November 19, 2022



(Cartoon Network, November 26, 2016-June 3, 2018)
Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment



Kevin ConroyBatman/Bruce Wayne
Rachel KimseyWonder Woman/Diana Prince, Sis, Bleez, Jackie


Beginning life as a pitch for a potential new Batman series, Justice League Action came into existence as both a tie-in and marketing for the then-upcoming Justice League live-action film, as well as serve to tide fans over until a sequel followed. The first new Justice League show in a decade, the series took a cue from the last incarnation, Justice League Unlimited, and featured a rotating roster of various DC Comics heroes teaming-up to battle villains and save cities, countries and the entire world. Out of all of the featured characters, DC’s trinity of Batman (Kevin Conroy), Superman (Jason J. Lewis) and Wonder Woman (Rachel Kimsey) were involved in the most episodes.

The new look of the DC trinity.

The writers were supplied a list of characters that must appear in the series, including some deep-cut obscure ones. This didn’t prove much of an issue since the characters the producers wanted to use anyway were included on the list. While a lot of the actors were new to their respective roles, there were a number of reprisals from past DC projects: Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as Joker (and additionally The Trickster originating from the 1990 The Flash show), Gilbert Gottfried as Mr. Mxyzptlk, and Charlie Schlatter as Flash (Superman: The Animated Series originally, reprised several times since) from the DC Animated Universe; Khary Payton as Cyborg from the Teen Titans franchise; Josh Keaton as Hal Jordan and Grey DeLisle-Griffin as Aya (although never mentioned by name) from Green Lantern: The Animated Series; Sean Astin as Shazam (also taking on the role of Billy Batson, making him the first actor to ever portray both aspects of the character) and Jake T. Austin as Blue Beetle from the DC Animated Movie Universe; Tara Strong as the primary ongoing voice of Harley Quinn since Batman: Arkham City and a de-aged Batman once played in Batman: The Brave and the Bold; Julianne Grossman as Queen Hippolyta from DC Super Hero Girls (2015); David Sobolov as Gorilla Grodd beginning with The Flash (2014); Natalie Lander as Stargirl from the Infinite Crisis video game; Lacey Chabert as Zatanna from Young Justice; Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy from the Batman: Arkham series; and Chris Diamantopoulos as Green Arrow and Dana Snyder as the Penguin  from the Batman Unlimited direct-to-video movies.

Heroes united.

Members of the Justice League and their allies were comprised of a mixture of previously-adapted characters with some more recent additions. Among them were Superman’s pet Krypto the Superdog (Lewis); Supergirl (Joanne Spracklen) and her pet, Streaky the Supercat (also Lewis); Shazam’s Uncle Dudley (voiced by Astin’s adoptive father John Astin); opportunistic hero from the future Booster Gold (Diedrich Bader); genius Mr. Terrific (Hannibal Buress); sentient android Red Tornado (Lewis); nuclear-powered matter-manipulating Firestorm, comprised of the body of Ronnie Raymond (P.J. Byrne) and the additional mind of Professor Martin Stein (Stephen Tobolowsky); disfigured Old West bounty hunter Jonah Hex (Trevor Devall); shape-shifting telepath Martian Manhunter (Crispin Freeman); powerful helmeted mystic Dr. Fate (as a kid voiced by Erica Luttrell); vegetation-defender Swamp Thing (Hamill); animal-channeling Vixen (Jasika Nicole); uncouth magician John Constantine (Damian O’Hare); rhyming demon Etrigan (Patrick Seitz); size-changing Atom (Jerry O’Connell); Space Cabbie (Patton Oswalt), whose name pretty much says it all; malleable goof-up Plastic Man (Snyder); and super escape-artist Mister Miracle (Roger Craig Smith) and his love, super-strong warrior Big Barda (Laura Post).

Justice League vs. Red Lanterns.

The villain side of things also featured an eclectic mix of new and familiar foes. They included Red Lantern leader Atrocitus (Michael Dorn) and Corps members Bleeze (Kimsey) and Dex-Starr (Lewis), Zillus Zox (Armin Shimerman) and Skallox; intergalactic despot Darkseid (Jonathan Adams) and his minions from Apokolips: Desaad (Lewis), Kanto (Baker), Kalibak (Piotr Michael), Steppenwolf (Peter Jessop), Granny Goodness (Cloris Leachman), and Virmin Vundabarr (William Salyers); Black Adam (Gary Cole), possessing the same powers as Shazam; Yellow Lantern leader Sinestro (Darin De Paul) and his corps member Despotellos (also De Paul), a sentient virus; intergalactic bounty hunters Lobo (John DiMaggio) and Jonas Glim (Baker); intergalactic warlord Mongul (DiMaggio); Kryptonite-powered cyborg Metallo (Diamantopoulos); nuclear-powered androids The Nuclear Family: Dad (Kevin Shinick), Mom (Melissa Disney), Biff (Lewis), Sis (Kimsey) and Brat (also Disney); sorcerer Brother Night (Dan Donohue); genius and expert strangest Calculator (Ely Henry); mobster Carmine Falcone (Lewis); plant-manipulating Poison Ivy (Natasha Leggero); emotionless ice villain Mr. Freeze (Peter Stormare); the not-as-emotionless ice villain Killer Frost (Mena Suvari); the puzzle-leaving Riddler (Brent Spiner); disembodied evil genius Brain (Jim Ward); Kryptonian criminals General Zod (Lewis), Faora (Fryda Wolff), and Quex-Ul (Lewis); lethal toymaker Toyman (Ken Jeong); alien cyborg genius Brainiac (John de Lancie); power-duplicating android Amazo (Thomas Lennon); power-stealing Parasite (Max Mittleman); dual-personality criminal Two-Face (Robert Picardo); killer-for-hire Deadshot (Christian Slater); time-manipulating Chronos (Andy Richter); twisted backwards Superman double Bizarro (Travis Willingham); genius worm-like Mister Mind (Oliver Vaquer); and evil genius inventor Lex Luthor (James Woods), among others. The organization H.I.V.E. (Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination) also turned up from time to time to cause trouble.

Stargirl, Blue Beetle and Firestorm join Superman.

Shane Glines served as the series’ character designer. He was told that the show was meant to be “fun, not funny”, so he used big and simple shapes that popped immediately with minimalist color palettes that best represented each character. He largely had free reign except he was given the edict that Superman couldn’t have his traditional trunks in keeping with his appearance in the DCEU (Bizarro, however, was free to have them as he was Superman’s total opposite). Additionally, he had to town down the sexiness in the initial designs of Zatanna, namely her bust size, and Star Sapphire, who had a barely-there costume. Glines posting his various designs to his Instagram account revealed that Batgirl had been planned to appear, but never did outside of the set of 8 McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.

Joker kidnaps...Mark Hamill!

Justice League Action’s first episode was shown at San Diego Comic Con in 2016, before later making its television debut on Cartoon Network; on November 26 in the United Kingdom and December 16 in North America. The show’s title logo and initials were inspired by the original Justice League of America logo used on the comics for the first two volumes. Each episode was only 11 minutes long, putting greater emphasis on the humor and action with a quick pace over character development and deep plots. The majority of them also made their debuts in international markets before hitting US airwaves. Additionally, 22 shorts running under 3-minutes were released onto the DC Kids YouTube channel. One of those shorts, “Missing the Mark”, was a showcase for Hamill and featured the actor himself interacting with all three of his Action characters.

Lex Luthor attempts to beat the heroes at their own game.

The series was written by Patrick Rieger, Heath Corson, Paul Dini, Duane Capizzi, Josie Campbell, Shannon Denton, Jeremy Adams, Matt Wayne, Stan Berkowitz, Ernie Altbacker, Mairghread Scott, Jonathan Callan, Ray Utamachitt, Jim Krieg, Jennifer Muro, Brian Ford Sullivan, Geoffrey Thorne, John Semper, Tim Sheridan, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Lauren Certo, Eric Carrasco, Akira “Mark” Fujita and Kevin Rubio. Dini was given a chance to revisit a pitch for Batman: The Animated Series with the episode “Garden of Evil”. The episode was originally shelved because Swamp Thing was unavailable for use. Speaking of Batman, this series aired during the 25th anniversary of both Conroy and Hamill’s respective performances as Batman and the Joker. Kevin Riepl composed the series’ music while animation was handled by DR Movie, Digital eMation and SIMP co. Ltd.

The poster for the film.

Unfortunately, the very nature of the series ended up working against it in the end. The production of the Justice League movie was troubled. After the negative reception to Batman v Superman, Warner Bros. was having doubts over the direction of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and its ability to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They put Geoff Johns and Jon Berg in charge of production of the franchise, and Johns would announce that the film would be more “hopeful and optimistic” than the previous films. Unhappy with how director Zack Snyder’s work was shaping up (going so far as to declare it “unwatchable”), the film underwent numerous rewrites during filming; which rubbed screenwriter Chris Terrio the wrong way (leading him to unsuccessfully petition to have his name removed from the final film). When Snyder left during post-production to deal with the death of his daughter, Joss Whedon was hired to take over and eventually oversaw two months of reshoots with the intent of bringing it closer to the highly successful Avengers film he helmed. Additionally, WB refused to delay the film’s release in order to ensure that executives would receive their cash bonuses before the merger with AT&T. The result was a mishmash of the directors’ contrasting styles that left reviewers mixed and audiences underwhelmed. And the less said about the poor CGI removal of Superman actor Henry Cavill’s mustache from his role in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the better.

Harley and Ivy, together again.

All of this led to WB quickly abandoning Justice League Action. The series received little to no promotion on the network. Episodes were quickly burned through over the next year, with the last few being held over until the start of summer in 2018. After that, it disappeared with very little fanfare. Fans of the show, as well as the actors themselves, were left in question as to the ultimate fate of the series. But, with the DCEU in chaos and ratings insufficient, it became increasingly likely that WB quietly cancelled the series; fittingly ending it at 52 episodes (not counting the shorts), which tended to be a default number for DC Comics

Burger King toy promo.

Mattel produced a line of action figures and vehicles in a 4-inch scale that was initially only available at Toys R Us (but gradually found its way into other stores) and in a 12-inch scale that was more widely available. Burger King also released 6 toys of their own in their restaurants. BKOM Studios released a mobile endless runner game called Justice League Action Run. The Cartoon Network website also hosted three web games: Orbital Chase, a Candy Crush-type game; Nuclear Rescue, a platformer that required you to switch between Leaguers at various points; and a coloring program. In 2018, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment released the complete series across two DVD sets. The series was made available to purchase on Prime Video, Google Play and Apple TV, and could be streamed on Cartoon Network’s website.

Kevin Conroy, signing his iconic role.

Sadly, this was the last time Conroy would voice Batman regularly in a series. He had several more outings with the character in an episode of Teen Titans Go! and Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, the video games LEGO DC Super-Villains and MultiVersus, the animated movie Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, and made his only live-action appearance in the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. He was also slated to reprise the Thomas Wayne role for the announced Batman: Caped Crusader; whose fate was left ambiguous when the WB/Discovery merger resulted in its being dropped from HBO Max and Cartoon Network. If the series ever manages to find a home, it will be one of his final performances as Conroy died on November 10, 2022 after a brief bout with cancer


“Classic Rock (Shazam Slam: Part 1)” (12/26/16) – Batman ends up embroiled in the Wizard’s quest to save Billy Batson from Black Adam as he unleashes the Brothers Djinn from their prison.
“Power Outage (Shazam Slam: Part 2)” (11/26/16 UK, 12/16/16 US) – Djinn Calythos possesses Parasite to steal the Justice League’s powers and continues his plan to revert Earth back to its primordial state.
“Night of the Bat (Shazam Slam: Part 3)” (12/16/16) – Djinn Uthool possesses Batman to defeat the remaining Leaguers and use the Hall of Justice’s core to break the Earth’s mantle.
“Abate and Switch (Shazam Slam: Part 4)” (12/16/16) – Constantine joins the League in stopping the Djinn, but they’ll also have to defeat with Black Adam as he escapes from his imprisonment.
“Follow That Space Cab!” (11/26/16 UK, 1/21/17 US) – Superman, Hawkman and Space Cabbie must protect Mister Mind from being handed over to an intergalactic crime lord by Lobo.
“Nuclear Family Values” (11/27/16 UK, 1/28/17 US) – Firestorm is alone in attempting to stop the Nuclear Family from destroying a nuclear power plant.
“Zombie King” (12/3/16 UK, 2/4/17 US) – Batman, Zatanna and Swamp Thing must stop Solomon Grundy from summoning a zombie army.
“Galaxy Jest” (12/4/16 UK, 2/11/17 US) – As Batman and Flash deal with Joker’s gas bomb in Gotham City, Super and Wonder Woman must save Joker from Mongul.
“Time Share” (12/10/16 UK, 2/18/17 US) – Batman and Blue Beetle go into the past to stop Chronos from killing Batman on his first night of crime fighting.
“Under a Red Sun” (12/11/16 UK, 2/25/17 US) – Steppenwolf transports Superman to a planet with a red sun in order to kill him.
“Play Date” (12/17/16 UK, 3/4/17 US) – Cyborg must rescue Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman from Toyman’s latest trap on the Watchtower.
“Repulse!” (12/18/16 UK, 3/11/17 US) – Wonder Woman and Hawkman must find a way to save Superman from the deadly nanobots he was infected with by Lex Luthor.
“Trick or Threat” (12/24/16 UK, 3/18/17 US) – Batman, Zatanna, Constantine and Dr. Fate must escape from the monster-infested House of Mystery after Klarion changes them into 10-year-olds.
“Speed Demon” (12/11/16 PL, 3/25/17 US) – Batman needs Etrigan to help him rescue Zatanna from the Batmobile, which has been turned into a demon by Brother Night.
“Hat Trick” (12/11/16 PL, 4/8/17 US) – Felix Faust steals Zatanna’s hat to use to free a massive demon.
“Luthor in Paradise” (12/11/16 PL, 4/29/17 US) – Lex enlists Circe’s help in getting to an alternate realm to acquire the power of Zeus.
“Plastic Man Saves the World” (1/15/17 UK, 5/6/17 US) – Plastic Man sneaks onto Brainiac’s ship to destroy his shrink ray and prove himself.
“Field Trip” (1/21/17 UK, 5/13/17 US) – Blue Beetle, Firestorm and Stargirl must rescue Superman from the Phantom Zone while dealing with Zod, Faora and Quix-Ul.
“Rage of the Red Lanterns” (2/18/16 PL, 5/20/17 US) – An unlikely alliance forms between the League and the Red Lanterns to take on a powered-up Lobo.
“Freezer Burn” (12/18/16 PL, 5/27/17 US) – As Batman deals with Mr. Freeze, Firestorm must rescue Killer Frost who was forced to power Freeze’s latest freezing device.
“Inside Job” (3/11/17 FR, 6/3/17 US) – Atom shrinks Batman and Wonder Woman to enter Superman’s bloodstream and expel Lex’s solar-absorbing nanobots.
“The Trouble with Truth” (3/11/17 FR, 6/3/17 US) – Athena shadows Wonder Woman on a mission to see if she’s worthy of assuming the mantle of the Goddess of Truth on Olympus.
“Double Cross” (3/10/17 CAN, 6/10/17 US) – Plastic Man poses as Two-Face to lure Deadshot into a trap; unfortunately, the real Two-Face shows up and ruins the plan.
“Battle for the Bottled City” (1/19/17 UK, 6/17/17 US) – Superman decides to visit the bottle city of Kandor just as Brainiac raids the Fortress of Solitude to reclaim it.
“Garden of Evil” (3/11/17 FR, 6/24/17 US) – Swamp Thing’s blind date turns out to be Poison Ivy, who takes control of him in a bid to conquer Gotham City with her monstrous plants.
“All Aboard the Space Train” (3/11/17 FR, 7/1/17) – Batman and Cyborg enlist Space Cabbie and Jonah Hex to stop Kanjar Ro from hijacking a space train.
“Time Out” (7/8/17) – It’s up to Batman and Booster Gold to stop the Chronovore from eating up all of time.
“The Fatal Fare” (5/28/17 FI, 7/15/17 US) – When Darkseid ends up being Space Cabbie’s fare, he discovers Superman is being held and tortured by him and his minions.
“Mixy’s Mix-Up” (7/22/17) – Mister Mxyzptlk decides to have some fun and swap the brains of the Justice Leaguers between each other just as Gorilla Grodd threatens the United Nations.
“Supernatural Adventures in Babysitting” (7/29/17) – Klarion poses as Professor Anderson’s son Timmy in order to obtain the Magdalene Grimoire on a night when Stargirl is babysitting.
“Booster’s Gold” (8/9/17 PT, 8/12/17 US) – Green Arrow discovers Booster Gold brought dinosaurs into the present as part of a money-making scheme.
“Boo-ray for Bizarro” (8/10/17 PT, 8/19/17 US) – After Amazo duplicates all of the League’s powers, Bizarro becomes their only hope to beat him.
“Best Day Ever” (8/10/17 PT, 8/26/17 US) – The League is lead on a chase around the world when Joker springs Lex with a Mother Box.
The Cube Root” (8/14/17 PT, 9/2/17 US) – Calculator crashes the opening of Mr. Terrific’s Science Center, taking control of his T-Spheres and capturing Ronnie Raymond.
“Superman’s Pla, Sid Sharp” (8/14/17 PT, 9/9/17 US) – Parademons mistake struggling Planet reporter Sid Sharp for Superman and Darkseid uses him as bait to lure Superman into a trap.
“Superman Red vs. Superman Blue” (8/15/17 PT, 9/16/17 US) – Lex steals a device that can separate anyone into two beings: one passive, one evil.
“The Ringer” (8/16/17 PT, 9/23/17 US) – Atom is sent inside Sinestro’s power ring to find out why it’s suddenly more powerful.
“Forget Me Not” (8/16/17 PT, 9/30/17 US) – Firestorm must retore Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman’s memories so that they can save Metropolis from Felix Faust.
“The Brain Buster” (10/7/17) – Batman, Mr. Terrific, Lex, Calculator and Brain are abducted and put into a challenge to see who’s the smartest.
“E. Nigma, Consulting Detective” (10/14/17) – Wonder Woman and Green Arrow enlist the aid of Riddler to find Batman, who has been captured by Joker.
“Harley Goes Ape!” (10/21/17) – It seems as if Harley is the only one who can disrupt Grodd’s control over Titano.
“Phased and Confused” (8/15/17 PT, 10/28/17 US) – A fragment of Krypton turns the League into phantoms just as Zod is able to escape from the Phantom Zone.
“It’ll Take a Miracle” (11/4/17) – Darkseid captures Big Barda and forces Batman to track down Mr. Miracle and retrieve the Anti-Life Equation he stole.
“System Error” (11/11/17) – The League must figure out why they’re suddenly all robots.
“Race Against Crime” (11/18/17) – A charity race between Superman and Flash is interrupted by Lex and his new speed-manipulation suit.
“Party Animal” (12/2/17) - Green Arrow's ambitions of throwing the perfect Christmas party are dashed when Plastic Man brings a tranquilized Solomon Grundy to the party. 
“Watchtower Tours” (12/10/17 PL, 5/29/18 US) – Booster Gold’s scheme of giving tours of the Watchtower for cash become problematic when he lets in Granny Goodness, Joker and Toyman.
“Barehanded” (12/10/17 PL, 5/30/18 US) – Space Cabbie helps Green Lantern track down his missing ring.
“Captain Bamboozle” (12/10/17 PL, 5/31/18 US) – Mister Myxzptlk bestows Shazam’s Uncle Dudley with immense super powers.
“Keeping Up with the Kryptonians” (12/17/17 PL, 6/1/18 US) – Booster Gold is the only one who can save the day when Mister Myxzptlk alters history and wipes out the Justice League.
“Unleashed” (12/17/17 PL, 6/2/18 US) – Plastic Man is left to look after the Watchtower and Krypto while the others are on a mission.
“She Wore Red Velvet” (12/17/17 PL, 6/3/18 US) – Booster Gold realizes he’s intimately familiar with the new villainess attacking the League.
“Up and Atom” (6/29/17) – Atom passes on League membership until a Parademon attacks the Watchtower.
“Beep Beep!” (6/29/17) – Lobo attempts to capture Superman and Flash, but Flash proves a bit too elusive.
“Chemistry” (6/29/17) – While on a stakeout together, Firestorm tries to think of something impressive to say to Stargirl.
“Good Cop, Bat Cop” (7/6/17) – Superman and Batman interrogate Deadshot to find out who put a hit out on Batman.
“It’s A Trap!” (7/13/17) – Lex lures Superman to a warehouse by claiming he kidnapped a young girl.
“Lasso of Lies” (7/20/17) – Wonder Woman discovers Plastic Man is posing as her lasso as Booster Gold had “borrowed” it.
“Quality Time” (7/27/17) – Realizing all they do together is fight evil, the League tries to find something else they can do with each other.
“Selfie Help!” (8/3/17) – Booster Gold keeps photobombing Space Cabbie’s superhero selfies to promote his new soft drink.
“Special Delivery” (8/10/17) – Space Cabbie takes on two fares: Booster Gold on the run from Granny Goodness, and an alien woman about to go into labor.
“Justice 1, 2, 3, Go!” (8/17/17) – Accidentally launching himself in a submarine leads Plastic Man to discover a hidden HIVE base.
“Toymano a Mano” (8/24/17) – Batman must rescue Plastic Man and Cyborg from Toyman’s mind-control football helmets.
“Mint Condition” (10/13/17) – Toyman takes control of Cyborg’s action figure collection and attacks the League.
“True Colors” (10/19/17) – Firestorm attempts to turn Metallo’s Kryptonite into lead, but ends up changing it into different Kryptonite that has varying effects on Superman.
“Missing the Mark” (10/26/17) – Joker and Trickster abduct Mark Hamill and plot to ransom him off for his safe return.
“Plastic Man of Steel” (11/2/17) – Plastic Man poses as Clark Kent to preserve Superman’s secret identity, but ends up having to play Superman as well when Lex depowers the real one.
“Something in the Hair” (11/9/17) – Plastic Man must rescue Batman from Poison Ivy’s mind-controlling spores.
“Super Stakeout” (11/16/17) – Plastic Man tries to prove to Green Arrow that he has the ability to be stealthy.
“Driver’s Ed” (11/23/17) – Space Cabbie attempts to help Stargirl with her space driving test when Zillus Zox decides to rob a Space ATM.
“Skyjacked” (11/30/17) – Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn steal the League’s jet.
“The Goddess Must Be Crazy” (12/7/17) – While Supergirl and Wonder Woman spar on Themyscira, Felix Faust possesses Supergirl in order to get onto the island.
“Eezy Freezy” (12/14/17) – Batman finds a way to make Plastic Man useful in stopping Mr. Freeze.
“Clown Party” (12/21/17) – Evading Batman lands Joker in the middle of a kid’s birthday party where Billy Batson is in attendance.

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