MAIN · CHARACTERS · EPISODES · REVIEWS · MEDIA · BACKSTAGE · FORUM
Chances are, if you’ve got good taste in cartoons you’ll have heard Steve Blum’s voice, even if you aren’t aware of it. After nearly two decades in the biz, Blum rose to stardom as Spike in Cowboy Bebop. Now, he is best known as the voice of Wolverine in the new Wolverine And The X-Men show. The Marvel Animation Age caught up with the ever humble Steve to discuss the show, Goblins and Green giants. Take it away Steve!
MAA: First off, while everyone here likely knows of your impressive body of work, care to give any possible new fans a quick rundown of your voice acting work??
Blum: Um… ok… wow… sure! I started out in Anime in the early 90s (still doing it today!).
These days, I suppose I’m best known as “Wolverine” from several incarnations of X-Men, "Spike" from
Cowboy Bebop, "Tom" (the robot) from Toonami, “Green Goblin” from the Spectacular Spider-Man series,
“Heatblast,” “Vilgax” and “Ghostfreak” from Ben 10, I’m the occasional voice of 7-11 (the store on every
corner Starbucks doesn’t own), "Guilmon" and dozens of other characters from 3 seasons of Digimon, "Zabuza" and “Orochimaru” from Naruto, “Darcia” from Wolf’s Rain, "Roger Smith" from The Big O, “Kazuma” from Scr-y-ed, “Jamie” from Megas XLR, “Vincent Valentine” from Final Fantasy 7 and Dirge of Cerberus, “Blunk” from Disney’s “W.I.T.C.H”, “Ares” in God of War, “Yakky Doodle” from Harvey Birdman, “Leeron” from Gurren Lagann and multiple characters from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, What’s New Scooby Doo, Afro Samurai, Star Wars, etc. Lotta voices in this noggin. Good thing I have an outlet, or I’d be committed!
MAA: Now, “Wolverine and The X-Men” isn't the first time you have voiced the character. So, before we talk
about the animated series itself, where else have you played everyone’s favorite Canadian mutant? What type of
roles were they?
Blum: Well, I first played the ole Canucklehead in the X-Men Legends Video game,
then I think Ultimate Alliance was next, then came the series, the Hulk VS movie, a Spider-Man game or two,
and right now I’m even working on a new kid-friendly version called Super Hero Squad. So far, each
appearance of Wolverine has maintained the classic frustrated, sometimes feral anti-hero persona that
Marvel has so meticulously sculpted through years of comic book goodness. The only thing that really
changed for me was context. In video games, it’s pretty much taunt and fight. We stuck with the basics
with some “Bubs” and typical Wolvie phrasing thrown in to keep him in the universe.
The Movie (Hulk VS) gave me the chance to go the rawest form of Logan – as primal as he gets - visually and
vocally. Really got to feel the pain and tear some stuff up. Fun, baby!! In Super Hero Squad, Wolverine’s
shrunk down, younged up and a lot funnier. Definitely opens him up to a whole new audience.
MAA: How did these role (unknowingly, I suppose) prepare you for the role of Wolverine in “Wolverine and The X-Men.”
Blum: Wolverine is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever played. I don’t often deconstruct my roles – don’t usually have time! But I’m thankful that I had a few years to play with him before delving into his psyche to the depths necessary for this series. I’ve always had his voice in my head since reading my first X-Men comic, but working with guys like Craig Kyle, Frank Paur, Boyd Kirkland, Joshua Fine, Steven E. Gordon, Greg Johnson, etc… I had a team of fanatical X-Men ex-perts to guide me! They are as enthusiastic (probably more!) as any fanboy I’ve ever met and heavily armed with years of knowledge and vast creative experience to draw from. I had the gods of Marvel watching over me and didn’t want to let them down! I still feel like I’m way behind in knowing my X-history! ms — the elements that make Spidey less-than-perfect and that much easier to
MAA: And now, time to tackle the actual “Wolverine and The X-Men” series. Having successfully tackled the first 26 episodes, with 26 more in the pipeline, any thoughts on the series, and your role in it, so far?
Blum: Mostly one comes to mind… gratitude. I feel so lucky to be part of this franchise. I love the X-Men and I love Wolverine. To be allowed to voice a character of this iconic magnitude is something I will never take for granted.
MAA: Has this role thrown any surprises at you, in terms of the character or plot development?
Blum: Yeah! But if I told you what they were, I’d have to kill ya, Bub! Heh.
It’s been a great ride so far. Very interesting question actually, because I thought that I kind of knew the basic saga of the X-Men and thought it would be fairly straightforward. I figured I’d invest myself in the character as much as I could from week to week like any other gig. But these guys did such an amazing job of writing from a different perspective, that each week I received my script, I got completely lost in the story – just like the old days of sipping a cold soda on a hot summer day and pouring through the comic books. I never expected it to evoke that much sense memory and excitement. A lot of us on the cast have expressed that!
What are some of the major perks about playing Wolverine in this series?
Blum: Number one – working with this cast. Holy cow, did you see the cast list? Some of the greatest voiceover magicians in the world!! It’s funny, but I’m actually one of the quieter guys in the room on record day. I love to sit back and listen to my favorite characters be brought to life by my favorite actors – and people!! Also, this is one of the few American animated shows I’ve worked on that has employed so many well known Anime (Japanese Animation) actors. Such a brilliant and underused community of talent!
Also my street cred has vastly improved, the action figures rock, and I get to say “Snikt.” Out loud.
MAA: Now, Marvel Animation has gone on record saying that you are going to be the official voice for Wolverine in, well, just about every upcoming project. How does it make you feel to see Marvel Animation get behind you in such a fashion?
Blum: Humbled and grateful. There are no words that can accurately express how grateful I am. Okay, stop it right now… Wolverine doesn’t cry…Wolverine does NOT cry… Aw hell, if Jackman can dance, I can gush a little.
MAA: As a follow-up to the previous question, we're going to see you as Wolverine in “Super Hero Squad” How will your take on that role be different than your other interpretations of the character?
Blum: As I mentioned earlier – it’s for kids and played for the funny. Wolvie is much younger in voice and action – something never seen before. Definitely not as violent. He’s still plenty cranky, but more like 16-year-old cranky. Still got the claws, but not allowed to use ‘em to draw blood.
I really hope the diehard Marvel fans will give this one a chance too. We’re adlibbing our hineys off and the cast on SHS has brought me close to peeing myself laughing on more than one occasion. I love that Marvel was willing to go there!
MAA: We've also seen you do Wolverine in “Hulk VS” Did that movie, and the PG-13 rating, allow you to take some more chances with the character that you couldn't on “Wolverine and The X-Men”.
Blum: Sure – we actually did get to draw blood! Not just implied… like real stabbing and slicing! Took it to a whole new level. They animated the stuff that I’ve always had in my head and never got to see onscreen before! We had to growl from the guts to make it as real as we could. Fun, painful, yet cathartic. Like paid therapy.
MAA: Now, to quickly divert from the world of the X-Men for a moment, you also play Green Goblin in “The Spectacular Spider-Man”. Care to drop any hints on where fans can expect to see The Green Goblin in the upcoming second season?
Blum: The Green Goblin would have to swat you into oblivion if he told you, little spider. Don’t think I’m at liberty to say just yet, but ooh… it’s gonna be good.
MAA: Back to business, will we be seeing you in the bonus features for the upcoming “Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy”? Have you had chance to preview the upcoming DVD release?
Blum: I don’t know! No! Dying to see it! I think I get my copy tomorrow. Don’t know anything about the bonus features yet – I’m sure it’ll be amazing! Lionsgate always does a great job.
Love the idea of seeing it with great sound and no commercials!
MAA: Now, as we wrap this up and attempt to tie everything together, can you give fans a reason not only to pick up the upcoming “Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy” DVD, but as to why they should be checking out “Wolverine and The X-Men” every week? Alright...go!
Blum: Because I know where you live, Bub.
Naw – this is just a great show, plain and simple. If you’ve ever read a comic book, if you like good storytelling, if you’re breathing… you’ll love this show. It’ll satisfy the most knowledgeable, committed fans and at the same time, intrigue newcomers to come and explore why the X-Men continues to be one of the most popular franchises of all time. Watch it and own it. It is the best, most faithful, passionate adaptation of the X-Men universe to date. Snikt!!
Many thanks for your participation, Steve!
Blum: Thank you! And to all the fans, thank you, guys. I deeply appreciate the love and support! See ya around, you beautiful Mutants!
Wolverine And The X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy will be released on April 21st, 2009
The Marvel Animation Age would like to thank Steve for his participation in this interview, and his work on the show.
Check out much more at Marvel Animation Age.
Wolverine and The X-Men and related characters and
indicia are property of
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, 2001 - 2015.
Marvel Animation Age and everything relating to this site - copyright, 2014.
Proudly hosted by toonzone. Contact us.