Many comic book fans love to see their favorite superheroes adapted into animated form, and there are many great superhero animated series that have become classics in their own right. Whether it was the Batman or X-Men animated series of the ’90s, or the various Star Wars or Marvel comics animated series of the last few years, cartoon storytelling remains as important to the superhero genre as comic books or live-action film.
DC Comics was once the clear undisputed champion of animated series format, with shows like Superman: The Animated Series, Batman: The Animated Series and the Justice League animated series all melding fantastical animated adventures with retro design styles and serious, high-minded storytelling. Justice League was a particularly good achievement, using multi-part stories and a cinematic format to make DC’s all-star team of heroes feel like movie gods at a time when big-screen dreams for a Justice League movie were just that: dreams. But with the live-action Justice League movies now set in stone for 2017 and 2018, it seems like a Justice League animated series is also in the works.
World’s Finest Online is exclusively reporting that Cartoon Network is in the process of developing a new Justice League animated series. The site apparently reached out to Cartoon Network Canada about the possibility of a new JL animated series, and got this alleged response: “We will be premiering a new Justice League animated series, but not likely until next fall.”
This news should come as little surprise to anyone who has knowledge of the history of DC Comics animated series and films – or really anyone who has been watching the superhero genre takeover Hollywood in the last few years. For DC and Warner Bros., premiering animated series to dovetail big movie releases goes back to Batman: The Animated Series hitting small screens in 1992 – the same year that Tim Burton’s movie sequel Batman Returns hit the big screen. Of course, more recent examples like Green Lantern: The Animated Series coming along with the 2011 Green Lantern movie are not nearly as promising as something like B:TAS, which begs the question: what KIND of animated series does WB and Cartoon Network have in mind?
Cartoon Network’s more recent track record with DC Comics properties isn’t that encouraging; there’s been a clear shift to try and capture a younger market with shows like Teen Titans Go!, Batman: Brave and the Bold, or The Batman, while fantastic shows for the older crowd (like Young Justice) fall by the wayside. The Justice League cartoon of the early ’00s (and its spinoff, Justice League Unlimited), have all the wonderful fingerprints of creators like Bruce Timm and Dwayne McDuffie – and no doubt there are a LOT of fans who will hear tell of this new series and expect the same level of greatness as the previous series.
However, if this series turns out to be a “kid friendly” marketing grab to make up for (what I assume will be) the Justice League movie’s more serious and adult tone, then longtime fans could be sorely disappointed. In a comparable case study, Marvel canceled their widely fan-approved 2010 animated series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (arguably the company’s best series in years), in order to launch a rebooted series, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble in 2013 – a show that is noticeably more kid friendly, and much more in synch with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films (whereas Earth’s Mightiest Heroes drew from the classic comic book lore).
That’s all to say: don’t be too surprised if more cartoony versions of Ben Affleck’s Batman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman and the rest of the movie gang all end up on the small screen. (Can you just imagine Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor as a cartoon character???)
We’ll keep you updated on the status of the new Justice League cartoon – including its proposed 2016 premiere date.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squadon August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.
Source: World’s Finest Online
Header Image Source: els3bas @DeviantART