Justice League (TV series)

Justice League (TV series)

Infobox television
show_name = Justice League

format = Animated series
runtime = 20-23 min.
creator = Bruce Timm
Paul Dini
starring = Carl Lumbly
Michael Rosenbaum
Kevin Conroy
Phil LaMarr
Susan Eisenberg
George Newbern
Maria Canals
country = USA
network = Cartoon Network
first_aired = November 17, 2001
last_aired = May 29, 2004
num_episodes = 52
list_episodes =List of Justice League episodes
preceded_by = "The New Batman/Superman Adventures" and ("Static Shock", took place whithin episodes)
followed_by = "Justice League Unlimited"
imdb_id =0275137
tv_com_id =3914
Infobox TV ratings
show_name = Justice League
width = 250px
usa_tv =TV-Y7-FV

"Justice League" is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. It is based on the Justice League and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics. After its second season, it became "Justice League Unlimited", and ran an additional three seasons.


Animator Bruce Timm, having successfully adapted both and into animated television programs in the 1990s, took on the challenge of faithfully adapting the Justice League comic book. Ignoring the sidekicks, pets and other extraneous elements of the earlier "Super Friends" show, the line-up of this new JLA adaptation was created with two things in mind: to pay tribute to the original line-up of the Justice League of America while also reflecting racial and cultural diversity. Significantly, the well-known (but much-depreciated) superhero Aquaman was left out of the lineup (although he would be used on the show) in favor of a second female on the team - Hawkgirl - and the African-American Green Lantern John Stewart, who has worked with the League in the comics before, was used rather than one of the better-known modern-era Green Lanterns Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner or Kyle Rayner, even though Rayner had appeared as Green Lantern in the Superman animated series. (In the second season, Rayner is described as a Lantern in training under Stewart's old mentor, explaining his absence. Both Rayner and Jordan make brief appearances in "Justice League Unlimited".) Gardner was never seen in either series.

The show met with significant success, partially due to loyal fans already familiar with these incarnations of the characters, and partially from a new generation of viewers. The two-part nature of most episodes led Cartoon Network to choose to air the episodes back-to-back.

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. "Justice League Unlimited" features a greatly expanded roster of heroes, usually with only a few appearing in any given episode, although there are a few featuring just about the entire roster fighting against one giant enemy.

Casting and character changes

Kevin Conroy reprised his role as the voice of Batman, a part he had played since "(TAS)" (1992-1995), "The New Batman Adventures(TNBA)" (1997-1999), and "Batman Beyond" (1999-2001). Because "Justice League" was set after the events of "Batman: TAS" and "TNBA" but before "Beyond", Conroy pitched his voice to a range in between the voices he'd used in both series. It was harsher than the voice he spoke with in "TAS" but softer than in "Beyond". It was similar in tone to the voice he used for "TNBA".Fact|date=September 2008 In addition, Batman's uniform was also redesigned. Much like the "Beyond" uniform, the pointy ears on his cowl were made much more prominent and heels were added to his boots. Also, a dark shade of violet replaced the blue highlights in the original "TAS" uniform.

Tim Daly, who voiced Superman in his previous animated series, did some early recordings, but was ultimately unable to reprise his role due to his involvement with the short-lived remake series of "The Fugitive".Fact|date=September 2008 He was replaced by George Newbern, who was criticized by fans during the first season, feeling that his Superman lacked both the everyman feel and heroic authority that Daly brought to the role. Bruce Timm has said that this was more the fault of himself and his staff than Newbern's, and has openly defended Newbern. Since then, many fans have agreed that Newbern improved significantly during the second season, with a consensus that both Newbern and his predecessor Daly had merits in their respective portrayals of Superman.Fact|date=September 2008

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 his 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 Superman reverted to his earlier animated series 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".Fact|date=September 2008

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" removing 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). 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. Major changes were also made to the Hawkgirl character. John Stewart's Green Lantern was also changed significantly from the civilian architect in the comic continuity to a hard-nosed ex-marine for the show.

Maria Canals was cast as Hawkgirl based on her Hispanic accent, which the producers felt would make Hawkgirl appear more foreign and alien against her team mates.Fact|date=September 2008 The character of Hawkgirl became romantically involved with the John Stewart Green Lantern as the series progressed, while a relationship between Batman and Wonder Woman was also hinted by the show's creators, who disliked the fans' insistence on pairing Wonder Woman with Superman.

In the comic books, the Martian Manhunter / J'onn J'onzz has a power called "Martian Vision" which has been shown both as a beam of pure force (an extension of the telekinesis that allows him to fly), and essentially the same as Superman's heat vision. Neither power was ever shown in the series, dropped presumably in favor of his phasing power, shapeshifting and telepathy. The Martian Manhunter was only referred to by that name in one episode and otherwise called simply J'onn.

Although the series itself is animated in traditional 2-dimensional style, the opening credits are rendered in 3D with toon shading.Fact|date=September 2008


The show has been greatly received by fans, many comparing it to "" and "The New Batman Adventures" because of its darker tones, complex writing and storyboarding, and in-depth characterization. The show holds an 8.8/10 on the Internet Movie Database.


Main cast

Aspect Ratio Issues

Aspect ratios were altered between seasons one and two. In season one, the show was boarded and produced in full-screen, but the top and bottom parts of the frame would be cropped for widescreen airings. The cropped versions are referred to as the 'producer preferred' versions. For the series' second season, the show was produced in a true widescreen format, meaning that the widescreen airings would give the viewer more footage on the left and right sides of the frames and the full-screen airings would crop the image. When Warner Home Video announced the arrival of DVD season sets, fans were upset about the DVD's aspect ratio. Both seasons one and two would be given full-screen releases. After the release of season one, Warner Home Video announced that season two and all of the sequel series 'Justice League Unlimited' would be given widescreen releases. Though season two was released widescreen, fans were divided over their choice to release it in a non-anamorphic format(meaning that people with widescreen TVs would have to zoom in on the picture in order for it to fill the screen, causing it to blur). Though on the first season release of "Justice League Unlimited", the video was anamorphic.

ee also

*List of Justice League episodes
*Justice League Unlimited
*, a cancelled Justice League DTV feature.

External links

* [http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/jlu/ Official site]
*imdb title|id=0275137|title=Justice League
*Tv.com show|id=3914|title=Justice League
* [http://wf.toonzone.net/WF/jl/ Justice League @ The World's Finest]
* [http://www.jlanimated.com/ JLAnimated]
* [http://www.hbshows.com/justiceleague/ Justice League Central]
* [http://captain.custard.org/league/php/liveaction.php?mode=show&id=la42 The Captain's Unofficial Justice League Homepage]
* [http://www.warnervideo.com/jlnewfrontier/ "Justice League: The New Frontier" Official Movie Site]

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