There is really no question as to which of the Big Two are putting out the best animated movies currently, with Marvel not releasing any new features over the last couple of years. DC Animated Features have continued adapting different storylines and original ideas to create a unique animated universe that keeps fans waiting in anticipation for the next release every year. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con three more animated features were announced, alongside the return of the ’60s Dynamic Duo in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.
Batman continues to dominate the DC animated universe – and in reality the entirety of the DC Extended Universe – as he is also slated to appear in Justice League Dark, which released a first look at the supernatural heroes. JLD has long been in production as a live-action film, which most thought the announcement of this animated adaptation meant was dead. Of course with the recent news that Doug Liman has left the troubled Gambit to direct Dark Universe for Warner Bros. that is obviously not the case. Dark Universe features the same team with potentially different characters for the big screen adaptation, which was originally one of Guillerrmo del Toro’s projects until just recently.
The animated adaptation features the voice talents of Matt Ryan as Constantine, reprising his role from NBC’s short-lived series that developed a strong fanbase. Jason O’Mara returns as Batman, having voiced the character since 2014’s Justice League: War. Justice League Darkalso features Camilla Luddington, Nicholas Turturro and Ray Chase as Zatanna, Deadman and Etrigan, respectively. The trailer offers our first look at the animation along with some behind the scenes footage and a few other characters we can expect to see, like Black Orchid and Swamp Thing.
It’s important to note that Justice League Dark seems set in the New 52 timeline of the animated universe we first saw in Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox and Justice League: War, and most recently in Justice League vs. Teen Titans. Of course the Teen Titans are set to reappear in the long-anticipated adaptation Teen Titans: Judas Contract. The legendary story by Marv Wolfman and George Perez featured the introduction of the mysterious metahuman Terra to the team, and also features the first appearance of Dick Grayson as Nightwing, following his time as Robin the Boy Wonder.
With the modern version of the team having already debuted in Justice League vs. Teen Titans, we can expect the adaptation to evolve differently than the original story, which featured Deathstroke and the start of his long-standing rivalry with the Teen Titans. Of course we’ve already seen a new version of Deathstroke appear in this New 52 timeline of the DCAU in Son of Batman, so it’s possible they might change that aspect of the story, however unlikely.
Finally we’ll see Batman and Harley Quinn, this time from Bat-legend Bruce Timm, who of course was one of the leading minds behind the classic Batman: The Animated Series. The film will present an original story featuring arguably the most famous character to come out of B: TAS, Harley Quinn. Created by Timm and Paul Dini, Harley Quinn made the transition to comics and has been rising in popularity ever since, most recently hitting the big screen in this summer’s Suicide Squad. We don’t know too much about the film besides it’s an original from Bruce Timm, but that’s honestly all we really need to hear to be excited for this one.
DC has definitely been bringing us the best animated features over the last few years, so we cant help but continue to be excited for the upcoming releases. Which new feature are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments section below or join the discussion on the Geek Facebook Page!
Images: DC Comics, Bruce Timm, Warner Bros.