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Justice League

ABOVE: Cartoon Network’s Justice League
ABOVE: Cartoon Network’s Justice League Unlimited

Series Overview: Justice League

Cartoon Network enlisted the world’s greatest superheroes, bringing them together once more in an all-new half-hour animated series, Justice League, which began in November, 2001 on Cartoon Network. The new series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation under the direction of Emmy Award-winner Bruce Timm. Cartoon Network gave Justice League an initial order of 26 original half-hour episodes, which incorporated an all-star roster of popular DC Comics superheroes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter.

Following the premise and storyline of the DC Comics comic books, members of the Justice League were called upon to battle against allied villains, supernatural creatures and other powerful forces of evil determined to usurp authority over the world and to destroy the Justice League. Justice League marks the first time in more than 15 years that these characters have come together in a television series since first uniting in Super Friends, which ran from 1973-85 on ABC and later on Cartoon Network.

‘I can think of no one more appropriate or qualified to bring the JLA superheroes to life than Bruce Timm,’ said Jean MacCurdy, president of Warner Bros. Animation. ‘As he so brilliantly demonstrated with Batman and Superman, he is passionate about creating an entertaining and dynamic series that will thrill the legions of JLA fans everywhere, as well as introduce a whole new generation of fans to these classic characters as they come together in a brand new series.’

‘After working on the Superman and Batman series for the last several years, Justice League is a great opportunity to develop those characters a step further and bring more of the iconic DC Comics superheroes to life,’ said Timm. ‘I am looking forward to exploring whole new realms of the superhero world.’

‘We’re excited to be working with the great creative team responsible for Batman and Superman,’ said Mike Lazzo, senior vice president of programming and production for Cartoon Network. Justice League will be a powerful addition to our Toonami action-adventure franchise.’

Justice League ran two seasons comprising 26 half-hour episodes. The series returned and was renamed Justice League Unlimited.

Justice League Unlimited featured the core team of seven heroes, plus dozens of new ones, including Supergirl, Green Arrow, Black Canary, The Huntress, The Question, Captain Atom, Hawk & Dove, Zatanna, Elongated Man, Fire, Ice and many more. The series ran for three more seasons, comprising 39 episodes in total.

Flash in “Speed Demons”

Pre-Justice League: Flash in “Superman: The Animated Series

Superman: The Animated Series produced an episode called “Speed Demons” which featured the first animated appearance of Wally West as Flash.

Here’s how the show describes the episode and Wally: “Wally West is the the Scarlet Speedster from Central City, “The Flash”. Unlike Superman, who is all business, The Flash is a wise cracking, glory hound. His is driven by his HUGE ego and his big mouth. The Flash comes to Metropolis to compete in a race around the world against Superman for charity. During of the competition, The Flash’s arch nemesis from Central City, The Weather Wizard, uses his devices of destruction to threaten Metropolis and put the race on hold. It forces Superman and The Flash to work together to defeat the Weather Wizard. In the process of their team work, Superman gains respect for The Flash, and they continue their race to see who’s the fastest hero on earth.”

Animated Gallery (click to enlarge):

Flash in “Justice League”

Flash in “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited”

The Flash in Cartoon Network’s Justice League series was the Wally West version of the character.

“The way we’re playing him, we don’t want to say he’s the comedy relief of the gang, but he kind of is,” said Justice League producer Bruce Timm. “He’s young, he’s pretty much just out of puberty, and he’s ready to go.” “He thinks he’s a ladies’ man, but he really doesn’t have a clue,” said producer Rich Fogel. Timm said that Flash plays off the other Justice Leaguers well. “He’s such a wild card and our version of the Green Lantern is such a straight arrow, we have to team them up as often as possible because they’re just oil and water,” Timm said.

Flash also became the heart of the League, often being the one to stand up for his fellow teammates or even act as moral conscience for the League. In the episode, “Starcrossed,” the League unmasks for the first time and we learn (absolutely) that it’s Wally West behind the mask. In the third season episode of Justice League Unlimited, “Flash and Substance,” the Rogues team up against Wally as the Flash Museum opens. The episode also features the first animated appearance of Linda Park.

The Flash’s voice was done by Michael Rosenbaum, who starred as Lex Luthor in The WB’s Smallville.

Key Flash Episodes:
The Brave and the Bold (Parts 1-2)
A Better World (Parts 1-2)
Eclipsed (Parts 1-2)
Comfort and Joy
Starcrossed (Parts 1-3)
Question Authority
Panic in the Sky
Divided We Fall
Flash and Substance
The Great Brain Robbery

Animated Gallery (click to enlarge):


Hawk & Dove in “Justice League Unlimited”

In the first season of Justice League Unlimited, viewers were introduced to Hawk and Dove in the epsiode, “Hawk and Dove,” which aired August 21 in 2004. Here’s how the network describes the episode: “Wonder Woman teams up with two super powered brothers, one warlike,the other a pacifist, to stop Ares’ plans to escalate a European civil war into World War III. ”

Hawk and Dove, like the comics, are revealed to be brothers Don and Hank Hall. Article: Thursday, August 19, 2004

Fred Savage and Jason Hervey are brothers again this week. The two, who starred in the ABC coming-of-age series The Wonder Years, are paired again in Cartoon Network’s Justice League Unlimited as Hawk and Dove. The episode, approriately titled “Hawk and Dove,” premieres Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Cartoon Network. Andrea Romano, voice director for Justice League Unlimited, explained how this unique casting took place.

“I had worked with Fred Savage for many years now,” Romano told The Continuum. “I think he’s just a terrific talent and a very good voiceover actor. And when we got the casting for this episode, the producers came to me, Bruce Timm, and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to get Fred Savage and then have Jason Hervey to play his brother?’ since they played brothers on The Wonder Years. “Since I had a working relationship with Fred Savage, that was not a problem. That was really quite simple to call the agent and book him, and he’s quite happy to do the work.

“Jason Hervey was a bit harder to track down. He doesn’t live in Los Angeles anymore, somewhere out of state. We tracked him down and found his agent, who also happens to be his mother we came to find out, and broke it down and explained that it was a Justice League episode with two super-hero brothers, Hawk and Dove, and that we did have Fred Savage on board already. We asked if Jason would be willing to come into town and play the brother. After she spoke with him, she said he would be very enthusiastic to come in and play.”

Romano, who prefers to voice record ensemble, was able to get Savage and Hervey in the studio at the same time for “Hawk and Dove.” “It was such a joy to see them together. I don’t know how long it had been since they had physical contact,” Romano said. “It was quite a lovely story to see them together.”

The final voices weren’t what you would expect. Savage provided the voice of Hawk, and Hervey did the voice of Dove. “When I initially cast it and I spoke to the producers on how we were going to cast it, our first thought was to have Fred Savage play Don/Dove, the calmer, more peace-loving character, and have Jason play Hank/Hawk, the more aggressive of the two,” Romano said. “Simply because that was the way they existed in The Wonder Years series; Jason’s character was always the more aggressive, obnoxious character and Fred was the more agreeable guy.

“Once we did the rehearsal, basically strictly on how their voices printed, it didn’t sound quite right. So just for the heck of it, we said, ‘You know what, let’s rehearse again, switching characters.’ So we did. And it worked much better that way.”

Animated Gallery (click to enlarge):


Speedy in “Justice League Unlimited”

In the third season of Justice League Unlimited, Speedy appeared in the epsiode, “Patriot Act ,” which aired 2006. Here’s how the network describes the episode: “When an out of control super soldier threatens Metropolis, Green Arrow leads seven non-powered Justice Leaguers, including Crimson Avenger and Shining Knight, in a battle they can’t hope to win. ”

Speedy makes an animated appearance as one of the Seven Soldiers of Victory! Comic book fans will recall that Speedy was a member of that Golden Age team of superheroes. Speedy’s animated look on JLU is essentially a more grown-up version of his Teen Titans design. An interesting note: The JLU Speedy is voiced by Mike Erwin, who provided Speedy’s voice on Teen Titans. This adds to the Teen Titans/JLU synergy established by Michael Rosenbaum voicing Flash on JLU and Kid Flash on Teen Titans.

Animated Gallery (click to enlarge):

Nighwting Cameos

A non-costumed Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon briefly appear as part of the alternate Batman’s resistance against Vandal Savage in the Justice League episode, “Savage Time (Part 1).” Tim Drake is also part of the group.

Nightwing also makes a VERY brief cameo (in shadow) in the JLU episode, “Grudge Match.” Here’s how the network describes the episode: “Roulette starts Metabrawl again, this time with an all-female fight card made up of Justice Leaguers.”

Nightwing Cameo in “Grudge Match”

Episode Guide:

JL Season One:
Secret Origins (Parts 1-3)
In Blackest Night (Parts 1-2)
The Enemy Below (Parts 1-2)
Injustice for All (Parts 1-2)
Paradise Lost (Parts 1-2)
War World (Parts 1-2)
The Brave and the Bold (Parts 1-2)
Fury (Parts 1-2)
Legends (Parts 1-2)
A Knight of Shadows (Parts 1-2)
Metamorphosis (Parts 1-2)
The Savage Time (Parts 1-3)

JL Season Two:
Twilight (Parts 1-2)
Tabula Rasa (Parts 1-2)
Only a Dream (Parts 1-2)
Maid of Honor (Parts 1-2)
Hearts and Minds (Parts 1-2)
A Better World (Parts 1-2)
The Terror Beyond (Parts 1-2)
Eclipsed (Parts 1-2)
Secret Society (Parts 1-2)
Hereafter (Parts 1-2)
Comfort and Joy
Wild Card (Parts 1-2)
Starcrossed (Parts 1-3)

JLU Season One:
For the Man Who Has Everything
Kid Stuff
Hawk and Dove
This Little Piggy
Fearful Symmetry
The Greatest Story Never Told
The Return
Dark Heart
Wake the Dead
The Once and Future Thing: Weird Western Tales
The Once and Future Thing: Time, Warped

JLU Season Two:
The Cat and the Canary
The Ties That Bind
The Doomsday Sanction
Task Force X
The Balance
Double Date
Hunter’s Moon
Question Authority
Panic in the Sky
Divided We Fall

JLU Season Three:
I Am Legion
Shadow of the Hawk
Chaos at the Earth’s Core
To Another Shore
Flash and Substance
Dead Reckoning
Patriot Act
The Great Brain Robbery
Grudge Match
Far From Home
Ancient History

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