It has been almost two decades, yet the Justice League animated series is still fresh in our minds. Although it did not have the same level of popularity as the Batman and Superman animated series, it is nevertheless considered one of the best DC shows.
It had a fantastic script, and the high production qualities along with the wild visuals made it an amazing experience. The richness of the stories was what made this show so unique, and the voice acting only added to the appeal.
It featured some of the most well-known and popular characters from comic books, and because of their diverse personalities, there was some entertaining tension and dispute between them. The show ran for two seasons, each with twenty-six episodes, and some of the episodes are still worth seeing now.
The first season presented some well-known DC heroes in a variety of scenarios, while the second season concentrated more on the characters’ collaboration and their fight against some well-known supervillains. We have chosen some of our favorites for this video, so sit back and enjoy some good old memories!
We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season because Secret Origins perfectly sums up what is about to come! The episode opens with two astronauts discovering a strange underground cavern on the surface of Mars.
There is a massive door at the end of the cavern, and after prying the door open something strange lashes out at them. The story jumps two years ahead when Batman has a strange experience on the outskirts of Metropolis. He goes to check on a satellite facility and finds that three of the employees who are posing as scientists and employees are actually alien in nature.
When Batman confronts them, he has a tough time because these aliens are unbelievably strong and fast. However, Superman joins him and they finally overpower one of these aliens and send it running.
But Superman is troubled by some strange visions and knocked unconscious. After he is back to normal we realize that there is an air of cold shoulder from Batman because it has been only two years since Darkseid’s brainwashing. Batman still doesn’t trust Superman completely but he accepts a communicator from him that would help Superman fly in to help in at any moment.
Back in the US Senate, one of the two astronauts we saw, in the beginning, is now a senator. He proposes total nuclear disarmament because Superman is good enough to protect the world. He is opposed by many from the military and even some superheroes like Flash who feel that it is not a bright idea.
But Superman is in support of this idea to bring peace and he works towards disarming the nuclear weapons around the world. Batman is still investigating the strange incident with the aliens, and suddenly the aliens attack once again. Something about them seems to make Superman vulnerable to psychic migraines and the world panics at this alien invasion.
At a US Army base, Superman and Batman find an imprisoned alien named J’onn J’onzz who is held captive by aliens disguised as soldiers. Meanwhile, in Themyscira, Princess Diana senses some trouble in the outside world but her mother dismisses her concerns from the faith that the Gods would protect Themyscira in any crisis.
As Batman and Superman escape with J’onn J’onzz, they are chased by several aliens, and a few other heroes like Green Lantern, Hawkgirl of Thanagar, Flash, and Princess Diana turn up to help their escape. This is where we get to know more about J’onn J’onzz. Mars was invaded by aliens who stole their telepathic, shapeshifting powers and J’onn was the only survivor.
He came to Earth to warn the people about the threat, but he was captured before he could help. He further explains that these aliens are nocturnal in nature and their aim is to create an ionizing field to block out the sun.
The heroes hit the factories that are building this system but their attacks are not successful. They are trapped and much to their shock they find out that Senator Carter is actually an alien in disguise. Batman, who was presumed dead during one of the previously failed attacks, arrives and saves the day.
He reverses the polarity of the field and the Sun shines brightly upon them once again. The aliens are exposed to the light, and this makes them burn to their death because they are vulnerable to sunlight. After everything is sorted, it dawns on Superman that even he is not powerful enough to fix everything all the time. Thus, he sets up the Justice League, where the heroes can team up to deal with sudden threats to the planet!
Injustice for All
In a sudden turn of events, the Justice League discovers the real nature of Lex Luthor and his criminal activities. In a perfectly choreographed sting operation, they discover that Luthor has been smuggling weapons with the help of some corrupt officials in customs.
When he learns that his cover has been blown, he tries to escape in his personal aircraft, but Superman is hot on his heels. Lex Luthor has a sudden seizure while flying away, and Superman manages to save the craft from crashing. It turns out that prolonged exposure to laser has caused incurable blood cancer in Luthor, and he is sent to Stryker’s Island as a prisoner after healing from the setback.
In the cell next to him, there is an Ultra-Humanite who helps him escape by electrocuting two of the guards. The Justice League is unable to get there before it is too late and Luthor is free. Now, he summons the other super-criminals like Solomon Grundy, Cheetah, and Copperhead, to set up the Injustice League – whose sole aim is to take down the Justice League.
The Justice League turns out to be a bit too powerful and organized for them and one of their planned missions fails miserably. Batman is poisoned by Copperhead, but the latter is arrested after the attack. Luthor is furious about the failure and he bashes the members for the outcome. Joker appears during this confrontation and he claims that he can be of great help because of his knowledge of Batman.
He even has a bat-shaped homing device and he uses it to lure in an already weakened Batman to their hideout. Joker ambushes him from behind, and Batman wakes up in an imprisoned state. There is even a stasis field so that J’onn’s telepathy cannot be of any help. Joker wants to finish him off, but Luthor is keen on keeping him alive and extracting more information out of him.
Batman is always guarded, but he is a master manipulator. He makes two of the guards fight each other regarding their payment, and he empathizes with Cheetah when she narrates her sob story. She feels that she has developed a unique bond with Batman, and even kisses him.
Meanwhile, Luthor who was examining Batman’s utility belt finds out the remote control that can allow him to enter the Watchtower. Luthor is steadily growing weaker by the day and he plans another trap to finish off the superheroes. The plan fails yet again, and this time some members of the gang decide to quit.
Luthor convinces them to stay offering extra pay, but the gang’s hideout is about to be exposed! Batman tricks Grundy and short circuits the stasis field device. Now, J’onn knows about his location, and the Humanite is secretly a traitor in the gang. Batman had convinced him to help while he was on guard duty, and offered double the payment that Luthor was providing. Luthor is back in Stryker Island and many of the other baddies like Joker are captured as well!
The Savage Time
We remember this episode for a special reason – the featuring of some of the prominent heroes from the World War II-era like Steve Trevor and Sergeant Rock. The Savage Time begins with a shocking time-altering event. After returning from a distant galaxy, the Justice League finds itself in a strange world under a fascist regime.
In this alternate timeline, the Axis Powers won the Second World War, and Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed for opposing the authorities. Now, Bruce leads a resistance movement against the regime, and the Justice League learns that Vandal Savage is the leader of the oppressive government. The heroes manage to infiltrate the tyrant’s laboratory and they discover that he has a time machine, which he uses to alter history.
There is only one way to set things right and that is to travel back in time and fix things. Batman stays behind to oppose the regime in case the mission fails, and the others venture into a portal that would collapse in forty-eight hours.
They travel back in time to the Second World War and realize that the Germans have advanced tanks that are made from technology that was not available at that time. While investigating the case, Wonder Woman meets Steve Trevor, an American spy fighting against the Germans. They figure out that the dictator Vandal Savage is from the future, and this is how he brings in advanced weapons to turn the tides of the war.
J’onn makes a startling discovery when he finds out that Hitler has been cryogenically frozen in a tube. He is captured, but the other members of the Justice League help the Allied forces to evacuate. They continue to help the forces defeat the Germans, but more and more is revealed about Vandal Savage.
During interrogation, we learn that his future self sent things back in time to rewrite history. He sent back a laptop that had advanced technological information and also the events like the Normandy invasion that would give the German forces a heads-up! The heroes help the Blackhawks destroy a crucial German factory, and eventually, they change the war back to the way it ended up being.
Meanwhile, Berlin gets the news of Vandal Savage’s death, and Hitler is back as the leader. The job is done and the League heads back to the present. Superman is ecstatic about meeting the normal Batman, and things are back to normal. Wonder Woman finds an old Steve in a retirement home, and we know for sure that things are fine once again!
Few could imagine Justice League and Darkseid fighting on the same side, but this did happen in the Justice League animated series! It all starts when Darkseid’s forces are under a sudden attack. Back at the Watchtower, Darkseid appears to let the others know that Brainiac has attacked Apokolips and if the League doesn’t help, soon the attack would move to other places.
Brainiac’s aim is to digitize the information from all the planets and then remove the planets from existence. Superman is suspicious of Darkseid’s real intentions, but Batman convinces him to join the fight. Meanwhile, we are witness to the massacre in Apokolips, and Brainiac’s ship seems to be a bit too powerful to be damaged by any attack! Even Superman, J’onn, and Hawkgirl fail to breach the defenses.
Wonder Woman and Batman head to New Genesis because they want to get the help of Orion in joining the combined efforts. They are attacked by a massive predator all of a sudden and Forager, one of the lower class citizens of New Genesis saves them from the threat. On the other hand, Superman and Darkseid have a special plan to attack Brainiac.
The former challenges Brainiac to come out of his ship, and Brainiac opens the shield just a little to shoot him with an energy beam. However, Superman continues to withstand the energy and Darkseid uses the opportunity to fire an energy weapon to damage Brainiac.
The device that is supposed to get Apokolips’s database is damaged, and Brainiac tries to flee with the Justice League in pursuit of him. However, Brainiac still has a lot of fight left in him. The attempt to flee was merely a trap to lure the heroes into his technologically created world. The heroes are completely at the mercy of Brainiac, and the latter tries to convince Superman to join him.
When Superman refuses, and the heroes fight back, Brainiac still continues to exist even after the death of his body. Suddenly, Darkseid launches a surprise attack and we learn that it was a conspiracy all along. Darkseid had simply plotted with Brainiac to get Superman to Brainiac. In return for this help, Apokolips is to be spared. But Darkseid has other plans and he even wants to subdue Brainiac to work for him.
The episode has some strange ups and downs, and we even have a moment where Darkseid fights his estranged son Orion. Superman fights Darkseid, and just as he is about to finish him off, Batman drags him away just in time. There is a massive explosion, and everyone assumes that Brainiac and Darkseid must be dead. However, Superman is not so convinced, and believes that they might still be on the prowl somewhere!
Lex Luthor’s power suit is damaged in a fight with Superman and he barely manages to escape. He heads to his old assistant Mercy and threatens her to learn the whereabouts of Professor Ivo, one of his old employees.
When Luthor arrives at Ivo’s house he finds his corpse that is being guarded by a nanotech android named Amazo. The android is naïve about the whole situation and he is simply concerned with Professor Ivo’s health. Luthor uses the innocence of Amazo for his evil purposes and appoints himself as his new authority.
He sends Amazo to get a few canisters of fuel from a nearby facility and we see Amazo in action when he takes on Hawkgirl! It is at this moment that we see his ability to duplicate stuff, and he easily duplicates the wings of Hawkgirl to defeat her. Luthor successfully makes him understand that the Justice League is an enemy that must be crushed.
Amazo fights the likes of Flash, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, and he successfully replicates their special powers. Superman puts up a brief fight by covering Amazo’s eyes so that he cannot replicate his powers, but it is a short-lived victory because Amazon soon enhances himself with the powers of the mighty Superman.
There is a brief comical moment, where Batman appears and Amazo scoffs at him for having no superpowers to copy. However, Batman discovers that Amazon can be weakened by the weakness of the heroes because alongside the strengths he also acquires their shortcomings. For instance, Kryptonite seems to make him weak after he acquired the powers of Superman.
After his unexpected defeat, a confused Amazo starts questioning the reasons behind attacking the Justice League. But Luthor manages to convince him once again, making him go after the League one more time.
This episode also has a beautiful side-story of J’onn, who starts wondering about his purpose after discovering the selfish nature of humans. However, after finding a situation where people selflessly tried to help a little girl, he realizes that there is still some good left on the Earth. He enters the fight with Amazo after Amazo defeats all the other heroes, and he allows him to take over his abilities.
This enables Amazo to read Luthor’s mind and discover his dishonest ways. He turns against Luthor, almost about to kill him when the latter begs for mercy. Amazo is disgusted with the world, and he finds it worthless to remain here. He wanders off to explore the universe and Luthor gets back to his rightful place- the prison!
Only a Dream
This episode gives a glimpse of the maniacal villain Doctor Destiny. John Dee is fed up with his life in prison, and he is used as a volunteer for experiments with Materiopticon – a device that can give the subjects extra-sensory perception. He is keen to have an increased dose but the scientists think that it can be dangerous.
However, a certain turn of events changes John for the worse. His parole plea is rejected and he even learns that his wife is leaving him for another man. During a prison riot, he breaks into the lab and lets himself be exposed to the Materiopticon at maximum dose. Later, he is found in a catatonic state after the riot is handled. Meanwhile, several of the villains who were prisoners have escaped from the prison and the Justice League is after them.
John Dee is stalking his lady love and uses his telepathic powers to introduce her to a horrifying alter ego, Doctor Destiny. His wife, Penny, is so traumatized that she has to be hospitalized. After bringing in all the runaway criminals, Batman visits her at the hospital. J’onn probes her mind, but it doesn’t solve anything.
But he does find out that Dee wants revenge against the League and he is out there somewhere in his rogue state! Batman tries to reach out to the other heroes, but they are all asleep and trapped in traumatic nightmares. While J’onn takes them all to the Watchtower for medical assistance, Batman goes looking for Dee.
Soon, J’onn learns that Penny has died from the psychological torture and he realizes that he might have to enter his teammate’s minds despite the risk. He manages to bring them out of their nightmares after much trouble and even the best efforts of Doctor Destiny fall short!
Is Superman dead? This is one of the main questions that intrigue the viewer as they go through this nail-biting episode! It all starts after a planned attack by a group of supervillains who planned to eliminate Superman. They introduced a giant toy robot in the battle that could shoot a disintegrator beam.
This beam makes things disappear and Superman faces the blast of this beam while trying to protect Batman and Wonder Woman. He instantly disappears and everyone believes him to be dead. A grand funeral is arranged, but Batman uses the laws of conservation of energy to reinstate his faith in the fact that Superman is still alive.
In Superman’s absence, Lobo wants to take up his place, much to the apprehension of the other League members. However, they have little time to think because the supervillains launch a surprise attack to celebrate Superman’s death. The heroes need all the help that they can get, and they take Lobo alongside them to fight the baddies. He does well in this fight and he claims that he is more than capable of filling the void left behind by Superman.
Meanwhile, the mystery is finally revealed – Superman is not dead, and he wakes up in a strange barren land. This place also has the other stuff that disappeared after being hit by the beam. His communicator has no signals and he barely has enough strength to fend off an attack by wolf-like creatures.
After a brief skirmish, he manages to kill the leader of the pack and the rest of them are subjugated. With time, Superman is frustrated because he is unable to contact others, and this is when a surprise is undone.
The voice of Vandal Savage can be heard and he informs Superman that everyone has been dead for thousands of years now. According to him, they are on Earth, but thirty-thousand years into the future. Apparently, with no Superman to defend them, Vandal Savage killed the members of the Justice League, and currently, he is the ruler of the planet.
Superman is furious and tries to kill Vandal Savage, but he cannot be killed! Savage has had a change of heart and realized the futility of his conquests. Now, they work together and use a time machine to get Superman back to his own time. He arrives just in time to save Batman, and the League members are pleasantly surprised. Lobo is fired and we see Vandal Savage slowly becoming a translucent body and he thanks Superman for all the help to redeem himself!
This is the series finale of the animated series and the show surely ended on a high. The episode begins with a surprise attack during a conference of world leaders. The Justice League had wind of this upcoming attack, but they are still caught by surprise. Large alien spaceships launch a scathing attack, and the US military has nothing to stop them.
Even members of the League are no match for the overwhelming alien forces. Luckily, another alien craft descends and downs the attacking craft. Soon Hawkgirl realizes that the savior spacecraft has her people, the Thanagarians. The commander of the spaceship reveals that Hawkgirl has lied to her fellow teammates all along.
She was actually a military official and she was sent to Earth as an advance scout to prepare for the arrival of her people later. The attackers were Gordanians, a hostile alien race, and the commander states that his forces would help Earth in case they are attacked by the Gordanians once again.
The Gordanians is an alien race that has been fighting Thanagarians for decades, and now they might target Earth. John is shocked to know that the commander is engaged to Hawkgirl and he is disturbed by the turn of events. It is also revealed that J’onn is unable to read the minds of Thanagarians.
The world leaders have witnessed the overwhelming strength of the Gordanians, and they have little choice but to accept the offer of the Thanagarian commander. They start building a defense shield for Earth on the Gobi desert, but something about the whole charade leaves Batman suspicious about them.
When he investigates further he finds out that the crashed Gordanian ship had Gordanians who were long dead before the attack. Thus, the attack was entirely fake and an attempt by the Thanagarians to win the trust of global leaders. Once their cover is blown, they fight the heroes and initially, they seem to be winning as well.
The League members are taken prisoners, but they manage to break out. They dress in civilian clothing to avoid being spotted, and they try to stay under the radar for a while. After a brief cat and mouse game, we learn about the real intention of the Thanagarians.
Their force field would help in ending their war with Gordanians, but it will also destroy the Earth in the process. Hawkgirl has a change of heart and she comes to help the heroes. As you would expect, it is all sorted at the end, and after some emotional moments, Hawkgirl leaves after letting John know that she indeed loves him! The show deserved to have continued much longer, and we would have been treated to more of these amazing storylines!