04 February 2010

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batman in the Justice League

In 2001, The Justice League debuted and to many people's pleasant surprise this was no Super Friends. The series first two seasons consisted primarily of two part episodes spotlighting the various Leaguers and their villains.

Despite Batman's League membership a "Bat-Embargo" would eventually be put in place reserving all Bat-related characters for other shows such as "The Batman." Thus, although Joker and Clayface were seen early in the series, Bat villains were few and far between in the later years; Nor did Robin or Batgirl ever appear.

Over the course of the series, the League encountered various alternate realities and Batmen including one in a world ruled by Vandal Savage in the three-part The Savage Time.

One of the most memorable doppelgangers was Justice Lord Batman from A Better World. This Batman was part of a League that took enforcement of the law to the extreme after Lord Superman killed an evil President Luthor.

From 2004 until 2007, the series was rebranded Justice League Unlimited and things lightened up a tad with appearances by Bat-Ape,

Bat-Kid, and even a singing Batman.

In spite of the embargo, eagle-eyed fans were able to catch a vague cameo of Nightwing patrolling the streets of Bludhaven in the episode Grudge Match.

In The Once and Future Thing, Batman (in his prime) got to team up with the future Batman from Batman Beyond. Things didn't end well...

Batman Beyond was revisited again in the episode Epilogue, the resolution of an epic two-season story arc. Although one final set of episodes followed, Epilogue respectfully closed Justice League and the DC Animated Universe spanning Batman, Superman, Batman Beyons and Justice League with a scene paying homage to one of the first and classic Batman:The Animated Series Episodes, On Leather Wings.

Although he was just one of the team members, Batman was more often than not the star of the 91 episodes of Justice League.

Up Next: Cartoon Crossovers

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