Justice League Unlimited (JLU) is an American animated television series that was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and aired on Cartoon Network. Featuring a wide array of superheroes from the DC Comics universe, and specifically based on the Justice League superhero team, it is a direct sequel to the previous Justice League animated series. JLU debuted on July 31, 2004 on Toonami and ended on May 13, 2006. It was also the final series set in the long-running DC animated universe, which started with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992.
Boomerang reran the series from June 3, 2007 to March 26, 2010 as part of Boomeraction. On August 25, 2012, The CW's Vortexx Saturday morning block began airing reruns of this series, lasting until August 23, 2014.
|Justice League Unlimited|
|Based on||Justice League|
by Gardner Fox
|Directed by||Joaquim dos Santos|
|Theme music composer||Michael McCuistion|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||39 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||21–23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Warner Bros. Animation|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Original release||July 31, 2004 –|
May 13, 2006
|Preceded by||Batman Beyond, Static Shock, The Zeta Project, and Justice League|
|Related shows||Super Friends, Young Justice, Justice League Action|
According to animator Bruce Timm, the series finale of Justice League, "Starcrossed", was originally planned to be the final episode of the series; however, Cartoon Network ordered the production of a successor, entitled Justice League Unlimited. Taking place shortly after its predecessor ended, it features a greatly expanded League, in which the characters from the original series—now referred to as "founding members"—are joined by many other superheroes from the DC Universe; in the first episode, well over 50 characters appear. A number of these were heroes who had made guest appearances in Justice League, but many heroes and other characters made their first animated appearances in this series. The general format of each episode is to have a small team assemble to deal with a particular situation, with a focus on both action and character interaction. This extension of the Justice League was originally planned to be explained in a planned direct-to-video feature film, but the project never materialized.
Stan Berkowitz, a member of the production team, left the show later for the TV series Friends and Heroes, and writer Matt Wayne was contracted to replace him. Most episodes tell a self-contained story, but the series also features extended story arcs, the first involving the building conflict between the League and a secret government agency known as Project Cadmus. This plot line builds upon events that occurred during the second season of Justice League (which in turn built upon events in Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, and The Zeta Project), and has affected the plotlines of most of its episodes. It was resolved in a four-part story at the end of the second season of Justice League Unlimited. The third and final season story arc focuses on the new Secret Society (which is based on the Legion of Doom of the Challenge of the Super Friends season of Super Friends) as the main villains, a loose-knit organization formed to combat the increased superhero coordination of the first season. However, the Secret Society was never referred as the Legion of Doom, although it was originally planned to use the original name used by the Flash as his comical way to refer the Society, but the idea was rejected.
The series, along the entire DC animated universe, was originally planned to end after the second-season finale "Epilogue", but a third season was greenlighted by Cartoon Network. The third season started in 2005 with the episode "I Am Legion" (which was written before the announcement of a third season) and ended in 2006 with the episode "Destroyer". According with Matt Wayne, if the show had been renewed for a fourth season, he would have liked to write more episodes focusing on Superman and Wonder Woman.
Towards the end of the series, certain characters became off-limits to the show, like Blue Beetle and Hugo Strange. Characters associated with Batman and those who appeared in Batman: The Animated Series (aside from Batman himself) were restricted due to the unrelated animated series The Batman and Christopher Nolan's live-action theatrical The Dark Knight Trilogy to avoid continuity confusion. Aquaman and related characters were unavailable due to the development of a pilot for a live-action series featuring the character as a young man (planned to be a spin-off of Smallville), which wasn't picked up at the end. Characters from DC's "mature readers" Vertigo imprint were also not allowed, like Swamp Thing and Phantom Stranger. No characters from the Teen Titans animated series appeared in JLU until after that show had been canceled (when Speedy appeared in the third season episode "Patriot Act", which referenced the Seven Soldiers of Victory). The Joker, Batman's archenemy, was restricted to appear in the series, unlike its predecessor, like Riddler and Scarecrow, which were supposed to be members of the Secret Society as a nod to the original Legion of Doom.
To compensate for this, the producers focused some stories on previously overlooked DC Comics characters. These included characters like Deadman, Warlord, and an unnamed modern equivalent of The Seven Soldiers of Victory.
DC Comics created an ongoing monthly comic book series based on the TV series, as part of its Johnny DC line of "all ages" comics, which did not have the same restrictions regarding character appearances.
Justice League Unlimited, like the second season of Justice League, is animated in widescreen. The show also features new theme music and intro (nominated for an Emmy). The two-part series finale was aired in the UK on February 8 and 18, 2006, and in the United States on May 6 and 13, 2006.
Some romantic relationships develop as in Justice League. Some of these relationships are Question and the Huntress, Black Canary and Green Arrow, and the love-triangle between Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Vixen (further compounded with the later addition of Hawkman). Additionally, the series continuously hints at a mutual attraction between Batman and Wonder Woman. However, Batman is reluctant to develop a full romantic relationship due to his duty as a superhero, Diana's immortality, and his belief that a relationship within a team will bring issues and disaster. He nonetheless has admitted that he and Wonder Woman may have something special.
Aside from the voice-cast, numerous DC comics super heroes are shown as Justice League members (and it is implied that there are even more members not shown). Heroes seen, but not heard, are listed below.
From 2006-2007, Warner Home Video (via DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Family Entertainment) released the entire series of Justice League Unlimited on DVD, and its presented in original broadcast presentation and story arc continuity order. It was also released on Blu-Ray.
|DVD/BD Name||Release Date||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Season One||October 24, 2006||26||4 DVDs. Featurette: And Justice for All: The Process of Revamping the Series with New Characters and a New Creative Direction, Themes of Justice: Choose Your Favorite JLU Musical Theme Audio Tracks, Creators' Commentary on "This Little Piggy" and 'The Return". Contains all episodes of Seasons One and Two from the original airing. Episode 21 – "Hunter's Moon (AKA Mystery in Space)" – is placed out of order between episodes 22 ("Question Authority") and episode 23 ("Flashpoint").|
|Season Two||March 20, 2007||13||2 DVDs. Actually Season Three from the original airing. Cadmus: Exposed: Mark Hamill and the Series Creative Personnel Discuss This Popular Series Story Arc, Justice League Chronicles: Series Writers, Producers and Directors Discuss Their Favorite Moments Among Final Season Episodes, Music-Only Audio Track for the Final Episode Destroyer.|
|Justice League: 3-Pack Fun||July 19, 2011||11||3 DVDs. Contains "For The Man Who Has Everything," "The Return," and "The Greatest Story Never Told," as well as the two-part Justice League stories "The Brave and the Bold" and "Injustice For All", and the Young Justice episodes "Independence Day," "Fireworks," "Welcome To Happy Harbor," and "Drop Zone".|
|The Complete Series||November 10, 2015||39||3 Blu-ray discs. Featurette: And Justice for All: The Process of Revamping the Series with New Characters and a New Creative Direction, Creators' Commentary on "This Little Piggy" and 'The Return", Cadmus: Exposed: Mark Hamill and the Series Creative Personnel Discuss This Popular Series Story Arc, Justice League Chronicles: Series Writers, Producers and Directors Discuss Their Favorite Moments Among Final Season Episodes. Episodes are shown in the correct order.|
Apache Chief is a Native American superhero from the various Hanna-Barbera Super Friends cartoons and the DC comic book series of the same name. He was one of the new heroes added (along with Black Vulcan, Rima the Jungle Girl, El Dorado and Samurai) to increase the number of non-white characters in the Super Friends' ranks. He was voiced by Michael Rye in most of his appearances, Regis Cordic in his debut appearance, and Al Fann in "History of Doom".
In the Challenge of the Super Friends series, Apache Chief was seen in every episode except one, but had spoken lines in only nine out of the sixteen episodes of the series. His arch enemy from the Legion of Doom was Giganta, who was originally an enemy of Wonder Woman.Black Manta
Black Manta (David Hyde) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, the character was introduced in Aquaman #35 (September 1967) as a ruthless and murderous underwater-based mercenary, and has since endured as the archenemy of the superhero Aquaman.The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including several cartoon television series, animated movies, and video games. Black Manta made his live-action cinematic debut in the 2018 DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, portrayed by actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.Black Vulcan
Black Vulcan is a fictional African-American superhero on the animated series Super Friends created by Hanna-Barbera. He was voiced by Buster Jones.DC Superheroes (toys)
DC Superheroes is a collection of action figures originally produced by Mattel in early 2006. It is divided into three different lines - the Justice League Unlimited toyline, with figures based on the animated Justice League Unlimited series; the S3: Select Sculpt Series, featuring more comic-accurate figures in the 6" scale; and a 12" figure line. The S3 line is further divided into two lines - one featuring Batman, and the other featuring Superman. Series 1 of the S3 line began shipping just after Christmas 2005 to Wal-Mart and began arriving in retailers like Target and Toys "R" Us approximately one month later. The figures have characteristics similar to the competing Marvel Legends line in terms of detailed sculpting, articulation, and including a comic book or diorama with each figure.DC Universe (toyline)
DC Universe is a toy brand manufactured by Mattel. It has five sub-lines – Classics, Fighting Figures, Giants of Justice, Infinite Heroes, and the reintegrated Justice League Unlimited line.DC animated universe
The DC Animated Universe (DCAU; also referred to as the Timmverse or Diniverse by fans) is the shared universe centered on a group of animated television series based on DC Comics, produced by Warner Bros. Animation from the early 1990s to mid-2000s; beginning with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, and ending with Justice League Unlimited in 2006. Some parts of the associated media franchise including direct-to-video feature films and shorts, comic books, video games and other multimedia adaptations are also included in the continuity.DC animated universe (comics)
While Batman and Superman had their own animated series and comic book follow-ups, the rest of the characters in the DC Comics Universe would appear in the following comics often.Jokerz
The Jokerz is the name of a fictional street gang in the DC animated universe featured in Batman Beyond. The elements of the Jokerz later crossed over into the mainstream comics.Justice League (TV series)
Justice League is an American animated television series which ran from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. It is part of the DC animated universe. 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. After two seasons, the series was replaced by Justice League Unlimited, a successor series which aired for three seasons.Justice League Satellite
The Justice League Satellite is the name of two fictional locations, both of which were used as bases of operations for the DC Comics superhero team the Justice League of America.Legion Flight Ring
A Legion Flight Ring is a fictional object featured in comic book titles published by DC Comics. It first appeared in Adventure Comics #329 (February, 1965) used by the Legion of Super-Heroes.List of DC animated universe characters
The DC animated universe was a series of shows and feature-length films that aired or were released during the period from 1992 through 2006 and featured many characters from the DC Comics roster. While many characters played important or ongoing roles in the series, many more appeared only in the background. This is a list of characters appearing in the related shows and films. The information is broken down by production and sorted by original air date or release date.List of DC imprint reprint collections
This is a list of DC Comics imprint reprint collections including trade paperbacks, hardcovers, and other special format collections. DC Comics is one of the largest comic book and graphic novel publishers in North America. They have published comics under a number of different imprints and corporate names. The collections on this page include all series, mini-series, limited series, and graphic novels published under the imprints All-Star, Johnny DC, Tangent, and those Amalgam Comics published by DC.List of Justice League episodes
Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are American animated series about a team of superheroes which ran from 2001 to 2006 on Cartoon Network. It is based on the Justice League and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.
After the second season, the show is renamed Justice League Unlimited, has a vastly expanded cast of characters, and largely changes from two-part episodes to single-episode stand-alone stories that often intertwine to form long (even season-long) story arcs. Combined, there are a total of 91 episodes, along with two crossover episodes of Static Shock in which the League appears.
The show is the last in a series of animated features that together constitute what is known as the DC animated universe (though Batman Beyond and The Zeta Project take place later in the same continuity). It consists of a series of eight television shows and four films, largely surrounding DC Comics characters and their respective mythos.Power Girl
Power Girl, also known as Kara Zor-L and Karen Starr, is a fictional DC Comics superheroine, making her first appearance in All Star Comics #58 (January/February 1976). Power Girl is the cousin of DC's flagship hero Superman, but from an alternative universe in the fictional multiverse in which DC Comics stories are set. Originally hailing from the world of Earth-Two, first envisioned as the home of DC's wartime heroes as published in 1940s comic books, Power Girl becomes stranded in the main universe where DC stories are set, and becomes acquainted with that world's Superman and her own counterpart, Supergirl.
In common with Supergirl's origin story, she is the daughter of Superman's aunt and uncle and a native of the planet Krypton. The infant Power Girl's parents enabled her to escape the destruction of her home planet by placing her in a rocket ship. Although she left the planet at the same time that Superman did, her ship took much longer to reach Earth-Two. On Earth, as with other Kryptonians, Power Girl discovered she possessed abilities like super strength, flight, and heat vision, using which she became a protector of innocents and a hero for humanity. Though the specifics of how vary over subsequent retellings, Power Girl is later stranded on another Earth when a cosmic crisis affects her home of Earth-Two, and later carves out a separate identity for herself from her dimensional counterpart Supergirl once they are forced to coexist.
Though they are biologically the same person, Power Girl behaves as an older, more mature, and more level-headed version of Supergirl, with a more aggressive fighting style. She also adopts a different secret identity from her counterpart. These changes are reflected in their differing costumes and superhero names as well; Power Girl sports a bob of blond hair; wears a distinctive white, red, and blue costume with a cleavage-displaying cutout. The name Power Girl reflects that she chooses not to be seen as a derivative of Superman, but rather her own hero and this choice is reflected in the strong independent attitude of the character. Over various decades, Power Girl has been depicted as a member of superhero teams such as the Justice Society of America, Infinity, Inc., Justice League Europe, and the Birds of Prey.
Power Girl's origin has gone through revisions, but over time has reverted to her original conception as the Supergirl of Earth-Two. The 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths eliminated Earth-Two from history, causing her to be retconned as the granddaughter of an Atlantean sorcerer known as Arion. This was an unpopular change and writers depicted the revised Power Girl inconsistently. The 2005–2006 Infinite Crisis limited series then restored her status as a refugee from the Krypton of the destroyed Pre-Crisis Earth-Two universe. Following DC's 2011 "Flashpoint" storyline and New 52 reboot, Power Girl's origin was retold as the Supergirl of "Earth 2", cousin and adopted daughter of Superman, who during evil Fourth World New God Darkseid's invasion of Earth 2 becomes stranded in the main continuity of Earth 0, subsequently adopting the name Power Girl to hide her true identity. She returned to her source Earth in the story Earth 2: World's End (2014–2015).Time Sphere
The Time Sphere is a time travel vehicle featured in comic book titles published by DC Comics. It first appeared in Showcase #20 (May 1959) used by Rip Hunter and the Time Masters.Wonder Twins
The Wonder Twins (Zan and Jayna) are a fictional extraterrestrial twin brother and sister superhero duo who first appeared in Hanna-Barbera's American animated television series The All-New Super Friends Hour. They subsequently appeared in comics based on the animated series, and were later introduced into the main DC Comics Universe. They have since appeared in other media, including animated series such as Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans Go!, and the live-action TV series Smallville.