Kicking off with The Flashpoint Paradox, which focuses on speedster Barry Allen, the films re-introduce Justice League heroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg as well as nefarious villains Darkseid and Doomsday.
There are also story arcs for the Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and the supernaturally-inclined Justice League Dark later down the line, all of whom could play a role in James Gunn’s much talked-about DC Extended Universe reboot.
Want to dive in? Here’s your cheat sheet to the DCAU.
How to watch the DCAU movies in chronological order
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
Barry Allen, AKA The Flash, is alerted to a break-in at the Flash Museum, where his enemies including Captain Cold, Heat Wave and Mirror Master have descended. Once he arrives on the scene, it becomes clear the robbery was orchestrated by his nemesis Professor Eobard Thrawne, or Zoom, as part of a wider plan to destroy Central City.
Though Allen manages to foil the plot, when he awakes the next day, things are drastically different. His mother is alive, his wife is married to someone else, and his powers have completely gone. The Justice League as he knows it no longer exists, and Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war in Europe.
Allen makes a visit to Wayne Manor, but Batman doesn’t recognise him and responds with suspicion – because he’s not Bruce, but his father Thomas. It seems that the Flash has found himself in a totally different timeline. But how did he get there, and did Thrawne have something to do with it?
The Flashpoint storyline also serves as a source of inspiration for this summer’s live action The Flash movie, starring Ezra Miller, meaning this animated version would serve as an excellent primer.
Rent or buy The Flashpoint Paradox on Amazon
Justice League: War (2014)
The second film is based on the comic book Justice League: Origins, written by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, which was the first story in DC’s 2011 revamp known as the New 52. Justice League: War opens as a spate of abductions grip Gotham City, and security footage puts Batman in the frame. The crimes, though, are in fact the work of a Parademon, and its presence in Gotham is just the precursor to a major invasion of Earth.
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The plot is the work of the evil Darkseid, the ruler of planet Apokolips, and the Justice League must team up to foil him.The voice cast features Rogue One’s Alan Tudyk as Superman, Jason O’Mara as Batman and Michelle Monaghan as Wonder Woman.
Rent or buy Justice League: War on Amazon
Son of Batman (2014)
Batman learns that he is a father when Talia al Ghul (daughter of the villainous Ra’s al Ghul) arrives in Gotham City with a young boy named Damian in tow, telling Wayne that their child is under threat. After Ra’s al Ghul appointed him as his successor as the leader of the League of Assassins, Deathstroke murdered Ra’s then targeted his grandson.
She hopes that Damian will be safer under his father’s wing, while she and the League plan to deal with Deathstroke – but the boy has other ideas. He’s determined to disobey his dad’s orders and avenge his grandfather’s death himself. O’Mara returned to voice Batman, joined by Morena Baccarin as Talia and Stuart Allan as Damian.
Rent or buy Son of Batman on Amazon
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
Throne of Atlantis sees Aquaman discovering his true heritage. When the crew of a nuclear submarine are killed while on patrol in the Atlantic, Wonder Woman discovers that the sub may have been attacked by Atlantean warriors. Over in Atlantis, the rulers of the underwater realm are arguing over whether to declare all-out war on humankind. The nefarious Orm is in favour of an attack, but Queen Atlanna is against it, and asks for her half-human son Arthur Curry to be brought back to Atlantis. There, he must join forces with the Justice League in order to thwart Orm’s schemes.
Rent or buy Justice League: Throne of Atlantis on Amazon
Batman vs Robin (2015)
As a child, Bruce Wayne suspected that the shadowy organisation known as the Court of Owls might have had something to do with his parents’ death, but was never able to find any evidence. When a feather is found at the scene of a murder in the present day, Batman is drawn back into the Order’s mysterious world.
His son Damian is still attempting some crime fighting of his own, traversing Gotham’s streets under the guise of Robin despite Wayne’s attempts to ground him. When he manages to beat Wayne Manor’s security system, he meets a shady assassin named Talon who promises to train him up as a Court assassin.
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Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
Batwoman (AKA Kate Kane, voiced by The Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski) apprehends a group of criminals in Gotham, led by a masked man known as the Heretic. When things start to get violent, the (other) caped crusader appears, only for the Heretic to detonate some explosives – and after helping Kate get to safety, Batman seems to perish in the blast. Batwoman, Wayne’s ally Nightwing and his son Damian (who has been recuperating in a Himalayan monastery after the events of the previous film) team up to investigate the Heretic – and to work out whether Batman really is dead.
Rent or buy Batman: Bad Blood on Amazon
Justice League vs Teen Titans (2016)
The demonic Trigon (voiced by Jon Bernthal) sends a corrupter to the Earth which possesses Weather Wizard. It’s eventually defeated by Damian, but in doing so he ignored his father’s instructions again and, despite the outcome, the Justice League are less than impressed by his recklessness.
As a punishment, he’s sent to join the Teen Titans, meeting their leader Starfire along with Garfield Logan, who can shapeshift into any animal, Jaime Reyes, who uses the alias Blue Beetle, and Raven, the daughter of Trigon, who has the power to travel through time and teleport. The Titans and the League don’t get on too well at first, but in the face of attack from Trigon’s demons, they must eventually overcome their differences.
Rent or buy Justice League vs Teen Titans on Amazon
Justice League Dark (2017)
When previously law-abiding citizens around the world start turning into murderers, and are convinced that their victims are demons, the Justice League put the attacks down to magic – but Batman isn’t so sure. He receives a message telling him to track down exorcist John Constantine, who along with the likes of Zatanna, Deadman, Etrigan the Demon and Swamp Thing, makes up the Justice League Dark team, a supernatural counterpart to the usual gang of heroes.
Rent or buy Justice League Dark on Amazon
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
Nightwing joins the Teen Titans in order to hunt down a terrorist group led by the super-villain Brother Blood, who is planning to capture the gang and take their powers using a specially developed machine.
If his plan works, Brother Blood will be left with godlike abilities, so to speed things up, he recruits Deathstroke, who is still nursing a grudge against Damian after he was announced as Ra’s al Ghu’s heir, to bring the Teen Titans to him. He’s helped along by Terra, a double agent who has been working against the Titans from the inside.
Buy Teen Titans: The Judas Contract on Amazon
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, agent Amanda Waller becomes fixated by the legend of the Get Out of Hell Free card, an artefact which gives its owner the power to bypass hell and go straight to Heaven, no matter how many sins they committed on Earth. The card, Waller learns, is currently in the possession of Steele Maxum, the former Doctor Fate.
She recruits the likes of Harley Quinn, Copperhead, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang and Killer Frost to retrieve it, but this gang of criminals aren’t the only ones who are after this mythical card: they’ll have to race against Vandal Savage and his daughter Scandal, as well as the speedy Reverse-Flash and his allies Silver Banshee and Blockbuster.
Buy Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay on Amazon
The Death of Superman (2018)
Superman saves the day when organised crime group Intergang attempt to abduct the Mayor of Metropolis, and leaves the scene with a piece of their technology which he takes to STAR Labs for further analysis. When he learns that the device is a mix of Earth and Apokoliptian technology, he starts to fear that his old nemesis Lex Luthor could be working with Intergang, despite currently being in government custody. He has to face another major threat when the monstrous Doomsday, a creature possessing extreme strength and stamina, starts to terrorise the city, resulting in a huge showdown across Metropolis.
Buy The Death of Superman on Amazon
Constantine: City of Demons (2018)
Initially released as five short episodes and later compiled into a feature-length film, Constantine: City of Demons picks up after the events of Justice League Dark. The story follows the titular occult detective as he seeks to bring an innocent young girl out of a supernatural coma, with her soul at risk of being taken by the demon Beroul.
Buy Constantine: City of Demons on Amazon
Reign of the Supermen (2019)
Six months after Superman sacrificed himself to save his city from Doomsday, Metropolis’s crime rate has inevitably spiked. Four new Supermen – Superboy, Steel, the Eradicator and Cyborg Superman – are on the scene, but their presence proves controversial, and Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn) starts to investigate their origins. Cyborg Superman attempts to convince her that he, rather than the others, is the true Superman, but she’s not convinced. Where did these four pretenders come from, and could the real Superman still be out there?
Buy Reign of the Supermen on Amazon
Batman: Hush (2019)
This time around, Batman must form an uneasy alliance with Catwoman when he is targeted by a shadow super-villain known only as Hush. Not only does Hush seem to know all of Wayne’s secrets, he also recruits Batman’s old enemies – including the Joker, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy – to turn his life upside down. Could another old nemesis be lurking behind a new alter ego?
Buy Batman: Hush on Amazon
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019)
Diana of Themyscira (Rosario Dawson) rescues Captain Steve Trevor (Jeffrey Donovan) when he is attacked by a Parademon, treating his injuries with a healing ray before he is taken prisoner by her mother, Queen Hippolyta, as men are banned from the island. Defying Hippolyta, Diana helps Steve escape. Later, she has a premonition of a coming war and decides to accompany him to Washington DC, hoping she can protect mankind if her vision comes true.
While in DC, she stays with a geologist and her daughter, but finds that the latter, a teenager named Vanessa, is jealous of her friendship with her mother. Soon, she is recruited by Diana’s enemies at Villainy Inc, who are planning an invasion of Themyscira.
Buy Wonder Woman: Bloodlines on Amazon
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
Darkseid is back, and after two failed attempts at conquering Earth, he has decided to set his sights on conquering other planets. In a bid to finally defeat him, the Justice League plan to infiltrate the planet Apokolips while the Teen Titans defend earth. The scheme fails, however, when Darkseid manages to use Cyborg to spy on them.
A fleet of Paradooms, genetic hybrids of the Parademons, and the near-invincible Doomsday manages to wipe out most of the League and the Titans, and those that survive are imprisoned. It soon becomes clear that if Darkseid is to be defeated, the heroes will need to join forces with their supernatural counterparts in Justice League Dark.
Buy Justice League Dark: Apokolips War on Amazon
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