The universe is considered to be made up of eight cartoon series, six movies, and the spin-off tie-in media pertaining to them.
Definitive Series Canon
There eight series that make up the universe are as follows (in chronological order):
Despite fan speculation and some evidence supporting it, the Teen Titans series is generally not accepted to be in DCAU continuity according to members of the shows production crew as well as Bruce Timm and Co.
"The comic book animated continuity is actually different than the actual animated continuity- they’ll do things that contradict what we do and vice versa. But for the sake of the Demon story we did in the animated show, we subsumed the annual we had done into the animated continuity just to get things moving faster.” - Bruce Timm, Modern Masters (2004)
The American released comics that serve as DCAU tie-in material include, but are not limited to:
There are four movies based on their respective series:
While sharing character models and voice cast with it's DCAU counterpart, Superman: Brainiac Attacks is generally not accepted as part of the DCAU continuity, and members of it's production crew have stated it was meant to be viewed as a stand-alone experience.
Also Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths' original script, titled "Worlds Collide", was intended to fill the gap between Season 2 and the first Season of Unlimited. The original project never got the green light and it was recycled as independent movie. Still many subtle nod and references are scattered throughout the movie.
Gotham Girls and Lobo, two macromedia flash series, are considered potentially canon by fans.
Characters in the DCAU
Many characters have appeared in the DCAU cartoons series and even more in the comics, here is a list of every hero and villain to appear and their voices if they spoke (Alphabetical by codename or last name).
Besides taking characters from the comic book the DCAU also created numerous new characters. Their most notable creation was the Joker's sidekick Harley Quinn. Here are a few more notable entries some of which made it into the mainstream DCU:
- Renee Montoya (A detective introduced in B:TAS that is now in the DCU)
- Nora Fries (Mr. Freeze's wife introduced in B:TAS and incorporated into the DCU)
- Livewire (A Superman villain introduced in S:TAS and brought into the DCU)
- The Phantasm (A villains introduced in B:MotP roughly based on the Reaper from [[Batman: Year Two:char:42225]])
- Terry McGinnis (The future Batman introduced in Batman Beyond and has since appeared in Batman/Superman and Countdown.)
- Warhawk (The future son of John Stewart and Hawkgirl introduced in Batman Beyond)
- Gray Ghost (The hero of a young Bruce Wayne shown in B:TAS)
Bruce Timm was given the job of turning the popular comic book adventure into an animated series. Timm took the series in a more contemporary direction to that of the previous incarnations like the Super Friends. Leaving the sidekicks and pets behind Timm had two main aims when he was making the series, to pay homage to the original line up of the Justice League ( Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern ( Kyle Rayner), Flash (Wally West) and Martian Manhunter .) and to promote cultural and racial diversity. The line up of the team was changed slightly but still both goals were achieved. The line up of the series stood as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash ( Wally West), Hawkgirl (who replaced Aquaman in favor of a second female member) and the African American John Stewart as Green Lantern who replaced Kyle Rayner to promote racial diversity. Kyle Rayner (who appeared in Superman series) was not chosen for that reason and in season two Kyle was described as a trainee Green Lantern under the tutelage of John Stewards old mentor, although both Kyle would later make appearances in Justice League Unlimited.
The show was greeted with great success somewhat due to many loyal fans who were already familiar with the incarnation of the characters but the show also introduced the characters to an entire generation. Due to the fact that most episodes were one of two parts Cartoon Network chose to run two episodes back to back. It was later learned in the DVD release of season two that the episode “Starcrossed” was expected to be the final episode of the entire series but in February 2004 Cartoon Network released the next season with a new name, Justice League Unlimited. The show premiered on July 31st 2004.
The new series featured an expanded League who had opened their doors to nearly all of the Superhero community . Due to the great number of characters now in the show episodes tended to star three or four at a time so as to keep up with character development and so as not to drown out the quality of the show with quantity. In several episodes the entire roster of League members star often the entire brut force of all the members are needed to fight off universal threats.
Timm sought out to keep the continuity of the DC Animated Universe alive and so sought out Kevin Conroy to voice Batman, who he played in Batman: The Animated Series (1992) and in Batman Beyond (1999). Conroy set out to make his voice different then the two previous incarnations of Batman as Justice League/Justice League Unlimited is set after Batman: The Animated Series and before Batman Beyond. To do this Conroy made his sot harsher and more weathered than Batman: The Animated Series but softer then Batman Beyond. To also add to the development of the character Batman’s costume was changed. The spikes or ears found at the top of his mask were made more prominent then in Batman: The Animated Series, his boots were also given slight heels and red highlights replaced the blue ones found in Batman : The Animated Series.
Tim Daly was originally sought out to voice Superman as he had in the previous Superman series but was unable to. Instead George Newborn was brought in to voice the man of steel. During the first season he was deeply criticized as fans felt he lacked the authority that Daly brought to the role. Timm has stated that this was more a fault in the writing of the series then in Newborns abilities and has openly defended him every since. Many fans have been swayed by this feeling that Newborns performance has improved throughout the series and that both Daly’s and Newborn’s incarnations of the character both have merit and fault. Superman’s over all look was redesigned so as to show him looking slightly older then in his previous animated series. To do this he was given a slight squint in his eyes and a slightly greying streak to his hair. He was also made to look broader in the series to suggest greater physical strength. Fans did not react well to the changes made and so at the beginning of season two the creators toned down the streak in his hair (to the point of almost disappearing) and took the squint away all together. As an inside joke to this failure the facial templates for the original Superman were used for Jor-El in the episode “For the Man who has Everything”.
Most other characters were left close enough to their comic book counterparts although some notable changes were made. Wonder Woman’s (voiced by Susan Eisenberg) back story completely changed from that of her competing against her Amazonian sisters to her being an ambassador to the outside world. This is seen in the episode “Secret Origins” She has also been referred to as a rookie hero and several episodes touch on how hard she is finding it to adjust to the new life she now leads. Also the Flash (voiced by Michael Rosenbaum) was given attributes that made him appear slightly younger and less mature then in his comic book incarnation. It has also been noted that he was given several traits to that of Plastic Man who usually provides the comic relief for the team in the comic book series. In this incarnation of the team Flash was found to be the funny one. Much like the changes put under Wonder Woman, John Stewart’s (voiced by Phil LaMarr) back story was also significantly changed. The original comic story was that of a civilian architect but was changed to him being a hardened ex-marine for the series.
One character that was entirely changed was Aquaman. He was dropped completely from the team in place of Hawkgirl. Maria Canals was cast to voice the part of Hawkgirl because of her Hispanic accent. The creators thought that as Hawkgirl was not from Earth so it would make her stand out as a more foreign character within the team. Her back story was set so that she had been transported to earth by criminals using a Zeta beam. Hawkgirl and Green Lantern John Stewart began a romantic relationship. Later in the series it was revealed that she was actually a scout for the Thanagarian invasion force. Obviously the League felt betrayed by this, especially when the entire Thanagarian force arrived ready to over throw earth. To make matters worse Hawkgirl went to their aid. Eventually the Thanagarians left but Hawkgirl remained on earth. She fled from the League in shame and chose to stay with Dr.Fate and his wife Inza in their stronghold to find piece of mind and a new direction in life. She was eventually brought back to kill her possessed friend Solomon Grundy. After this she chose to rejoin the league and was warmly excepted back into it. She decide to leave her Thangaran military dress for more conventional attire. Although her and John's relationship would never be the same again.
Another romantic relationship was that of Batman and Wonder Woman. The creators of the show did not seem to like the fans insistence of Wonder Woman being paired with Superman. Although no relationship actually blossomed it was the intent of Wonder Woman but Batman on several occasions turned her down saying that if his villains knew about them they could use her to get to him. Although Batman kissed, danced and sang to save Wonder Woman, no one knows what he really wanted!!!
Martian Manhunter also went under change. In his comic books he is found to have a power called Martian Vision usually shown as a beam of light, an extension off his telekinesis, but which also works very like Superman’s heat vision. This power was dropped in his animated form in favor of his shape shifting and phasing abilities.
Heart of Ice
Up until Batman the Animated Series, Mr. Freeze did not have much of a characterization or back story in the comics. Thanks to a unique design by Mike Mignola and a tragic back story thought up by Bruce Timm, Freeze went from a crummy hoodlum, to a tragic villain who only wanted to save his wife. Fan reception to this version of the character forced the story into mainstream. The episode he appeared in was "Heart of Ice" which introduced the entire background story and even ended up winning an Emmy for "Best Animation". Mr. Freeze would go on to be in every season of B:TAS, make an appearance in the first season of Batman Beyond, and even have his own movie dedicated to him.
When the Justice League decided to expand their numbers they became incredibly powerful, it was Bruce Timm's choice to then add Green Arrow after popular fan demand. The fans saw Green Arrow as an almost eighth member to the original seven member team. A second reason to add Ollie was to form a bridge between the new JLU and the people on Earth. He was the first hero to appear in JLU. He appeared in "Initiation", the first episode of the first season. Originally he did not want to join because he felt that they had given up on the "little man" and he was the only thing protecting him, but after some convincing from Batman he joined and helped keep them together when Superman almost disbanded the group.
During the Justice League Unlimited run Bruce Timm decided to add one of his favorite characters, little did he know adding him would be a huge development. The Question first fully appeared in "Fearful Symmetry" where he was given a complete persona redesign. This Question was one of the league's top detectives (second to Batman and maybe Elongated Man) but he was incredibly paranoid and claimed to see patterns in useless bits of information. His design was the O'Neil version from the 80s comics and over the course of the series he developed a relationship with Huntress, much like his comic book counterpart. Timm's reaction to his Question made him want to do a series completely based on him and that is somewhat what he did for the second season (or first season according to the DVDs) finale in which the Question discovers a link between Luthor, the Justice Lords, Cadmus, and Flash that could potentially destroy the planet. Fan reaction to Timm's version of the character was phenomenal and he, much like Green Arrow, became a major reoccurring character,
There are many notable differences between the regular DCU and the DCAU, here are a few:
- Superman does not have an "S" shield on his back
- Dr. Fate does not have a fin on his helmet
- Jason Todd never existed
- Tim Drake's origin is much closer to Jason Todd's
- The Question is a conspiracist and much more paranoid.
- Amazo's appearance and characterization is severely different, and is completely golden instead of his original costume.
- Hal Jordan does not seem to exist in the universe but he did appear in "The Once And Future Thing" Pt. 2 because of a time-space flux.
- Doomsday never killed Superman.
- Static is in the same universe as Batman and Superman opposed to a separate one.
- John Stewart and Hawkgirl have a relationship here that was never present in the comics.
- Barbara Gordon was never paralyzed by the Joker.
- Orion's Astro-Harness is silver instead of gold.
The various DVDs collecting episodes of the different series. There are also DVDs collecting individual episodes of some series that are not listed.
Episode List (Animated Series)
Justice League - Season One
- Episode 01: Secret Origins: Part 1 (Original Air Date—17 November 2001)
- Episode 02: Secret Origins: Part 2 (Original Air Date—17 November 2001)
- Episode 03: Secret Origins: Part 3 (Original Air Date—17 November 2001)
- Episode 04: In Blackest Night: Part 1 (Original Air Date—19 November 2001)
- Episode 05: In Blackest Night: Part 2 (Original Air Date—26 November 2001)
- Episode 06: The Enemy Below: Part 1 (Original Air Date—3 December 2001)
- Episode 07: The Enemy Below: Part 2 (Original Air Date—10 December 2001)
- Episode 08: Paradise Lost: Part 1 (Original Air Date—21 January 2002)
- Episode 09: Paradise Lost: Part 2 (Original Air Date—28 January 2002)
- Episode 10: War World: Part 1 (Original Air Date—24 February 2002)
- Episode 11: War World: Part 2 (Original Air Date—3 March 2002)
- Episode 12: The Brave and the Bold: Part 1 (Original Air Date—10 March 2002)
- Episode 13: The Brave and the Bold: Part 2 (Original Air Date—17 March 2002)
- Episode 14: Fury: Part 1 (Original Air Date—7 April 2002)
- Episode 15: Fury: Part 2 (Original Air Date—14 April 2002)
- Episode 16: Legends: Part 1 (Original Air Date—21 April 2002)
- Episode 17: Legends: Part 2 (Original Air Date—28 April 2002)
- Episode 18: Injustice for All: Part 1 (Original Air Date—6 September 2002)
- Episode 19: Injustice for All: Part 2 (Original Air Date—13 September 2002)
- Episode 20: A Knight of Shadows: Part 1 (Original Air Date—20 September 2002)
- Episode 21: A Knight of Shadows: Part 2 (Original Air Date—27 September 2002)
- Episode 22: Metamorphosis: Part 1 (Original Air Date—4 October 2002)
- Episode 23: Metamorphosis: Part 2 (Original Air Date—11 October 2002)
- Episode 24: The Savage Time: Part 1 (Original Air Date—9 November 2002)
- Episode 25: The Savage Time: Part 2 (Original Air Date—9 November 2002)
- Episode 26: The Savage Time: Part 3 (Original Air Date—9 November 2002)
Justice League - Season Two
- Episode 1: Twilight: Part 1 (Original Air Date—5 July 2003)
- Episode 2: Twilight: Part 2 (Original Air Date—5 July 2003)
- Episode 3: Tabula Rasa: Part 1 (Original Air Date—4 October 2003)
- Episode 4: Tabula Rasa: Part 2 (Original Air Date—4 October 2003)
- Episode 5: Only a Dream: Part 1 (Original Air Date—11 October 2003)
- Episode 6: Only a Dream: Part 2 (Original Air Date—11 October 2003)
- Episode 7: Maid of Honor: Part 1 (Original Air Date—18 October 2003)
- Episode 8: Maid of Honor: Part 2 (Original Air Date—18 October 2003)
- Episode 9: Hearts and Minds: Part 1 (Original Air Date—25 October 2003)
- Episode 10: Hearts and Minds: Part 2 (Original Air Date—25 October 2003)
- Episode 11: A Better World: Part 1 (Original Air Date—1 November 2003)
- Episode 12: A Better World: Part 2 (Original Air Date—1 November 2003)
- Episode 13: Eclipsed: Part 1 (Original Air Date—8 November 2003)
- Episode 14: Eclipsed: Part 2 (Original Air Date—8 November 2003)
- Episode 15: The Terror Beyond: Part 1 (Original Air Date—15 November 2003)
- Episode 16: The Terror Beyond: Part 2 (Original Air Date—15 November 2003)
- Episode 17: Secret Society: Part 1Original Air Date—22 November 2003
- Episode 18: Secret Society: Part 2Original Air Date—22 November 2003
- Episode 19: Hereafter: Part 1 (Original Air Date—29 November 2003)
- Episode 20: Hereafter: Part 2 (Original Air Date—29 November 2003)
- Episode 21: Wild Cards: Part 1 (Original Air Date—7 December 2003)
- Episode 22: Wild Cards: Part 2 (Original Air Date—7 December 2003)
- Episode 23: Comfort and Joy (Original Air Date—13 December 2003)
- Episode 24: Starcrossed: Part 1 (Original Air Date—29 May 2004)
- Episode 25: Starcrossed: Part 2 (Original Air Date—29 May 2004)
- Episode 26: Starcrossed: Part 3 (Original Air Date—29 May 2004)
Justice League Unlimited - Season One
- Episode 1: Initiation (Original Air Date—31 July 2004)
- Episode 2: For the Man Who Has Everything (Original Air Date—7 August 2004)
- Episode 3: Kid Stuff (Original Air Date—14 August 2004)
- Episode 4: Hawk & Dove (Original Air Date—21 August 2004)
- Episode 5: This Little Piggy (Original Air Date—28 August 2004)
- Episode 6: Fearful Symmetry (Original Air Date—4 September 2004)
- Episode 7: The Greatest Story Never Told (Original Air Date—11 September 2004)
- Episode 8: The Return (Original Air Date—18 September 2004)
- Episode 9: Ultimatum (Original Air Date—4 December 2004)
- Episode 10: Dark Heart (Original Air Date—11 December 2004)
- Episode 11: Wake the Dead (Original Air Date—18 December 2004)
- Episode 12: The Once and Future Thing: Part 1 - Weird Western Tales (Original Air Date—22 January 2005)
- Episode 13: The Once and Future Thing: Part 2 - Time, Warped (Original Air Date—29 January 2005)
Justice League Unlimited - Season Two
- Episode 1: The Cat and the Canary (Original Air Date—5 February 2005)
- Episode 2: The Ties That Bind (Original Air Date—12 February 2005)
- Episode 3: The Doomsday Sanction (Original Air Date—19 February 2005)
- Episode 4: Task Force X (Original Air Date—21 May 2005)
- Episode 5: The Balance (Original Air Date—28 May 2005)
- Episode 6: Double Date (Original Air Date—4 June 2005)
- Episode 7: Clash (Original Air Date—11 June 2005)
- Episode 8: Hunter's Moon (Original Air Date—18 June 2005)
- Episode 9: Question Authority (Original Air Date—25 June 2005)
- Episode 10: Flashpoint (Original Air Date—2 July 2005)
- Episode 11: Panic in the Sky (Original Air Date—9 July 2005)
- Episode 12: Divided We Fall (Original Air Date—16 July 2005)
- Episode 13: Epilogue (Original Air Date—23 July 2005)
Justice League Unlimited - Season Three
- Episode 1: I Am Legion (Original Air Date—17 September 2005)
- Episode 2: Shadow of the Hawk (Original Air Date—17 September 2005)
- Episode 3: Chaos at the Earth's Core (Original Air Date—24 September 2005)
- Episode 4: To Another Shore (Original Air Date—24 September 2005)
- Episode 5: Flash and Substance (Original Air Date—11 February 2006)
- Episode 6: Dead Reckoning (Original Air Date—18 February 2006)
- Episode 7: Patriot Act (Original Air Date—25 February 2006)
- Episode 8: The Great Brain Robbery (Original Air Date—4 March 2006)
- Episode 9: Grudge Match (Original Air Date—13 February 2006)
- Episode 10: Far from Home (Original Air Date—15 April 2006)
- Episode 11: Ancient History (Original Air Date—6 February 2006)
- Episode 12: Alive (Original Air Date—6 May 2006)
- Episode 13: Destroyer (Original Air Date—13 May 2006)