DC’s animation studio is finally returning to an ongoing superhero continuity, but not the one from Justice League Unlimited.

DC Comics hasn’t done well in the motion picture business lately, but when it comes to animation it still sets the bar. That’s largely thanks to the DC Animated Universe, a series of interconnected TV shows and movies that developed characters over the course of 15 years. DC hasn’t officially contributed to an ongoing animated continuity of that scope since 2006, but for better or worse, that’s finally about to change. According to Justice League: War director James Tucker, DC’s latest animated film won’t just adapt the New 52 origin story, it will launch an all-new animated universe with its own internal canon.

“This will definitely be the first salvo in doing new movies that are in continuity with each other,” Tucker said. “Our next movie’s going to be Son of Batman, and that Batman will be the same Batman that you see in Justice League: War. Basically, we’ll have two concurrent series of Justice League movies and Batman movies, and they’ll be in continuity with each other. So it’s kind of world-building.”

Since 2007, DC had stepped away from long-running continuity in favor of projects like Teen Titans, Young Justice, and its animated movie line. While standalone projects are still in the works, DC hopes to set two out of three movies in its new continuity each year. That means Justice League: War and Son of Batman will showcase the New DCAU in 2014, while Batman: Assault on Arkham will focus on the Arkham videogame universe.

Of course, many DCAU fans will likely be horrified at this news, given that the New 52 continuity that inspired Justice League: War has been controversial at best. That being said, starting a new animated continuity from the ground up could be positive in the long run. After all, the New 52 still made intriguing contributions through its Aquaman and Justice League books, and it’s even making Lex Luthor into a full-fledged superhero. If the New DCAU can focus on the good from New 52 and filter out the bad, then maybe it can produce something that fans will happily pay attention to.

Justice League: War will hit store shelves on February 4, 2014.

Source: Comic Book Resources

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