In 2006, the fan-dubbed "DC Animated Universe" concluded with the final episode of Justice League Unlimited. This epic animated series saga began all the way back in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series, and ran for 14 years under the creative guidance of now-iconic animation names such as Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Dwayne McDuffie, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami, Eric Radomski, Rich Fogel, Stan Berkowitz, and many, many more.
With the end of an era, the DCAU's droves of fans were left with many unanswered questions: Do Green Lantern and Hawkgirl wind up together again? What causes Batman's eventual fallout with the Justice League? What happened during the mysteriously-glossed-over "Near Apocalypse of '09?" These questions and more were compounded on by the premature cancellation of DCAU tie-in comics such as Batman Adventures Vol. 2, which left fans with burning queries not the least of which concerning the identity of the DCAU's Red Hood.
Fortunately, a [albeit unofficial] continuation of the animated saga has begun in the form of a free web-comic, Legacies of the DC Animated Universe!
Legacies is set in the continuity of the DC Animated Universe and aims to bridge the gap between the end of Justice League Unlimited and the beginning of one of its sister series, Batman Beyond.
The web-comic is co-plotted by two hardcore DCAU fans Ted Kendrick and James Strecker. Kendrick, a creative writing graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, is the head writer. Strecker, illustrator for Legacies, is a filmmaker in Oregon who has become recently acclaimed online for his DCAU-style adaptations of DC Cinematic Universe content, including an animated remake of the first Batman v Superman teaser trailer.
The combined forces of these DCAU super-fans has resulted in a compelling, fan-appraised story that began in November 2015 (with a prologue issue #0) and continues to release roughly once every two months, with issue #2 currently in production.
So far, the first two issues work as a double-length introduction of sorts, throwing fans back into the world of the animated adventures they grew up with.
Issue #0 quickly recounts events from the shows that have shaped this universe, through the narration of the Phantom Stranger, a mysterious omniscient character never explored in the cartoons.
#1 dives head-first into the time period last seen in JLU's "Epilogue," featuring an older Terry McGinnis (the Batman of the future), and a quite elderly Bruce Wayne, who attempt to reset an apocalyptic future before it even begins.
As the story unfolds, Legacies will explore the vast treasure trove of DC Comics characters and stories untapped by the animated series, while simultaneously answering any and all questions left hanging by its source material, including many that fans may not even realize they had.
In addition to the comic, Kendrick and Strecker also helm a DCAU-based YouTube channel, The Watchtower Database, which premieres monthly content concerning events, characters, trivia, voice actors, fan theories, and many more exciting categories dealing with the DC Animated Universe. You can find the channel at this link.
Want to know more about the comic? Want to be involved in creating cover artwork or character designs? Talk with the producers via the Legacies e-mail address: [email protected]