Animation nation suffers some casualties

I’ve been enjoying much of the latest wave of animated television series this past year, but nothing last forever. This week, the Cartoon Network announced turnover among its “DC Nation” lineup of superhero shows, and Disney XD and Nickelodeon weren’t far behind.

Both the team-oriented Young Justice and computerized cosmic Green Lantern: the Animated Series have recently developed more intricate and mature plots, and both have been fairly faithful to the pre-“52” continuity of DC Comics. Unfortunately, both will be ending.

Season 2 Young Justice lineup
Young Justice, as of Season 2

On the Marvel side, I’ve already mourned the departure of the fun Spectacular Spider-Man and movie precursor Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man is decent, but I still prefer “DC Nation’s” interstitial shorts to the “Marvel Mashups.”

Tron: Uprising is also rumored to be canceled after being moved to various time slots. Not only did that show expand on the setting and designs of the live-action movies, but it also built its own strong plots. At least Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seems to be doing well, both in terms of writing, voice, and art as well as ratings.

I still need to catch up on direct-to-video releases, including Superman vs. the Elite and Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, and I’ve enjoyed the occasional episodes that I’ve caught of Futurama, Archer, Metalocalypse, and Motor City.

Many of the TV shows that are continuing are fantasy-flavored rather than based on comic books, and I recommend Avatar: Legend of Korra, Dragons: Riders of Berk, and Kung-Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. It’s too bad that the short-lived ThunderCats revival or SymBionic Titan didn’t get a chance to join them.

Janice and I also like the Seinfeld-style Looney Tunes Show, even if we long ago stopped watching Fox’s Sunday night comedies, such as The Simpsons or Family Guy. In addition, there are other popular franchises I haven’t kept up with, including G.I. Joe, Transformers, Ben 10, or Adventure Time. I have caught the cute Lego Star Wars one-shots, of not Ninjago.

Speaking of Star Wars, the Clone Wars has also featured impressive character development, spectacular settings, and a gathering darkness, remedying many of the flaws in the live-action prequel trilogy. If the show gets renewed, it will likely move from Cartoon Network to Disney XD following the Mouse House’s purchase of Lucasfilm.

I’m not especially optimistic that the upcoming Beware the Batman, Teen Titans Go, Avengers Assemble, and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH will be as good as the departing Young Justice, Green Lantern, or Tron. Enjoy them while they last, or catch up on the best of recent cartoons on video!