|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
The DC Animated Universe, or DCAU, is the name given to the shared continuity existing between the DC Comics-based animated series Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, The Zeta Project, Static Shock, Gotham Girls, Lobo: Webseries, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
This continuity is also sometimes referred to as the Timmverse (after Bruce Timm, the continuity's most consistent creative influence) and in the past, the Diniverse (after Paul Dini, who has mostly departed from Warner Bros. Animation).
In-continuity in the DCAU
While there have been several animated series based upon DC Comics characters over the decades, what is commonly accepted as the "DC Animated Universe" refers to the stable of shows and films that spin off from Batman: The Animated Series, the original show in this universe. Older shows such as Super Friends and newer shows such as The Batman are not part of this continuity.
The DC Animated Universe primarily consists of these animated series (and their related films; see below):
- Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) (later renamed The Adventures of Batman and Robin)
- Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000) (compiled into The New Batman/Superman Adventures)
- The New Batman Adventures (1997-1999) (compiled into The New Batman/Superman Adventures)
- Batman Beyond (1999-2001)
- Static Shock (2000-2004)
- The Zeta Project (2001-2002)
- Justice League (2001-2004)
- Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006)
The following spin-off films are also part of the continuity:
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
- Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
- Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
Two canonical DCAU Macromedia Flash web cartoon series were downloadable from the WB website. As can be expected, the animation wasn't up to par with the television shows. Although these webtoons were well received, only Gotham Girls is available on DVD as part of the Birds of Prey complete series DVD.
Not In-Continuity with the DCAU
A source of controversy among fans has surrounded the place of Teen Titans in the DC Animated Universe. During the series' production, Bruce Timm stated that there would be no crossover with Justice League Unlimited; however, it should be noted that he did consider doing it, and chose not to for style and presentation reasons. Also, series producer and creator Glen Murakami has stated that the inspiration for the series is the 1980s The New Teen Titans comic book series, and not the Justice League animated series. Although Batman does refer to "the Titans" in the Static Shock episode "Hard as Nails", there is little to suggest that the mentioned Titans are those represented in this series. During the show's run, it was never established to be a part of the larger DC Animated Universe.
Legion of Super-Heroes
Despite popular belief, this series, which premiered in 2006, was not spun off "Far From Home" (or "New Kids in Town"). It was Cartoon Network's idea to cash in on the movie Superman Returns. Like the Titans, there is a Legion of Super-Heroes in the DCAU, but this is a different incarnation altogether.
Several other television series and films based on the DC Universe were not set in the DCAU:
- Krypto the Superdog (2005–2006)
- The Batman (2004–2008)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008-2011)
- DC Universe Animated Original Movies
- Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)
- Young Justice (2010-2013)
Several tie-in comics were published by DC and later its youth oriented imprint, Johnny DC. Though in some cases, production crew from the animated series were involved in the comics, they are generally reckoned out-of-continuity with the series. The comics introduced Superman, Luthor, Huntress, Killer Frost, Amazo, Shadow Thief, Chronos and many others before ther animated debuts, and in a wholly different manner.
Because of their interactive nature and often lack of story line, video games present a continuity problem.