Of all the animated shows of DC Comics characters, never before has there been one as superb as Justice League/JLU. Now unlike lots of posters here, I loved the SuperFriends and you know what? I STILL love them. They represented the silver and bronze age period of comics and they served their purpose well in their time. BUT I WILL agree with everyone else that this series is what the SuperFriends should have been back then. JL/JLU blows the SuperFriends out of the water and out of the Hall of Justice so to speak. The biggest elements of the SuperFriends that I outgrew were those stupid teen tag along sidekicks and their even more stupid cartoon pets for comic relief.
But I digress. Unlike the long running SuperFriends, the Justice League has superb animation and excellent story lines. I feel that the difference between the writing is this: On SuperFriends,the writers were probably all non comics readers who probably looked at them to give them ideas and they had to yield to the Broadcasts Standards and Practices. On JL, the writing is done by major comics fans and there is no holds barred!! We saw some serious butt kicking in this series. The first two seasons of Justice League consist of the original big seven. Batman is my all time favorite hero. Kevin Conroy is truly superb in this role and it was good to hear him as Batman again after voicing elder Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond. While Batman was great in his own series, I loved him even better in this series as dark, grim, and aloof and I loved seeing which DC villains would encounter Bats. I got my wish seeing him go up against Kalibak and try to go up against Darkseid. The Flahs is my other favorite character and Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum really made this character so much fun with his hilarious one liners. Wonder Woman was superb. They couldn't have found anyone better than Susan Eisenberg to voice her over. Sounded like a college girl. As for Superman, I wasn't crazy about him in the beginning. I did not like Supes all powered down and I prefer Tim Daly for the voice, but Bruce Timm and company improved Supes and George Newbern started out lousy but got better with time and really did a great with Superman in the JLU seasons. The debut of J'onn J'onzz the Martian Manhunter was very well done. Carl Lumbly took J'onn from being one of the more kind, gentle, and sensitive members in JL to being a hard nose desk sergeant and dispatcher in the JLU seasons. The two most controversial to me were Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. It took a while, but I got used to John Stewart. Phil LaMarr used a great voice for a one time Marine Corp vet who is now a Green Lantern and he made a great leader. Hawkgirl had always been to me, a sidekick for Hawkman on SuperFriends, but here, she is a warrior from Thanagar and has the hot temper to go with it. It was great to see when she eventually took off her mask. Maria Canals gave an excellent performance. I also enjoyed the romantic relationship John and Shayera had as well as the hinted attraction between Batman and Wonder Woman. These big seven were awesome to watch in the first two seasons as Justice League and they were regarded as team leaders and founding members on JLU. I look at the pilot Secret Origins and the season two finale, Starcrossed as full animated movies as opposed to three parters.
In Justice League Unlimited, we FINALLY get to see more heroes, like Green Arrow, who before that only had one guest appearance on the original 1973 SuperFriends series. Here, we see him as a liberal hero of the people, out for the little guy. And for the first time, we get to see Black Canary,and to a lesser extent, Red Tornado and Elongated Man, two members I was hoping would have had bigger roles. But Bruce Timm and co. outdid themselves and gave so many heroes that I had never heard of. I am a DC Comics fan, but even I head never heard of Vigilante, the Shining Knight, Stargirl & S.T.I.P.E., Fire and Ice, Gypsy, Vibe, Captain Atom, the Question, and even more obscure characters like Sand, the Ray, Nemsis, Obsidian, the Crimson Avenger, and the list goes on and on. Way too many to name.
I loved the continuing story arc about the Cadmus organization and everyone's fear of the JL if they were to ever go rogue. They also had a nice tribute to the SuperFriends with the Ultimen who were ripoffs of the Wonder Twins, Black Vulcan, Samuraui, and Apache Chief.
Too many great episodes to mention, but I recommend the Justice League for anybody. From Secret Origins to the finale of Alive and Destroyer, these shows are so good, it's actually hard to stop watching them. All WB has to do is release the final season with Hawkman and the Legion of Doom and the DVD library will be complete. I only wish they could have used Plastic Man and Firestorm as well as Aquaman and Black Manta (not Devil Ray) in the final season and I wish we could have seen Nightwing, not Robin. Though Timm and Co. are no longer involved with the DC Unvierse, I will never again see an animated DC project nearly as good as Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. 2 Thumbs Up!!