Justice League (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Justice League
Justice League (TV series logo).png
Based on
Developed byBruce Timm
Written byRich Fogel (seasons 1-2)
Stan Berkowitz (seasons 1-2)
Dwayne McDuffie (season 2)
Directed byButch Lukic
Dan Riba
Voices of
Theme music composerLolita Ritmanis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes52 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
EditorJoe Gall
Running time20-22 minutes
40-44 minutes (2-part episodes)
Production companiesWarner Bros. Animation
DC Comics
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkCartoon Network
Original releaseNovember 17, 2001 (2001-11-17) –
May 29, 2004 (2004-05-29)
Preceded byThe New Batman/Superman Adventures
Followed byJustice League Unlimited
External links

Justice League is an American animated television series which ran from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. It is the seventh series of the DC Animated Universe.[1] The show was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It is based on the Justice League of America and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics. It serves as a prequel to Batman Beyond and as a sequel to Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. The series ended after two seasons, but was followed by Justice League Unlimited, a successor series which aired for three seasons.


Bruce Timm, who co-produced Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series in the 1990s, became producer on an animated series focusing on the Justice League. The roster consisted of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (John Stewart), The Flash (Wally West), Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), and Hawkgirl.[1]

According to audio commentary on the DVD release of Season 2, the second-season finale "Starcrossed" was expected to be the final episode of the series. However, in February 2004, Cartoon Network announced a follow-up series, Justice League Unlimited, which premiered on July 31, 2004 and featured a larger roster of characters.


Kevin Conroy reprised his voice role as Batman from Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995), The New Batman Adventures (1997–1999), and Batman Beyond (1999–2001). Batman's costume was redesigned, but this time, his costume was a combination of his last three costumes. The same costume from The New Batman Adventures is retained, but with the blue highlights from the Batman: The Animated Series costume and the long-ears from the Batman Beyond costume are added to the costume. Tim Daly, who voiced Superman in Superman: The Animated Series (1996–2000) was initially involved but was unable to continue his role due to involvement with The Fugitive (a short-lived remake of the original 1963 TV series),[2] and was replaced by George Newbern. Superman was initially redesigned to have a bit of a squint to his eyes and slight wrinkles that was also meant to make him look older, in addition to having a noticeable shining streak to his hair; he was redesigned to appear larger in physical girth than in the previous series. Fans did not like the older appearance and in the second season the streak was toned down to the point of almost disappearing and the squint was removed, in essence reverting Superman to his earlier animated look. As an in-joke, Superman's season one facial designs are used for an older Jor-El in the Justice League Unlimited episode "For the Man Who Has Everything".

Several actors who voiced members of the League's villains in previous DCAU shows also returned to reprise their roles, including Mark Hamill, Clancy Brown, Corey Burton, Ron Perlman, Arleen Sorkin, Peri Gilpin, Mark Rolston, Ted Levine and Michael Ironside as the Joker, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Clayface, Harley Quinn, Volcana, Firefly, Sinestro, and Darkseid, respectively. Additionally, Michael Dorn returned to voice Darkseid's son Kalibak, Lisa Edelstein reprised her role as Luthor's former bodyguard Mercy Graves, and Brad Garrett reprised his role as the bounty hunter Lobo. Other villains were re-cast for various reasons. Brion James, who had previously voiced Parasite, died in 1999 and was replaced by Brian George. Due to budgetary reasons in the episode "Hereafter," Corey Burton replaced Bud Cort, Malcolm McDowell and Miguel Ferrer from their respective roles as Toyman, Metallo and Weather Wizard (although both Cort and McDowell would return for Justice League Unlimited). Maria Canals (who provides the voice for Hawkgirl) replaced Lori Petty as Livewire in the same episode.

Cover art for the comic Justice League Adventures #1 (2002).
Art by Bruce Timm and Alex Ross.

Most of the characters retained their general comic book origins and continuity, with Wonder Woman being the notable exception. In the Justice League series continuity, the premiere story arc "Secret Origins" revises the plot of Diana's competition against her fellow Amazons to be the ambassador of peace to man's world, and she is referred to as a "rookie" superhero during her first encounter with the League. (Subsequent episodes touched on her attempts to adjust to her new world). In an interview segment on the Season One DVD, Bruce Timm stated that he initially ran into some legal issues in using the Wonder Woman character, but was adamant that she be used in the series. Additionally, the character of The Flash was portrayed as somewhat younger and significantly more brash than his comic book counterpart, taking on a number of personality traits of Plastic Man, who provides a similar comic relief function in the JLA comics. Charlie Schlatter, who voiced the Flash in one episode of Superman: The Animated Series, was unavailable to reprise the role and was replaced by Michael Rosenbaum. Major changes were also made to the Hawkgirl character. The character of Hawkgirl became romantically involved with the John Stewart Green Lantern as the series progressed. A romantic relationship between Batman and Wonder Woman was also "shown" (hinted at but never "official" unlike Hawkgirl/Green Lantern) by the show's creators, who disliked pairing Wonder Woman with Superman despite fan requests. Robin is not paired with Batman in this animated series like he was on Super Friends.

In addition to Conroy, Newburn, Canals and Rosenbaum, the rest of the main cast includes Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Phil LaMarr as Green Lantern and Carl Lumbly as J'onn J'onzz. Canals, Rosenbaum, LaMarr and Lumbly had all appeared on different shows within the DCAU, all appearing as different characters before their casting on Justice League.

Although the series itself is animated in traditional 2-dimensional style, the opening credits are rendered in 3D with toon shading. The intro is a "stock" intro used throughout the series until Justice League Unlimited premieres.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
126November 17, 2001 (2001-11-17)November 9, 2002 (2002-11-09)
226July 5, 2003 (2003-07-05)May 29, 2004 (2004-05-29)

Voice cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring characters[edit]

Home media[edit]

From 2006 to 2011, Warner Home Entertainment (via DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Family Entertainment) released the entire series of Justice League on DVD and Blu-ray, and presented in original broadcast version and story arc continuity order.

Season releases

Name Disc Release Date Ep # Notes
Season One DVD March 21, 2006 26 Contains a set of 4 DVDs with all of the episodes from the first season as well as audio commentaries, interviews, and other special features.
Season One Blu-ray August 19, 2008 26 Season One has been re-mastered and re-issued as a set of 3 Blu-ray Discs (in full 1080p and with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound) with everything included on the prior release.
Season Two DVD June 20, 2006 26 Contains a set of 4 DVDs with all of the episodes from the second season as well as audio commentaries and a panel discussion involving the production team of the series (although the set packaging indicates a featurette hosted by voice actor Phil LaMarr, it is misprinted, the featurette is on Disc One instead of Disc Four). Despite the show having been produced in a widescreen format this release lacks anamorphic encoding.
Season Two Blu-ray July 26, 2011 26 Warner Home Video released Season Two on a two-disc (50GB each) Blu-ray set.

Warner Home Video also released another DVD set titled Justice League: The Complete Series. It contained all 91 episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited on a 15-disc set with the 15th disc containing a bonus documentary. This was later re-packaged and sold as a 10-disc set without the bonus documentary.

Individual releases
DVD name Release date Additional information
Justice League April 23, 2002 Contains all three parts of "Secret Origins".
A mini-DVD version of this disc has also been released.
Justice on Trial April 22, 2003 Contains "In Blackest Night" and "The Enemy Below".
Paradise Lost July 22, 2003 Contains "Paradise Lost" and "War World".
The Justice League Collection April 13, 2004 Contains previous "Secret Origins," "Paradise Lost," and "Justice on Trial" DVDs
Starcrossed The Movie[3] July 13, 2004 Contains "Starcrossed" in both widescreen and fullscreen.
A mini-DVD version of this disc has also been released with only fullscreen.
The Brave and the Bold October 19, 2004 Contains episodes "The Brave and the Bold" and "Injustice For All".
Challenge of the Super Friends to Justice League: April 13, 2004 Contains the previously released "Justice League" (Secret Origins) DVD
along with two Super Friends discs in a slip-case.
Justice League: 3-Pack Fun July 19, 2011 Contains "The Brave and the Bold" and "Injustice For All"
As well as the Justice League Unlimited episodes:
* "For The Man Who Has Everything"
* "The Return,"
* "The Greatest Story Never Told,"
the Young Justice episodes:
* "Independence Day"
* "Fireworks,"
* "Welcome To Happy Harbor"
* "Drop Zone".


A 4-disc soundtrack of musical highlights from both seasons of Justice League was released by La-La Land Records in July 2016. It is a limited edition of 3000 units and can be ordered at the La-La Land Records website.[4] The set includes tracks from fan-favorite episodes like A Better World, Hereafter, Wild Cards and Starcrossed.

La-La Land are hoping to release a soundtrack for Justice League Unlimited as well, provided that sales of the Justice League soundtrack improve significantly and that there is sufficient demand from fans.[5][6] A second Justice League volume may also follow if fans support the existing release.

Broadcast history[edit]

The series premiere on November 17, 2001, set a Cartoon Network record with over 4.114 million viewers. This made it the channel's highest rated premiere ever, a record it would keep until September 13, 2009, when the world premiere of Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins gathered over 6.108 million viewers.

The show was aired in the Republic of Ireland on TG4 in both Irish and English from 6 September 2002 to 2007.[7]


The series has received acclaim. In January 2009, IGN named Justice League/Justice League Unlimited as the 20th best animated television series of all time.[citation needed]


Year Association Category Recipient Results
2002 Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards Best Sound Editing in Television Animation Robert Hargreaves Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Lolita Ritmains Nominated
Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards TV Presentation of the Year N/A Nominated
2003 Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards Best Sound Editing in Television Animation Robert Hargreaves Nominated
2004 Annie Awards Outstanding Writing in an Animated Television Production
for episode "Comfort & Joy"
Paul Dini Nominated
Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards Best Sound Editing in Television Animation Robert Hargreaves Nominated
2005 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Michael McCuistion Nominated
Writers Guild Awards Animation
for episode "Starcrossed"
Rich Fogel
John Ridley
Dwayne McDuffie
2006 Annie Awards Best Directing in an Animated Television Producer
for episode "Clash"
Dan Riba Nominated
2007 Gold Derby Awards Animated Series N/A Nominated
2009 Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for DVD Original Programming Ed Collins Nominated

Cancelled film and reboot[edit]

Circa 2004, Bruce Timm announced that a direct-to-video Justice League feature film was in being planned. The film was intended to make a bridge between the second season of Justice League to the first season of Justice League Unlimited. The film was planned to reveal how Wonder Woman acquired her Invisible-Jet, and also planned to feature the Crime Syndicate as the main antagonists, an idea that was originally conceived for the two-part episode "A Better World", until the Syndicate was replaced by the Justice Lords.[8] Dwayne McDuffie wrote the script and Andrea Romano assembled the cast, but Warner Bros. finally scrapped the project.[9] However, in 2010, the film's plot was used for the non-DCAU film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, but removing all references to the continuity of the DC animated universe, and replacing John Stewart with Hal Jordan as the Justice League's Green Lantern.


Justice League Adventures[edit]

DC Comics published a series of 34-issue numbered comics based on the television series, between 2002 and 2004.

  • #34 (2004-08-04): Guardians Against Darkness![10]


  • Justice League Adventures: The Magnificent Seven (2004-01-01): Includes #3, 6, 10–12.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 461–463. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ Dimino, Russ (October 2007). "The Many Faces Of... Superman". KryptonSite.com. Retrieved April 11, 2012.
  3. ^ Justice League: Star Crossed (2004)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2016-08-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "FSM Board: Save DC Comics Animated Music!".
  6. ^ "La-La- Land Records Confirms Further "Batman: The Animated Series" Soundtracks Coming - The World's Finest".
  7. ^ RTÉ Guide.   31 August - 6 September 2002 edition and subsequent dates.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2016-11-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-11-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]