Burnett on Justice League #1 (circa 1998):
“It’s a matter of all the [various factions at WB and DC Comics]
coming together on these characters and deciding, ‘Yeah, we’ll give it a
shot.’ I think the time’s right
for the Justice League. I know that
the toy companies would love it. It
depends on if the rights are available and if we can come up with it so that
it’s just not another team show—that it has some personality.
That’s where it’s at right now…we’ll see (courtesy of [website
Bruce Timm on Justice League #1 (circa 1998): “Truthfully, it’s a difficult show to do. It’s got all those characters, and it’s hard to keep two heroes busy in an action scene at the same time. We do that all the time on the Batman show. When we have Batman, Batgirl, and Robin in a scene together, fighting a group of criminals, you get lost. If you follow Batman too long, you wonder what’s happening to Robin. It’s a logistics thing. It’s very difficult.
“When we were developing the Superman show, we were playing around with different ideas. So at one point we said, ‘Well, what if we did Superman and the Justice League, where every episode would have Superman in it, plus two other members of the Justice League?’ I sat down and did a bunch of different characters, even some that had never even been in the JLA, like the Question. We tried to put in as weird a mix as we could so it wasn’t just Superman, Aquaman, Hawkman [...] Batman wasn’t going to be part of it. He already had his own show.
“[In the end, then-DC President and Editor-In-Chief] Jenette Kahn put a stop to it. She thought it was not a good idea, since we were just reintroducing Superman to the audience, and she thought teaming him up with the JLA would [be] diminishing to him. We all kind of agreed with that, so we dropped the JLA idea (courtesy of Wizard Magazine).”
Alan Burnett on Justice League #2 (circa 1998): “We were toying with the idea of introducing all the characters that would be in the JLA one by one in Superman, then the last episode ever would be the formation of the JLA. We don’t know if we’re going to have another season on Superman at this point, but if we do, I’m sure we’re going to be introducing them.
“[However], the powers that be make the final decision. It has nothing to do with the quality of the product, just with the mix of programming that the network wants. So this is just to say that JLA is still on the back burner. Someday, if we continue having success with Superman, Batman, and all the [other] superhero shows, someday JLA will be done. But just not right now (courtesy of Wizard Magazine).”
Bruce Timm on Justice League #2 (circa 1999): “You know, I don’t really understand why they want that so badly. I mean, I guess I kinda do, but…it’s a hard show to do. There’s a [number of] reasons [why] we’re not going to do Justice League. There’s a real big legal reason, actually. For a while there, we weren’t even allowed to even think about it because of that live-action pilot they made a couple of years ago. I’m not sure—that may even still be in effect—so there may be a legal reason why we can’t do it.
"Not only that, but by having that many main characters in a twenty-two minute show, it’s hard to focus personality-wise on any one character. The beauty of a show like Batman is that you can really get into that one character, into his personality. I’m not saying [that] it couldn’t be done well. I just have no desire to do it (courtesy of The Critical Eye).”
on Justice League #3 (circa 1998): “Logistically, Justice League would be a really difficult show to do because there is no
re-use of stock backgrounds in every episode. The only thing that recurs in
every episode would be the Satellite. One
day you’re in
Bruce Timm on Justice League #4 (circa 2000): “I won't miss doing the Justice League. I've said this before, but one of the reasons why I will never do a Justice League show—that's not to say that one won't ever happen with somebody else—is that there's just too many characters in one series. We found that out even with the revamped Batman shows; that having Batman and Robin and Batgirl fighting a group of thugs in a fight scene—it's literally too many characters to keep track of. It's hard to stage; you don't want to spend too much time with any one character because then it's, ‘What's Batgirl doing?’ And, of course, with the Justice League, you're talking about characters who all have the powers of gods, so you can't just have them fighting thugs, fighting guys robbing banks; they have to be fighting, y'know, huge criminals every time, so you're talking huge set pieces. One look at the new Avengers cartoon will show you exactly what I'm talking about (courtesy of Comicology Magazine).”
Paul Dini on Justice League #2 (circa 2000): “Everybody wants to see it and we would like to do it, but the suits at the network keep pounding it in that is the Kid’s WB! If we were to do Justice League, all they see is a bunch of adults in suits. They’ve looked at [Young Justice]. They’ve looked at Impulse and Legion of Super-Heroes. We even did a take on Supergirl. It all depends on what their whim is at the moment. It’s very, very doubtful we’ll do a Justice League series. You never know (courtesy of [website name removed]).”
Bruce Timm on Justice League #5 (circa 2005): "I kind of dodged the Justice League bullet for years, because I knew how difficult it would be; just in terms of its scope and the fact that you had seven major players in it. Truthfully, we'd never done a show with that many superheroes in it. All the shows we'd done prior to that were one-character shows that would occasionally have guest stars or sidekicks, but even those shows were a hint of things to come in that every time we had an episode with Batman and Robin or Batgirl, just in staging the action scenes [...] makes the storytelling a little more difficult. Suddenly you have to keep seven characters in motion and they all have fantastic powers.
"Just trying, for example, to come up with a way of staging the Flash so he doesn't come off looking like a total moron is really difficult, because he can be everywhere at once. We know that really doesn't work in any kind of filmic medium. Nobody should ever be able to get the drop on the Flash; his reflexes should be able to land a punch on him or shoot him with a ray gun (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).”
James Tucker on Justice League (circa 2005): "Prior to [the Batman Beyond episode 'The Call'], Bruce was very public in saying he didn't think we could do a Justice League show. Then, after 'The Call,' it kind of clicked something in his head that made him think we could. So we did the promotional footage, we looked at it and said, 'This is good, but it's a little too compromised from what we would really want to do.' So, on a whim, he called Cartoon Network and asked if they wanted a Justice League show, and the response was, 'Sure.' It was as simple as that (courtesy of RetroVision CD-ROM Magazine).”
Early Justice League Art #1 | Early Justice League Art #2 | Early Justice League Art #3
Early Justice League Art #4
Commentary coming soon!
Images courtesy of Zohar's Superman Art Collection, Toon Zone, The Bruce Timm Gallery, and Wizard Magazine.
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