Opinion time: Are Justice League and Justice League Unlimited the same show?

Are Justice League and Justice League Unlimited the same show? What's the answer?

  • They are the same show, rebranded.

    Votes: 22 91.7%
  • They are two different shows.

    Votes: 2 8.3%
  • I've never watched Justice League or Justice League Unlimited, but I sure do like voting in polls.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 42. 'Natch.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    24

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
33,191
Location
Framingham, MA
In DVD and press releases the show(s) are treated separately. Most episode guides on various websites do the same. Me? I think they're the same damn show! Same cast, and same crew, nearly the same premise. The format has been shortened a bit, but Justice League wasn't exactly a show with hour-long episodes. It was a show with two and three-parters Cartoon Network occasionally chose to air that way.

Somebody says to me, "Matt, what are you three favorite television series of all time?" I say "Twin Peaks, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Justice League / Unlimited". Both halves of the show's run are essential to my love for it (although admittedly season one much less so).

Am I wrong in thinking that believing they are two different shows is nothing more than a marketing gimmick? What do you all think?
 

Raider969

Active Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
120
Location
New York
In DVD and press releases the show(s) are treated separately. Most episode guides on various websites do the same. Me? I think they're the same damn show! Same cast, and same crew, nearly the same premise. The format has been shortened a bit, but Justice League wasn't exactly a show with hour-long episodes. It was a show with two and three-parters Cartoon Network occasionally chose to air that way.

Somebody says to me, "Matt, what are you three favorite television series of all time?" I say "Twin Peaks, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Justice League / Unlimited". Both halves of the show's run are essential to my love for it (although admittedly season one much less so).

Am I wrong in thinking that believing they are two different shows is nothing more than a marketing gimmick? What do you all think?
For me, I count them as the same show. When I did my top DC Cartoons, I put Justice League and Justice League Unlimited together as #3. Same thing for Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. I believe they are the same show and put them both as #1.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
33,191
Location
Framingham, MA
I think JL/U has a better claim to being the same show than The New Batman Adventures does to Batman: The Animated Series. The later Batman episodes are drastically different in both animation style, writers and directors, and even casting. And yet, WB lumps it all together as BTAS. So why is Unlimited considered a different show by them?
 

-batmat-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
867
Location
Argentina
Great thread. It is basically the same show, but at the same time, it's not. It's not merely a rebrand (The Adventures of Batman & Robin is a rebrand of basically the same show imo) because the show changed its format and focus. Yes, the main 7 are still the main 7, but the show changed from 2 or 3 part episodes to single episodes and changed the focus on the characters to include a lot of extra characters.

It's somewhere in the middle of the change from BTAS to TAOBAR (barely a change) and the change from BTAS to TNBA (quite a change).

You can't tell me you don't feel a different "feel" for the show once Unlimited starts.

It's a continuation but changing basically nothing from the technical aspect of the show, so it feels basically the same in lots of aspects, but not all.

The later Batman episodes are drastically different [...] And yet, WB lumps it all together as BTAS. So why is Unlimited considered a different show by them?

Great question. My guess is that TNBA was still basically BTAS at its core and the focus of the characters. JLU had a slightly different focus from JL, different score, intro, etc. Yeah , they were released separately in the Season or Volume sets, but in the Complete Series DVD release , it was all included so it is considered all part of one big show in some way
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
33,191
Location
Framingham, MA
Great thread.
Thanks, man. I only create 'em if I think of a topic actually worth discussing. I don't believe in creating threads for the sake of creating threads.

It is basically the same show, but at the same time, it's not. It's not merely a rebrand (The Adventures of Batman & Robin is a rebrand of basically the same show imo) because the show changed its format and focus. Yes, the main 7 are still the main 7, but the show changed from 2 or 3 part episodes to single episodes and changed the focus on the characters to include a lot of extra characters.

It's somewhere in the middle of the change from BTAS to TAOBAR (barely a change) and the change from BTAS to TNBA (quite a change).

You can't tell me you don't feel a different "feel" for the show once Unlimited starts.
I would if the show transitioned immediately to JLU after Season 1. Season 2 very much feels like the same tone as Unlimited to me. Of course that is purely a personal opinion.
It's a continuation but changing basically nothing from the technical aspect of the show, so it feels basically the same in lots of aspects, but not all.



Great question. My guess is that TNBA was still basically BTAS at its core and the focus of the characters. JLU had a slightly different focus from JL, different score, intro, etc. Yeah , they were released separately in the Season or Volume sets, but in the Complete Series DVD release , it was all included so it is considered all part of one big show in some way
It was in the Complete Series release? I didn't know that.
 

-batmat-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
867
Location
Argentina
I would if the show transitioned immediately to JLU after Season 1. Season 2 very much feels like the same tone as Unlimited to me. Of course that is purely a personal opinion.

Yes, tone-wise it feels the same. But the times I've watched the shows, there's always a different "feel" once JLU starts. I get used to the 2-parters and suddenly everything starts and ends faster. Lots of new characters being main characters in episodes. Different music, etc. That's how I feel about it!

It was in the Complete Series release? I didn't know that.

Well I double checked just in case but yes, both JL and JLU are included in the Complete Series DVD from a while back
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
33,191
Location
Framingham, MA
Yes, tone-wise it feels the same. But the times I've watched the shows, there's always a different "feel" once JLU starts. I get used to the 2-parters and suddenly everything starts and ends faster. Lots of new characters being main characters in episodes. Different music, etc. That's how I feel about it!
What I think you are noticing is the writing improving and being a lot more solid and well-paced. That happens a LOT on great shows hitting their prime. Buffy The Vampire Slayer actually had terrible dialogue for most of its first two seasons. Season Three of this show was essentially the production crew becoming more confident and assured in their storytelling.
Well I double checked just in case but yes, both JL and JLU are included in the Complete Series DVD from a while back
Interesting.
 

-batmat-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
867
Location
Argentina
What I think you are noticing is the writing improving and being a lot more solid and well-paced. That happens a LOT on great shows hitting their prime. Buffy The Vampire Slayer actually had terrible dialogue for most of its first two seasons. Season Three of this show was essentially the production crew becoming more confident and assured in their storytelling.

No! Really, thats what I meant. It has a different feel coming from elements in the show itself. Suddenly the (new!) Watchtower is filled up with people instead of being a giant satellite with 7 people on it. Episodes are 1 part instead of 2. New theme, score, intro, etc.

As far as writing, pacing , etc, Season 2 of JL was already pretty awesome imo and JLU seasons 1 and 2 simply kept that going.
 

Yojimbo

Yes, have some.
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
50,418
Location
Shahdaroba
Well, TNBA was the WB! network making a marketing decision to get more eyeballs. WB! just got the rights to air BTAS and wanted to freshen up the airings with new episodes, bolster STAS, and I'm sure a do some marketing synergy with Batman & Robin in theaters.

JLU, 52 episodes was the cut off then for a series and Timm and co. I believe were going into it as the finale but they were surprised when CN ordered more episodes (which was a running joke that continued when they were surprised with the JLU S3 renewal and I guess even not being sure after that) but I'm sure the network wanted to refresh it a new title from a marketing and cataloging position. But internally, creatives like Mr. Timm and the late Mr. McDuffie have often referenced it as one series (i.e. referring to JLU season one as season three). Then naturally, home entertainment seemed to consider it one series with the DVD set as mentioned before then the other division, Warner Archives did their releases separately on Blu-ray. All a matter of perspective I guess.
 

Neo Ultra Mike

Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
18,659
Location
East Northport
Now I could be wrong but from what I remember, the team weren't exactly sure they were going to get a pick up after "Starcrossed" for another season so did intend for that to be the original Justice League Finale, like Yojimbo mentioned. However yeah Cartoon Network wound up actually asking for more. And though they wanted a slight revival believe it or not CN actually didn't really ask for many new additions. I think the only major ask was they wanted Supergirl to be a more prominent character (thus why she was in the first JLU ep) but I don't think they really asked for that major an overhaul. However when thinking of expanding the league that's when Timm and co decided to do one showcasing a bunch of DC heroes much more obscure a lot of more casual fans like myself never really would of heard of. Seriously before JLU i hadn't really heard of or had any interest in characters like Green Arrow, Captain Atom, The Question, The Atom etc but JLU made me care with how they were used. But yeah doing such an overhaul did in a sense make it feel like a different show. I guess I can see why many would consider them the same show especially since the look for the most part was the same and unlike other DCAU series the prime focus though expanding on other heroes still focused mostly on "The Seven" but between how the episodes felt and having much more a focus on story archs but shorter form adventures they did feel to me more like different shows.
 

JonnyQuest037

DCAU Historian
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
38
Location
New Jersey
Yeah, JLU is the same show, rebranded. BT has gone on record as saying that the Cartoon Network would've been fine with them just adding a new member to the team like Aquaman. It was the production team's decision to revamp it further and add dozens of new members to the team. So it's a continuation, not a reboot.

Same thing with TNBA following up on BTAS when they switched networks. Kids' WB probably would've been fine with just another 20 episodes done in the original BTAS style, but Bruce Timm & co. decided to revise/revamp the show to reflect what they'd learned on the job over the previous five years.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

Back with a better image
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
12,784
Absolutely, given that Unlimited is after all the third, fourth and fifth seasons of Justice League like how The New Batman Adventures is after all the third season of Batman: The Animated Series, not to mention that they're the second and third DC animated shows to be retitled in later seasons since the first show to do so was Super Friends as they did it for their second, third, fourth, eighth and ninth seasons (they returned back to the original title for their fifth, sixth and seventh seasons) and the most recent show to do so is Young Justice from season two onwards.
 

the_joker

Active Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
829
I would say it's a mix of the first two options. The shows do have the same main cast and designs (sans the first season of Justice League), but a episode like "Starcrossed" is a Justice League episode while the Cadmus episodes or Legion of Doom episodes are Justice League Unlimited episodes.

Also, the producers for the shows are slightly different. Bruce Timm and James Tucker are producers on both shows, but Justice League had Glen Murakami and Rich Fogel while JLU had Dwayne McDuffie (who initially joined JL as story editor). Of course, the creative crew of a single show can change over time.
 

Rick Jones

fan-man
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
11,512
Location
177A Bleecker Street
I generally view Unlimited as Justice League season 3, 4 and 5. It's just what makes sense to me. It's still carrying all of the continuity, plot threads and character relationships from the previous two seasons. It's still heavily focused around the main Justice League cast, even with the much expanded roster. What feels the most different is that they went from the format of the weekly multi-part episodes to this format of the standalone episodes that were all part of one seasonal narrative. There was also no huge gap between seasons. It wasn't as though the show was gone for years and now they had a reboot or anything like 24 or Will and Grace. It just felt as though it went from Justice League Season 2 to a season with a new tagline.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

DBTrilogy100

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
1,149
Location
United States
This is certainly one of the biggest points of debate I tend to see regarding the DCAU alongside the debate regarding whether or not one would treat Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures/Gotham Knights as the same show or separate shows. Speaking for myself, it's a question I haven't really been able to settle on an answer for due to seeing the points of both sides.

On one hand, I can see the point of how some feel Justice League and Justice League Unlimited have different "tones" or "atmospheres" in the sense of the former mostly focusing on the founding members (with the occasional ally popping in here or there) and how it mostly consists of multi-parters while the latter focuses on an expanded roster and mostly consists of one-parters (albeit with a storyline that spans at least a season). On the other hand, I can see the point of how some see the latter as an evolution of the former with both having much stronger ties to one another relative to other shows in the DCAU (even though other DCAU shows still receive expansions in some capacity).

In the end, this is a question I see myself still pondering to myself in the foreseeable future. At the very least, I feel more confident about considering Justice League and Justice League Unlimited a single series compared to Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures/Gotham Knights (which I feel more confident about treating as separate shows).
 

ShadowStar

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
7,657
Location
USA
It's a re-branding or re-launch, as I think others have said. JL was revamped as JLU. They are the same show in that sense, just as Young Justice and Young Justice: Invasion are the same show. It's just that the storytelling format and the cast were given an overhaul.

Thinking back to that time when JLU was hotly anticipated and it began with "Initiation", I would say that it was a fresh start for the Justice League series after the drama of "Starcrossed", rather than a new chapter in the DCAU. It didn't offer a dramatic shift in the vein of going from BTAS to STAS, or from one of those two shows to Batman Beyond. No, JLU was a return to the comfort of JL, while also offering fresh takes on many of the elements that were in play in that show and expanding upon them in a fun way, with lots of guest stars.

I think Cartoon Network/Toonami would disagree, of course, since Toonami UK stopped airing repeats of JL and only aired JLU when the latter started in 2005 (in the UK). But I recall that there was a JLU promo that featured clips from the ending of "Starcrossed", so maybe the new 30-minute format meant that they just didn't want to air the JL multi-parters too so as to avoid confusion.

There are also storylines (Shayera's one in particular) that segue directly from JL into JLU. It's the same series as far as I'm concerned.
 

ABrown

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
6,240
JLU is most definitely the same show as Justice League. Though it is a sequel to the first two seasons. Because it either has to be a sequel or a spin off. And it can't be a spin off because that would mean that both shows could theoretically be having new episodes at the same time.

The same goes for The New Batman Adventures. It's the same show as Batman The Animated Series. It's not a spin off, but a sequel series to the original. Whereas Batman Beyond and Justice League are spin offs of The New Batman/Superman Adventures.
 
Last edited:

Ed Nygma

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
69
Location
USA
Sure. Never should've rebranded, it's just another season, and the rebranding led to confusion on the DVD sets and digital streaming that persists to this day.

I do, however, consider BTAS and TNBA different shows, very much so in fact that I would've released TNBA not as volume 4. If the dark deco backgrounds are gone with the title cards, and everyone is completely redesigned, it's a different show!
 

ABrown

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
6,240
I do, however, consider BTAS and TNBA different shows, very much so in fact that I would've released TNBA not as volume 4. If the dark deco backgrounds are gone with the title cards, and everyone is completely redesigned, it's a different show!

Here's how I would respond to that. If they're two different shows, then wouldn't that mean, at least in theory, that new episodes of both could be made?
 

Ed Nygma

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
69
Location
USA
Here's how I would respond to that. If they're two different shows, then wouldn't that mean, at least in theory, that new episodes of both could be made?
? Sure? I think we need new episodes of BTAS in the old style, that's my dream. We have, however, exclusively gotten new retreads of TNBA, over and over and over for 20 years, to the point it's been run into the ground and made me retroactively resent the show a bit. Sometimes you just miss painted cels, Shirley Walker and one-off characters like Carl Rossum.
 

Spotlight

Staff online

Who's on Discord?

Latest profile posts

I find it odd how the end credits to Dreamhouse Adventures last about 30 seconds, but the end credits to It Takes Two last over a full minute.


The news is making me angry. Stop existing, the news. I'm warning you.

If what is happening constitutes "good news" (and I suppose it does) imagine how enraged the bad news has been making me.
Today marks the 5th Year Anniversary of when DuckTales (2017) premiered. I found this reboot to be an entertaining watch and was impressed by how it incorporated aspects of other Disney cartoons (such as Daarkwing Duck). Likewise, I appreciated getting to know Della Duck.
Check Out @Zentron 's Art Stuff on The Drawing Board! Some really cool YouTube stuff starts on the second page!

Nick schedules at last minute changes STILL continues to be out of control because it's too frequent to really keep up with the updates, and this is really annoying.

Featured Posts

Top