Comic Legends: Was Batman Almost Written Out of JLU?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirty-ninth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week's legends.


The Bat-Embargo was going to lead to Batman being written off of Justice League Unlimited.



Last week, I did a Comic Book Legends Revealed about how the Birds of Prey were almost in an episode of Justice League Unlimited, but the plans were foiled by the infamous "Bat-Embargo," which dictated that Batman-related characters couldn't be used in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon (both because of the then-upcming Batman Begins Batman film reboot series and also because they were always doing new Batman cartoons and thus they didn't want the characters to be over-exposed). At different points over the years, as various characters were being developed for their own TV series, there were various mini little embargoes, like, say, Aquaman and Aquaman-related characters were off-limits while an Aquaman series was being developed. Or Plastic Man was off-limits because they were ALWAYS trying to pitch a Plastic Man series.

However, the lengths of the Bat-Embargo are often misunderstood. This was evident to me when reader Alex K. wrote in to ask if it was true that the Bat-Embargo was going to lead to them writing Batman off of the show in the middle of Season 2's fight against Cadmus. That question reminded me of this week's TV Legends Revealed about how Mike Brady was almost written off of The Brady Bunch. Were they seriously going to write such a major character out of the series due to the embargo?

Bruce Timm addressed this issue over at ToonZone years ago, noting:

we DID discuss the possibility of batman leaving the league (or even going over to cadmus' side) but dismissed it right away....

But Timm's plans were to have Batman involved on the show, not written off of the show completely. He would have formed his own non-superpowered team that would have included Huntress and Wildcat. They ultimately scrapped the idea because there was no way that they could write him as part of Cadmus without him coming off as a bad guy.

So even there, while they DID have a gigantically different idea in mind for Batman, it wasn't due to the Bat-Embargo.

It does not seem as thought the Bat-Embargo really was all that big of a deal in the second season of Justice League Unlimited. It seems like it really just boiled down to minor characters being omitted from the story, like how Dwayne McDuffie once noted that he wanted to use Hugo Strange with Cadmus but was not allowed to use him. So they just used someone else. It wasn't a huge deal.

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Was Mike Brady going to be killed off on The Brady Bunch if it returned for a sixth season?

OK, that's it for this week!

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See you all next week!

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