The "DC Animated Universe" has not been at its finest since the release of "Flashpoint Paradox" and no, "Assault on Arkham" does not count because it exists relative to the "Arkham" videogame universe. Films such as "Justice League: War" and "Batman vs. Robin" are not the biggest cornerstones of animation. They're good-looking, don't get me wrong. But the characters feel off, the story takes a back-seat to the action, and often there is a misinterpretation from the page to the screen.
This year, it looks like DC is trying something different. I haven't seen the latest film, Batman: Bad Blood (hearing that it's only as good as the previous two "Bat" films, which isn't too inspiring), but it is not directly inspired by a comic-storyline to my knowledge. There are some elements, yeah, but they're spoilers and I'm not about go running my mouth to you good people.
I think what really sets that apart is the title we're getting later in the year, the one that has my interest even more: Justice League vs. Teen Titans. The title isn't the greatest, certainly intriguing. But I'm glad DC isn't just doing this to rip off a story like "The Technis Imperative" where the two teams did come to a bit of a standoff. Instead, it's a somewhat original story with ideas we've seen before.
If you haven't heard of it, basically Trigon, a very evil Demon, takes over some of the members of the Justice League (chiefly the Trinity I believe) and is using them as heralds of sorts before destroying the planet. Raven, Trigon's daughter, stands in his way, alongside Damian Wayne and Cyborg, who have close ties with the team--Cyborg being on the team. They decide to form a group, adding Beast Boy and Starfire, and take on the possessed League and Trigon.
Hmm. So the Teen Titans are comprised of a hot-headed Robin, Raven, Cyborg, and newcomers Beast Boy and Starfire? Where have I seen that--
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah man! Okay, yeah, Nightwing is in the film as well but I feel like his role will be quite limited considering we have to make way for a huge new villain as well as some very popular new characters in Starfire and Beast Boy. While this isn't the original lineup, it is the most popular and is the one that fans have wanted to see in (true) animated form for a long time.
I would be remiss to mention that there is a rumored new series to come out after the big "Rebirth" relaunch of the summer, with a team of Teen Titans to be headed by none other than Damian Wayne (which sounds pretty dope if I do say so). From the looks of it, we're getting a pretty good push for the Teen Titans this year. Can't really blame them. In the comics the team has not been doing well since 2011, Teen Titans Go! isn't half as successful as the original series, and there's been a push for nostalgic 2000s material. Samurai Jack just got a reboot. The Justice League is getting a new television series. Why not the Teen Titans?
This film, if successful--or at the very least if the Titans get to strut their stuff and shine throughout it--might lead to that possibility. Obviously the show would not exist in the same universe as the movies, but it would be fun if it could coexist with the other Justice League show. It opens the doors back up again for a potential television crossover for the two series that we never got back in the day. The movie also opens the doors up for some standalone possibilities, or new characters to be added. I would love to see Terra, Aqualad, Speedy, and all those guys on a standalone Teen Titans movie.
From the looks of things, DC is pushing this movie not so much as a "Justice League" movie, but as a gateway for more exploration of the Teen Titans. We've been teased at big things to come for the League given the post-credits ending of "Throne of Atlantis" (where Steve Blum's Lex Luthor looks to be assembling a team, but why? oooooooooh mystery!), so it makes sense that they should play a backing role in order for the new group to step up.
It's a tough call for sure as of right now. The film doesn't come out for another two months, and that relaunch two months after that. The fact of the matter is, though, that the group is getting a push the likes of which haven't been seen in a long time. Think about how many Titans members have their own books right now (I believe it's four not counting Damian's standalone nor the actual Teen Titans comic). It's crazy, and it's awesome.
Should Justice League vs. Teen Titans lead to a major success and boom of the latter group, I don't think DC nor the fans would be very disappointed. In fact, it'd be pretty freaking sweet.