When you think of the DC Animated Universe, you think of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as Joker, Michael Rosenbaum as Flash, and Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman. For years, Ms. Eisenberg voiced the Amazon Warrior in the legendary Justice League cartoons. She also reprised her roles in several animated movies, and even video games.
I had the honor of chatting with Ms. Eisenberg, about both her time as Wonder Woman, and other avenues her voice acting career took her.
TOONZONE: Thank you so much for doing this Ms. Eisenberg.
SUSAN EISENBERG: My pleasure Todd, you’ve been so sweet and polite, I’m happy to do this.
TOONZONE: For me, and for many, you aren’t just the voice of Wonder Woman. You are THE voice of Wonder Woman. Looking to your Twitter following, you get all these questions and fan art about your Wonder Woman, what’s that like?
SUSAN EISENBERG: It’s a privilege. It never, ever, feels old. It’s never tiring, and I enjoy this relationship with the fans, especially on Twitter as I’m not on Facebook. It’s been a game changer for me. You go to shows, and you know there are fans, but this is so much more personal. They show me their art, and we’re talking to each other, and it’s a real conversation. That’s invaluable.
Then, for many to associate me with Wonder Woman — that Wonder Woman, Bruce Timm’s Wonder Woman…it’s amazing. Especially since that came out in 2001, and it’s still going. It’s a privilege.
SUSAN EISENBERG: To me, that just shows the quality. Not just in the voice acting, though that played a big part, but in the direction, and in the writing. We may not have known at the time just how special it was, but now, anyone associated with the show looks back and says “why, that was great,” and “we were lucky to be a part of that.”
This really hit home when we did a panel at New York Comic Con. It was the first time we were reunited since the show ended. We didn’t get a lot of time to promote it, so we were unsure about the turnout. Three thousand people showed up.
SUSAN EISENBERG: Yeah, and when we opened up for questions, there was a stampede to the microphone! It was surreal, I had no idea what was going on, because the noise from everyone getting up was so loud.
I think we all know now, from the actors to the fans, that this show was a once in a lifetime show. Which explains why the love is there. Everyone from the writers, to the fans, because it was their show too. We all look at it and say, “That was something special.”
TOONZONE: I remember the hype for that, the fans going, “The Justice League is reuniting!” It made even ones who couldn’t go, like me, excited for it.
SUSAN EISENBERG: Yeah! If I had it my way, we’d do it all over the country. I actually organized the NYCC panel, and I would love to do it all over and meet fans from all over, and not just New York, because I know they would come. That’s something I’m working on as we speak actually. It’s actually a frustration that we haven’t been put back together again, and I want to change that.
TOONZONE: I applaud that, and I hope it happens. Going back to Wonder Woman, the character has gone through a renaissance of sorts in the last few years. For a while, your role as Wonder Woman was all a lot of people had for the character, do you think your portrayal helped spark this modern day revival of sorts for the character?
SUSAN EISENBERG: You know, that’s a good question, but that’s not for me to answer. It’s really up to the fans. I was really happy with my time as Diana, and I love how she was portrayed in the Justice League cartoons, and the movies, but I can’t say if I “inspired” what’s happening now. All I know is, I love it. I’m happy this is happening to Wonder Woman, and I hope people appreciate it.
I’m hoping for even more, I’ve long been advocating for a Wonder Woman video game in the vein of Arkham, cause I think fans would love that.
TOONZONE: I would love that.
SUSAN EISENBERG: Yeah! But, as an actor, I don’t have much control over this. This is really up to the fans, to tell the developers of video games and DC Comics that they want this. I can only do so much. If the fans get it done though, that would be so awesome.
TOONZONE: Speak of which, as a fan of Wonder Woman, I know that there is something that the character has not had in comparison to the other two Trinity members, and that’s a solo animated series. Batman has had a lot, Superman has had a few, but Wonder Woman hasn’t. Would you like a Wonder Woman solo animated series voiced by you?
SUSAN EISENBERG: Nothing would make me happier. I would love to offer that, but again, it’s kind of unnatural for me to ask someone to try and make that. And again, if the fans asked it, and we got it going, it could happen, and I would love to be a part of that.
TOONZONE: So would I! Now, naturally, I have to talk about Batman V Superman. Wonder Woman is in it, played by Gal Gadot, and I hear you’re quite happy with what you’ve seen so far from Ms. Gadot?
SUSAN EISENBERG: Yeah, you know, I have no problems with Gal. I was actually struck by the negativity that was coming from the Wonder Woman fanbase when she was announced. I’ve only seen parts of the criticism, but I’ve heard tales of how bad it’s gotten and I’m like, we need to give this a chance. Go see the film, and yeah, let’s hope its wonderful. If it’s not? OK then, but let’s not judge before we’ve even seen it. Let’s be excited in the meantime that she’s getting her own solo movie! It’s happening! Let’s be happy for her and for Wonder Woman.
TOONZONE: They clearly see something in Gal Gadot…
SUSAN EISENBERG: Yeah, and it’s not just that, they see it in Wonder Woman that it’s finally time to give her the movie she deserves. Which is of course gratifying to the Wonder Woman fans who have been waiting for a true movie of her. Decades of waiting to see her.
TOONZONE: One of the big complaints that I’ve seen, is about Gal Gadot’s “body type.” Cause when they think of Wonder Woman, they think of this big muscular woman, not unlike in the comics that she’s drawn in. Yet to me, I grew up with Justice League, and that Wonder Woman didn’t have the massive muscles, yet no one doubted how strong she was. So when I hear complaints, I’m like, “That’s how she is in one media, not all.”
SUSAN EISENBERG: When I was shown the picture of Wonder Woman from Bruce Timm, it was the Wonder Woman we see in the cartoon. She’s not overly muscular, not broad in the arms or shoulders, but her strength is unquestionable. You see it all the time in the show. Everyone is entitled to their “vision” of Wonder Woman. My version is different than the comics, but mine is also different than Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show, who was for a long time the definitive Wonder Woman. I think we just need to wait for the film, see it, and then let the conversations begin.
I understand that there is an expectation of what Wonder Woman should look like, but we all have different visions of this character, this woman, and it should be open to interpretation.
TOONZONE: So heading to the end of this, Wonder Woman is heading towards her 75th anniversary milestone, which is an accomplishment for any character no matter what gender or race. DC Comics has not been shy in making some big plans and celebrations for its characters when they’ve reached these milestones. Both Batman and Superman had some great things done for them. Any plans for Wonder Woman?
SUSAN EISENBERG: There will be celebrations. I’m not in the know about all the plans, but I am involved. I just don’t know when and where they will be. But, the moment, the second, I do, I will let fans know so that they can try and be there to celebrate with me.
TOONZONE: That is awesome, I just am hoping that your voice will return to Wonder Woman in some fashion, like how Kevin Conroy came back for Batman…
SUSAN EISENBERG: Well I can tell you my voice will be returning to Wonder Woman…I just can’t say in what way. It will definitely be returning though.
TOONZONE: Amazing. So, wrapping up. What do you think Wonder Woman means to the world? Both in the past, the present, and the next 75 years? What do you think her place in history will be?
SUSAN EISENBERG: I think what she represents is timeless. I recall a panel I did with many of the Justice League cast, and we recalled how we loved the stories. In our stories, the good guys win, “right” wins. It’s good to see that there are stories where the good guys win and the bad guys lose. It’s timeless. It was that way with Lynda Carter, with Justice League, and hopefully with Gal Gadot, and whoever plays Wonder Woman next. It actually transcends the character, and characters she’s with.
I think that’s why these characters have endured, they’re epic. The messages are simple, but they feel so true. There’s a security and comfort in knowing that a universe like that still exist. As long as we need that, and I think we always will, Wonder Woman will endure. Along with Batman, Superman, and all other heroes.
Toonzone would like to thank Susan Eisenberg for taking the time to talk with us. Batman v. Superman is in theaters now, and Justice League Unlimited is available in a complete series Blu-ray set via the Warner Archive. You can follow Susan Eisenberg via her Twitter feed and her official website.