Overwhelmed with DC animated series - where to start?

I really do not know the DC universe very well - now that I have all these animated shows available through Unlimited, where do I start?

As a lifelong Marvel guy I know those characters inside and out. From the few DC animated shows I’ve seen in the past few months I am loving these characters. I want to dive in. I want to know how the different Earths work, who Darksied is, how man Robins Batman has had, who are the Amazonians, how does the Green Lantern Corps work, how do they all cross over…mind blown :slight_smile:

Can you make any suggestions? Perhaps give me a list of which series to watch first, in what order, etc? My goal is to be a complete DC fanboy by the end of the year.

Thanks for any advice and help - I’m loving this new, deep universe and cannot wait to experience decades of story.

1 Like

Batman the animated series is incredible, but, as its having new episodes released roght now, I’d say you should start with young justice.

I’d start with Batman the Brave and the Bold. It’s light, but if you wanna learn characters from an animated series, there’s no more far ranging. It has characters from the earliest of DCs history thru the ones we all know & love. It also includes origins of these characters along with actual comic based events & is completely entertaining. Then I’d go JL & JLU, Btas & Stas, Teen Titans, & Legion of Superheroes in that order.

watch the dcau in order btas-stas-batman beyond-static shock-jl-jlu than you can do gltas teen titans brave and the bold and young justice that should take you a while, plus the animated films. Fellow marvel and dc fan here too

Forgot to add. I’d do YJ after that order, b/c they take liberties with characters origins, names, backgrounds etc. so it might drive u crazy with what seems like plot holes but is really just twists on characters to make it fun for people who’ve known DC for a long time. Not to say u couldn’t watch it & love it, but a lot of easter eggs & nods to fans would be lost on u.

Start where it truly began and watch it get better over time:

1.)Batman: the Animated Series
2.)Superman: the Animated Series.
3.)Batman Beyond
4.)Justice League
5.Justice League Unlimited
6.) Teen Titans
7.) Young Justice
8.) Green Lantern: the Animated Series


Do what @Truth_of_Pisces said but remember that Teen Titans, Young Justice, and Green Lantern the Animated Series are in different universes than the others

Definitely start with Batman: The Animated Series. Then move on to Superman The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Follow that up with Batman Beyond and Young Justice. I’d also highly recommend Green Lantern The Animated Series and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Also Teen Titans. Batman TAS, Superman TAS, Justice League, JLU and Batman Beyond are a shared universe, along with Static Shock, which I would also recommend. Basically, stick to these shows that are all currently on DC Universe and you’re going to have a good time.

A lot of them aren’t connected and stand alone, so you should be good.
As far as the interconnected DCAU, the first series episodes aren’t connected as heavily as the rest, but they are relatively connected, but I would still recommend watching the whole series. Also, some of them are separated as different series but are actually the same and just continue the same story line, with different animation in one case. This is usually because the network pulled bit but brought it right back due to family demand, or decided to change format or switch to a cheaper animation style.
The official watching order of the interconnected DCAU would be:

  • Batman The Animated Series/The New Batman Adventures. (For some reason the New Batman Adventures doesn’t seem to be on the app, but it’s the same series with cheaper looking/uglier animation, although it does have its high points, which is pretty much only the inclusion of a lot more Batgirl, the explanation of why Tim Drake is now Robin and Dick Grayson is Nightwing, and the episode Mad Love, showing Harley Quinn’s origins. I guess it’s kinda worth skipping because none of it ties in to the rest of the story except the crossover with the next series and even then it’s not actually necessary, it just uses the new animation but there’s no important story points so it’s worth skipping. I just gave you the rundown of anything you may need to know because some of it is relevant for the Batman Beyond movie.)

  • After Batman the Animated Series is the tie in movie, Mask of the Phantasm. (It may be worth noting that this movie is not exactly necessary to watch for the purpose of continuity except for an Easter egg later in Justice League that isn’t actually relevant to the plot, however I highly recommend watching it, as it’s a fantastic movie with excellent writing and great acting, so definitely give it a watch.)

  • Next we have another Batman the Animated Series movie, Mystery of the Batwoman. (Like Mask of the Phantasm, this movie is also not relevant to the continuity of the series. However, unlike that movie, which added a little bit to the shows backstory which, while not necessary to the continuity, added a good deal of depth to the film, this movie had none of that and the plot is lackluster at best. The only worthwhile part of this movie is David Ogden Stiers performance as the Penguin, but overall the movie was a let down in my opinion and isn’t worth watching, so I would recommend skipping it as the plot is paper thin and the action is weirdly boring given the bar set by the series and previous film.)

  • Next is Superman the Animated Series. (This one actually does have an overarching story that carries through the rest of the DCEU and starts the story arc that loosely continues throughout the other series with one exception, which is next on the list.)

  • Next would be Batman Beyond. (However, this is only necessary for a really good episode of Justice League meant to tie up the series and for the tie in movie to make sense, which I would recommend watching as it’s a truly great movie. Honestly, all you need for the movie to make sense is to watch the first season of the show. Honestly, after that season, the quality of the show starts to dip severely due to heavy studio interference. However, there are a few ok episodes so if you’re a completionist like me, go ahead and watch the whole show. There is a pretty great episode in season 3 that ends up tying into Justice League later on, so I guess you should go ahead and watch the whole thing, but be forewarned of the dip in quality.)

  • Next up is Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, another tie in movie that actually takes place in between the first two seasons of Batman Beyond. (This movie I would definitely recommend watching as it’s a masterpiece and more than makes up for the dip in quality that follows it in the last two seasons of Batman Beyond.)

  • After Batman Beyond comes the final series in the DCAU, which is broken into two series, which are Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. (Although they are broken into separate shows, they are actually the same shows and follow the same continuing story arc between the two. The reason for the change is due to the cancellation of Justice League and rampant demand from fans and critics to bring it back and tie up the story arc the was left dangling. The only difference between the two is a change in format, as every episode of Justice League was a two part episode making each an hour long story, and Justice League Unlimited broke it up into half hour episodes that had elements that tied the episodes together into one overarching story and added a lot more heroes as well, where Justice League only featured the original seven founding members, being Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, and the Martian Manhunter.)

Every other animated series stood alone and doesn’t tie into the DCAU.
I hope this breakdown helps clear up some of your confusion surrounding the DCAU and the watching order of the shows that are actually tied together. It’s a really great watch and definitely worth investing your time in. I hope you give it a watch and enjoy the all of the shows as much as I did. Justice League/Justice League Unlimited are the shows that actually got me into comics in the first place and now I’m hooked and have never looked back. Happy watching my friend.