Fans of Young Justice were recently able to celebrate a great victory when it was finally announced that Young Justice Season 3 was being put into production.
That's good news, but Young Justice is hardly the only animated superhero television series to be canceled before its time.
Is the revitalization of Young Justice reason to hope that some other shows may also be brought back to life? Maybe, or maybe not, but it did lead to some thought about what shows would be most deserving of a second lease on life.
Here are five superhero animated series that definitely deserve to have another season.
The Spectacular Spider-Man
The Spectacular Spider-Man was a 2008-2009 Marvel animated series created by Victor Cook and Young Justice co-creator Greg Weisman.
Like the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, The Spectacular Spider-Man looked to capture the magic of the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko run of Spider-Man stories from the silver age, complete with drama, action, over-the-top villains, and comedy.
However, rather than just focusing on the specific stories and creations of Lee and Ditko, the series took the vast, decades-long mythos of Spider-Man and adapted many of the latter tales and additional supporting characters to the high-school setting.
The Spectacular Spider-Man was critically acclaimed, airing its first season on Kids WB and its second season on Disney XD. However, Disney's purchase of Marvel led to legal conflicts with Sony Pictures Television and ultimately to the doom of the planned third season.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Green Lantern: The Animated Series was conceived of during the height of Green Lantern's popularity boom in the first decade of the 21st century thanks to Geoff Johns' revival of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, and his expanding of the character's mythology to include other colored corps.
The premiere of Green Lantern: The Animated Series was timed to coincide with the release of the Green Lantern movie, starring Ryan Reynolds. Unfortunately, the poor performance of the Green Lantern caused sales of Green Lantern merchandise to bottom out. Green Lantern: The Animated Series couldn't survive the culling, and so was canceled after its first season, despite being well-received by fans.
Wolverine and the X-Men
The X-Men have a long history in animation. X-Men: The Animated Series turned an entire generation of children into mutant-lovers, and X-Men: Evolution creatively reimagined the X-Men as high school students.
Wolverine and the X-Men took another creative approach. The series apparently killed Jean Grey, sidelined Professor X, and disbanded the X-Men in its first episode. With Cyclops unable to properly deal with Jean's death, that left Wolverine to get the band back together and lead them into the future.
And the future was important. Professor Xavier was revealed to have been psychically shunted into a dystopian future and he communicated with the present in hopes of rewriting the timeline. The X-Men were successful in this mission, but the twist in the season finale revealed that their action had only traded one dystopia for another and would lead to the Age of Apocalypse.
Unfortunately, the second season that was teased never came to be. Some fans believe the cancellation had to do with Disney's purchase of Marvel, which came in the same year, 2009, but vague financial difficulties was the only official explanation given.
Legion of Super Heroes
Legion of Super Heroes was a Kids WB series created by Justice League Unlimited producer James Tucker.
After working with a fully grown, adult Superman at the peak of his power and experience in the DC Animated Universe, Tucker's Legion of Super Heroes took inspiration from classic Superboy stories and sent young Clark Kent into the 31st century.
There, alongside the teen heroes of the Legion of Super Heroes, Superman would learn the life lessons and the use of his powers that would make him the very legend that inspired the Legion of Super Heroes into existence, to begin with.
Legion of Super Heroes lasted for two seasons. A third season was planned, but was ultimately scrapped when 4Kids took over the Kids WB block.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes ran for 52 episodes from 2010-2013. The series is, arguably, the peak of Marvel's animated series and was the closest that Marvel Animation has ever come to capturing the magic of the DC Animated Universe.
Part of that was because Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was the last time all of Marvel's heroes were allowed to play together regardless of who held the film rights. The prime Avengers of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor appeared alongside The Thing, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. By the season's end, the show had an extend cast of characters to rival Justice League Unlimited.
The series was replaced by the much more "on-brand" Avengers Assemble in 2013, which has largely stuck to a core lineup very similar to that of the Marvel Studios movies.