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How JLU Ended the DC Animated Universe

The upcoming comic Justice League Infinity picks up where Justice League Unlimited left the DC Animated Universe 15 years ago.

Like Batman: The Animated Series before it, Justice League Unlimited will soon be live on in comics. Later this year, the five-issue Justice League Infinity limited series picks up where the beloved animated series left off in 2006. This super sized Justice League will battle threats from throughout DC’s Multiverse.

The first issue of Infinity drops on digital platforms nearly 15 years to the day after Unlimited’s series finale. Now, we’re taking a look back at where the show left the League and how other projects have affected their status in the DC Animated Universe’s continuity.

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How Did Justice League Unlimited End?

The main conflict of Justice League Unlimited’s final season was between the League and the DCAU version of the Legion of Doom, the Secret Society. The two teams had to put aside their differences and team up to fight Darkseid after Lex Luthor unwittingly resurrected the Apokaliptian dictator with Brainiac enhancements.

Given access to the Anti-Life Equation by Metron, Luthor defeated Darkseid, seemingly destroying the evil god and himself in the process. Of course, a skeptical Batman suspected that they were still alive. After the dust settled, the League gave the Society a five-minute head start before giving chase, leading to an iconic final sequence. Nearly every member of the team who appeared on the show, including deep cuts like B’wana Beast, runs down the steps of the Hall of Justice.

After lending a hand during Darkseid’s invasion, Martian Manhunter left the League at the end of Season 3’s “To Another Shore.” Feeling isolated on the League’s satellite Watchtower, he decided instead to live among humanity.

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What Happened In Justice League Vs. The Fatal Five?

Justice League vs. The Fatal Five

Despite the open-ended nature of DC’s Animated Original Movie Series, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five is considered part of the DCAU by producer Bruce Timm. The film uses the same visual style as Unlimited and features the voices of Unlimited’s DC’s Trinity: George Newbern as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman and Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman.

The film introduces two characters from the comics who couldn’t have been part of the original run, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and Miss Martian. The two form the emotional core of the story, while super-genius and athelete Mister Terrific also gets a meatier role than he ever did in Unlimited.

Miss Martian is inducted into the League at the end of the film, which opens the door for her to appear in Infinity and possibly take the Martian Manhunter’s spot. Cruz isn’t officially given League membership, but she might have joined up at some point between the end of the film and the beginning of Infinity.

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What Will Happen In Justice League Infinity?

Justice League Infinity

Not much is known about Infinity beyond the premise. However, some info can be gleaned from the handful of wordless preview pages included with the series’ announcement. The plot thread of the Martian Manhunter living among humanity is definitely being picked up. He’s show in a human identity before shape-shifting to his true form.

Even though Darkseid is gone, Apokalips is still a threat. A preview page shows the League being attacked by Granny Goodness and a horde of Parademons. Beyond founding members like Hawkgirl and Superman, some lesser-known characters are also present, including Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle, who was off-limits to the show due to unanswered questions about the character’s rights.

A third preview page features the adaptable android Amazo flying through space into what looks like cosmic territory. The adaptable android has been an unbeatable foe for the Justice League, but its search for a purpose led to an alliance with Doctor Fate. Amazo’s appearance might herald Luthor’s return. He’s attempted to transfer his mind to an Amazo android body before, only to be foiled by Amanda Waller.

Written by James Tucker & J.M. DeMatteis and illustrated by Ethen Beavers, Justice League Infinity will be available on participating digital platforms on Thursday, May 13. The first print issue will go on sale on Tuesday, July 6.

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