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Robin is part of the DC animated universe, so why doesn't he appear in the Justice League or the follow-up Justice League Unlimited series? What is the reason behind not including any Robin or Nightwing character in the Justice League series; not even as a special appearance?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

From IMDb:

When the series was expanded from Justice League to Justice League Unlimited, producers considered adding Batman's sidekicks, Robin, Batgirl, and Nightwing.

However, DC Comics turned them down, because the Robin/Dick Grayson role was being used on Teen Titans.

There was/is something called "(Bat)-Embargo":

a decision to keep certain DC characters exclusive to certain shows across the television and film medium.

Bruce Timm, the man behind Justice League and Justice League Unlimited said about the Bat-Embargo:

... to tell you the truth, as much as I […] love those characters, I don’t really miss [them] all that much. It’s not like we don’t have tons of other interesting characters to play with.

If I were doing an actual Batman show, and not allowed to use those characters, yeah, that’d be pretty galling, but Batman’s only one ingredient in the Justice League’s brew. The Bat-clan aren’t really essential in any way to the current show ...

  • although,

    At one point during the later series Justice League Unlimited, an episode featuring Batgirl was discussed. ... The episode was never produced as the rights to the Batgirl character were not held over and were being used by the team on The Batman at the time

However, in the episode Grudge Match they sidestepped the Bat-Embargo:

Dick Grayson has a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo as Nightwing, shown watching from a rooftop as Canary and Huntress drive their way into Bludhaven.


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+1 for nice detailed answer. I previously knew this Nightwing scene but i didn't recognized him that time. – Ankit Sharma Mar 14 '13 at 21:57
When I saw that Nightwing clip for the first time I was hoping he would make more of an appearance in the episode. – Jack B Nimble Mar 14 '13 at 21:59

At the time Warner Bros., owners of DC Comics and makers of these shows, had a newly-successful Batman film franchise. As a result, they essentially reserved the Batman "universe" (i.e. his settings, friends, and foes) for those films and for Batman-specific TV series. The end result was that both the Justice League series and Smallville couldn't make extensive use of Batman, Gotham, Robin, Nightwing, etc. Other Justice League members didn't have such a limitation, and so the series saw significant use of their rogues galleries.

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But justice league used batman,gotham(not sure but i think they used it),joker,cadmus and many more batman properties. – Ankit Sharma Mar 14 '13 at 18:53
Clayface ,Copperhead,Harley Quinn,Clock King etc. Not sure if deadshot can be counted or not. – Ankit Sharma Mar 14 '13 at 21:02
Don't forget Terry McGinnis(batman) and alferd. I f i am not wrong there are few more batman related character but not remember at the moment. – Ankit Sharma Mar 14 '13 at 21:12
let us continue this discussion in chat – Ankit Sharma Mar 14 '13 at 21:17

Blüdhaven appears briefly in the Justice League Unlimited television series episode "Grudge Match" as the backdrop for a meta-human fighting match organized by Roulette in which female Leaguers under mind control (including Fire, Wonder Woman and Black Canary) fight it out. A signboard at the city's entrance says "Welcome to Blüdhaven". In the same scene, the silhouette of Nightwing appears in a cameo. (Source:Wikipedia)

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People don't actually notice but dick grayson and barbara gordon ARE in Justice league 1'st season in the season finale. It's a single minute but if you catch it in the right second. It's when flash, lantern, and wonderwomen are in an alternate reality and Batman is a vigilante rebel against Savages army. Among batmans soldiers you see a couple right before they kiss. A long haired man that resembles Dick and a red headed women resembling Barbara. That isn't a coincidence. You also notice a boy that looks like tim drake and a girl that looks like annie the daughter of clayface. Amazing

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Could you provide an image of the scene you're talking about? – Meat Trademark Mar 14 at 18:07
Alternative time lines, don't really count here imho, but +1 for pointing it out. – cde Mar 14 at 19:47

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