-up each other in the booth. We would be laughing hysterically on the other side of the glass every week. Tom Kenny (who plays Iron Man, M.O.D.O.K. and several others) poured over the scripts, and would come up with alternate jokes and gags to pitch in the booth. He was sort of a leader in the sessions, just as Iron Man leads the team, so we finally had to ask him to co-write an episode for us: "Missing: Impossible!"
|A Super Hero Squad title card, paying homage to Fantastic Four (1961) #49|
Marvel.com: Of the episodes in Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 4, which was your favorite to work on and why?
Cort Lane: Oh, tough question. Probably "Revenge of the Baby Sat," just because it’s one of our funniest. The baby Squaddies (yes, we were inspired by the X-Babies) are so cute, and elderly Ms. Marvel and Thor are so weird. Steve Blum was always the most hilarious when he had to play a frustrated Wolverine, so an episode of Wolverine baby-sitting his teammates was just awesome-sauce.
Marvel.com: What were some of the major obstacles you had to overcome when the show was in production?
Cort Lane: We wanted the show to introduce younger kids to a broad spectrum of the Marvel Universe, but that meant designing, casting, recording and animating hundreds of Marvel characters. As a fan, that is so cool. But as a Supervising Producer, it could be exhausting.
Marvel.com: Did you have a favorite character throughout Vol. 4? Who was it and why?
|Scarlet Witch from “The Super Hero Squad Show”|
Cort Lane: That character would have to be Scarlet Witch. I am a big Wanda fan and was the one that pushed to add her to the Season 2 cast. She starts the season as a former villain, not sure that she can make it as a hero. In the final episodes of the season, we get to see her follow her instincts and trust in herself enough to be critical in the heroes' victory over the Silver Surfer.
Marvel.com: Our heroes play different leadership roles in these episodes, whether it meant Captain Marvel sacrificing himself so Ms. Marvel and the others could defeat Dark Surfer, or Wolverine taking on the role of a babysitter--which characters do you believe developed the most throughout the second season, and why?
Cort Lane: Wanda probably has the biggest arc, but it was great to see Iron Man learn that he is not just a hero because of his tech, to see Wolverine become a little less grouchy, and to see ol' Doomie go from down-and-out to (almost) conqueror of the universe--so close, Vic!
Marvel.com: If you had another opportunity to work on “The Super Hero Squad Show," are there other Marvel super heroes you would introduce to the project?
Cort Lane: Wow, we sort of covered everyone I wanted, except we never got to feature the Vision (I'm a big fan). There was just never the right story. And Squirrel Girl, because you can never get enough Squirrel Girl.
Pick up “The Super Hero Squad Show: Infinity Gauntlet Vol. 4” on DVD Tuesday, August 21!