After the success of the Superman and Batman animated series, it was only natural that the Justice League get their own team-up show to demonstrate the right way of doing Super Friends. Of course, who would be front and center other than the Man of Steel.
Justice League debuted in 2001 with a multi-part episode format allowing for epic stories to be told. While the original line-up consisted of a core 7 heroes, the show would be rebranded after two seasons as Justice League Unlimited with a vast selection of heroes.
Unfortunately for Superman, in order that the whole team not seem weak in comparison, the Kryptonian was significantly depowered during the series first season. Superman was often beat up to establish the enemy threat level.
But by season two, Superman had regained his edge and no longer pulled punches. Threats like Darkseid were brought back making for some knock down drag out and very personal action.
The second season also introduced the ruthless Justice Lord version of Superman in black and white. Bet that cape was a pain to keep clean.
Also in season 2, the Death of Superman was paid homage...
The series even had time for alter -ego Clark Kent to drop in to help thwart the Thanagarian invasion.
While Justice League Unlimited cut the running time of episodes to a single episode, the series still managed to deliver great stories even adapting classic tales like For the Man Who Has Everything which tormented Superman with what could have been in Krypton had not exploded and he had found himself a hot redhead.
Justice League Unlimited also indulged a little more in silliness like body swapping and the classic de-aging of heroes. Kid Superman had previously appeared in Super Friends thanks to red kryptonite. This time, blame it on magic.
Even though Superman remained in the spotlight throughout the series, his cousin Kara was able to get some resolution of her own by joining up with the Legion in place of Kal.
Check back next week for another chapter in The Super History of Superman.