Justice League Unlimited (or JLU) is the name of an American animated television series that was produced by 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. JLU debuted on July 31, 2004 on Toonami and ended with the episode aired May 13, 2006. It is also the last series of the DCAU.
It features a greatly-expanded League, in which the characters from the original series—now referred to as "founding members"—are joined by a large number of 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 the first two seasons of Justice League, Batman: The Animated Series, and Superman: The Animated Series, 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 ad hoc team assemble to deal with a particular situation, with a focus on both action and character interaction.
Most episodes tell a self-contained story, but the series also features extended story arcs, the first involving the building 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 has affected 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 season story arc focuses on the new Secret Society (which is based on the Legion of Doom) as the main villains, a loose-knit organization formed to combat the increased superhero coordination of the first season.
Towards the end of the series, certain characters became off-limits to the show. Characters associated with Batman (aside from Batman himself) were restricted due to the unrelated animated series The 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 (similar to Smallville), which wasn't picked up. Characters from DC's "mature readers" Vertigo imprint were also not allowed. No characters appearing in the Teen Titans animated series (except for Speedy) appeared in JLU while the Titans series was running, nor vice versa.
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.
Justice League Unlimited, like the second season of Justice League, is animated in widescreen. The show also features new theme music. The two-part series finale was aired in the UK on February 8 and February 18, 2006 and in the United States on May 6 and May 13, 2006.
It should be noted that the above list is incomplete.
|DVD Name||Release Date||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Season One||October 24 2006||26||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 23 ("Flashpoint"). NOTE: this DVD is actually Seasons one and two of the series.|
|Season Two||March 20 2007||13||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. NOTE: this DVD is actually Season three of the series.|