Superman Fan & Collectors Convention of Hawaii

A World Without Justice

by Scott Shinsato

With the May 13th airing of Justice League Unlimited (in the US), one of what is arguably one of the greatest animated series/universes has come to an end. Not just the Justice League animated series but the Bruce Timm universe as well, an animated universe consisting of and including almost every incarnation of many of DC’s heroes.

Sadly, it also seems that the series had gone out on a whimper rather than a bang. Cartoon Network ran many ads for “New” episodes of Naruto and BoBoBo-Bo Bo-BoBo rather than promoting All New episodes of JLU. During the final weeks, few if any ads for the last episodes of JLU ran and sadly it seems that each episode would run once, not to be seen again on the network. Odd as you would think that they would want to promote a series that they had helped to produce.

While the show as well as the Timm-universe seems to have come to an end, it has left us with many great memories over the past 14 years. Introduced to us in 1992, the DC animated universe as envisioned by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, Batman: The Animated Series became an Emmy award winning show that helped to reshape the Dark Knight as well introduce a new character that would be popular enough to cross-over into the comics. We were also introduced to Kevin Conroy whose gravelly voice became the definitive voice of Batman for a generation. His portrayal of the Dark Knight lasted 14 years and was the one constant throughout the entire run of the DCAU.

Superman: The Animated Series made its debut in 1996 and lasted four seasons. During it’s four season run, the Man of Steel teams up with members of the New Gods and their battle with Darkseid as well as other famous DC Super-Heroes, the biggest perhaps being the 1997 team up with Batman in the three part World’s Finest story line. These team-ups were perhaps testing the waters for the eventual Justice League series.

A year into the new millennium fans were treated to the latest installment into the DCAU: Justice League. This new series took seven of DC’s biggest hitters and placed them in adventures on an epic scale. The first two seasons adventures were so large in fact that they had to be told in two-part arcs. By the third season, the show changed its name to Justice League Unlimited, the team had grown to encompass much of the DC universe in general and the adventures scaled back to mainly one episode stories. While the stories themselves seemed shorter, a larger arc that covered the entire season often times told a much grander tale culminating in the season finale. The introduction of so many new characters admittedly detracted from the original seven but fans of the DC universe got a chance to see many obscure favorites animated…something that may not have happened if not for the JLU series.

As the DCAU comes to a close and heads to DVD, we can hope for the best…perhaps a few direct to DVD projects in the future by the same people that brought us this amazing universe for 14 years. Thank you Bruce Timm, thank you to all those involved. Best wishes to all, it was one amazing ride!

On a side note…gang; we are less than one month away from Superman Returns! Be with us next month as we get prepared for the movie many of us have been waiting 18 years for! Take care gang and see you next month.

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