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DC Entertainment: A Year in Review – Part 3 [Animation]

2013 was a particularly monumental year for DC Entertainment. A movie universe featuring its iconic characters is finally moving forward, while a number of new television shows were announced. As usual, animated adaptations for both film and TV were unveiled, and a slew of video games were released. The following is the third part of my review of all the DC news from this year. It will cover all the animation news from DC Entertainment that hit in 2013.

As usual, three animated DC movies were released directly to home video this year. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 is the second part of a stunning adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic, featuring moments such as the Joker’s final laugh and the climatic battle between Superman and Batman. Superman: Unbound adapts Geoff Johns’ “Brainiac” storyline, and sees the Man of Steel battle the titular villain in his best animated solo title yet. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox takes on the 2011 story arc which leads to the creation of the New 52 continuity, and The Flash is finally the focus. 
At Comic-Con 2013, DC announced its 2014 slate of films. An unsurprising and natural follow-up to The Flashpoint Paradox was confirmed in the form of Justice League: War, which adapts the “Origin” story arc of the New 52 Justice League run. Voice cast members include Jason O’Mara as Batman, Alan Tudyk as Superman, Michelle Monaghan as Wonder Woman, and Steve Blum as Darkseid. One noticeable change in this adaptation is the move to replace Aquaman with Shazam, but director Jay Oliva and producer James Tucker said that this was because Arthur Curry will be getting proper attention in the near future. Justice League: War hits stores on February 4th.
The other two titles set for 2014 are once again Batman-centric. Son of Batman adapts Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Son” arc, which brought Damian Wayne/Robin into the DC Universe. It is reportedly scheduled for a Summer 2014 release. And the fall of that year will see the debut of Batman: Assault on Arkham, which is set in the same universe as the highly successful Arkham video game series. It will contain “fresh” footage rather than reusing game footage, and some of that franchise’s talent will be involved here. Beyond that, no other cast or crew details are known. 
2013 also saw the release of LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite, which is based on last year’s video game LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes. The movie features cutscenes from the game, as well as new scenes replacing gameplay. In the film, Batman and Robin team up with the Justice League (Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Cyborg) to stop Joker, Lex Luthor, and a slew of Batman villains from destroying Gotham City. The movie was released on May 21st. 
Now, let’s move onto the television side of things. This year saw the abrupt ending of two animated DC shows: Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series. The former ran for two seasons, but the series ended on a cliffhanger with the death of Wally West and an unresolved Apokolips arc. Apparently, poor toy sales and marketing resulted in both shows being cancelled. 
DC Nation continued, however, with short films during this time. Arguably the most memorable that was shown was a Superman 75th anniversary short, which was created by Man of Steel‘s Zack Snyder and Superman: The Animated Series‘ Bruce Timm. It goes through the Man of Steel’s history, from his birth in 1938 to the present day. You can watch that below, and you can click HERE for a full list of DC Nation shorts that aired in 2013 and prior.

                                        

As expected, a couple more animated shows premiered, serving as replacements for Young Justice and Green Lantern. Teen Titans Go! is inspired by the 2003 series, but is much more comedic and silly. The show was greenlit following a series of DC Nation shorts. It was renewed for a second season last summer. Beware the Batman is the latest animated incarnation of the Dark Knight, but the first to be fully CGI. The show features lesser known villains in Batman’s rogues gallery, such as Professor Pyg, Magpie and Tobias Whale. The series is currently on hiatus, and is expected to return in January.
Stay tuned for the final part of my “Year in Review” for DC Entertainment, which will cover the video games that were released in 2013.
Latest posts by Paul Romano (see all)

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.

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