Cartoon Network is launching a new one-hour block of programming in spring of 2012 called DC Nation, which will feature the currently running Young Justice and the upcoming Green Lantern: The Animated SeriesCome 2013, however, the CGI animated series Beware the Batman will join the party.

The announcement was made at the MIP Junior showcase over the weekend in Cannes, France.

Right now the Dark Knight can be seen in the lighter, guest spot-centric Batman: The Brave and the Bold series – which is set to wrap up its three-year run soon. Much like Batman: Brave and the Bold, Beware the Batman will feature appearances from some of DC’s lesser-known characters.

For starters, one of the main villains Batman is set to face off against will be Professor Pyg and the Circus of the Strange – who were recently inducted into the caped crusader’s rogues gallery during Grant Morrison’s epic Batman arc.

According to Sam Register, executive vice president for creative affairs at Warner Bros. Animation, “We didn’t want to do another Joker story – there’s too many of them. We just needed to do something new, so we’re starting off with new villains.”

More interestingly, though, further changes will come in the form of Batman’s supporting cast. Apparently, in lieu of the Robin character, viewers will see Katana – a sword-wielding samurai from the DCU, currently starring in the DCnU version of Birds of Prey. Also, in a move that is sure to have many a Bat-fan puzzled, Alfred Pennyworth appears to be joining Bruce Wayne’s crusade against crime with some two-fisted handgun action.

Register touched on the lack of Bruce Wayne’s ward by cryptically stating, “Katana is going to be his new Robin – but not necessarily.” Register did not offer insight to the gun-toting Alfred, however.

Before Beware the Batman hits Cartoon Network in 2013, the ambitious DC Nation will have already been a year old. The entertainment block will be anchored around core episodic programming like the Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Beware the Batman, but DC Nation is also slated to become a one-stop shop for fans of the overall DC universe.

For starters, the network plans to air a multitude of different animated shorts from the likes of Aardman Animations featuring Batman in the company’s trademark style, while another set of shorts will highlight DC characters like Wonder Girl, Batgirl and Supergirl in Super Best Friends Forever. Finally, for the die-hards, Plastic Man will get some much-needed face time, while Doom Patrol will be featured in a series of action-oriented shorts.

DC Nation will also bring the world of comics to the fans through a series of live-action news shorts that will range from interviews with top DC brass like Jim Lee, to brief stories on every-day folks who have a unique passion for comics and the DCU.

The ambitious project should help to introduce DC’s vast array of characters to a whole new audience, and help pave the way for more feature films or television series like the upcoming Deadman and The Spectre series Warner Bros. has planned.

In the meantime, fans can catch a sneak preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series this November on Cartoon Network, before the series debuts as part of DC Nation in the spring of 2012.

Stay tuned as more info regarding Beware the Batman and DC Nation becomes available.

Source: The World’s Finest