Whenever some people think of animated shows, they automatically think of children's programming. This is a fair enough assumption, most children's programming is indeed animated. However, that does not mean that all animation is for kids. Yes, they can be kid-friendly but they can also entail a strong, mature narrative that could rival live-action programming. It's reasons like this why animated series can often be superior to live-action TV and Film. In most cases, animated series that become legendary live on for many years - for example, The Simpsons. However, some are ended abruptly, with no good reasons. And then there are others that have both: long and fulfilled runs but also come to an eventual end. But in this era of revivals, anything is possible, right? Let's take a look at 5 of the greatest animated superhero shows of all time and analyze why they need to be revived!
#5. Batman Beyond
Original Run: 1999 - 2001 (Follow-up animated film and Crossovers with Justice League Unlimited and Static Shock)
One of the most compelling original animated shows of all time, Batman Beyond was created by the geniuses behind the legendary Batman: The Animated Series as a sequel series. Set in Neo Gotham many years in the future, a young Terry McGinnis takes up the mantle of Batman, being guided through the city by the original Batman himself, Bruce Wayne. Perhaps to many, the idea on paper doesn't sound that unique, however when the idea comes to fruition on your TV screen, you can't help but watch in awe as Gotham City once again finds itself being saved by the Batman. It's success led to the incredible film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker which not only sawe the return on Mark Hamill as the Joker but also bridged the gap between Batman Beyond and Batman: The Animated Series. A brilliant animated series with a grim take on the future of Gotham City. You couldn't expect anything less than the masterminds that are Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett. The series ended in 2001 and despite crossovers with Static Shock and a gigantic crossover with Justice League Unlimited which served as a series finale, fans of the show wanted more. With this series being a 100% original creation for the DC Animated Universe, there was always going to be more of this unique story to tell. And perhaps now, with so many revivals taking place, would be the perfect time for DC to resurrect Batman Beyond. Make it happen!
#4. Teen Titans
Original Run: 2003 - 2006 (Animated feature film follow up)
Teen Titans started out aimed at kids, but eventually the maturer and darker themes made it appeal to a much more broader audience. The series focused on teen heroes, Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire and Cyborg led by Robin as they battled villains including H.I.V.E and Slade Wilson/Deathstroke. During its three year run, Teen Titans enjoyed five successful seasons. It was also very well-received by fans and critics. After the five seasons, there was a follow-up film Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. However, the series was ultimately cancelled and the film served as a series finale. Although this was a pefect ending, dealing with one particular major arc that was allured to throughout the series (Robin and Starfire's relationship), there was always hope and rumblings of a revival. Unfortunately, that revival eventually reared its head in the form of Teen Titans GO! - the spin-off series that focuses less on the mature arcs, less on the crime fighting and more on the ridiculous escapades of the Teen Titans. Although it is somewhat entertaining and should be commended for bringing back the incredibly talented voice cast, this is not the same show. Teen Titans GO! literally took everything that made Teen Titans successful and dropped it. With the negative reception to the spin-off/sequel/reboot series, now would be the right time for DC to correct this mistake and commission a sixth season of the original, superior Teen Titans. Titans...GO!
#3. Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994)
Original Run: 1994 - 1998
In what is still my favorite adaptation of Spider-Man to this date, the 1994 animated series covered a great deal of the web-slinger's career as a crime fighter. Between grim storylines and incredible animation, the series became a staple of animated superhero shows in the mid '90s. Spider-Man was basically Marvel's answer to DC's Batman: The Animated Series. And man, what a damn good answer it was. I grew up with this legendary animated series and was always so excited for each new episode's arrival on Fox Kids. After four incredibly successful years and five seasons, the series came to an end. Although it's not very clear if was actually cancelled or just ended, it seems that the team just decided that this Spider-Man's crime fighting days were finished. As great as some of the Spider-Man series that followed were, most of them paled in comparison to this masterpiece. Thus, it's clear that Spider-Man deserves a revival. In an ear of revivals, why not bring back one of the most famous and beloved animated series of all time?
There has been a petition launched to revive Spider-Man which has garnered a lot of support. Click here to sign the petition!
#2. Young Justice
Original Run: 2010 - 2011
Agruably the biggest travesty on the list: Young Justice received critical acclaim for its mature stoytelling and narratives, however it was inexplicably cancelled by Cartoon Network after only 2 seasons. Apparently Mattel's toy-line wasn't selling as well as they'd have like so they pulled the funding and thus, CN stopped producing episodes. The series consistently brought the network in high ratings and its last episode was the most watched program on CN all week. Based on a group of Justice League sidekicks: Robin, Aqualad, Superboy, Miss Martian, Kid-Flash, and Artemis, the series was arguably the most beloved animated series since Batman: The Animated Series.
However, this series is the one with the most hope. Ever since its addition to Netflix, there have been rumors that the streaming service has been looking into reviving the series with the #KeepBingingYJ campaign taking over twitter. The series is constantly featured under the 'Trending Now' section of Netflix and fans have even contacted Netflix and requested the series' revival. The rumors very well could come to fruition if Netflix manages to obtain the rights! And let's hope it happens because we want to "feel the aster" and get a 3rd Season of this beloved series!
And to find out more on how to Save Young Justice, click here.
#1. Batman: The Animated Series
Original Run: 1993 - 1997 (3 Animated movie follow ups between 1998 - 2003)
Without a doubt, Batman: The Animated Series is the greatest animated show of all time. With dark, gothic and mature storytelling, it's really no surprise that series was an Emmy-Award winner. It's responsible for the creation of important Batman elements such as Harley Quinn and the Emmy-Award winning background story for Mr. Freeze. Fans and critics alike all see Batman: The Animated Series as the measuring stick when it comes to producing superhero animation. Nothing since has come close to achieving the overwhelminly positive response of this series. It also redefined the careers of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill who have voiced their renowned roles of Batman and the Joker in countless adaptations since, including the Batman: Arkham game series and the upcoming Batman: The Killing Joke. It has been 19 years since the series concluded and, despite getting some great follow-up films and sequel spin-off series with Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Batman Beyond, we still haven't gotten anything with the same timeless vibe of the original series. In today's day and age, when a vast portion of animated shows are the same, the return of Batman: The Animated Series would breathe new life into the animated world. Check out this amazing HD remake the iconic Batman: The Animated Series intro - just a snippet of what a revival would look like today.
Furthermore, it would be incredible to see Batman going on new adventures, perhaps facing off with new villains who hadn't been created at the time of the original series (Court of Owls anyone?). You can never have too much of this legendary show and after a long 19 year absence, it's time that we got the return of Batman: The Animated Series!
So there you have it, five animated series renowned for their incredible stories. They transcended the animation genre and are more compelling than many live-action shows. For that, they deserve revived!