I made an astounding discovery today related to the Justice League series' birthing process. I'll get to it in a moment, but first a brief history lesson. As we all know, initially Bruce Timm was hesitant to go ahead with a Justice League series. He went as far in interviews to say that it would never happen. However, when Batman Beyond was winding down and he was suddenly faced with the prospect of losing his creative team, Timm started thinking about potential shows to work on next. Now, the spectre of a "young Justice League show" has been brought up several times by Kids' WB execs, who wanted to skew younger but keep their cash cow Batman handy. Here is the first known permutation of the idea -- pre-Beyond -- courtesy of Bruce Timm and Comicology Magazine: "That was something that was pitched to us; we didn't come up with that concept. We had a meeting, like, two years ago now, with Jamie Kellner, who's head of the WB network, and there was some concern that Batman had just been around a little bit too long in its current incarnation, even with the revamped look and everything. The shows did really, reall well ratings-wise, but [the WB execs] kinda felt that we'd been riding that train for a long time, and there was also a concern that the show was skewing a little bit older than they would've liked, because the advertising is aimed at children. So they were just talking about ways of freshening the show and [...one of the potential ideas] was [a] Batman and the junior Justice League, which we didn't like. "He'd be training Aquaman Jr. and Wonder Woman Jr. and...by the time we got to that one, our heads were spinning, and we were thinking, 'We don't want to do any of those. What do we do? We gotta come up with something quick.' And, kind of on the spur of the moment, I said, 'What if we set [a Batman series] in the future?" Then, after Batman Beyond, it was brought up again, as recorded by Timm for the website Zap2It: "What [the WB network] was really interested in doing was Batman training a bunch of junior superheroes." This desire for a "Justice League Kids" show was largely due to corporate thinking, as mentioned by Paul Dini in an interview with [website name removed]: "Everybody wants to see [a straight Justice League adaptation] and we would like to do it, but the suits at the network keep pounding it in that it's the Kids' WB! If we were to do Justice League, all they see is a bunch of adults in suits." Fortunately Cartoon Network stepped in, bought the show that we would come to know and love, and the rest is history. Case closed? No way. Today I recieved Retro-Vision CD Rom Magazine #1 in the mail, which features an excellent Justice League series guide, complete with details on production that I'm still poring over (buy it!!!). Anyway, in the article preceeding the guide, co-producer James Tucker once again went over the show's creation. However, this time, he dropped this telling nugget of information of what might have been rather than our beloved League series. As it turns out, not only did the junior League idea come up again, but we could have also had an anime-inspired Batman series: "Development was done on a Batman Anime show that kind of reflects on what Teen Titans is now. And we developed a more youth-oriented version of Justice League. Thank God both of those projects never happened, although there's a tape out there of a very kiddified Justice League that included Robin and a teenage female version of Cyborg. It was our attempt to try and do something that wasn't as edgy or as dark as we would normally want to go. At the time, Kids' WB totally passed on the Batman Anime idea and we actually did test animation for the Justice League idea." Think of the ramifications of this: not only is this an amazing bit of trivia, but there is a second, earlier piece of test animation for the Justice League show! Remember that minute of footage that was an Easter Egg on the Justice League: Paradise Lost DVD? That was the pilot for what the series would become. Imagine the notion of an earlier pilot that features a bizarro mash of Justice League and Teen Titans and features Batman, Robin, and a female Cyborg! The mind boggles. I can only hope that this tape surfaces sometime in the future, either for a future DVD release or simply as a bootleg that we can watch, digest, and endlessly speculate over on these message boards. Wow.