On Marvel.com last week, Marvel comics creator Stan Lee and Star Wars actor Mark Hamill were interviewed together talking about Hamill’s new voice role in the Marvel animated Avengers series on Disney XD. The interview proved to be so much more than this. The pair spoke about their shared love of comic books and their admiration for each other, and Stan Lee even revealed which of his movie cameos has been his favorite!
Mark Hamill Is Arnim Zola in ‘Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest’
Of course, Mark Hamill is no stranger to voice acting or playing animated villains. Hamill has voiced the Joker since Batman: The Animated Series first aired back in 1992 and has reprised the role for recent video games Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City, and Batman: Arkham Knight. For many, Hamill is the quintessential Joker, often ranking as comic fans’ favourite and most faithful portrayal. Now, Hamill is making the move from DC into Marvel. This comes as no great surprise really, as Star Wars and Marvel now all fall under the Disney umbrella. I imagine it has opened doors for Hamill to work more closely with Marvel.
Hamill is voicing Captain America villain Arnim Zola for the animated TV series. Hamill just loves playing a good villain. He described Zola as a brilliant Hydra scientist and a time traveler, who has been trapped in a robot exoskeleton and embroiled in a 70-year-long battle with Captain America. He describes the story as “fantastic fantasy” and he is hugely excited to see Black Panther come into the series as he is a “huge fan” of the character.
Mark Hamill, the “Comic Book Geek”
Hamill reminisces about growing up on Marvel comic books in the sixties. He describes how Stan Lee created a unique bond with his audience and how his personality came across the pages. Hamill tells the interviewer:
I adore this man! He defies time. I get older, he remains the same!
Aside from Stan Lee’s inability to age, they also joke about Hamill’s performance as Arnim Zola. “It’s terrible,” Stan Lee jokes before explaining that Hamill is so talented. He explains that it is Hamill’s ability to manipulate accent and dialect that allows him to truly become his characters. Stan Lee’s admiration for Mark Hamill’s talents is palpable!
The Key to a Great Supervillain
When asked what the key is to creating a great supervillain, Stan Lee explains that they have to be more than just an “evil character”. They need a story; one that comes from a personal tragedy, or one that is borne out of the character’s own motivations and ambitions. Stan Lee feels that his villains are more interesting than his heroes!
Hamill supports this view. He believes that a supervillain rarely thinks of themselves as evil and often believe they are doing something good. Hamill loves the liberation that voice acting gives him when portraying these complex characters.
When asked about his greatest achievement, Stan Lee talks about his creation of the rallying cry, “Avengers Assemble!” He explains that its power has become part of life. It could stop a bully in his tracks in the playground! He jokes that the world owes him a little something for that. I’m not sure there are many comic fans that would disagree.
So, what’s Stan Lee’s favorite cameo? It’s the one where he gets drunk with Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron! Why? Because he got two scenes in that one. He is hoping for three scenes next time!
How would you rate Hamill’s performance as Arnim Zola? Where else would you like to see Disney using Mark Hamill in the Marvel universe? Also, what’s your favorite Stan Lee cameo? Let us know in the comments!