The DC Animated Universe (DCAU; also referred to as the Timmverse or Diniverse by fans) is a shared universe of superhero-based animated television series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on characters that appear in American comic books published by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters.
The first TV series set in the DCAU was Batman: The Animated Series, which premiered in 1992; the last TV series was Justice League Unlimited, which ended its run in 2006. The associated media franchise also includes direct-to-video feature films and shorts, comic books, video games and other multimedia adaptations set in the same continuity.
List of DC Animated Universe media
While there have been several animated projects based upon DC Comics characters over the decades, what is commonly accepted as the DC Animated Universe consists of the stable of TV series and films that spin off from Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995), the first TV series in this continuity. Two characters outside of the normal Batman canon, Zatanna and Jonah Hex, appeared on the series, but the first series to indicate a shared continuity with other well-known characters was the subsequent series, Superman: The Animated Series, in which the title character has encounters with heroes such as the Wally West Flash and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.
Older TV series such as Super Friends and newer ones such as The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and Justice League Action are not part of this continuity. The direct-to-video DC Universe Animated Original Movies, such as Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, and Batman: Gotham Knight are also not considered part of the DCAU, despite utilizing similar character designs and several of them featuring much of the same voice cast as previous DCAU series.
The DC Animated Universe consists of these animated television series:
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|Batman: The Animated Series||1||65||September 6, 1992||September 17, 1993||FOX||Bruce Timm|
|2||20||May 2, 1994||September 15, 1995|
|Superman: The Animated Series||1||13||September 6, 1996||February 15, 1997||The WB||Bruce Timm|
|2||28||September 8, 1997||May 2, 1998|
|3||13||September 19, 1998||February 12, 2000|
|The New Batman Adventures||1||24||September 13, 1997||January 16, 1999||The WB||Bruce Timm|
|Batman Beyond||1||13||January 10, 1999||May 22, 1999||The WB||Bruce Timm|
|2||26||September 17, 1999||May 27, 2000|
|3||13||August 19, 2000||December 18, 2001|
|Static Shock||1||13||September 23, 2000||May 12, 2001||The WB||Dwayne McDuffie|
|2||11||January 26, 2002||May 4, 2002|
|3||15||January 25, 2003||June 21, 2003|
|4||13||January 17, 2004||May 22, 2004|
|The Zeta Project||1||12||January 27, 2001||August 11, 2001||The WB||Robert Goodman|
|2||14||March 23, 2002||August 17, 2002|
|Justice League||1||26||November 17, 2001||November 9, 2002||Cartoon Network||Bruce Timm|
|2||26||July 5, 2003||May 29, 2004|
|Justice League Unlimited||1||13||July 31, 2004||January 29, 2005||Cartoon Network||Bruce Timm|
|2||13||February 5, 2005||July 23, 2005|
|3||13||September 17, 2005||May��13, 2006|
The following animated feature films also are part of the DCAU continuity:
|Film||U.S. release date||Director||Screenwriters||Release||Notes||RT|
|Batman: Mask of the Phantasm||December 24, 1993||Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm||Story by: Alan Burnett
Screenplay by: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko
and Michael Reaves
||Continuation of Batman: The Animated Series.||83%|
|Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero||March 17, 1998||Boyd Kirkland||Boyd Kirkland and Randy Rogel||Direct-to-DVD||Continuation of Batman: The Animated Series.||92%|
|Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker||October 31, 2000||Curt Geda||Story by: Paul Dini, Glen Murakami and Bruce Timm
Screenplay by: Paul Dini
|Direct-to-DVD||Continuation of Batman Beyond, Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.||90%|
|Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman||October 21, 2003||Curt Geda||Story by: Alan Burnett
Screenplay by: Michael Reaves
|Direct-to-DVD||Continuation of Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.||N/A|
|Batman and Harley Quinn||August 14, 2017||Sam Liu||Story By: Bruce Timm
Screenplay by: Bruce Timm and Jim Krieg
|Direct-to-DVD||Continuation of Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures||45%|
|Justice League vs. the Fatal Five||April 16, 2019||Sam Liu||Story by:
Eric Carrasco, Jim Krieg and Alan Burnett
|Direct-to-DVD||Continuation of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited||100%|
|Film||U.S. release date||Director||Screenwriters||Notes|
|The Dark Knight's First Night||1991||Bruce Timm & Eric Radomski||Story by : Bruce Timm
Teleplay by : Eric Radomski
|A short film which acted as the developmental pilot for Batman: The Animated Series.|
|Chase Me||October 21, 2003||Curt Geda||Paul Dini and Alan Burnett||A short film with no dialogue based on The New Batman Adventures.|
|Batman Beyond||April 20, 2014||Darwyn Cooke||A short film based on Batman Beyond created by Darwyn Cooke for Batman's 75th anniversary. The short features the original voice cast of the show, as well as cameos of robotic batmen from The New Batman Adventures, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Beware the Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, Michael Keaton's Batman, Adam West's Batman, and the original comic book Batman from 1939.|
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|Gotham Girls||1||11||July 27, 2000||December 14, 2000||warnerbros.com|
|2||10||June 5, 2001||October 9, 2001|
|3||10||July 16, 2002||November 19, 2002|
|Lobo||1||14||June 15, 2000||2000||warnerbros.com|
An animated series based on the Teen Titans comic books was planned for the DC Animated Universe during the mid-1990s, but was finally scrapped. Instead a Teen Titans series not related to the DC animated universe was released. Also, after the success of Batman: The Animated Series in the early 1990s, Fox approached producer Bruce Timm to create a spin-off series focusing on Catwoman, but the project never materialized.
In 1998, writer John P. McCann had been tasked with coming up with a Lobo animated series in the DC Animated Universe, with Brad Garret set to reprise his role as the character, but the show had been cancelled right before production. A few elements of the show would find its way in the 2000 Lobo Webseries, an online Flash animated series starring Lobo, the galactic bounty hunter, however whether the webseries is part of the official DCAU is unclear. A wax statue with the same character design as Lobo in this series appeared in an episode of Gotham Girls which somewhat support that the webseries is part of the official DCAU, although this is still disputed. Unlike the other shows set in the DCAU, it has graphic violence, sexual content, strong profanity, and a lack of tie-ins with the greater DCAU.
Before the release of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, a third animated feature based on Batman: The Animated Series was planned, entitled Batman: Arkham. The film was supposed to be a follow-up for Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, and Boyd Kirkland was attached to write and direct; but the project was soon scrapped. A second Batman Beyond movie was planned for release but was finally scrapped due to the dark tones and controversies of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker in 2001. Around 2003, during the production of Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Warner Bros. approached Kirkland to write a Catwoman direct-to-video feature film as a tie-in with the 2004 live-action film. Although the script was written, the project was soon scrapped after the poor reception of the live-action film.
Also, a direct-to-video feature-length animated film entitled Justice League: Worlds Collide was planned to connect Justice League with its follow-up Justice League Unlimited, but the production was finally cancelled in 2004, and the script was later rewritten for the animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, that was not part of the DC Animated Universe.
Many of the DCAU productions have also had comic books created based on the characters of the various series, though their canonicity is disputable. The comics are:
|1992||The Batman Adventures (vol. 1)||#1–36|
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
|1993||Superman & Batman Magazine||#1–8|
|1995||Batman and Robin Adventures||#1–25|
Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero
Dark Claw Adventures
Superman vs. Lobo
Exclusive Edition (Superman '64 prequel)
|Two-Face: Two of a Kind||#0|
|1997||Adventures in the DC Universe||#1–19|
|1998||The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years||#1–5|
|Batman: Gotham Adventures||#1–60|
|1999||Batman Beyond (vol. 1)||#1–6|
|Batman Beyond (vol. 2)||#1–24|
Return of the Joker
|Claritin Syrup Presents Batman||One-Shot|
|2001||Gotham Knights||#14 (backstory by Paul Dini)|
|Justice League Adventures||#1–34|
#1-8 (Burger King miniseries)
|2003||Batman Adventures (vol. 2)||#1–17|
|Batman: Shadow of Sin Tzu||#1–22|
|2004||Batman: Harley and Ivy||#1–3|
|Justice League Unlimited||#1–46|
|2010||Batman Beyond (vol. 3)||#1–6|
|2011||Batman Beyond (vol. 4)||#1–8|
|2012||Justice League Beyond||#1–25|
|Batman Beyond (vol. 5)||#1–29|
|2013||Batman Beyond 2.0||#1–40|
|Justice League Beyond 2.0||#1–24|
|2015||Scooby Doo Team Up||#12, #17, #21 (series uses DCAU character models but ignores the lore)|
|Love is Love||Harley and Ivy story by Paul Dini|
|Harley Quinn||#17-26 (backstory by Paul Dini) (used the art style and character models but has been stated before its follow-up mini-series "Harley loves Joker" to be canon to the current main universe instead)|
|2017||Harley Quinn and Batman||#1-5 (a prequel to the 2017 animated film Batman and Harley Quinn)|
|2017||Batman and Harley Quinn||#1-7 (a sequel to the 2017 animated film of the same name)|
|2018||Harley loves Joker||#1-2 (used the art style and character models, is also a follow-up to the Harley Quinn main series backstory but is then hinted to be canon to the main comic universe in Harley Quinn #42 with the "next issue" area and then is stated to be in the main universe by its official description)|
|2020||Batman: The Adventures Continue||#1-8 (print); 17 (digital)|
Recurring cast and characters
This section shows characters who have appeared in multiple DCAU media.
- An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the media, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
- C indicates a cameo role.
The Animated Series
The Animated Series
|The New Batman Adventures||Batman Beyond||Static Shock||The Zeta Project||Justice League||Justice League Unlimited||Batman: Mask of the Phantasm||Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero||Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker||Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman||Batman and Harley Quinn||Justice League vs. the Fatal Five|
|Alfred Pennyworth||Clive Revill, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Efrem Zimbalist Jr.|
|Commissioner James Gordon||Bob Hastings||C||Bob Hastings||Bob Hastings||Bob Hastings|
|Detective Harvey Bullock||Robert Costanzo||Robert Costanzo||Robert Costanzo||Robert Costanzo|
|Adrienne Barbeau||Adrienne Barbeau||C|
|Lois Lane||Dana Delaney||C||Dana Delaney|
|Mercy Graves||Lisa Edelstein||Lisa Edelstein|
|Lobo||Brad Garrett||Brad Garrett|
The future of the DCAU
With the conclusion of the Justice League Unlimited animated series, Warner Bros has moved on to adapting new versions of the various DC comics properties rather than reviving the DCAU counterparts.
The last script written for DCAU continuity was titled Justice League: Worlds Collide. This screenplay was created to bridge the several month gap between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. The draft was eventually adapted into the February 2010 film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, with the removal of any references specific to DCAU continuity, replacing Green Lantern John Stewart with Hal Jordan, and the casting of different voice actors than those of the DCAU.
I very much appreciate that so many of you guys have so much love for the old series, from BTAS through JLU (I do too) -- but frankly, I doubt that we'll be formally, "officially" doing another movie or TV series set in that continuity (...) anything is possible, so conceivably that could change someday -- instead of saying "THE DCAU IS DEAD", maybe we can just say it's in a state of suspended animation until further notice...?— Bruce Timm, 2009
On June 8, 2015, during an interview with Nerdist about his new film Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Bruce Timm was asked if the DC Animated Universe will return someday. Although Timm stated that the DCAU continuity was unlikely to return, the possibility always exists.
In 2018, Kevin Conroy said work on the DCAU had stalled because the writers ran out of ideas for stories and believed stopping was best, as they did not want to "compromise on the quality of what they had and start creating kind of silly stories".
The Batman Beyond comic series is a loose adaptation of the Batman Beyond franchise, intended to fit the character and storylines from the series into the mainstream DC continuity. The miniseries began in June 2010, under the title Future Evil. In August 2010, the series was announced to continue following the completion of the first arc as an ongoing series. That series concluded alongside the entire line of ongoing monthly DC Comics superhero books during the 2011 revamp and relaunch, titled The New 52.
Superman Beyond, a one-shot comic set in the same universe as Batman Beyond, was released in 2011.
Batman Beyond Unlimited, a title chronicling the adventures of the future Justice League introduced in the DCAU, was released in February 2012. This series published monthly triple-sized issues, containing three stories of Terry McGinnis, Clark "Cal" Kent, and the future Justice League Unlimited, respectively.
Batman Beyond Universe succeeded Unlimited in August 2013, condensing to double-monthly issues upon the elderly Superman's rejoining the future Justice League.
In 2015–2016, DC Comics and IDW Publishing released a jointly produced, six-issue miniseries comic titled Batman/TMNT, where the New 52 Batman encounters the IDW incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The success of this miniseries inspired a similar crossover story, with Batman's DCAU incarnation meeting the Amazing Adventures comic version of the 2012 CGI series' Turtles. The concept was first announced in late July 2016, and scheduled for a six-issue release starting November 9, 2016.
There have also been a number of DCAU tie-in video games released to correspond with the various animated television series and films. Some of these games have original plots, while others follow previous stories; their status in DCAU canon is unknown. The games are:
|1993||Batman: The Animated Series||Game Boy|
|1994||The Adventures of Batman & Robin||Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega CD/Mega-CD, Game Gear|
|2000||Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker||Game Boy Color, PlayStation, Nintendo 64|
|2001||Batman: Chaos in Gotham||Game Boy Color|
|Batman: Gotham City Racer||PlayStation|
|Batman: Vengeance||PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|2002||Justice League: Injustice for All||Game Boy Advance|
|Static Shock (canceled game)|
|Superman: Shadow of Apokolips||PlayStation 2, GameCube|
|2003||Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu||Xbox, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, GameCube|
|Justice League: Chronicles||Game Boy Advance|
|Superman: Countdown to Apokolips|
|2016||View-Master Batman Animated VR||iOS, Android|
Six of these games feature voice acting from the casts of the original shows. These are: The Adventures of Batman and Robin (SEGA CD/Mega CD version), Superman, Batman Vengeance, Superman: Shadow of Apokolips, Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, and View-Master Batman Animated VR. The SEGA CD/Mega CD game, The Adventures of Batman and Robin, also features animation from one of the studios that worked on Batman: The Animated Series.
The Heart of Batman
A 90-minute documentary film released on October 16, 2018, as part of the Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition and Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray/Digital box set and was later made available on the official Warner Bros. Entertainment YouTube channel.
|1995||Freakazoid||Dance of Doom||Batman appears, but is unable to help due to being on a different network|
|1995||Animaniacs||A Hard Day's Warners||Paul Dini and Bruce Timm can be seen at the Batman booth in episode #73 with a Mask of the Phantasm poster|
|2011||Batman: The Brave and the Bold||Night of the Batmen||Batman's TNBA design shows up among the Batmen of other worlds along with Batman Beyond|
|2013||Teen Titans Go!||multiple||Meta-gags referencing the DCAU have been made|
|1994||Man of Steel||#37||Bruce Timm's Batman design appears on the front cover|
|1999||Fan Boy||#5||Bruce Timm was a featured artist, lending his Batman to the issue|
|1999||Superman/Fantastic Four||One-Shot||Superman's DCAU counterpart makes a cameo|
|2001||Catwoman||#89||Harleen Quinzel pitches a TV series in the same style of The New Batman Adventures|
|2005||Krypto the Super Dog||#1-6||Artist Min S Ku draws many characters in their DCAU style.|
|2007||Teen Titans Go!||#45||The Justice League is presented in their DCAU style|
|2008||Legion of Superheroes in the 31st Century||#11||The Justice League appears in their DCAU versions|
|2013||Green Lantern: The Animated Series||#13||Lobo shows up in his DCAU design|
|2014||Adventures of Superman||#40||The Joker shows up in multiple styles, including his New Batman Adventures look.|
|2017||Action Comics||#975||Mr. Mxyzptlk and Superman appear in their Superman: The Animated Series style.|
Characters adapted from the DCAU
Though the DCAU is an offshoot of the mainstream DC comics universe, it has also affected the DC universe in return. The following characters were originally created for their respective series in the DCAU, but were eventually adapted via retroactive continuity into the mainstream DC comic continuity:
- Nora Fries (Batman: The Animated Series)
- Harley Quinn (Batman: The Animated Series)
- Renee Montoya (Batman: The Animated Series)
- Lock-Up (Batman: The Animated Series)
- Sewer King (Batman: The Animated Series)
- The Condiment King (Batman: The Animated Series)
- Mercy Graves (Superman: The Animated Series)
- Livewire (Superman: The Animated Series)
- Roxy Rocket (The New Batman Adventures)
- Terry McGinnis/Batman (Batman Beyond)
- Gray Ghost (Batman: The Animated Series)
In addition, the backstory of Mr. Freeze was adapted from his portrayal in Batman: The Animated Series, and the visuals and/or characterization of Green Lantern, Supergirl, Toyman, Two-Face, Parasite, Metallo, Clayface, and many others have been applied to their comic counterparts. On a different note, issue #22 of DC Comics' Superman/Batman series, which explores alternate realities, had Bizarro transported to an alternate version of Gotham City that was patrolled by a Batman using the Batman Beyond version of the costume. A version of the future of Batman Beyond made an appearance in Countdown to Final Crisis #21, as part of the new Multiverse in the wake of the Infinite Crisis and 52 series, and a Batman Beyond series had been planned. In January 2015, DC published The Multiversity Guidebook which revealed a universe inspired by the DCAU is Earth-12 in the DC Multiverse, and currently in the Batman Beyond era, while the Justice Lords Earth from those Batman Beyond comics has also been added to the canon as Earth-50.
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...don't miss the epic conclusion of Superman Beyond!
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