Justice League (TV series)

Last updated
Justice League
Justice League (TV series logo).png
Based on Justice League
by Gardner Fox
Developed by Bruce Timm
Written by Rich Fogel (seasons 1-2)
Stan Berkowitz (seasons 1-2)
Dwayne McDuffie (season 2)
Directed byButch Lukic
Dan Riba
Voices of
Theme music composer Lolita 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 companies Warner Bros. Animation
DC Comics
Original network Cartoon Network
Original releaseNovember 17, 2001 (2001-11-17) 
May 29, 2004 (2004-05-29)

Justice League is an American animated television series which ran from November 17, 2001, to May 29, 2004, on Cartoon Network. [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 follow up to Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series and is the seventh series of the DC Animated Universe. After two seasons, the series was rebranded as Justice League Unlimited , a successor series which aired for three seasons.


It was the first show on Cartoon Network to be produced by Warner Bros. Animation, and was the last Cartoon Network show to be greenlit by Betty Cohen.


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.

It is the first series in the DC Animated Universe to fully use digital ink and paint, also the first to be produced in widescreen starting in Season 2.


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 he was unable to continue his role due to involvement with The Fugitive . [2] He was replaced by George Newbern.

Alongside Kevin Conroy and George Newbern as Superman, joining the rest of the main cast is Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Maria Canals-Barrera as Hawkgirl, Phil Lamarr as John Stewart, Michael Rosenbaum as Wally West / The Flash and Carl Lumbly as J'onn J'onnz / Martian Manhunter.

Superman was initially redesigned to have a bit of a squint to his eyes as well as cheekbones that were meant to make him look older than he did in Superman The Animated Series. Fans did not like the older appearance and in the second season the squint, grey streak and cheekbones were 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". Furthermore, a common complaint in the first season of Justice League was Superman's powers being toned down even more than in Superman: The Animated Series. He was portrayed as unnaturally weak and vulnerable to harm with most episodes showing him being defeated by foes he should not have a problem with. This was changed from the second season onwards, where his strength and durability were increased.

Several actors in previous DCAU shows also reprise their roles, including Dana Delany as Lois Lane, David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth, Shelley Fabares and Mike Farrell as Jonathan and Martha Kent, Mark Hamill as the Joker, Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, Corey Burton as Brainiac, Ron Perlman as Clayface, Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn, Peri Gilpin as Volcana, Diane Pershing as Poison Ivy, Mark Rolston as Firefly, Ted Levine as Sinestro, Michael Ironside as Darkseid, Michael Dorn as Kalibak, Lisa Edelstein as Mercy Graves, and Brad Garrett as Lobo. Due to budgetary reasons in the episode "Hereafter", Corey Burton served as a substitute for Bud Cort as Toyman and Malcolm McDowell as Metallo, although both Cort and McDowell would reprise their roles in Justice League Unlimited. Likewise, Maria Canals (who provides the voice for Hawkgirl) voiced Livewire in the same episode, instead of Lori Petty.

Cover art for the comic Justice League Adventures #1 (2002).
Art by Bruce Timm and Alex Ross. Justiceleagueadventures01.jpg
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 some notable changes. 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 he 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. Major changes were also made to the Hawkgirl character. She became romantically involved with the John Stewart Green Lantern as the series progressed. A romantic relationship between Batman and Wonder Woman was also hinted at 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 .

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
1 26November 17, 2001 (2001-11-17)November 9, 2002 (2002-11-09)
2 26July 5, 2003 (2003-07-05)May 29, 2004 (2004-05-29)

Voice cast

Main cast

Home media

From 2006 to 2011, Warner Home Video (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

NameDiscRelease DateEp #Notes
Season One DVD March 21, 200626Contains 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, 200826Season 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, 200626Contains 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, 201126Warner 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 nameRelease dateAdditional information
Justice League April 23, 2002Contains all three parts of "Secret Origins".
A mini-DVD version of this disc has also been released.
Justice on TrialApril 22, 2003Contains "In Blackest Night" and "The Enemy Below".
Paradise LostJuly 22, 2003Contains "Paradise Lost" and "War World".
Starcrossed The Movie [3] July 13, 2004Contains "Starcrossed" in both widescreen and fullscreen.
The Brave and the BoldOctober 19, 2004Contains episodes "The Brave and the Bold" and "Injustice For All".
DVD nameRelease dateAdditional information
The Justice League CollectionApril 13, 2004Contains previous "Secret Origins", "Paradise Lost", and "Justice on Trial" DVDs
Challenge of the Super Friends to Justice League:April 13, 2004Contains the previously released "Justice League" (Secret Origins) DVD
along with two Super Friends discs in a slip-case.
Justice League - The Complete SeriesJune 20, 2006Contains Justice League seasons 1 & 2
along with Justice League Unlimited seasons 1 & 2. (Blu-ray/DVD release)
Justice League: 3-Pack FunJuly 19, 2011Contains "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

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]


Justice League and Justice League Unlimited has received critical acclaim and is often listed as one of the best animated shows of all time, with praise for its stories, writing, character development, and voice acting. IGN named Justice League/Justice League Unlimited as the 20th best animated television series of all time. [8] Similarly Indiewire also ranked Justice League as the 20th best animated show of all time. [9]

Many fans including the creative team felt that season one of Justice League was a mixed bag, with the crew admitting it was a learning curve for them. Producer Bruce Timm had remarked "some of the first season episodes I think were really good, but we had so many challenges inherent in the show. So many balls juggling in the air, and inevitably some of them dropped." He further added "I think we were making a conscious effort to make it a little more of a family-friendly show, but unfortunately by pulling back on some of the more adult storylines, we didn't really replace it with anything. Something of a blandness set in with the show. We made steps to remedy that situation in Season Two, and to the point where I think the Season Two episodes make a much better show across the board. We're constantly calling it new improved Justice League." [10]

The second season of Justice League however, is considered to be one of the best seasons of the entire DC Animated Universe, with Oliver Sava from The A.V. Club writing "good enough isn't good enough." "That's the philosophy for Justice League season two, according to producer Bruce Timm on the DVD commentary, and this two-part season opener is the perfect example of that new attitude in action. Just as Batman: The Animated Series set a new standard for solo superhero cartoon excellence, Justice League season two is only eclipsed by Justice League Unlimited as the strongest superhero-team series. Everything is of higher quality this season: the direction, animation, music, sound effects, and most importantly, the stories." [11]


Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Television Animated Series – Sound Robert Hargreaves, Mark Keatts, George Brooks, and
Kelly Ann Foley (for "In the Blackest Night, Part II")
Nominated [12]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Lolita Ritmanis Nominated [13]
Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards TV Presentation of the YearRunner-up [14]
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Television Animated Series – Sound Robert Hargreaves, Mark Keatts, George Brooks, and
Kelly Ann Foley (for "Savage Time, Part I")
Nominated [15]
Annie Awards Outstanding Writing in an Animated Television Production Paul Dini (for "Comfort & Joy")Nominated [16]
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Television Animated Series – Sound Robert Hargreaves, Mark Keatts, George Brooks, Mark Keefer,
Kelly Ann Foley, and Kerry Iverson (for "Twilight, Part II")
Nominated [17]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Michael McCuistionNominated [18]
Writers Guild of America Awards Animation Rich Fogel, John Ridley, and Dwayne McDuffie (for "Starcrossed")Nominated [19]
Annie Awards Outstanding Directing in a Television Production Dan Riba (for "Clash")Nominated [20]
Gold Derby Awards Animated SeriesNominated [21]
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for DVD Original ProgrammingEdwin O. Collins, Tim Borquez, Eric Freeman, and Doug AndorkaNominated [22]

Cancelled film and reboot

Circa 2004, Bruce Timm announced that a direct-to-video Justice League feature film was 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. [23] Dwayne McDuffie wrote the script and Andrea Romano assembled the cast, but Warner Bros. finally scrapped the project. [24] In 2010, however, the film's plot was used for the non-DCAU film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths with all references to the continuity of the DC Animated Universe removed. Most notably of these changes is the replacement of John Stewart with Hal Jordan as the Justice League's Green Lantern.


Justice League Adventures

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


  • Justice League Adventures: The Magnificent Seven (2004-01-01): Includes #3, 6, 10–12. [26]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Superman: The Animated Series</i> American animated television series (1996-2000)

Superman: The Animated Series is an American superhero animated television series based on the DC Comics character Superman. It was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and originally aired on Kids' WB from September 6, 1996 to February 12, 2000. It was the second series in the DC Animated Universe after Batman: The Animated Series, and like its predecessor it has been acclaimed for its thematic complexity, writing, voice acting, maturity, and modernization of the title character's comic-book mythos.

<i>Super Friends</i> American animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1986

Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1985 on ABC as part of its Saturday-morning cartoon lineup. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and was based on the Justice League of America and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.

<i>Justice League Unlimited</i> American animated television series

Justice League Unlimited (JLU) is an American superhero 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 and picks up around two years after it. JLU debuted on July 31, 2004, on Toonami and ended on May 13, 2006.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bruce Timm</span> American artist, character designer, animator

Bruce Walter Timm is an American artist, animator, writer, producer, and director. He is best known for contributed to building the modern DC Comics animated franchise, most notably as the head producer behind Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995), Superman: The Animated Series (1996–2000), The New Batman Adventures (1997–1999), Batman Beyond (1999–2001), Justice League (2001–2004), and Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">DC Animated Universe</span> Shared fictional universe

The DC Animated Universe is a shared universe centered on a group of animated television series based on DC Comics and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It began with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 and ended with Justice League Unlimited in 2006. Animated feature films and shorts, comic books, video games, and other multimedia adaptations are also in the continuity.

<i>The New Batman Adventures</i> American superhero animated television series (1997-1999)

The New Batman Adventures is an American superhero animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman, which aired on Kids' WB from September 13, 1997 to January 16, 1999. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, it is a continuation of Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995), serving as the third season of the show and the third series in the DC Animated Universe. It was followed by Batman Beyond (1999-2001). The series had a revamp, replacing the previous art style of its predecessor with streamlined designs for more consistent animation, and to maintain similarity with the simultaneously running Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000), with episodes airing on Kids' WB under the title The New Batman/Superman Adventures.

<i>Superman</i> (franchise) Portrayals of Superman outside of comic books

The American comic book character Superman, created in 1938, has appeared in many types of media since the 1940s. Superman has appeared in radio, television, movies, and video games each on multiple occasions, and his name, symbol, and image have appeared on products and merchandise.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Justice Lords</span>

Justice Lords are a fictional team of anti-heroes/anti-villains who first appeared in the two-part Justice League episode "A Better World", which was broadcast on November 1, 2003.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Justice League in other media</span>

The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Since their first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #28, various incarnations of the team have appeared in film, television, and video game adaptations.

<i>Justice League: The New Frontier</i> 2008 animated superhero film by Dave Bullock

Justice League: The New Frontier is a 2008 American animated superhero film adapted from the DC Comics limited series DC: The New Frontier. The film was written by Stan Berkowitz, with Darwyn Cooke providing additional material.

<i>The All-New Super Friends Hour</i> American TV series or program

The All-New Super Friends Hour is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from September 10, 1977, to September 2, 1978, on ABC. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and is based on the Justice League and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.

DC Universe: Justice League Unlimited Fan Collection is an action figure line based on the highly popular Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series. Though it was based on the show(s), the line has continued well beyond it, and has been re-branded in 2008, as a Target exclusive. Mattel announced in February 2011 that the line would come to an end later in the year with the final figures being released on the Mattel website including the final two three-packs, a seven-pack as well as the three exclusive Con three-packs being made available to the public.

The DC Universe Animated Original Movies are a series of American direct-to-video superhero animated films based on DC Comics characters and stories. From 2007 to 2022, films were produced primarily by Warner Bros. Animation, but will fall under DC Studios Animation. Many films are usually stand-alone projects that are either adaptations of popular works or original stories. From 2013 to 2020, the DC Animated Movie Universe was a subset of this series featuring several movies that took place in a shared universe, influenced predominantly by The New 52.

Lauren Eve Montgomery is an American storyboard artist, director, character designer, producer and writer.

<i>Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths</i> 2010 film directed by Lauren Montgomery, Sam Liu

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is a 2010 American animated superhero film released on February 23, 2010. It is based on the abandoned direct-to-video feature Justice League: Worlds Collide, which was intended as a bridge between the then-concluding Justice League animated television series and its then forthcoming sequel series Justice League Unlimited. Crisis on Two Earths was reworked from the Worlds Collide script to remove references to the TV series' continuity. The film is directed by Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu and written by Dwayne McDuffie.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wonder Woman in other media</span>

Since her debut in All Star Comics #8, Diana Prince/Wonder Woman has appeared in a number of formats besides comic books. Genres include animated television shows, direct-to-DVD animated films, video games, the 1970s live action television series, Wonder Woman, The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie, and the live-action DCEU films, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Wonder Woman (2017), Justice League (2017), Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021), and Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023). She will also appear in The Flash (2023).

<i>Justice League vs. the Fatal Five</i> 2019 animated film directed by Sam Liu

Justice League vs. the Fatal Five is a 2019 American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. Featuring the DC Comics team Justice League created by Gardner Fox, the film is the 36th of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. The film features Elyes Gabel and Diane Guerrero alongside Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, and George Newbern reprising their roles as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, respectively, from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. This was Conroy's final film before his death in November 2022.


  1. 1 2 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)". DC. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  4. "Film music | movie music| film score | JUSTICE LEAGUE - Michael McCuistion - Lolita Ritmanis - Kristopher Carter - Limited Edition". Archived from the original on 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  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". 2 July 2012.
  7. RTÉ Guide .   31 August - 6 September 2002 edition and subsequent dates.
  8. "Top 1000 Animated Series - IGN.com".
  9. Nguyen, Ben Travers,Hanh; Travers, Ben; Nguyen, Hanh (4 March 2022). "The Best Animated Series of All Time" . Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  10. "Season One". jl.popgeeks.com. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  11. "Justice League: "Twilight"". The A.V. Club. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  12. "Sound editors tap noms for Golden Reel Awards". Variety . Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  13. "Justice League". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  14. "2003 Rondo Awards". RondoAward.com. February 13, 2004.
  15. "'Gangs,' 'Perdition' top Golden Reel nods". Variety . Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  16. "31st Annual Annie Awards". Annie Awards . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  17. "'Pirates' reels in most MPSE noms". Variety . Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  18. "Justice League Unlimited". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  19. McNary, Dave (15 December 2004). "'Wing' still has the write stuff". Variety. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  20. "33rd Annual Annie Awards". Annie Awards . Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  21. "2007 Gold Derby TV Awards". Gold Derby. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  22. "THE WINNERS AND NOMINEES FOR THE CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING FOR 2008". www.cinemaaudiosociety.org. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25.
  23. "A Better World". Archived from the original on 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  24. "World's Collide". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  25. "JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES #34". DC. Retrieved 11 March 2023.