DC Comics, formerly known as National Comics is an American comic book publishing company founded as National Allied Publications in 1934. Many famous superhero characters were created for the comic books published by DC, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League.
In 1969, Warner Bros. Entertainment bought out DC Comics. As a result of this purcahse, all DC Comics-based movies released since then were produced by Warner Bros., and since the 1990s, Warner Bros. Animation has produced many animated series based on the comics, most notably those that took place in a continuity referred to as the DC Animated Universe. In addition, many past television shows based on DC Comics properties have been distributed to DVD by Warner Home Video (one notable exception being the 1966 live-action Batman series, as the footage itself is owned by 20th Century FOX, and no negotiations have been made between the two companies).
As a result of the Warner's ownership of the company, DC Comics also publishes the current Looney Tunes comic book, and they also published the Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain comic books in the 1990s.
References in the cartoons
Mostly in part due to Warner Bros. having purchased the company, many references to DC Comics were made in their cartoons.
|Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies|
| ||The short centers around Daffy as a parody of Superman.|
| ||Superman shows up at the end.|
| ||While being chased by DJ Drake, Daffy dashes onto the set of a Batman film and turns on the Batmobile, causing to drive off and crash into the WB Studio Water Tower.|
|Tiny Toon Adventures|
| ||The "Superbabs" segment features Babs Bunny starring in a parody of Supergirl. In addition, when she receives the distress signal and goes to change costumes, she accidentally puts on a Batman costume first. Montana Max appears as Wex Wuthor, a parody of Lex Luthor.|
| ||The segment "Bat's All Folks" features Plucky as Batduck and Hamton as Decoy, parodies of Batman and Robin.|
| || When Buster and Babs fall down a waterfall, Superman flies in and catches them. Rather disturbed by his appearance, Buster and Babs demand him to leave, so he promptly drops them. Incidentally, right before Superman's cameo, Buster grabs Babs, saying "I gotcha!", to which Babs replies "But who's got you?" This piece of dialogue comes from the 1978 Superman film.
Later in the movie, when surrounded by their predators, Babs asks "So where's Superman when you need him?!"
| ||The episode's plot centers on Plucky trying to convince Tim Burton to give him the starring role in Batman Returns.|
| || The segment "Just-Us League of Supertoons" features the characters acting as parodies of the Justice League, with Plucky and Hamton again portraying their roles as Batduck and Decoy, and Montana Max reprises his role of Wex Wuthor from "Cinemaniacs". The members of the Just-Us League include:
| ||Dot translates Yakko's last line as "And the Boy Wonder will save us." Robin then arrives in the Batmobile and drives the Warners out.|
| ||As Joe Leahy announces Cave Guy's appearance, he remarks that only one hero can stop him, and the camera to show a silhouetted Batman stopping a thug. "That hero is... on another network," Joe remarks. (This is a reference to the fact that, at the time Freakazoid! premiered, Batman: The Animated Series was still on Fox Kids.|
| ||Fatman's theme song is sung to the tune of the theme from the 1960s Batman TV series.|
| ||In his attempt to deter Freakazoid, Guittierez holds up Kryptonite and a piece of yellow paper, thinking they're his weakness. Freakazoid tells him that those are in fact the respective weaknesses of Superman and Green Lantern.|
|Pinky and the Brain|
| ||The episode's plot centers on the mice attempting to raise baby Kal-El (a.k.a. Superman) after he lands on Earth.|
| ||When Alexander Graham Bell approaches a telephone booth, Clark Kent goes in first and comes out as Superman. His "S" emblem is mistakenly drawn as an "F" here (although one fan commented that it might have been intended as a nod to Freakazoid).|
| ||Leonardo da Vinci stars in a sketch featuring him as Renaissance Man, with Loud Kiddington dressed as Robin. The theme from the 1960s Batman series is also parodied.|
| ||In the sketch about the Lewis and Clark expedition, William Clark is depicted as looking like Clark Kent.|
| ||When Frederich Nietchze is given a nomination, it is mentioned that he philisophized about the ideal individual being liberated from traditional values, and called it the Ubernietchze, or Superman. At this, we see that he is sitting next to Superman, and he complains about how Warner Bros. isn't giving him any pay for creating the concept.|
| ||During the "Super Writers" sketch, Big Fat Baby wears a Batman mask.|
| ||When calling Barry Ding, Froggo is shown in his bedroom, which is decorated with Batman merchandise.|
| ||As a result of a mix-up at the laundromat, Dodgers accidentally acquires a Green Lantern's costume and power ring, and later ends up joining the Green Lantern Corps. (This marked the second time a crossover between a WB Animated Universe series and a DC Comics property is the main plot, the first being "Three Mice and a Baby".)|
| ||At the start of the episode, while reminiscing about the days before the ceasefire, Dodgers imagines himself as Superman.|
References outside the cartoons
- Bugs Bunny (DC Comics mini-series) - Following the flashback at the start of part 2, Daffy suggests to Bugs that they should be a team "like Batman and Robin". Later, in part 3, Marvin the Martian threatens to show Bugs and Daffy that "Mars isn't one of those wimpy peace-loving planets like Venus or Krypton..."
- Issue #1 of the Pinky and the Brain comic book features Brain and Pinky being transformed into a parody of Batman and Robin. This story received a sequel in issue #25, with Billie as Poison Ivy.
- Kids' WB! promos:
- A 1999 Pinky and the Brain promo has Brain stating that he's finally figured out his failed plans for world domination are to blame on Pinky, and offers partnership to Superman, who responds, "You're kidding, right?"
- A 1999 Histeria! promo has Lex Luthor being told that his company's cloning process is succeeded, and he steps into a room full of Big Fat Babies.
- Ed Asner played Granny Goodness in Superman: The Animated Series.
- David Warner played Jor-El in the season one episode "Foundling" of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Ra's Al Ghul in Superman: The Animated Series.
- Laraine Newman played Baby Doll in The New Batman Adventures episode "Love is a Croc".
- Paul Dini would be one of the main writers for the shows collectively set in the DC Animated Universe.
- Tom Ruegger wrote Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.