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Western Animation / DC Nation

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More humorous shorts about DC Comics characters than you can shake a stick at!

DC Nation was a programming block aired on Cartoon Network between 2012-2014. As the name implies, the block consisted exclusively of material based on properties owned by DC Comics, Cartoon Network's sister company under Time Warner.

The block first consisted of:

Replacing them in summer 2013:

In fall 2013, Beware the Batman was replaced by a second rerun of Teen Titans Go!

In addition to the television programs, the block also showed numerous animated shorts, often showcasing lesser known properties. All the shorts are officially available on the official DC Comic's YouTube channel on a playlist located here and include:

Compare with Marvel Universe, a similar block on Disney XD that features content based off Marvel Comics properties.

The block was discontinued in 2014 with some of the shorts occasionally airing around Teen Titans Go! That show was moved to the regular rotation with CN's other current shows, where it presently runs. Beware the Batman was put on the Toonami block before Cartoon Network wrote off the broadcast rights to the series. Toonami managed to premiere every episode by running a marathon of the episodes they had yet to get to when the write-off was announced.


  • Accidental Truth: In the Plastic Man short "Superheroes Wear Pajamas", Plastic Man finds himself sleepwalking with his teddy bear Mr. Tinklebottoms and is laughed at by everyone for it. To save face, Plastic Man claims that the teddy bear is actually a captured demonic supervillain in disguise and proceeds to beat the teddy up and eat it for good measure. At the end of the short, after apologizing to his patched-up teddy bear, Plastic Man goes to sleep while the bear's face briefly becomes terrifying.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Prosthetic Lass from the "Scissors Paper Stone" one-shot is the only one not to undergo this in the New Teen Titans short "Turn Back The Clock", as Captain Thug went from having red hair to magenta, and both Dead Pretty Boy and Witchie-Poo were changed from having black hair and brown hair respectively to red hair.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Cupid in the Green Arrow short isn't as conventionally attractive as she is in the comics, having more of a nerdier appearance, complete with buck teeth and Girlish Pigtails.
  • Affectionate Parody: In general, most of the shorts are lighthearted and comedic takes on several DC Comics characters, but one specific example is the New Teen Titans short "Kidz Korner 4 Kidz", which parodies educational shows for young children like Sesame Street and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: When Animal Man defeats a villain, it's not for whatever crime they were committing at the time, but because they were accidentally endangering some random animal. Once he ignored an invasion by Darkseid to chew out a guy for leaving his dog tied up on the sidewalk.
  • Animesque: Many of the shorts, particularly Amethyst, New Teen Titans and Baby Superman (The first and last ones were actually animated in Japan by David Production).
  • Battle Couple: Two of the three Green Arrow shorts depict Green Arrow and Black Canary fighting together.
  • Car Fu: In the third Wonder Woman short, Diana rams her Charger into Giganta's head.
  • Casting Gag:
  • The Cat Came Back: In Tales of Metropolis, Lois Lane manages to pull this on Batman, of all people.
  • Cool Car: Diana drives one in the Wonder Woman shorts. And yes, it turns invisible.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Very literally in "Baby Superman", in which Superman gives his cape to a baby to use as a diaper, transforming the baby into Superman himself.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In Batman of Shanghai, there's a skilled martial artist who chases after Catwoman initially after her theft of the scroll and seems to be doing well against her in a fight. While it might be tempting to think of him as being the Chinese version of Bruce Wayne, it actually turns out he's not, as Bane takes him out relatively easily and the real Batman himself shows up later on.
  • The Determinator: Lois Lane in the "Tales of Metropolis" short featuring her and Batman. In a few of the stunts she pulls to try and interview him, she clings onto the Bat Plane, gets dunked off and swims to Gotham...
  • Disney Villain Death: Hugo Strange apparently falls to his death from a cliff at the end of "Strange Days", one of two DC Nation shorts made to celebrate Batman's 75th anniversary.
  • Distressed Dude: Steve Trevor in the Wonder Woman shorts.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the third Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld short, Amethyst fights a goo monster and gets covered in slime. She turns her outfit into a makeshift swimsuit and takes a swim in a lake. The enchanted forest makes itself known and makes it sound like they were watching her skinny dip. She covers her (clothed) chest a few times in their presence.
  • Fun Size/Super-Deformed: New Teen Titans uses Chibi versions of the Titans.
  • Funny Background Event: During the part of the third Tales of Metropolis short in which Jimmy rants about times he regrets becoming Superman's pal, Bizarro (in his "secret" identity of Not-Bizarro) pulls a brown lunch bag out of the fridge, eats it up, and leaves by flying through the ceiling.
  • Furry Confusion:
    • In the Farm League shorts, Aquamandrill apparently has his human counterpart's powers over sea life... So he tries to force the Flish (The Flash, but as a fish) to do his chores for him. It doesn't work, but it greatly annoys the Flish.
    • Also, Wonderwombat has no idea what she's supposed to eat as a wombat, which doesn't stop her from loudly claiming that she wants to eat "whatever it is that wombats eat!"
  • Gilligan Cut: From Tales of Metropolis: Featuring Jimmy Olsen
    Jimmy: It would be easier if I never saw Superman again!
    (cut to title card reading "Literally four seconds Later")
    Jimmy, (being attacked by a giant octopus): Save me, Superman!
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Black Lightning's old costume seen in the first short is Black Vulcan's costume from Super Friends.
    • In the Black Lightning short "Clothes Make The Hero", Thunder is seen texting someone. A brief shot of her cell phone display reveals that it's "Grace", referring to Grace Choi, who is her girlfriend in the comics.
    • The New Teen Titans short "Turn Back The Clock" briefly has the team wear their embarrassing 90's costumes. Beast Boy makes sure to diss Robin's mullet before being horrified to see he has one as well. The same skit also has them wearing their 80's costumes. Upon seeing her revealing outfit, Starfire becomes mortified and tries to cover herself, which is much easier with the incredibly long hair she had at the time. At the end of that episode when Robin knocks the time machine into fast forward, we meet the Titans lineup from Adam Warren's one-shot Prestige issue "Scissors Paper Stone" and the robot Robin from DC One Million.
    • The New Teen Titans short "Red X Unmasked" features one of Red X's identities being revealed to be Jason Todd, a nod to Beast Boy's chart in "X" that speculated on who he was. Beast Boy is also the biggest proponent of the theory in the short, and still hasn't given up on the theory by the time the short ends.
    • In at least one of the Shazam! shorts, the hero consults the "Elders" in a cavern (presumably within the Rock of Eternity).
    • The Metal Men short "Identity Crisis" has Dr. Magnus mistakenly swap the Metal Men's heads. One of the resulting mash-ups is Tin's head on Gold's body. An episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold had Tin borrow Gold's body to save the day.
    • Bizarro's "Tales of Metropolis" short concludes with him wanting to give Lois Lane a kiss that would erase her memories, a nod to Superman himself doing this in Superman II.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In Tales of Metropolis: featuring Bizarro, Bizarro tries to enter the Daily Planet disguised as mild mannered reporter, Not-Bizarro. Lois Lane is not fooled, but Jimmy Olsen is.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe and Parodied in the Plastic Man short "Untouchable", a mob realizes that Plastic Man could be anywhere, and then end up going stir-crazy when the room they're in has his color scheme everywhere, with everyone wearing the color scheme to some extent as well. Turns out they went crazy for nothing, as Plastic Man slept too long and completely forgot he was supposed to go to the stakeout with said mob.
  • Punny Name: Farm League features such heroes as Supermanatee, The Flish and The Green Lamprey.
  • Race Lift: The Bat Man of Shanghai shorts have Batman, Catwoman, and Bane reimagined as Chinese martial artists in the 1930's.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: One Teen Titans short had Cyborg and Robin get into an escalating war of This Is My Side, which ends when they start a fight over the tape they were dividing things with, which blows up the whole planet.
    Cyborg: You can't divide tape with tape! You created a paradox!
  • Retraux: Dear God is Vibe '80s.
  • Saturday-Morning Cartoon: DC Nation was something of a throwback to this type of format, despite airing on network that primary airs cartoons. During it's duration, the block would come on Saturday mornings at 10am.
  • Shout-Out: In the New Teen Titans short "Turn Back The Clock", Mad Mod uses a British phone booth to control time.
  • Take That!: In the first Creature Commandos short, when Lt. Matthew Shrieve brings Elliot "Lucky" Taylor to life, the settings on the machine are labelled "Misguided", "Dangerous", and "Lindsay Lohan".
  • This Is My Side: The New Teen Titans short "Taped Before a Live Studio Audience" had Robin and Cyborg get into a major escalating war of this after the two want to do something different on TV, taping everything in half - the tower, a donut, the Titans themselves, The Brain... before they get to another roll of tape and...
    Cyborg: You can't divide tape with tape! You created a paradox!
    Robin: YOU did!
  • Three Laws-Compliant: In one Metal Men short, Prof. Magnus tries to teach the Men the three laws of robotics. After they fight each other and make a mess, he adds a fourth law: "Don't be a lunkhead."
  • To Be Continued: Parodied; every Doom Patrol short ends with a stinger promising a follow-up (the origin of the Doom Patrol; Negative Man's terrible secret; their fight with Madame Rouge) that's deliberately never paid off, and the next short always takes place several "chapters" later.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Plastic Man short "Boob Tube".
  • Transformation Sequence: Parodied in the Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld short. Amy's transformation sequence is entirely reflexive, and even she is surprised when she poses at the end of it.
  • The Voiceless: Robin never talks in the DC's World's Funnest shorts.
  • Vox Pops: Much like Creature Comforts, World's Funnest is styled like this but with kid versions of Batman, Superman, Catwoman, The Joker and Robin.
  • Wuxia: The setting and style for Batman of Shanghai along with being Animesque.