DC Animated Universe

    Concept » DC Animated Universe appears in 872 issues.

    The animated adaptation of the DC Comics universe, created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    DC Animated Universe last edited by Hyjurocket on 10/15/23 07:30PM View full history

    The Universe

    The main universe is considered to be a series of television shows that aired from 1992 to 2006. It is 8 television series and 4 movies:

    YearsSeriesSeasons (Episodes)Note
    1992-1995Batman: The Animated Series3 (85)
    1993Batman: The Mask of the PhantasmMovieBetween BTAS S1 & 2
    1996-2000Superman: The Animated Series3 (54)
    1997-1999The New Batman Adventures1 (24)
    1998Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubzeroMovieDuring or after BTAS S2
    1999-2002Batman Beyond3 (52)
    2000Batman Beyond: Return of the JokerMovieAfter BB S3
    2000-2004Static Shock4 (52)
    2001The Zeta Project2 (26)
    2001-2004Justice League2 (52)
    2003Batman: Mystery of the BatwomanMovieDuring Justice League
    2004-2006Justice League Unlimited3 (39)

    Non-Canon Continuations


    "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)

    Comics released during DCAU airing:

    And after:


    • Gotham Girls is a macromedia flash series that takes place during The New Batman Adventures. Lobo is another macromedia flash series, though with a lack of tie-ins to the greater DCAU, it's canonicity is unclear.
    • While sharing character models and much of the voice cast from Superman: The Animated Series, Superman: Brainiac Attacks is generally not accepted as part of the DCAU continuity, and members of it's production crew have stated it was not intended to be in continuity with the DCAU.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Batman & Harley Quinn is a film that uses similar animation to The New Batman Adventures, though it's canonicity is dubious. Some members of the production crew have stated it's DCAU adjacent.
    • Justice League vs. The Fatal Five uses the animation models from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. While comments from Bruce Timm have stated the film takes place sometime after Justice League Unlimited, it's also been said by him that it could be head-canon as well, and fans could decide on their own.

    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).

    Original Seven

    BatmanKevin Conroy
    FlashMichael Rosenbaum
    Green Lantern (John Stewart)Phil LaMarr
    HawkgirlMaria Canals
    Martian ManhunterCarl Lumbly
    SupermanTim Daly/George Newbern
    Wonder WomanSusan Eisenberg


    AquamanScott Rummell
    AtomJohn C. McGinley
    Atom SmasherAppearance Only
    Bat LashBen Browder
    BatgirlTara Strong
    Batman (Terry McGinnis)Will Friedle
    Big BardaFarrah Forke
    Black CanaryMorena Baccarin
    Jason BloodBilly Zane/Michael T. Weiss
    Booster GoldTom Everett Scott
    B'Wana BeastPeter Onorati
    Captain AtomGeorge Eads/Chris Cox
    Captain MarvelJerry O'Connell
    CreeperJack Glen Bennett
    DeadmanRaphael Sbarge
    DoveJason Hervey
    Doctor FateOded Fehr
    Doctor LightLauren Tom
    El DiabloNester Carbonell
    Elongated ManJeremy Piven
    Etrigan the DemonBilly Zane/Michael T. Weiss
    FireMaria Canals
    GearJason Marsden
    Gray GhostAdam West
    Green ArrowKin Shriner
    Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)Adam Baldwin
    Green Lantern (Kilowog)Dennis Haysbert
    Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)Will Friedle
    Green Lantern (Kai-Ro)Lauren Tom
    Green Lantern (Katma Tui)Kim Mai Guest
    HawkFred Savage
    HawkmanJames Remar
    Jonah HexAdam Baldwin
    HighfatherMitchell Ryan
    HuntressAmy Acker
    LightrayRob Paulsen
    Apache Chief/LongshadowGreg Rainwater
    MetamorphoTom Sizemore
    MetronDaniel Dae Kim
    MicronWayne Brady
    Mr. MiracleIoan Gruffudd
    Mr. TerrificMichael Beach
    Nightwing/RobinLoren Lester
    OrionRon Perlman
    QuestionJeffrey Combs
    Red TornadoPowers Boothe
    Robin (Tim Drake)Matthew Valencia/Eli Marienthal/Mariy Scheer
    Shining KnightChris Cox
    StaticPhil LaMarr
    SteelPhil LaMarr
    SupergirlNicholle Tom
    VigilanteNathan Fillion
    VixenGina Torres
    WarhawkPeter Onorati
    WildcatDennis Farina
    ZatannaJennifer Hale
    ZetaGary Cole/Diedrich Bader


    Ra's al GhulDavid Warner
    Talia al GhulHelen Slater
    AmazoRobert Picardo
    AresMichael York
    Atomic SkullLex Lang
    BaneHenry Silva
    Baby DollLaraine Newman
    Black MantaMichael Beach
    BrainiacCorey Burton
    Captain BoomerangDonal Gibson
    Captain ColdLex Lang
    CatwomanAndrienne Barbeau
    CheetahSheryl Lee Ralph
    ChronosPeter MacNicol
    CirceRachel York
    ClayfaceRon Perlman
    DarkseidMichael Ironside
    DesperoKeith David
    Dr. PolarisMichael Rosenbaum
    DoomsdayMichael Jai White
    Felix FaustRobert Englund
    FireflyMark Rolston
    GalateaNicolle Tom
    Gentleman GhostRobert Atkins Downe
    Gorilla GroddPowers Boothe
    HadesJohn Rhys-Davies
    Harley QuinnArleen Sorkin
    Jayna/ShifterGrey DeLisle
    JokerMark Hamill
    KalibakMichael Dorn
    Killer CrocAron Kincaid/Brooks Gardner
    KlarionStephen Wolfe Smith
    Morgaine Le FeyAlivie d'Abo
    Lex LuthorClancy Brown
    LivewireLori Petty
    Apache Chief/LongshadowGreg Rainwater
    Mad HatterRoddy McDowall
    MetalloMalcolm McDowell
    Mirror MasterAlex Denisof
    Mr. FreezeMichael Ansara
    MordredSoren Fulton
    MongulEric Roberts
    Ocean MasterRichard Green
    ParasiteBrian George
    PenguinPaul Williams
    Poison IvyDiane Pershing
    RiddlerJohn Glover
    Roxy RocketCharity James
    Vandal SavagePhil Morris
    ScarecrowHenry Polic II
    ShadeStephen McHattie
    Solomon GrundyMark Hamill
    Star SapphireOlivia d'Abo
    TalaJuliet Landau
    Rupert ThorneJohn Vernon
    ToymanBud Cort
    TricksterMark Hamill
    Two-FaceRichard Moll
    Ultra-HumaniteIan Buchanan
    VentriloquistGeorge Dzundza
    Weather WizardCorey Burton
    Samurai/Wind DragonJamie Sie
    Zan/DownpourGrey DeLisle

    Other Characters

    Harvey BullockRobert Costanzo
    Snapper CarrJason Marsden
    CreeperJeff Bennett
    Wade EilingJ.K. Simmons
    Lucius FoxBrock Peters/Mel Winkler
    James GordonBob Hastings
    Emil HamiltonRobert Foxworth
    HippolytaSusan Sullivan
    Lois LaneDana Delany
    Maxwell LordTim Matheson
    MeraKristin Bauer
    Renee MontoyaIngrid Oliu/Liane Scirmer/Adrienne Barbeau
    Jimmy OlsenDavid Kaufman
    Alfred PennyworthEfrem Zimbalist Jr.
    Amanda WallerCCH Pounder


    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:

    1. Renee Montoya (A detective introduced in B:TAS that is now in the DCU)
    2. Nora Fries (Mr. Freeze's wife introduced in B:TAS and incorporated into the DCU)
    3. Livewire (A Superman villain introduced in S:TAS and brought into the DCU)
    4. The Phantasm (A villains introduced in B:MotP roughly based on the Reaper from [[Batman: Year Two:char:42225]])
    5. Terry McGinnis (The future Batman introduced in Batman Beyond and has since appeared in Batman/Superman and Countdown.)
    6. Warhawk (The future son of John Stewart and Hawkgirl introduced in Batman Beyond)
    7. 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.

    Character Changes

    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.

    In Justice League, Superman’s overall 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 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. John Stewart’s (voiced by Phil LaMarr) back story was also 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.

    Question Authority

    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.

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