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Justice League Unlimited

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Justice League Unlimited
Based onJustice League
Gardner Fox
Developed byBruce Timm
Written byStan Berkowitz (seasons 1-2)
Dwayne McDuffie (seasons 1-3)
Matt Wayne (season 3)
Directed byJoaquim dos Santos
Dan Riba
Voices of
Theme music composerMichael McCuistion
ComposersKristopher Carter
Michael McCuistion
Lolita Ritmanis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
EditorJoe Gall
Running time21–23 minutes
Production companiesDC Comics (2005–2006)
Warner Bros. Animation
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Original networkCartoon Network
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseJuly 31, 2004 (2004-07-31) –
May 13, 2006 (2006-05-13)
Preceded byJustice League

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 where Justice League left off. JLU debuted on July 31, 2004, on Toonami and ended on May 13, 2006.

It is the eighth and final series of the DC Animated Universe, serving as the conclusion to a shared universe which began with Batman: The Animated Series. Much like its predecessor series, it is a prequel to Batman Beyond. Notably, it is the most continuity heavy show of the DC Animated Universe, and weaves together characters and plot lines from every single past series.

Justice League Unlimited received critical acclaim, with praise towards it's writing, storylines, themes, voice acting, action scenes, and exploration of the larger DC universe.


According to animator Bruce Timm, the series finale of Justice League, "Starcrossed", was originally planned to be the final episode of the series; however, Cartoon Network ordered the production of a successor, titled Justice League Unlimited. Taking place shortly after its predecessor ended, it features a greatly expanded League, in which the characters from the original series—now referred to as "founding members"—are joined by many other superheroes from the DC Universe; in the first episode, well over 50 characters appear. A number of these were heroes who had made guest appearances in Justice League, but many heroes and other characters made their first animated appearances in this series. The general format of each episode is to have a small team assemble to deal with a particular situation, with a focus on both action and character interaction. This extension of the Justice League was originally planned to be explained in a planned direct-to-video feature film, but the project never materialized.

Stan Berkowitz, a member of the production team, left the show later for the TV series Friends and Heroes, and writer Matt Wayne was contracted to replace him. Most episodes tell a self-contained story, but the series also features extended story arcs, the first involving the growing conflict between the League and a secret government agency known as Project Cadmus. This plot line builds upon events that occurred during the second season of Justice League (which in turn built upon events in Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, and The Zeta Project), and would go on to affect the plotlines of most of its episodes. It was resolved in a four-part story at the end of the second season of Justice League Unlimited. The third and final season story arc focuses on the new Secret Society (which is based on the Legion of Doom of the Challenge of the Super Friends season of Super Friends), a loose-knit organization formed to combat the increased superhero coordination of the first season. While the Secret Society is never referred to as the Legion of Doom, there were early plans to use the name (coined in typically comedic style by the Flash). The idea was rejected.

The series, along with the entire DC animated universe, was originally planned to end after the second-season finale "Epilogue", but a third season was greenlit by Cartoon Network. The third season started in 2005 with the episode "I Am Legion" (which was written before the announcement of a third season) and ended in 2006 with the episode "Destroyer". According to Matt Wayne, if the show had been renewed for a fourth season, he would have liked to write more episodes focusing on Superman and Wonder Woman.

Towards the end of the series, certain characters became off-limits to the show, like Blue Beetle and Hugo Strange. Characters associated with Batman and those who appeared in Batman: The Animated Series (aside from Batman himself) were restricted due to the unrelated animated series The Batman and Christopher Nolan's live-action The Dark Knight Trilogy, in order to avoid continuity confusion (although the villain the Clock King did make an appearance, he appeared as a member of Task Force X and did not interact with Batman). Aquaman and related characters were unavailable due to the development of a pilot for a live-action series featuring the character as a young man (planned to be a spin-off of Smallville). Characters from DC's "mature readers" Vertigo imprint were also not allowed, such as Swamp Thing and Phantom Stranger. No characters from the Teen Titans animated series appeared in JLU until after that show had been canceled (when Speedy appeared in the third-season episode "Patriot Act", which referenced the Seven Soldiers of Victory). While The Joker, Batman's archenemy, had appeared in the prior series' two parter "Wild Cards", he was restricted from appearing in Unlimited, due to the character's recurring role in WB's The Batman animated series, the same also applied to Clayface and Firefly, both of whom appeared in the previous series in a supporting capacity. Even Harley Quinn, who was originally created in the DC Animated Universe was also forbidden from appearing.

To compensate for this, the producers focused their stories on previously overlooked DC Comics characters. These included characters like Deadman, Warlord, and an unnamed modern equivalent of The Seven Soldiers of Victory.

DC Comics created an ongoing monthly comic book series based on the TV series, as part of its Johnny DC line of "all ages" comics, which did not have the same restrictions regarding character appearances.

Justice League Unlimited, like the second season of Justice League, is animated in widescreen. The show also features new theme music and intro (nominated for an Emmy).[1] The two-part series finale was aired in the UK on February 8 and 18, 2006, and in the United States on May 6 and 13, 2006.

As in Justice League, romantic relationships develop between the characters across the course of the series. The Question and the Huntress, and Black Canary and Green Arrow are shown to be romantically involved, and a love-triangle between Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Vixen develops (this is later complicated by the addition of Hawkman). Additionally, the series continually hints at a mutual attraction between Batman and Wonder Woman.




Justice League Unlimited received critical acclaim and is listed as one of the best animated television shows of all time. IGN named Justice League/Justice League Unlimited as the 20th best animated television series of all time.[2] Similarly, IndieWire also ranked the series as the 20th best animated show of all time.[3]

James Whitbrook, editor of io9, wrote "Justice League Unlimited is simply the greatest superhero show of all time", further stating "it embraced its source material wholly, and was unafraid to be the wildest, biggest, comic-book-iest show it could be."[4]

Home media

From 2006 to 2007, Warner Home Video (via DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Family Entertainment) released the entire series of Justice League Unlimited on DVD. The series is presented in original broadcast presentation and story arc continuity order. The series was also released on Blu-Ray.

Name Release Date Ep # Notes
Season One October 24, 2006 26 4 DVDs. Featurette: And Justice for All: The Process of Revamping the Series with New Characters and a New Creative Direction, Themes of Justice: Choose Your Favorite JLU Musical Theme Audio Tracks, Creators' Commentary on "This Little Piggy" and 'The Return.” Contains all episodes of Seasons One and Two from the original airing. Episode 21 – "Hunter's Moon (AKA Mystery in Space)" – is placed out of order between episodes 22 ("Question Authority") and episode 23 ("Flashpoint").
Season Two March 20, 2007 13 2 DVDs. Actually Season Three from the original airing. Cadmus: Exposed: Mark Hamill and the Series Creative Personnel Discuss This Popular Series Story Arc, Justice League Chronicles: Series Writers, Producers and Directors Discuss Their Favorite Moments Among Final Season Episodes, Music-Only Audio Track for the Final Episode Destroyer.
Justice League: 3-Pack Fun July 19, 2011 11 3 DVDs. Contains "For The Man Who Has Everything," "The Return," and "The Greatest Story Never Told," as well as the two-part Justice League stories "The Brave and the Bold" and "Injustice For All,” and the Young Justice episodes "Independence Day," "Fireworks," "Welcome To Happy Harbor," and "Drop Zone.”
The Complete Series November 10, 2015 39 3 Blu-ray discs. Featurette: And Justice for All: The Process of Revamping the Series with New Characters and a New Creative Direction, Creators' Commentary on "This Little Piggy" and 'The Return,” Cadmus: Exposed: Mark Hamill and the Series Creative Personnel Discuss This Popular Series Story Arc, Justice League Chronicles: Series Writers, Producers and Directors Discuss Their Favorite Moments Among Final Season Episodes. Episodes are shown in the correct order.

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. The same episodes were later sold as a 10-disc set without the bonus documentary.


La-La Land Records released a 4-disc Justice League soundtrack on July 29, 2016.[5] A potential Justice League Unlimited soundtrack depends on how well the Justice League soundtrack sells.[6]


Justice League Unlimited

DC Comics published a series of 46-issue numbered comics based on the television series, between 2004 and 2008.

  • Justice League Unlimited: Jam-Packed Action! (2005-09-28): Adaptation of episodes 'Initiation' and 'For the Man Who Has Everything'.[7]


  • Justice League Unlimited Vol. 1: United They Stand (2005-05-18): Includes #1-5.[8]
  • Justice League Unlimited Vol. 2: World's Greatest Heroes (2006-04-19): Includes #6-10.[9]
  • Justice League Unlimited Vol. 3: Champions of Justice (2006-04-19): Includes #11-15.[10]
  • Justice League Unlimited: The Ties That Bind (2008-04-09): Includes #16-22.[11]
  • Justice League Unlimited: Heroes (2009-04-08): Includes #23-29.[12]
  • Justice League Unlimited: Galactic Justice (2020-08-25, ISBN 1-77950-673-2/ISBN 978-1-77950-673-3): Includes #4, 6, 18, 24, 34, 46.[13]
  • Justice League Unlimited: Time After Time (2020-11-03, ISBN 1-77950-724-0/ISBN 978-1-77950-724-2): Includes Adventures in the DC Universe #10, Justice League Adventures #28, 30, 34; Justice League Unlimited #9, 19.[14]
  • Justice League Unlimited: Girl Power (2021-07-06, ISBN 1-77951-015-2/ISBN 978-1-77951-015-0/EAN-5 50999): Includes Adventures in the DC Universe #6, 9; Justice League Adventures #4; Justice League Unlimited #20, 22, 35, 42; DC Super Hero Girls: Ghosting (preview).[15][note 1]
  • Justice League Unlimited: Hocus Pocus (2021-01-27, ISBN 1-77950-754-2/ISBN 978-177950-754-9): Includes #11, 14, 25, 33, 37, 40.[16]
  • DC Comics: Girls Unite!/DC Girls Unite (2021-11-02, ISBN 978-1-77951-362-5/EAN-5 53999): Includes Batman Adventures: Cat Got Your Tongue?, Supergirl Adventures: Girl of Steel, Batman Adventures: Batgirl A League of Her Own, Justice League Unlimited: Girl Power

Justice League Infinity

It is a sequel to Justice League Unlimited, written by James Tucker and J.M. DeMatteis with art by Ethen Beavers. 7 numbered issues were published by DC Comics between 2021 and 2022.


  • Justice League Infinity (2022-07-05): Includes #1-7.[17]


In 2019, Warner Bros. Animation released the film Justice League vs. the Fatal Five. While not officially confirmed by the studio, the creator of the DCAU and producer of the film Bruce Timm considers this film to take place in DCAU.[18][19]

See also


  1. ^ Publisher mislisted the book as including Adventures in the DC Universe #3-5; Justice League Unlimited #21, 36-41.


External links

This page was last edited on 27 January 2023, at 23:46
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