Justice League Action Producer Tells Batman: TAS Fans Why They Should Try the New Show

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Justice League Action
(Photo: Warner Bros.)

“Now, I’ve made a show I really like about the Justice League,” says executive producer Alan Burnett.

It’s quite the statement from the legendary producer, writer, and animator. Burnett has been working in animation – specifically with DC characters, for a stunning thirty-two years, having written two episodes of SuperFriends in 1984. Since then, he was part of the creative team that launched Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, The Batman, and worked on films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and a staggering 23 more DC movies in just the last seven years (not to mention his comedic adventure work with Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry), most of which have featured either Batman or The Justice League.

Batman: The Animated Series was a little older, and this one is a little younger. It’s an action show with comedy, but the stakes are always series,” Burnett said of Justice League Action. The above quote compared it to Superfriends favorably, though, a show that was really aimed at four-year-olds, instead of at families. When it comes to comparing JL Action to the “Timmverse” shows, he says, it all comes back to Batman.

“Batman’s always been so serious, to the point that he gets a bit grumpy,” he said with a smile, echoing Kevin Conroy's comments that he plays Batman the same in all the different iterations of the character. “You’ll see the curmudgeon here, when he deals with heroes like Booster Gold, who has all kinds of schemes to get rich, and other characters, too. Superman’s still the stalwart Boy Scout, but he seems sweeter to me in this one. And Wonder Woman comes off as a great warrior, and a lot of fun, thoroughly modern.”

The producer said that returning voice actors like Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker help that connection, naturally, and it’s “really a kick” to see them back in the booth together (JL Action is recording their actors radio play-style, with multiple people in the booth, whenever possible). “The range is amazing,” he said of the actors, as they’re also in The Killing Joke, which he also produces, “the way they can stretch these characters in other directions.”

As for the non-Trinity characters he’s excited to explore in JL Action, Burnett says “Plastic Man, Firestorm, and Booster Gold” are his new favorites. “They’re all going to be stars.”