5 Often-Overlooked DC Animated Series That Are Worth Revisiting

DC and Warner Bros. have a long list of remarkable animated television series. Here, we take a look at 5 cartoons based on DC comics that are often forgotten, but deserve another opportunity.

DC and Warner Bros. have created many animated series that have stood the test of time. Most fans are familiar with Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League: Unlimited, Static Shock; the list goes on. Yet, WB and DC's library of animated content is much larger than that, and includes quite a few hidden gems that have, for the most part, gone unnoticed or have been forgotten with the passage of time. 

Taking the monetary aspect aside, projects being overlooked due to the amount of quality being delivered is not entirely bad, of course (it's a sign that a company is doing things right, after all), but it's still worth shining a light on those pieces of entertainment that fall into obscurity. With that in mind, let's take a look at five often-overlooked DC animated series that are worth revisiting:

5. Teen Titans Go!

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Seven years after their critically acclaimed series came to an end in 2006, the Teen Titans returned to animation with Teen Titans Go! The show features the same roster as its predecessor, but with a comedic twist, heavily parodying its central heroes and the DC Universe as a whole: Robin is a dictator-like leader with self-esteem issues; Raven is a blood-thirsty antihero on the verge of snapping, and Batman is a man-child obsessed with hanging out with his best pal, Jim Gordon.

Teen Titans Go! was met with criticism due to its focus on humor, but it's what has made the series so refreshing. The Titans are pretty much dysfunctional psychopaths who cause far more destruction than any other superhero. While that take may turn off some potential viewers (especially those emotionally attached to 2003's Teen Titans), it allows the show to have a hilariously unconventional sense of humor that impressively doesn't veer into TV-MA territory.

How to watch: 

  • Available to stream on HBO Max
  • Season 1 and episode volumes available to purchase on Amazon.com

4. DC Super Hero Girls

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Developed by Lauren Faust of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fame (and loosely based on a previous Super Hero Girls iteration), DC Super Hero Girls focuses on six characters — Batgirl, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Zatanna and Bumblebee — navigating their lives as crimefighters and teenagers. The series is mostly focused on comedy, but, carrying over some of the storytelling style from Friendship Is Magic, also delivers heartwarming storylines with important messages for young viewers.

The show's aesthetic is unlike anything else from DC animation, which makes it a visual treat. Super Hero Girls also heightens its main characters' core personality traits — Batgirl is hyper, Jessica Cruz is a devout pacifist and Supergirl is always out for blood — which offers plenty of fun situations. Similar to Teen Titans Go!, despite its target demographic skewing younger, Super Hero Girls' stories and deep DC Universe pulls will probably keep older viewers entertained for a long time.

How to watch: 

  • Available to stream on HBO Max 

3. The Batman

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Premiering in 2004, The Batman offered a younger version of the Caped Crusader. He was just learning the ropes of crimefighting, which meant that defeating villains like the Joker (who received a drastic makeover for the series), the Penguin (a martial artist this time around) and Bane represented different growth journeys for him.

What made The Batman particularly interesting was its take on Bruce Wayne. He was no longer the grump everyone is afraid of. He was younger, more dynamic and somewhat quippy, which made watching him play his dual persona as the Dark Knight and Wayne truly entertaining. The Batman went on to have an impressive run, lasting five seasons that gradually introduced Bruce to the more outlandish side of the DC Universe, pairing him with heroes like Superman, The Flash and Green Lantern. Yet, even with its longevity and good reception (it holds a 95% Audience Rating on Rotten Tomatoes), not many seem to remember it as fondly as the likes of Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond

How to watch:

  • Available to stream on HBO Max
  • Complete series available to purchase on Blu-ray on Amazon.com

2. Green Lantern: The Animated Series

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Back in the early 2010s, there seemed to be a push from Warner Bros. to make Green Lantern more mainstream. Coinciding with the release of the Green Lantern live-action film starring Ryan Reynolds and tie-in video game, Hal Jordan received his own CGI- animated television series on Cartoon Network. Green Lantern: The Animated Series premiered in 2011 and skipped over Jordan’s origin story to instead show him as an already-active Emerald Knight.

The show adapted Green Lantern's extensive lore in a way that was digestible and highly entertaining. In terms of style, its animations and tone were somewhat reminiscent of Star Wars: The Clone Wars', which made it feel slightly more grown-up than other kid-friendly shows. The Green Lantern craze never truly hit, and the show faded into obscurity, ultimately being cancelled after airing 26 episodes from 2011 to 2013.

How to watch: 

  • Available to stream on HBO Max 
  • Complete series available to purchase on Amazon.com

1. Beware the Batman

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Prior to Matt Reeves' The Batman, there was a noir/detective-inspired take on the Dark Knight in animated form: Beware the Batman. Another CGI outing in DC's animated efforts, Beware the Batman took some significant (yet welcomed) liberties with its main character's source material. He had a crimefighting partner, but it wasn't Robin. Instead, Batman fought baddies alongside Katana (whom the show presented as Alfred's goddaughter). 

Alfred also received a makeover, looking much younger and gruffer than the version most audiences are familiar with. The series felt relatively adult tone-wise, as Batman was treated like a creature to be afraid of (hinted at by the “Beware” part of the title) as opposed to a law-abiding superhero. Sadly, Beware the Batman didn’t seem to have much of an impact on audiences, and it ended up being pulled off Cartoon Network before it had finished airing.

How to watch: 

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