DC COMIC BOOK
ANIMATED TV SHOWS
On this page I have provided a brief summary on animated TV shows and TV
movies that have been made based on DC characters. It may not
be complete as I have tried to focus on the more popular, mainstream titles. There may be an obscure item on this page
as I felt it was needed to be added. I do have a
page on my site focused on DC live-action TV shows that you can
visit by clicking here.
Some of the shows were
available overseas in one form of media, but not necessarily
available in the US so my notes about availability or no
availability refers to the US only.
The first DC animated series to hit television was The New
Adventures of Superman in 1966 and was considered one of
the forerunners for Saturday morning TV superhero shows.
The show traded off with a Superboy series with Superboy teaming up
with his dog Krypto taking on various missions in the town of
The Superman series was fantastic as it showed the Man of Steel in a
way that fans wanted to see him. Superman was out to save the day
against various threats and utilized his powers with a no nonsense
approach. It continued with the same kinds of themes as previously
seen in the live-action show The Adventures of Superman
starring George Reaves and the Max
Fleischer Superman cartoons from the 1940s. It was also one of
Filmation Studio's first productions leading to
an incredible array of shows they would produce in the next 25
years. This show lasted three seasons and had a lasting impact
on the future of Saturday morning TV. The series is available
on DVD in a season one and season two/three.
The follow up came the next year when Filmation put together the
Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure which consisted of the
previous Superman shows with new Aquaman shows. They also produced
shorts for some of DC Universe's most famous heroes like Green
Lantern, Flash, Hawkman, Atom, Justice League of America and Teen
The Aquaman shows would later be referred to as the Adventures of
Aquaman while the other hero shorts would later be referred to
as DC Super Heroes The Filmation Adventures.
Several of DC's writers and artists contributed to the episodes and
some of the stories were based on the actual comic book stories that
had appeared a couple of years earlier.
I liked the shorts featuring the Justice League, Green Lantern,
Hawkman, Atom and Flash. The Aquaman episodes were very good too,
but didn't hold in my heart as the others.
For years I wished they would be available for purchase other than
the re-recorded versions on VHS tape sold at comic book shows, but
that would finally come.
Each program had a wonderful flair to them and were exciting to
watch. The animation is not on par with today's series, but these
were over 40 years ago and were a bright light on Saturday mornings.
The DC Super Heroes and the Aquaman episodes are available on DVD.
The network decided to package up Aquaman along with the previously
mentioned DC heroes in 1968 and presented them as the Aquaman
show which ran until 1970.
Filmation continued things right along with the Aquaman show with a
new production called The Adventures of Batman in 1968.
Here we got to see the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder teaming up
against Gotham City's villains like the Joker, Catwoman, Riddler and
Penguin. Batgirl was also included in the show and all characters
were drawn in a classic style. In fact the Joker was done in a way
that most fans of artist Neal Adams would enjoy. The complete
Batman series is available on DVD.
The network and the studio continued its
re-packaging of shows and put together The Batman/Superman
Hour that ran one season from 1968 to 1969. It included
Superman and Superboy episodes from the 1960s series in addition to
Batman's episodes from the previous show.
The legendary iconic DC animated franchise debuted in 1973 called
the Super Friends. A total of 13 episodes were produced in
its first incarnation.
DC's heavyweights Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman
comprised the core team with new creations, teenagers Marvin,
Wendy and Wonder Dog were added to the mix. We got to see for the first
time the Hall of Justice on TV as well.
The animation and sound quality for these initial shows are low
quality, but it was the start of something huge on Saturday morning
TV that would stretch over a decade.
The three added members of which none had super powers were more for
kids so they could relate and identify with and added some comedy
relief to the stories. The show is probably to the liking of many
fans these days, but was a fun series to watch now and then. The
first season series is available on DVD.
Filmation continued its theme of superhero animation with The New
Adventures of Batman in 1977.
show featured the voices of the live-action TV show Batman and
Robin-Adam West and Burt Ward and incorporated the character from the comics
called Bat-Mite who added comic relief to each episode and always found a
way to foul up the Dynamic Duo's efforts against Gotham's criminals.
Filmation's co-founder and producer Lou
Bat-Mite and other characters that his studio produced.
Batgril was included in the show. The series lasted one season
with a total of 16 episodes and is a very nostalgic show for most
who watched it live back then. The complete series is available
Filmation would go on to add the Batman show the following season
with Tarzan and calling it The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour.
This ran for one season.
The Super Friends made their return in 1977 with The All-New
Super Friends Hour.
With the same core superhero team intact, the producers decided to
remove teen heroes Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog and replace them
with the Wonder Twins-Zan and Jayna along with their pet monkey Gleek.
These weren’t your ordinary teenagers as they were from another
world with superpowers. Zan could turn into any form water or ice
and Jayna having the ability to change into any animal of her
choosing while Gleek was on hand for comic relief although his super
tail did come in handy at times.
The stories started to open up with additional DC heroes
appearing on the show. The series is available on DVD in two
the favorite Super Friends shows came the following year
with Challenge of the Super Friends.
Here the Super Friends got to take on their arch-nemeses in every
episode as they formed the Legion of Doom.
Amongst the heroes were Superman, Batman, Robin, Flash, Green
Lantern, Aquaman, Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, Samurai, Wonder Woman
and a few others when needed.
Amongst the villains were Lex Luthor, Riddler, Captain Cold,
Sinestro, Black Manta, Giganta, Toy Man, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy,
opening theme finishes with a scene very reminiscent of one of DC’s
oversized limited edition books with the heroes charging head on
towards the villains resulting in a huge flash-like explosion when
they collide to end the opening.
The infamous Legion of Doom headquarters makes its debut looking like an
over-sized Darth Vader helmet which may have been the inspiration and
housed and allowed the villains to travel. It flies and can
go into other dimensions, but at the start of each episode is shown
coming from the bottom of a swamp to reveal itself above the water.
This is what fans had been waiting for after going through two Super
Friends shows which contained comedy. This show was more
focused on the serious side, but still tame compared to today's
standards. The total amount of heroes and villains taking on
one another had never been seen before and made for a fantastic
The stories were fun to watch and even though there are some
continuity issues where you might see a hero who was not in the
episode suddenly appearing in peril with the rest of the group,
those do not detract from the overall show.
Unfortunately the series only lasted 16 episodes over two seasons.
The complete series is available on DVD.
Continuing a theme earlier in the decade the Tarzan and
the Super 7 show debuted in 1978 containing a variety of heroes
in its own self-contained episodes including Tarzan, Web Woman,
Batman and Robin, The Freedom Force (Isis, Super-Samurai, Sinbad,
Merlin, and Hercules), Micro Woman and Super Stretch, Moray and
Manta and a live-action show called Jason and the Star Command.
The Batman episodes were the ones that Filmation had produced
previously for The New Adventures of Batman.
An original Quality Comics hero turned DC hero when they acquired the
license to many of the Golden Age characters when the company went bankrupt came
in 1979 in the form of The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Hour.
Although in the comics Plastic Man was written in a way that was
humorous in nature, in this series he was portrayed in a more
ludicrous way and the shapes that he created himself into to thwart
the criminals was just down-right ridiculous.
If you’re curious, the complete series is available on
There would be two more Super Friends shows that ran from 1979
through 1983. The World's Greatest Super Friends lasted one season while
the Super Friends lasted over three seasons from 1980 to
The World’s Greatest Super Friends brought back the
Wonder Twins with the series having a darker tone in their
adventures than had previously been seen in the first two shows.
The Super Friends show started to allow the lesser known
heroes like Black Vulcan, Samaraui, and Apache Chief become more a
part of the shows by teaming them up with Superman, Batman and Robin
and Wonder Woman. Where the Wonder Twins came in, they would be
allowed to take on a challenge at first, but invariably one of the
Super Friends would come to their rescue.
The World's Greatest Super Friends is available on DVD while
a separate DVD offering of episodes which did not make it on TV can
be found in the Super Friends: Lost Super Friends DVD.
Captain Marvel would get his first animated show in 1981 in The
Kid Superpower Hour with Shazam!
This was a split show with one half featuring students at a high
school of exceptional powers while the other half was on the Marvel
Here we would not only see Captain Marvel, but Mary Marvel and
Captain Marvel Jr. as in the classic comic books.
The family would take on Captain Marvel’s most famous villains like
Dr. Sivana, Mr. Mind and Black Adam. It lasted a total of one
season with 12 episodes.
The Super Friends producers provided the last two offerings of the
shows focused on the team tangling with one of DC’s most prominent
villains in addition to some of their regular super-villains.
Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show appeared in 1984
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians appeared in 1985.
The Legendary Super Powers show debuted the Jack Kirby creation
Darkseid for the first time in animation and Firestorm.
These shows inspired the classic and iconic action figure toy line
The Super Powers produced by Kenner.
we get a large amount of superheroes and supervillains in both
shows with Darkseid determined to conquer Earth. In addition to
Firestorm, Darkseid’s minions like Desaad, Steppenwolf, Kalibak and
the new look Brainiac in his silver metallic suit debuted in the
The clashes between the two factions were more bold as we also get
to see Darkseid’s world. Both complete series are available on
the most overlooked and often praised series came in 1988 with
This was the Ruby-Spears production that tended to stay true to the
Superman of the time that comic book artist and writer John Byrne
had been revamping for DC to be a more realistic and believable
Superman and not the invulnerable and impossible to believe
The series although short-lived (a total of 8 episodes were
produced) would incorporate Lex Luthor as well as other new villains
and actually provided their take on the legendary Superman theme
that John Williams had created for Superman the Movie
One of the episodes with Wonder Woman guest starring is one of the
standout shows in the series. The complete series is available
critically acclaimed and well known series Batman The Animated
Series debuted in 1992. The show lasted 5 seasons which would
later change its name to The New Batman Adventures in 1997.
The producers spent considerable time trying to create Batman’s
world in a more darker and grittier way than had been seen up to
that time, even in the motion pictures starring Michael Keaton.
They went back to the original source materials-the comic books from
the 1940s to get the look and feel of not only Batman, but Gotham
City and its surroundings. The producers dubbed their look
The artistic style is unique with Batman and other characters
tending to be more square-jawed.
Long-time character actor-Kevin Conroy provided the Dark Knight and
Bruce Wayne’s voices while veteran actors Bob Hastings and Efrem
Zimbalist Jr. provided Commissioner Gordon and Alfred’s voices with
a host of all-star actors and actresses playing different Batman
supporting characters during the show’s run.
The most recognizable of the villains was Mark Hamill of Star Wars
who performed as the Joker in numerous appearances on the show and
in other shows and in the Batman animated movies.
Stars like Adrienne Barbeau voiced
Catwoman, Paul Williams performing as the Penguin, Marc Singer as
Man-Bat, John Glover as the Riddler, David Warner as Ras Al Ghul,
Michael Ansara as Mr. Freeze, Richard Moll as Two Face, Roddy
McDowall as the Mad Hatter, Ron Perlman as Clayface amongst many.
This is the Batman series that everyone should own and will watch
over and over.
When The New Batman Adventures debuted in 1997 the creators
converted Dick Grayson into Nightwing and Tim Drake would take
over as the new Robin along with Batgirl who was now a regular on
The series brought on a more family tone with so many of the stories
featuring the primary ensemble cast as opposed to Batman mainly
going about things by himself in the previous series.
The Batman The Animated Series including The
New Batman Adventures are available on DVD in individual seasons. The complete series is a little
pricey since its initial release, but you can find it online at
various prices. Both series spawned some incredible action
figures produced by Kenner that have become classics.
DC Collectibles have since produced a six inch line of
figures based on a majority of key characters from the series.
The producers of the Batman The Animated Series decided to
create a Superman series in the same style and quality as that of
the Batman series.
Superman The Animated Series
debuted in 1996 and continued the excellence as found
in the Batman show giving the Man of Steel a fresh new look like
never seen before.
Daly of Wings performed as Clark Kent and Superman, Dana Delany of
China Beach fame was Lois Lane and Clancy Brown of Shawshank
Redemption was Lex Luthor and all three would raise the bar in
animated series voice performances.
Superman’s gallery of super-villains would appear throughout the
series utilizing the voice talents of some of the more recognizable
names in show business including Gilbert Gottfried as Mr.
Myxzptlk, Malcolm McDowell as Metallo,
Michael Ironside as Darkseid, Ron Perlman as Jax-Ur, Leslie
Easterbrook as Mala, Michael Dorn as Kalibak.
The animation continued to meet and exceed in some cases the
standards set by the Batman series. The art decoration on
the show was second to none. The city skyline and cityscapes were
absolutely fantastic and the show’s music sweeping. Kenner produced a beautiful set of action figures based on the
series that have become tough to find. DC Collectibles
has produced a six inch Superman and Lois Lane figures based from
the series. The show lasted
53 episodes over a course of three seasons. The complete series is available on DVD
and in individual seasons.
drawn upon the Batman The Animated Series stories for a
number of years, the producers decided to change things up a bit and made Bruce
Wayne older and introduced a new character to take over as Batman.
Batman Beyond started out in 1999 with a young teenager named
Terry McGinnis who gets involved with the wrong crowds and during a
chase stumbles upon the almost mothball Wayne Manor where he meets a
senior citizen Bruce Wayne who would reluctantly become Terry’s
Terry trains under Bruce and becomes the new Batman. Since this
series takes place well into the future, a lot of things have
changed. Some of the Batman regulars are long gone including
Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and Lucius Fox who has helped Batman in
the past in the previous series with many high tech weapons and
The new Batman is thinner and sleeker in size as are a lot of the
Barbara Gordon has changed. No longer the Batgirl, she is now the
commissioner of Gotham City. The criminals have changed. Some are
new and some use the same names as the more recognizable of Batman’s
rogues gallery. The Joker in this series is more sinister than in
the previous series. The look and feel of the show is darker as
well as the stories.
The program seems to be geared towards younger audiences in the
range of 15 to 25 since Batman is now in that age group with most of
the characters on the show in that range too. The pace of the show
is also what producers hope to attract in that segment - fast-paced, hellbent action.
It’s a good series, but I enjoyed the original animated series
more. There’s a good fan base for this show which lasted three
seasons with a total of 49 episodes. The complete series is
available on DVD in individual
best follow up to the Batman The Animated Series and
Superman The Animated Series was the Justice League
This show debuting in 2001 brought back the same kind of spirit, stories and style of those two award-winning shows.
The core group included a diverse set. Batman, Superman Wonder
Woman were there, but now John Stewart was Green Lantern, Wally
West was the Flash, Shayera-Hawkgirl and J’onn J’onnz-Martian Manhunter
the producers created a team of different ethnic and alien origins
making this a universal team battling all kinds of threats.
Kevin Conroy returned as Batman and Smallville’s Lex Luthor-Michael
Rosenbaum voiced the Flash. A few lesser known actors portrayed the
other primary characters.
Each show would introduce a super-villain or superhero from the DC
Universe in some marvelous
stories and animation. The action was not mindless, but was
fast-paced when needed.
The show would eventually expand a couple of years later and
became Justice League Unlimited in 2004 where the producers
began to fully tap into the deep throngs of the DC Universe cast of
this re-amped show we get to see the other DC superheroes and
supervillains like never before and they were often on the show
almost as regularly as the original seven.
Some shows in fact would put the original seven in the background
and allowed these newest members to take center stage.
always wanted to see the vast array of characters that DC has come
to television and this was a wish come true. I never felt it was
awkward at all seeing this amount of characters from show to show
and I don’t think there were many fans that had a problem with it
The producers continued to keep a high level of animation and
storytelling even with this large volume of characters.
Mattel produced a long-running series of action
figures based on the two series that have become wonderful
The Justice League series is available on DVD and Blu-Ray in individual seasons while the
Justice League Unlimited is available on DVD and Blu-Ray as a
complete series or in individual seasons.
rendition on the classic teenage superhero team debuted in 2003
with the Teen Titans.
Robin is featured as the leader of the team with most of the members
from the New Teen Titans 1980s comic book including Raven, Cyborg,
Stafire and Beast Boy rounding out the roster.
This series however shrinks the characters down to a size making them much younger looking and craftier than their comic book
counterparts. They have a Japanese Anime style to them similar to
Dragon Ball Z especially the way Robin is drawn.
Their chief nemesis is Slade also known as Deathstroke voiced by Ron
Perlman. Together against his threat and others the team combat
their foes over five seasons with a total of over 60 episodes
bringing a unique take on this long-running franchise. The action
is lighting quick with witty and hip humor mixed in. Bandai
produced a nice set of action figures based on this series which had
some interesting accessories.
The series is available on DVD in individual seasons.
different style of Batman came in the form of The Batman in
2004. The series lasted five seasons with over 60 episodes
This was a young Bruce Wayne not the Terry McGinnis from the
Batman Beyond show. This was a new interpretation of one of the
most interpreted fictional characters ever.
We get to see new interpretations of his villains as well. The
Joker has thick almost Caribbean like hair style and busted teeth
while the Penguin looks more like the Danny Devito version from
Batman Returns with his deformities.
The animation style is slightly different which along with the
Teen Titans show sets the stage for future shows like Ben 10
and others of that ilk with similar renditions of the characters'
faces and heads especially. Robin in this series looks a lot like
the version in the Teen Titans series.
The stories were based when Bruce Wayne in his third year as Batman
so we get to compare this version to the comics that Frank Miller,
David Mazzucchelli, Todd McFarlane and Pat Broderick made famous in
their Year One, Year Two and Year Three issues.
I liked this show’s look and action sequences more so compared to
the Batman Beyond series. Seeing Batman from his early
beginnings has always been a great focal point for any series or
movie and this one satisfies that.
The complete series is available on
DVD and in individual seasons.
Superboy’s dog Kypto became a subject for an animated show in 2005
called Krypto the Superdog.
The creators setup the show to appeal to kids under 11 with a
light and humorous take on Superdog. Superdog would handle cases
involving other animals trying to rob banks or perform other crimes.
He would team-up with Bat-hound and Supercat tackling the likes of
Joker’s Hyenas or Catwoman’s cat Isis.
The animation is okay and young fans will enjoy the show. It lasted
for two seasons with a total of 14 episodes. It is available on DVD
in individual volumes containing a
few episodes each. The first season is available on
Amazon.com video on demand.
heroes of the 31st century received their first animated series in
2006 called Legion of Super Heroes.
In some context it stayed true to the comics where the team needs
the services of Superman to help battle an ominous threat in their
era and have to travel in time to retrieve him, but they end up in a
time period where Clark Kent hasn’t decided to become Superman yet.
They convince him that he is needed and he makes his way into the
future to aid them in their cause.
A good majority of the primary members of the team are featured in
the show including Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Bouncing
Boy, Timber Wolf, Chameleon Boy.
The stories are actually very much inline with that of the Teen
Titans series of a couple of years earlier. A younger set of
heroes taking on adventures that usually required the adult-sized
heroes to handle. It’s not dark and the action is good. The voice
talent utilizes a younger set of actors as well.
The series is available on DVD in individual volumes containing a few episodes each.
most sold graphic novel of all-time became a motion comic mini-show
called Watchmen in 2008. There were 12 episodes
produced in one season.
In this series the producers translate the graphic novel into this
new concept of animation where each visual is from comic panels that
come to life. The screen pans and the figures and text move in a
way that portrays movement.
You will hear different characters speak each word bubble and
commentary text that displays on the screen. It’s like reading a
comic book without you needing to read at all. The complete series
the same concept as the comic book from the 1960s Batman: The
Brave and the Bold
debuted in 2008. Batman teams up with different DC Universe heroes to battle a threat in each show.
Some of the regulars are Aquaman, Plastic Man, Red Tornado, Green
Arrow, Blue Beetle taking on the likes of Solomon Grundy, Gorilla
Grodd, Mr. Freeze, Killer Moth.
The show’s art renditions and stories tend to appeal towards a
younger audience unlike the Batman The Animated Series or
Justice League series.
There are some cute references to past iconic shows like when Wonder
Woman guest-teams with Batman and saves Steve Trevor with her
invisible plane, the producers play the famous Wonder Woman
live-action show theme song in the background.
It’s a good show that was fun to watch. Mattel produced some nice looking action figures in two different
scales based on the series. The series is available on Blu-Ray
in individual seasons.
promising series debuted in 2010 called Young Justice.
The series gains inspiration from the Teen Titans and
Justice League of America comics to make a new and almost rebellious team
that wants so much to carve their own niche in superhero affairs.
Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis
comprise the team who have longed to fill their roles as fellow
Justice League members, but were always shunned by their more
experienced adult heroes-Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Arrow.
The stories are based on a different continuity using Earth-16 as
the setting so these characters may have the same names and some
have the same alter egos, but the producers are allowed creative
license to work in this world and immediately do so in the opening
Speedy literally quits the team in the first show and will be
replaced by Artemis. This new upstart group sets out to prove they
can hold their own and with some mentoring and training by their
grown up counterparts work to become an efficient super-team.
The animation and stories are on the same high-level as seen in the
previous Justice League animated series. The series
originally lasted two seasons and was canceled in 2013. It was
then revived again in 2016 for the third season which has produced
some episodes. Mattel produced two scales of action figures based on the show that
blend in with their DC Universe Classics line of figures and another
that will fit with their Justice League Unlimited series.
The first season is available on Blu-Ray while there are volumes
containing a few episodes each for those interested in sampling the
2011 the Green Lantern: The Animated Series debuted.
The series was computer-generated giving it a different look than
traditional animation. It featured many characters from the
Green Lantern mythology like Kilowog, Tomar-Re, Sinestro, Manhunters,
Guardians of the Universe and the updated lanterns groups from the comic book
series - the Red Lanterns and Blue Lanterns.
It was an exciting series, but due to various reasons only lasted 26
episodes. The complete series is available on Blu-Ray.
In 2013 a different Batman series
debuted called Beware the Batman. Inspired from
previous Batman animated series was produced using
computer-generated animation. It replaced the Batman: The
Brave and the Bold series.
The series takes place during Batman's
formative years on the Gotham City scene. He learns his trade
with the assistance from Alfred and Alfred's goddaughter, a martial
arts swordsmaster. The shows do take a little getting used to
if you're not familiar with computer-generated animation. It
has a unique look and feel that some will like and others may not.
It lasted only one season with twenty six episodes produced.
The series is available on DVD in a
couple of individual volumes with a few episodes each while the
complete season is available on Amazon.com video on demand.
The Teen Titans animated series was re-launched again under
the new title of Teen Titans Go! in 2013. The animation
style does vary from its original. The same characters for the
most part are there-Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, but are
represented and played in a more comedic way. It's a series
definitely geared towards younger audiences, but some adults may
enjoy the comedy and the silly animation/art.
The first season is available on Blu-Ray while there are individual
volumes which contain a few episodes each on DVD.
DC Super Hero Girls debuted in
2015 tailored towards young audiences. It was a joint venture
between DC Comics and Mattel.
The cast of superheroes which primarily
was focused on females growing up at a superhero high school and
dealing with class and their powers consisted of Batgirl, Bumblebee,
Harley Quinn, Katana, Poison Ivy, Supergirl and Wonder Woman.
There are male counterparts in the form of Beast Boy, Hal Jordan,
Cyborg that interact with them to name just a few.
The show's animation was good, but the
stories and performances may not hold the attention of more mature
viewers. If you're curious, the series is available on DVD in
a couple of volumes which contain some episodes.
The Justice League was revived for an
updated animated series in 2016. It was titled Justice
The series team consisted of the primary
big three-Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman along with many of the
other DC Universe of superheroes joining the group when necessary.
Kevin Conroy was the only returning
actor to the cast voicing Batman as he has done off and on since
1993. The animation and stories are very good and on par with
the previous Justice League series, but some of the characters are
drawn in a way that makes them younger looking.
The first season is available on DVD.