Skip to main content

Blue Beetle: How Matt Lanter’s Work On The DC Showcase Short Compared To His Time As Aquaman In The DC Animated Movie Universe

Blue Beetle piloting Bug ship in DC Showcase short
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

Some of you may be most familiar with Matt Lanter from voicing Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and a handful of other projects set in a galaxy far, far away, while others may remember his live action outings like Wyatt Logan in Timeless or George Hutchence in the swiftly-canceled Jupiter’s Legacy. For DC Comics fans though, he’s now left his mark on two fronts: voicing Arthur Curry/Aquaman in the DC Animated Movie Universe and Ted Kord in the DC Showcase short Blue Beetle. Lanter took some time to compared the two projects during a recent conversation I had with him about Blue Beetle.

Matt Lanter debuted as Aquaman in 2015’s Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, while Blue Beetle was originally attached to Batman: The Long Halloween — Part One, and is now available in the DC Showcase — Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation alongside the title extended short, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! and The Losers. When I asked Lanter how Blue Beetle compared to his previous animation work, particularly Aquaman, he gave the following response, which also included reflecting on his Star Wars: The Clone Wars days:

Well, obviously Aquaman in Throne of Atlantis is much more serious. Those DC animations are really high quality, from the animation to the voice acting and to the storytelling. So obviously doing Blue Beetle here is a departure from that. Again, it’s being so bad that it’s good. So it was just a fun, unique opportunity. Doing Anakin for The Clone Wars, it’s good storytelling, and especially as we went on, Season 5, 6, 7, the animation is just so spot-on and beautiful to watch. Doing this was obviously much different, and it was more of a fun project. As we recorded it, we knew we got a good take when we all laughed, and that was sort of the barometer to move on and go for the next line. It was just a fun, fun time, and I hope they would want to do some more of this Blue Beetle, and I hope they want me to do it because it would be a super fun thing to always go back to.

There’s no question that Matt Lanter’s three Aquaman appearances (he reprised the role in The Death of Superman and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War), are significantly different beasts compared to Blue Beetle. The movies in the DC Animated Movie Universe were serious stories compiling a continuity that lasted seven years, whereas Blue Beetle is a parody of late ‘60s Saturday morning superhero cartoons that don’t require any major DC knowledge to enjoy. The DC Showcase short even included deliberate errors that were all too common in the era it poked fun at, but Matt Lanter was well aware of what kind of project this was going into it, and he had an outstanding time recording his lines for Blue Beetle.

Although Ted Kord is the star of Blue Beetle, the DC Showcase short serves as a platform to spotlight other characters who originated from Charlton Comics. Directed by Milo Neuman, with Jennifer Keene writing a script based off a story hashed out by Jeremy Adams, Blue Beetle sees Ted teaming up with The Question (with the two of them sharing a dynamic similar to Jim and Dwight from The Office) to defeat Doctor Spectro and running into Captain Atom and Nightshade along the way. The depiction of characters in DC Showcase shorts are usually one-and-done affairs (although Matt Ryan’s John Constantine in Constantine: The House of Mystery is the same one from the DC Animated Movie Universe), but perhaps Lanter will get the opportunity to reprise this version of Blue Beetle again. If that doesn’t happen, maybe another DC character could be adapted in a similar manner.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s DC Showcase — Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation can be purchased on Blu-ray and Digital. The next direct-to-video DC animation offering is the movie Green Lantern: Beware My Power, which dropped its first trailer several days ago and will be released on July 26.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.