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The Villains of the Justice League


Bruce Timm on Justice League villains:  “One thing that we really tried to do on this show—and some fans were a little bit put off by it—we really wanted to get away from the established Superman and Batman villains that we had done in all the Superman and Batman episodes that we had done.  There’s this entire sixty year wealth of material from DC comics, in terms of the villains.  To choose from, we figured, ‘Well, this is a really good opportunity to…put as much of [them] into the show as possible.’

“You’ll notice that we hardly ever create brand new villains that have never existed before.  Any time we come up with a villain for a show, we say, ‘Okay, well, it would be really great if we could find a DC Comics character—even if it’s just the name or the motif to use—rather than create a brand new character.’

“For instance, in [In Blackest Night], the informer…who sets up John Stewart’s downfall could have just been any old space pirate, but we figured, ‘Well, wouldn’t it be great if it was Kanjar Ro,’ who was a major Justice League villain from back in the day.  So, we try to do that whenever we can.  It serves two purposes:  on one hand, yeah, it keeps the fans happy to throw in characters like The Guardians and The Manhunters and, on the other hand, those are just interesting concepts and interesting characters, and it was our chance to do a fairly lavish…big-budget look to those kinds of characters.  It’s like…when I was a kid, I always thought, ‘Wow, it would be really cool to see these kinds of characters,’ and this is our golden opportunity to do so (courtesy of the Justice League:  Justice on Trial DVD).”

Bruce Timm on Batman’s Rogues Gallery:  “To make the show unique, we decided not to go back to the Batman Rogues Gallery just yet.  That’s the same reason we’re not doing anything with Darkseid and the whole Apokolips thing…yet.  We’ve done that, so it would be too easy.  The only Batman villain appearing in Justice League is the Joker; he’s in the Injustice Gang.  The writers have pitched Poison Ivy stories, but I don’t want to do them yet.  I want to try something different for as long as we can, before we go back to the Batman well (courtesy of Starlog Magazine).”



I, for one, am glad that Batman's villains have taken a backseat during the First Season of this series.  Relying on the same old bad guys would not only be lazy, but unrealistic (really, could Two-Face be a credible threat to the Justice League?  The Riddler?  Toyman?).  Some have appeared, however, and some will appear in Season Two, but—for the most part—I'm happy to see new bad guys on this show.

As for the Justice League's Rogues Gallery, I'm glad to see that the creative team has taken advantage of the leeway afforded them.  Unlike with the comic books, where certain villains fall under the domain of certain books, virtually all of DC's major villains are up for grabs in the animated format.  This means that their enemies list, which tend to be on the thin side in the comics (most of the Justice League's villains are physically weak schemers and guys who use mind control), can be bulked up by the foes from their solo books as well.

(It should be noted that the new Teen Titans series has snatched up several classic DC villains for themselves.  However, I think that Justice League can get along without second-string villains like Dr. Light and Killer Moth.)


Courtesy of Min S. Ku and Heroic 'Toons!

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