10 DC Animated Shows On HBO Max To Watch After Zack Snyder's Justice League

DC Comics have used animation in properly adapting their most beloved storylines from the page to the screen.

Director Zack Snyder's long-awaited cut of Justice League is not the only vestige of DC Comics content available on HBO Max. Well before the start of the cinematic DC Extended Universe containing Justice League and Suicide Squad, DC was already building its world of comics on television for both longtime fans and new audiences. 

Batman The Animated Series (1992-1995)

10. Batman The Animated Series (1992-1995)

Following the overwhelming success of director Tim Burton's Batman and its sequel Batman Returns, a Batman animated show was greenlit by Warner Bros. Animation to ride the heels of the two films. Spearheaded by writers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, Batman The Animated Series follows the nightly activities of the titular Dark Knight's career as Gotham City's heroic defender as well as Batman's daily alter ego of billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne.  Unlike most animated shows of the 1990s, BTAS featured a talented array of voice actors from Kevin Conroy, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Robert Costanzo, and Luke Skywalker himself Mark Hamill as Batman's arch-nemesis The Joker.  Though airing on the family-friendly Fox Kids, the show has gone on to win several Primetime Emmy Awards and received critical acclaim for its mature themes, art style, and faithfulness to the comic source material. Batman The Animated Series is the definitive Batman experience for any fans of the caped crusader and comic books in general. 

Batman Beyond (1999-2001)
Fandom Wire.com

9. Batman Beyond (1999-2001)

Set decades after Batman The Animated Series and Justice League, Batman Beyond centers itself on high school delinquent Terry McGinnis (voiced by Boy Meets World's Will Friedle), who comes to acquire the mantle of Batman from an aged and retired Bruce Wayne. Initially conceived as Teenage Batman by producers, the show quickly evolved into a continuation of the Batman saga set within the established DC Animated Universe continuity. Though several heroes and villains from DC's past are featured throughout Terry's journey, Batman Beyond is a completely original story. While BTAS begins with a well seasoned caped crusader, Batman Beyond delves into the nature of becoming a crime-fighting hero... who must make sure his algebra homework is finished on time.  Originally airing on Kids WB, Batman Beyond is another extremely mature series that delves into topics and subject matter which may prove quite dark for most children.  

Justice League (2001-2004)

8. Justice League (2001-2004)

Long before the conception of a live-action Justice League feature film, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation brought the DC Universe's staple superhero team to the small screen with a 52 episode series airing on Cartoon Network. When supervillains pose too great a threat for one single hero to handle, the strongest heroes in DC unite to take care of the threat to mankind... or on occasion, the universe. Several standout characters from Zack Snyder's Justice League film such as Martian Manhunter, Darkseid, Aquaman, and The Joker, have crucial roles. Throughout its two-season run, the show saw the Justice League venture through various corners of the DC Universe from the underwater land of Atlantis, the angelic world of New Genesis, Gorilla City, and Themyscira home to Wonder Woman and the Amazonian warriors.  After Cartoon Network decided to part with the show in 2004, a follow-up series Justice League Unlimited was commissioned a few years later with an even larger roster of DC heroes and villains.  

Young Justice (2010-Present)

7. Young Justice (2010-Present)

While Justice League / Justice League Unlimited may have focused on DC's premiere lineup of adult superheroes, Young Justice takes a slightly different approach by focusing on the teenage lineup of DC sidekicks. Currently consisting of 72 episodes, Young Justice is set apart from the DC Animated Universe but retains the same level of adult storytelling and thematic elements in animated programming. Though the show is full of action and adventure, at its heart Young Justice is a heightened coming of age story of heroes proving that they have exactly what it takes to play around in the big leagues. While the first season centers on young heroes Robin, Aqualad, Miss Martian, Superboy, Kid Flash, and Artemis, the team roster would constantly shift and evolve in the following seasons. Young Justice is currently streaming on HBO Max, with its fourth season Young Justice Phantoms due to be released on the platform sometime within 2021. 

Harley Quinn (2019-Present)

6. Harley Quinn (2019-Present)

In years following her debut, The Joker's loyal companion Harley Quinn has gradually evolved from her formative years and gained a formidable fanbase that rivals the finest superhero. Following a live-action entry to film through Suicide Squad and actress Margot Robbie, the ever-persistent Harley Quinn would make a return to animation with a television series centered on Quinn's zany misadventures with fan-favorite supervillains and heroes. The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco lends her voice talents to bring the titular comic villain to life, alongside seasoned acting veterans Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk, Giancarlo Esposito, Jason Alexander, and Tony Hale. In stark contrast to past animated incarnations and feature films, the series is not geared toward children but instead an adult audience with its crude humor, sex, and language. A third season of the Batman supporting villain is currently in development for HBO Max, with Cuoco and the principal voice cast returning. 

Green Lantern The Animated Series (2012-2013)

5. Green Lantern The Animated Series (2012-2013)

The first television series based on the Green Lantern character, Green Lantern The Animated Series follows Silver Age Lantern Hal Jordan (voiced by Josh Keaton)'s journey protecting the cosmos from those who worship evil's might. While Zach Synder's Justice League featured a minor appearance from a decorated Lantern in the form of Earth's Yalan Gur, the 26 episode show opts for Jordan. Other famous Lanterns featured in the show are Kilowog, Sinestro, Guy Gardner, and Mogo the sentient planet. Though gaining a bit of a solid fanbase during its Cartoon Network tenure, any future development of the series was scrapped following the poor critical and commercial performance of the 2011 Green Lantern live-action film starring Ryan Reynolds. 

Static Shock (2000-2004)

4. Static Shock (2000-2004)

The Emmy nominated Static Shock was a series created by late comic writer Dwayne McDuffie, based on his 1993 Dynamite Comics superhero Static. An African American teenager attending Dakota Union High School, Virgil must learn to balance both his academic and superhero careers. Though other black heroes have featured on television beforehand, Static Shock would mark the first instance in which an African American superhero was the title character of an animated television broadcast. Throughout the show, Static finds himself crossing paths with several DC heroes and villains. While Static has yet to enter the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), an upcoming live-action film featuring the character is currently in the works, from actor Michael B. Jordan and writer Randy McKinnon. 

Teen Titans (2003-2006)
Teen Titans Wiki.com

3. Teen Titans (2003-2006)

Set aside from the existing DCAU, Teen Titans shifts focus to a team of unlikely teenage heroes Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, and cinematic Justice League member Cyborg. Housed in their Titans Tower headquarters, the Teen Titans handle threats that are under the famed League's radar. Similar to Young Justice, Teen Titans excels with its focus on teenage antics intermixed with superhero action. Much of the show took inspiration from writer Marv Wolfman and artist Geroge Perez's acclaimed The New Teen Titans comic book run, which became one of the best-selling comic titles of the 1980s. The Annie Award-nominated series would spawn a noticeably more child-friendly series Teen Titans GO and several feature film follow-ups. 

Superman The Animated Series (1996-2000)
Daily Superheroes.com

2. Superman The Animated Series (1996-2000)

Still, the latest Superman-centric animated television series, Superman The Animated Series depicts the young Kal El's rise from a timid youngster in Kansas to "The Man of Steel". As opposed to Batman the Animated Series, Superman's return to animation is a colorful portrayal of the vast mythology surrounding DC's most famous hero. In order for Superman to face threats worthy of his mettle and improve his navigation as a hero, this series has plenty of worthy opponents in the form of Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, Darkseid, and many others. Several elements which become crucial to later DC shows, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, are first introduced into this series. Superman TAS is a show which reminds fans exactly why Superman is the most recognizable face of comics. 

Batman The Brave And The Bold (2008-2011)

1. Batman The Brave And The Bold (2008-2011)

Coinciding with the release of 2008's The Dark Knight, Batman The Brave and The Bold was a light-hearted yet faithful Batman cartoon experience. Titled after DC's famous title of superheroic team-up proportions, Brave and the Bold explored various characters from not only Gotham City but the DC Universe as an entity. While past shows Batman TAS and Beyond featured occasional appearances from DC's extended library of heroes, Brave and the Bold banked on Batman's team-ups with other DC Universe superheroes. Rather than spotlight the likes of familiar favorites Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman, Brave, and The Bold sought to highlight appearances from obscure DC heroes such as Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, The Atom, and Plastic Man. 

The fictional DC Universe is filled with faithful media adaptations of its extensive catalog of colorful superheroes and supervillains. Perhaps even more expansive than the current slate of films is the stream of DC Comics animated content, which is still going strong today.

Current junior Writing Arts major attending Rowan University. I am an avid writer, comic book reader, and film enthusiast.

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