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Justice League

Entry updated 10 November 2023. Tagged: TV.

US animated tv series (2001-2006; vt Justice League Unlimited). Warner Brothers Animation for the Cartoon Network. Produced by James Tucker, Rich Fogel, Dwayne McDuffie, Glen Murakami, Linda Steiner and Bruce W Timm. Directed by Dan Riba, Joaquim Dos Santos and Butch Lukic. Writers included Stan Berkowitz, Keith Damron, J M DeMatteis, Paul Dini, Fogel, Dave Gibbons, Bob Goodman, Joseph Kuhr, Alan Moore, Dennis O'Neal, Dwayne McDuffie. Based on characters created by Neal Adams, C C Beck, John Broome, Bill Finger, Gardner F Fox, Carmine Infantino, Bob Kane, Robert Kanigher, William M Moulton, Jerome Siegel, others. Cast includes Maria Canals-Barrera, Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, Phil LaMarr, Carl Lumbly, George Newbern and Michael Rosenbaum. 91 30-minute episodes. Colour.

In this updating of Super Friends (1973-1974), the Justice League of America now operates from the Watchtower, a Space Station orbiting Earth. Primary members of this team are Superman (Newbern), Batman (Conroy) though not Robin, Wonder Woman (Eisenberg), Wally West's version of the Flash (Rosenbaum), the John Stewart incarnation of Green Lantern (LaMarr), the Martian Manhunter (Lumbly) and Shayera Hol or Hawkgirl (Canals-Barrera), the last a female Alien humanoid equipped with natural wings like all her species. In adventures written to an adult level, the League members battle most of their standard Comics foes including Brainiac, Darkseid, Doomsday, Lex Luthor, the Joker, the Mirror Master, Toyman, Star Sapphire and many others. The series was re-titled Justice League Unlimited at the start of the third season, and its roster vastly expanded with appearances by many further DC Comics Superheroes. These included the Atom, Aquaman, Black Canary, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Captain Marvel, Doctor Fate, Green Arrow, the Powered Armour-suited Steel (plus other armoured heroes such as Rocket Red) and – among additional female members – Supergirl.

The most revised character was Wonder Woman, now presented as being on her first visit to the outside world from the Island home of her Amazon civilization, now called Themyscira rather than Paradise Island to tie in more closely with ancient Greek Mythology. Her Superpowers were "upgraded" to include flight without needing an aircraft and superhuman strength increased to roughly the same level as Superman, as in the comics for many years. After incorporation of a long sequence of complicated comics storylines into the programme's continuity, there were currently several other Green Lanterns from Earth besides John Stewart, including Hal Jordan (the best known): these others occasionally appeared. More mature themes featured, including romances between Batman and Wonder Woman, and between Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. Justice League arguably presented the most powerful team of Superheroes yet to appear in either animation or live action. [GSt]


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