In the new audiodrama podcast Heroics, Josh — the heir to a fortune that our heroes need to keep their comic shop open — is played by Doug Harvey, a Los Angeles based actor and a new voice in the PlanetM universe.
Josh starts out in Heroics as an expert in herology (the study of superheros—a word we definitely made up), and meeting the Grand Leage of Avenging American Metahumans in the pilot episode is something of a dream come true for the character.
"(Josh) studied herology and he is fascinated with heroes and the evolution of heroes. And he knows everything from the beginning of the first heroes to to present day. So he is well versed," Doug said.
From the start, Doug meshed well with the character and was able to draw on his own real-life obsessions to bring Josh to life.
"Yeah. I mean, I'm a nerd. [Josh]'s a nerd. He's a total nerd. And I love that guy," Harvey said. "So for me, it's astronomy. For him, it's superheroes. And so as soon as I was able to plug into that, too, I was like, well, how many astronomy textbooks have I read? How often have I spent thinking about space and stars? OK, that's how long [Josh] was spending thinking about superheroes."
Doug trained in theater at NYU, but, like most of the cast, Heroics is his first audiodrama. It takes some work and very specific skills to translate the film and TV acting styles demanded of most actors in Hollywood to something that can stand on its own in an audio-only format. The biggest challenge, Doug said, was working against a microphone in a small room, and not in the show's story locations.
"It was a challenge for me in that I found myself in the room wanting to, like, show, you know, like I feel or feel that this was like it was all happening my body," he said.
It all required a lot of imagination.
"And I think that like that only sort of helps, though, to like to imagine the environment. And in a way, it's actually freeing because you're not limited by having to make the same movements that this character would do."
So he is seemingly very human at first. But I would say he's extremely smart. So watch out for him. He might be the most powerful of them all.
Josh is also one of the only regular characters without a defined superpower, at least in the way we've come to think about superpowers.
"You could say he's the brains of the operation," Doug said. "I think that perhaps that is his superpower, his ability to manipulate people and to ingratiate himself with superheroes. So he is seemingly very human at first. But I would say he's extremely smart. So watch out for him. He might be the most powerful of them all."
He also thinks that superhero fans of all kinds will find something that speaks to them in Heroics.
"If you love superheroes at all, this is a perfect show for you because like," he said. "It basically is a smorgasbord of all your favorite tropes from superhero stories mashed into one and also extremely like self-referential, which I love. You get to like go on the superhero journey and pick a superhero of your choice."
Hear more from Doug in the video below.