After creating a “Top 5 Favorite ’90s Marvel Comics TV Shows” list, I figured why not do a DC list? Marvel is not the only one who has delivered the goods when it comes to fantastic television shows. The 90’s brought us some of the most AMAZING shows that Marvel created. However, unfortunately there were only a handful of DC shows that were made in the 90s. So for this list, I have expanded and included the 2000’s for some of the shows on my list. I have also included like before, the shows awesome intros. I am still a HUGE Marvel fan and will always love them better, but I cannot deny that DC has also brought us some really great series. I now present to you my “Top 5 Favorite DC Comics Cartoon Shows.”
5. Teen Titans (2003-2006)
“When there’s trouble, you know who to call….. TEEN TITANS” C’mon you the lyrics don’t you? Teen Titans was a fantastic presentation of our favorite group of young superheroes led by none other than Robin himself. The show also starred Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and Cyborg. If you were a teenager like me growing up, you probably watched this show everyday on Cartoon Network as soon as you got back from school. The main protagonist of the show was Deathstroke. What I believe was the shows strength was that it had plenty of comical moments usually taking place between Beast Boy and Cyborg. But the creators also knew when to be serious.
This is perhaps the most lighthearted of all the DC cartoon shows since DC is mostly famous for their darker tones in their movies, comics, and television shows. Overall a great show to add to the list, however this does not include the newer Teen Titans Go! The original show is much better though I give the writers props for bringing back the same voice over actors for the newer show.
4. Batman Beyond (1999-2001)
Batman Beyond told the story of an aging Bruce Wayne having given up his power as the Dark Knight. Bruce eventually stumbles upon a young high school kid named Terry who accidentally finds the Batcave and learns that Bruce was Batman. After learning that his father had been murdered by a gang, Terry asks Bruce to take down the man who murdered his father. But Bruce declines stating he is too old for the job now. Terry instead steals the Batsuit and takes down the gang who murdered his father. Bruce is initially upset he stole the suit from him, however he has a change of heart and allows Terry to become the new Batman of Gotham City.
This show was extremely well done. The animation and the visuals were tremendous. What I liked about this show was that it was a fresh take on the Batman. Bruce had “retired” from fighting crime so he basically takes over as Alfred and assists Terry on his missions throughout the show. The show also introduced a few new villains while still keeping our favorite Joker along for the ride. Ra’s al Ghul also makes a few appearances. Some of the newer villains from the show included Blight, Inque, Spellbinder, Shriek, and Curare. Batman Beyond was a fresh new take on the bat and because of that, it deserves some recognition.
3. Superman the Animated Series (1996-2000)
Superman the Animated Series was a faithful adaptation for the Man of Steel. Compared to my #1 choice, this show was far brighter with more colors and a feeling of hope. Superman was at his best fighting all the baddies who threatened Metropolis. However, Superman was not the stand out star of the show. Instead it was the man who constantly wants him dead and continues to show a strong hatred towards him much like J. Jonah Jameson is to Spider-Man. THAT character would be none other than Lex Luthor who is voiced beautifully by Clancy Brown. Brown gives his best cartoon voice over actor performance (other than Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants). Luthor is as we all know a businessman who runs and has complete control over Metropolis. Whatever he says goes, unless Superman has anything to say about it.
This show also brought us other memorable villains such as Brainiac, Parasite, Metallo, Toyman, and of course the menacing ultra-powerful Darkseid. The show also had guest performances by some of Batman’s villains such as Ra’s al Ghul, the Joker, and Harley Quinn. This show brought the best of Superman, but the next show far surpassed that.
2. Justice League (2001-2004)
This was the show that brought me more to liking DC. It was cool to see Batman and Superman with their own show fighting crime, but to put ALL of the DC heroes together in one show? Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Justice League was one of those shows that just flat out worked. It was the first show to introduce us to the rest of the cast from the League of Superheroes: The Flash, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, and of course Wonder Woman. This show was also more upbeat with plenty of humor thanks to the Flash and his speedy one liners. It was also nice to see Superman and Batman working together on occasion even though Batman would always decide if he would rather work alone or with the team. Having Clancy Brown re-voice Luthor also made the show more enjoyable.
One of my all time favorite episodes from the Justice League show pitted the team against multiple villains called Injustice For All. Some of the villains included Star Sapphire, The Shade, Solomon Grundy, Copperhead, Cheetah, Ultra-Humanite, and of course Lex Luthor. However, the most unexpected villain appearance was the Joker.
Another episode that I also want to mention shed a slight tear in my eyes. That episode would be called Legend. It pits the Justice League against another team called the Justice Guild of America. The episode is a bit touching at the end but I won’t spoil it here. If you ever get a chance to watch it, please do. You will not be disappointed.
1. Batman the Animated Series (1992-1995)
How could you NOT go with this choice as #1. This is perhaps the darkest (literally) children’s comic book tv series to date. As a child, I did not remember a whole lot about the show mainly because I felt it was too dark and creepy to watch. However as I have gotten older, I have had the privilege to re-watch all of the episodes all the way through. I can honestly say that it’s one of the greatest cartoon series I have ever seen. Bruce Wayne is at his best in the show however just like Luthor in Superman the Animated Series, it is the villain once again that steals the show.
The Joker is of course the highlight of this series. I don’t care what anyone says, but Mark Hamill IS the Joker. Voiced beautifully by him, this titular villain shows the complete maniac he is by constantly trying to take down the Dark Knight in many cringe worthy ways. As far as cartoon villains are concerned, the Joker is hands down the greatest mainly due to Hamill’s voice over performances. Other notable villains from the series that stood out to me was of course Joker’s b**ch Harley Quinn (the show was her very first appearance), the Riddler, Clayface, Penguin, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, and let’s not forget former District Attorney Harvey Dent now better known as Two-Face.
The show is no doubt in my top 10 cartoon show list of all time as it very well deserves it.
So there you have it! Those are my top five DC television series. What shows did I miss that are your favorite? Please share and comment below!