Hey Readers!! Happy Justice League Day!! Uhh..what I am talking about exactly? Well, on November 17th, in 2001, Cartoon Network and DC/Warner Animation released its biggest powerhouse series of comic book animated entertainment, JUSTICE LEAGUE!! This was the day, Bruce Timm and company took the DC Animated Universe and brought it to a whole new level of WOW! A show that brought to life, in a very big way, the group adventures of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl and gave them style, wit, attitude, and with great adventures, dangers, and perils to boot. Let’s take a look-back..shall we?
Enter the humble beginnings of where the JL universe first got its taste on the small screen… Back in the day, circa early 1970′s, ABC network in conjunction with Hannah-Barbera Productions(back way before the CN/WB buy-up) brought to the world it’s first incarnation of the ever-mighty League, that in the form of the Saturday morning hit goliath, SUPERFRIENDS. The show did much to keep the DC franchise of all it’s mainsteam beloved characters alive and well in everyday popularity. However, it was mostly a TV show with far-fetched villainous Adversity for the team as well as provide important yet less controversial morality and safety lessons (i.e. look both ways before crossing the street, and don’t ever smoke) aimed at children who watched the show. SUPERFRIENDS kept a rather loyal following on into the late 70s and early 80s and eventually faded off…
Fast Forward to mid-2000 where WB/DC animation, and Cartoon Network are living off the tremendous momentum that the Batman, Superman, and Batman Beyond animated adventures have taken and are taking them. Even better days were just around the corner. In mid to late 2000, the announcement came; a teaser promotional detailing the new line-up for DC in a definitely new light.
JL Cartoon Network Teaser from 2001
And there it was…JUSTICE LEAGUE!! November 17th, 2001, it debuted with its awesome opening pilot movie which later became its three part introductory Arc “Secret Origins”. The series went to take the DC animated universe by storm by taking the Justice League Universe in a way little explored by the Superfriends with more deeper stories into the DC legends. From stories of the league doing battle with Superman’s biggest adversaries, to Wonder Woman’s conflicts with Felix Faust, and Batman’s tanglings with the Joker, this included having each separate character of the team showcased on their own turf, dealing with their own personal conflicts and foes.
JL original series Opening
Along with these stories, came fantastic art/animation direction and production, writing, voice acting, and more. The stories were humble to grandiose, the action thrilling, the drama/comedy spectacular (even to say better than some live action comics shows), and dialogue unprecedently clever and amusing, particularly in wit, humor, and
attitude. All this thanks to the awesome production talents of the best in DC and Warner’s industries: Timm Bruce, Paul Dini, Dwayne McDuffie(RIP Dwayne, he did AWESOME!), and others. This production work, coupled with the incomparable ensemble voicing talents of actors like, George Newbern, Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, Michael Rosenbaum, Phil LaMarr, and voices for the villains like Mark Hamill and Clancy Brown…made JL a DC series to remember always.
JL/JLU Funny moments
Although the original Justice League series played up until early 2004, it continued its dynamic trend into its next series spin-off JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and went on to feature even more characters like Supergirl, Green Arrow, Huntress, Captain Atom, Zantanna, Dr. Fate, and the Question. That series went on to take the Justice League animated saga to new heights and testing the league’s stability and perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity from more than just the supervillains themselves. By Mid-2006, it all went to good things coming to an end, as Justice League Unlimited also finished its run.
Justice League Unlimited Opening
All totaled, it was a great and memorable run… For us fans, we got to see where a DC animated show can really raise the bar on quality and make for a show like never seen before. A show that really celebrates the legends of DC favorites and got the lesser-known heroes a big chance to shine in the spotlight and gain notoriety. And while
YOUNG JUSTICE is doing an impeccable job of keeping the DC spirit alive on these legends, We can only hope that a series as great as JL was will return in all its awesome-ness the same…
That is all for this feature.. Check out next feature when I present the awesome Phoenix Comic Con 2011 Look-Back!: The Q n A with Billy Dee Williams!!