While it has been known for several months that Justice League was picked up for a fifth season (well, third season, but I count Justice League and Justice League Unlimited as one extended series), next to nothing has been revealed about what the creative team had planned. Well, the wait is over—at this year's San Diego Comic Con, the creative team premiered the first few minutes of the first episode, and this has heralded a trickle of new information from a variety of sources.
As one can surmise from the image above, this season is focusing upon the League's battle with a new, expanded Legion of Doom. Springing as a reaction to the League's unlimited line-up, the supervillain element of the DCAU has followed suit, organizing into an enormous organization (at least thirty members were seen in "I Am Legion") under the command of Gorilla Grodd. Sadly, it appears that the Bat-Embargo will remain in effect, so no Scarecrow, Riddler, or any of the others.
Aside from the Legion of Doom plot thread that will weave its way throughout the season, there will be plenty going on. As of this writing, there's a Seven Soldier's of Victory episode in the works (this is, of course, a Golden Age team comprised of Green Arrow, Speedy, Vigilante, Shining Knight, Crimson Avenger, Stripesy, and the Star-Spangled Kid; with S.T.R.I.P.E. and Stargirl standing in for the last two, all that would be needed would be a seventh member to replace Speedy, as he is currently being used on Teen Titans) and, in addition, there are prominent appearances planned for Stargirl (voiced by Giselle Loren), Deadman (voiced by Raphael Sbarge), and Mr. Terrific (voiced by Michael Beach). Also, Supergirl will appear in an episode penned by Paul Dini, and the Legion of Superheroes will make an appearance in an episode that will feature one Justice League member deciding to leave the League and join the 30th century team (my bet is on Supergirl, as she had a relationship with Brainiac 5 in the Silver Age comics, but don't quote me on that). Finally, the League will journey to the hidden world of Skartaris and encounter Warlord (voiced by Paul Guifoyle).
Check back on this spot frequently, as new information will undoubtedly be forthcoming.
Bruce Timm on Season Five #1: "We kind of took a page with what we did with Justice League Unlimited, where we opened the ranks of the Justice League to include basically everybody. So now the villains are going to say, 'Hey, we're going to do that too.' There's going to be a lot of Legion of Doom goodness throughout next season—standalone episodes as well that don't completely focus on the Legion of Doom and some that just touch on the Legion of Doom. [...] About the much-ballyhooed ban on use of Batman's supporting characters or villains, I'm not finding it's a big problem. There's lots of villains—a Legion of them.
"We have lots of major guest stars next season. We had the whole Green Lantern / Vixen / Hawkgirl triangle, which is really complicated. We figured we needed to resolve that and we resolved [it] by making it more complicated. It gets really complicated when Shayera meets this young archeologist named Carter Hall. So, we've got lots of interesting twists and turns and lots of Legion (courtesy of [website name removed])."
Bruce Timm on Season Five #2: "This [past] season was really dark and sophisticated; I don't want to say 'adult,' but it was challenging for younger audiences. We dealt with a lot of gray areas. The bad guys weren't all that bad and we dealt with a lot of moral ambiguity. Next season it's going to be a lot easier to figure out who the bad guys are. Next season is a little bit more back-to-basics—straight-up superheroes versus supervillains. It's our Legion of Doom.
"You'll see a few new characters next season. We're going to have Hawkman on the show—the real Hawkman, Carter Hall. Deadman will show up and Warlord, and Grodd has formed an anti-Justice League Unlimited. Grodd has created this team of anyone and everyone who's ever been a supervillain [...] a lot of them are the ones from the Superfriends. It's Grodd, Luthor, Bizarro, Toyman, Giganta, and then a bunch of them who have never been in animation before. It's a lot like 'Justice League Unlimited,' a mix of old and new villains (courtesy of Wizard Magazine)."
Bruce Timm on Season Five #3: "You'll see right in the very first episode that they have a new ground base; it's kind of a cross between the United Nations building and the Hall of Justice from Superfriends. In the Batman Beyond continuity, there's actually a Metropolis Tower on the ground. Even though it looks different, it's clearly a later version of this same building. They still have the orbiting Watchtower, though.
"The bad guys this season aren't generals or guys in business suits. They're going to be brightly-colored supervillains. [As for the heroes], there are some episodes that focus mostly on new characters, with almost none of the old characters. We have an episode with the formation of the Seven Soldiers of Victory; the only main recurring character there is Green Arrow. [...] We decided to do a three-sixty and go for a lighter tone. It doesn't mean the show's going to be dumbed down or goofy. We've got some cool surprises. There will be more of an emphasis on fun (courtesy of ToyFare Magazine)."
Bruce Timm on Season Five #4: “[Justice League Unlimited is] an action show; there always has to be a serious percentage of action in every half-hour. Not only does the marketplace demand it, but it’s what we, the creator’s of the show, want to see. When people ask us which audience we write the show for, the honest answer is, ‘We’re making the show that we would have killed to watch when we were twelve.’
“We experimented a bit last season with the talk / action ratio in episodes like ‘Flashpoint’ and ‘Epilogue’ with some success, I thought, but we have to keep that kinda thing to a minimum. Even with all the ‘adult content’ in the show, we do have to keep out 6-11 year-old demographic in mind, even at that late timeslot. Too many episodes like those two, and our ratings would plummet. […So, this season will be] less angst and politics, more ‘insane B-stories smashing into dramatic character exploration’ (forgive my paraphrase, but I think that’s a perfect description of this season; courtesy of Toon Zone).”
Dwayne McDuffie on Season Five: "It's a tour of the DC Universe. We're going [to] go to a lot of different DCU locations we've never seen before (courtesy of Wizard Magazine)."
Cartoon Network on “Flash and Substance”: “Batman and Orion see a different side of the Flash when a rogue’s gallery of villains attacks the museum that is opening in his honor (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “Dead Reckoning”: “The ghost of a circus performer convinces Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to help him retrieve the stolen souls of a mystic order of monks (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “Patriot Act”: “When an out-of-control super-soldier threatens Metropolis, Green Arrow leads seven non-powered Justice Leaguers, including Crimson Avenger and Shining Knight, in a battle they can’t hope to win (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “The Great Brain Robbery”: “A mystical accident leads to Lex Luthor and the Flash’s minds being swapped into each other’s bodies (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “Grudge Match”: “Roulette starts Metabrawl again, this time with an all-female fight card made up of Justice Leaguers (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “Far From Home”: “Supergirl, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow travel into the future where they met the Legion of Superheroes and their enemies, the Fatal Five (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “Ancient History”: “The Shadow-Thief returns and so does Hawkman as more mysteries from 'Shadow of the Hawk' are explored (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “Alive”: “In a knock-down drag-out battle on Earth and in space, the power moving behind the scenes of the villains is revealed, leading to the most unexpected team-up in Justice League history (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Cartoon Network on “Destroyer”: “In a knock-down drag-out battle on Earth and in space, the power moving behind the scenes of the villains is revealed, leading to the most unexpected team-up in Justice League history (courtesy of The World’s Finest).”
Image courtesy of Action Figure Insider.
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