In the past, we'd ask you to compare two comic runs by the same writer in a segment called "Favorite Comic Runs." However, we want to give the weekly segment a little more variety, so from here on out, we're going to also include animated shows, animated movies, and live-action movies.
Now that we got that out of the way, it's time to look at the latest match-up: Justice League Unlimited vs. Batman Beyond. Both shows are superb and absolutely need to be viewed at some point by comic fans... and seeing as you're reading this, it's safe to say that you are a comic fan, right? Both shows have stood the test of time because they have legitimately well-written adventures that can appeal to fans of all ages. There's excellent humor, character progression, fun action, and exciting plots. But, this week, we wanted to know if you prefer one over the other. Well, it turns out a majority of you do have a favorite and you've decided to side with... Justice League Unlimited!
Justice League Unlimited ran from 2004 to 2006 and had 3 glorious seasons (and not to mention a stellar episode with Terry McGinnis). Instead of focusing solely on the core Justice League members, this series had several episodes revolving around characters that aren't quite as popular as Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman. The characters were juggled extremely well and I'm certain we all have our favorite pairings (gotta love The Question). But that's not to say the A-listers were left in the dust, either. Who can forget the time Flash switched minds with Lex Luthor or the action-packed finale with Darkseid? Let's see what a few Viners had to say about the shows.
"Both were great, but JLU was better along every metric. It had a stronger first season, overall better writing (drama and comedy), better animation, more complex storytelling, more mature (not childish like the DTV movies now) writing, a better vocal cast, a wider scope, bigger ideas, a larger number of complex/interesting characters, etc. I think it left a bigger footprint in and out of the comics, and it's the only cartoon I re-watch regularly and enjoy every time. Whenever i watch the episodes again, i see something new. While I am only 22, it is a show i will try to pass on to my kids someday. JLU was The Wire/Sopranos of animated children's tv in terms of quality and legacy; no one can tell me otherwise. :-P
The Timmverse as a whole was a true masterpiece that Marvel Studios seems to have taken notes on, and it is still my favorite DCU."
"I love both of them, and vote for both, but I think I have a hairs breadth favoritism to Batman Beyond.The reality is both at great shows I can throw on any time, any episode, and be entertained. Neither got the service length it deserved.
Batman Beyond took a lesser known Batman story and turned it into something everyone could enjoy. The story, trials, amd character of Terry McGinnis is distinctly different from Bruce Wayne. It's always fun seeing a less honed and refined Batman still be creative and overcome an obstacle.
JLU was awesome because it highland many members of the League, not just the big 3. Personally my wife and I loved any episodes revolving around Green Arrow and Back Canary."
"Two great shows. One tough choice. BB should be given a ton of credit for creating an amazing new world with interesting characters. They tied into BTAS really well and expanded the Batman mythos as well as the entire DCAU. JLU on the other hand gave everyone exactly what they wanted, a huge roster of awesome heroes, overreaching story arcs and personal character driven stories. It also had a head start because some of the stories (and all of the characters) came from existing comics, whereas BB had to create original plot and characters. Additionally, most people will have watched JL before JLU which is why they could focus on great characters like Green Arrow, The Question and Super Girl. They didn't have to tell us about the founding members, everyone knew them so well by that point. For me I've always seen JL and JLU as one show. I never understood why they changed the name, they just added more characters. It doesn't feel like a different show, maybe a spin-off (I guess).
That being said I think BB took a more traditional path in storytelling, with very few two part episode, much like BTAS. JLU gave us one long story arc per season with a few single episodes mixed in. It followed more modern comic book story telling and worked perfectly to allow the focus to shift between characters and team-ups.
For me that's the clincher. I loved the way JLU told an expanding story that got more and more intriguing and exciting as it developed. It's perfect for marathon watching on Netflix or DVD.
So I give it to Justice League Unlimited. Both are great and should be watched in full. How about for next time we have a 90s animated series battle. That way Marvel could have a go at it. 90s X-Men vs 90s Spider-Man, GO!"
"Justice League Unlimited did what Batman Beyond did for Terry..but for about a dozen characters. What I mean by that is it brought out the attractive qualities in each character the series showcased through top notch storytelling, well timed and believable dialogue, and significant character development. Green Arrow, Black Canary, Batman, John Stewart, Aquaman, Wally, Diana, Lex Luthor, Huntress, Question, and hell even Gorilla Grodd. JLU is the main reason why I got into the lesser known DC heroes and I love Timm for doing so."
"They're both good:
Batman Beyond did a new twist on Batman. However that twist involved is a Terry McGinns who is a defiantly similar to Spiderman, so basically it was Batman training Spiderman in a future Neo-Gotham, it even had plays on Kraven the Hunter and Sinister Six. It also showed a new and very different Gotham that was caught in the future but still very much stuck in the past (as Bruce Wayne/Batman still was, as you always see him pining for his old life including the people involved.)
Justice League Unlimited on the other hand, expanded the Justice League series both in characters and world building: so we got to see places like Akropolis, Star City, Warworld, New Genesis but we also met characters like Orion, Green Arrow, Booster Gold and villains like Deadshot and Cheetah. And of this made a cohesive DC animated universe that was filled with fantastic stories and characters. If anything this helped to establish the WB animation as a place to be when it came to animating superheroes."
"As much as I loved both animated series, I will have to give the edge to Justice League: Unlimited. It was because of this cartoon that I really started to read more DC comic books. I started to give more DC books a chance, where before, I would kind of overlook them. Also, I absolutely loved the story lines and because of this show, I became a huge fan of the late, great Dwayne McDuffie. You don't see too many African-Americans in the animation industry, and knowing that Dwayne wrote most of and compiled a lot of the JLU episodes, I was very impressed. The story arcs were amazing, the voice acting was on point, and the action was always exciting. I remember being impatient for the next new episode to air! That's how much of a fan I was. I still like to watch the reruns, to this day, on the Vortexx. I think this series is just that amazing. No other series, besides Young Justice, has made me an uber geek of a show, and JLU did just that. I hope the whole series can get the HD treatment, with a complete blu ray set. :)"
In case you're wondering, 348 Viners voted. Here's the poll results.
- Justice League Unlimited 50%
- I love both of them 28%
- Batman Beyond 21%
- Sorry, I'm not a fan of either 1%
- I'm ashamed to admit I haven't watched either one and won't be able to before Friday 1%
That's it for this week, Viners! Be sure to check the homepage on Monday for a brand new edition of this segment. In the meantime, go ahead and tell us your favorite Justice League Unlimited episode. Also, if you want to suggest a future match-up for this segment, go ahead and tell us below or reach out via twitter.