DC’s live-action library is a mixed bag, and their extended universe is without Batman or Superman. These aren’t exactly characters they can omit, as a sitcom would write a cast member out after a high-profile blunder or a fall with the law. We have the flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomand possibly a wonder woman threequel coming, but the DCEU is very questionable despite the reasonably packed slate. Despite some high-profile cameos, it looks like the Justice League group is all but separated. But not all DC-related media is in disarray.
The DC animated movies have been the saving grace beyond the comics. From the first super duo Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly to Return of the Dark Knight until recently Justice League race ending with Apokolips War, DC’s direct-to-streaming/DVD catalog nearly makes up for the shortcomings of their live-action counterparts. They’re not slowing down with the releases of this phase known as the “Tomorrowverse.” There’s a full schedule of new DC animated movies coming to air soon. Here’s a guide to the animated adventures coming to your flat screen in 2022 and 2023.
Batman: The Fate That Came to Gotham
Based on a three-part DC Comics miniseries published in 2000, The fate that came to Gotham tackles Gothic and Lovecraftian horror themes. It’s an entry in the excellent DC Elseworlds label that sees characters set in alternate timelines and realities. Elseworlds brought us classics such as Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Superman: Red Son, and the Batman/Marvel crossovers team up with Daredevil and Spider-Man.
This particular title revolves around a Batman prowling the streets of 1928 Gotham pitted against a mystical, supernatural enemy, as well as some basic villains. Also appearing in the Two-Face book are Mr. Freeze, Ra’s al Ghul, and Green Arrow. DC offers a discouraging description of the comic:
“…A terrible thing from beyond space and time has awakened. The Lurker on the Threshold has called upon its faithful servants – immortal wizards, reptile men, beings of cold, fungal horror – to feed our world in its gaping maw. If Batman hopes to end the horror, how terrible must Bruce Wayne become?
So we basically get a Batman horror movie. Sign us up! Details for the film have yet to be released, but the setting and themes are perfect for a dark and brooding animated film. Batman story. The film is slated for release in 2023.
Batman and Superman: The Battle of the Super Sons
Batman has been through more Robins than most people have cars. The latest mainstream Boy Wonder is Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian Wayne, a League of Assassin-trained hothead with whom Batman constantly clashes. We’ve seen a lot of Damian thanks to Stuart Allan’s excellent voice acting in the Jason O’Mara-era Batman animated films. Damian is set to return to the screen, voiced by Jack Griffo alongside Jonathan Kent (Jack Dylan Glazer), Superman’s son in Batman and Superman: The Battle of the Super Sons.
This story doesn’t seem to pull from any particular comic, though there are bound to be similarities to the endless number of Batman/Superman team-up comics. DC describes the film as follows:
“Batman and Superman: The Battle of the Super Sons begins as 11-year-old Jonathan Kent discovers he has superpowers, plunging the half-Kryptonian into the convoluted world of superheroes and supervillains – who are now under attack from a malevolent alien force known as the by Starro! …”
Batman and Superman, according to the description, will mostly be sidelined from the film, with Robin and Jonathan stepping in in their absence. We last saw Starro in The Suicide Squad deposit his offspring to collectively control Corto Maltese. With these aliens taking on Superman AND Batman, expect the kids to have a pretty overwhelming task in this animated feature.
Rounding out the cast are Troy Baker as Batman, Travis Willingham as Superman and Darin De Paul as Starro. Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and more are also expected to appear. The film is directed by Matt Peters from a script by Sam Register and Jeremy Adams. Battle of the Super Sons is set to release on October 18, 2022.
The Legion of Super-Heroes
From 2006 to 2008 over a period of two seasons, The Legion of Super-Heroes The animated series revolves around a group of teenage heroes sent back in time to the 31st century. The series was well received despite its short run, so DC dusted off the concept of an as-yet-unaired HBO Max series and now a new animated feature, The Legion of Super-Heroes.
Little is known about the film at this time. We know it will be released in 2023 among the flood of DC Animated features, according to Warner Bros. Gary Miereanu at Comic-Con in San Diego. From the logo shown at SDCC, the series will likely center around Superman, as the graphic features the character’s “S” emblem.
Justice League: Warworld
The Justice League lively race that started with The Flashpoint Paradox and ends with the above Apokolips War will be followed by a new incarnation of the much-vaunted team. The new League will face its first common enemy in Justice League: Warworld, which will be released in 2023. The main actors have already been introduced in animated solo outings from Batman to Martian Manhunter.
The only clue we have for a potential story is the comic namesake. World War was a title that saw the Justice League clash with the big bad Mogul during their takeover of a huge satellite called Warworld. This craft was equipped with enough weaponry to be on the League’s radar, causing the two factions to clash. Will the feature film base its screenplay on this story? There isn’t much information on this Tomorrowverse entry other than its 2023 release, so check back with us for more as it arrives.
DC is no stranger to creative teams and crossovers. They’ve teamed up with Marvel, Dark Horse, and others to bring us everything from Marvel Vs. CC at Batman Vs. Predator 1-3. Batman even took on the Xenomorphs in Batman Vs. Alien. Not to mention when The Dark Knight gave in to Judge Dredd’s face on the page.
In the spirit of universes colliding, we’re ready to get a RWBY/Justice League Animation Film. RWBY’s young huntress trainees have met the League before in comic book form, and now the alliance will be streaming in 2023. RWBY The hit web series will lend its talents to the film, with director Kerry Shawcross leading the writing team, alongside Eddy Rivas, Miles Luna and Kiersi Burkhart.
These films are hopefully just the start of the next phase of DC’s animated features. This format has worked well for the publisher and Warner Bros., as well as fans.