The Robot Chicken gang is taking another crack at the DC Comics universe and it's going to be Doom's day. The hapless cadre of criminals known as the Legion of Doom steal the spotlight (and the laughs) in Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise, the follow-up to the 2012 collaboration between Adult Swim's irreverent stop-motion animation parody series and the comic-book giant (premiering Sunday, April 6 at 11:30 p.m./10:30c on Cartoon Network.)
"We had such a good time with Alfred Molina and Paul Reubens and all the other people who played villains in the first special, we thought those characters would be great to focus on," says Seth Green, who co-created Robot Chicken with Matthew Senreich. The cast once again includes Molina (as Lex Luthor), Reubens (the Riddler), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern) and Breckin Meyer (Superman). "It was like bringing back a bunch of friends," Senreich says. "We've had a growing love affair with Alfred Molina. He came in not knowing what to expect with the first DC special, and then he came back and did [DVD] commentary on that special and hung out with us for a while. We just developed a nice friendship and when we called him back the second time it was all goofing around, trying different things."
In RCDC2, the blossoming, forbidden romance between Lex's daughter Lena (voiced by Modern Family's Sarah Hyland) and Superboy (Zac Efron) quickly puts the Legion of Doom and the Justice League at odds. "When you think of all the great star-crossed romances, they're all musicals, so we turned this into more of a musical than a regular episode," says Green (who also voices Batman, among other characters). "It's actually fun to produce music in animation. Plus, it's so silly, you get an extra layer of comedy just by combining those genres."
Longtime DC fanboys will especially love the appearance of Starro the Conqueror (voiced by Kevin Shinick, creator of Cartoon Network's MAD series), the very first villain the Justice League faced, back in 1960. Among the gags packed into the special are a playful dig at Damon Lindelof, an Instagram account for Lena (which is live at @reallenaluthor) and a jab at comic-book publishers milking collectors with endless variant covers (even as Robot team created special covers for 22 DC titles this spring). "DC is a really big brand and they were incredibly cool about letting us be silly, knowing that we'd never be disrespectful and that everything comes from a place of love," Green says. "We're celebrating their willingness not to take themselves too seriously."
Following RCDC2, the seventh season of Robot Chicken officially kicks off next Sunday, April 13. This year's slate includes parodies of Eyes Wide Shut Parody and The Birds, the latter featuring a guest appearance by Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin.