Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Green Lantern: The Animated Series launched in 2011 thanks to the immense popularity of the Green Lantern comics at that time. That particular wave of popularity began with writer Geoff Johns run on the series beginning with Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2004. Unfortunately, the cartoon series’ launch came the same year as the Green Lantern movie. Sadly, the film incarnation of the character proved to be rather unpopular and damaged the Green Lantern brand quite substantially.
In the years between Rebirth and the cartoon, Geoff Johns revitalized the main character of Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, as well as all the other famous characters of the decades old series in a way that, during Johns’ run, Green Lantern was one of the most successful and talked about series of comics. That run gave us the Sinestro Corps along with the Sinestro Corps War, the Red Lanterns, and The Blackest Night storyline that pulled in the entire DC Comics universe.
Then came the cartoon. Tagging the title with “The Animated Series” was surely meant to convey to audiences that the show would be in league with the classic Batman: The Animated Series. As the show opened, and the action got rolling, the quality of the show proved that it truly was of that caliber.
The animation continued in the same vein as the earlier Batman and Justice League cartoons. The voice acting included known live action stars, as well as popular voice actors, such as Ron Perlman, Kurtwood Smith, Diedrich Bader, Tom Kenny, Tara Strong, and Clancy Brown. It was obvious DC initially had a lot of faith in the show, putting their best foot forward with its production.
The show had it all. It was great Sci-fi fun with action-packed battle sequences. Hal’s trademark humor and sly wit brought a touch of comedy. The writing was well done and incorporated much of the excitement which Johns had brought to the comic book series.
The storyline focused mainly on the ongoing battles between the Green Lanterns and Red Lanterns, specifically. However, the different types of lanterns based on different colors of the emotional spectrum was included as well. Classic storylines from the comics, such as the Mad Guardian and the story of the Anti-Monitor also came to the small screen with this series.
While a couple of new characters were created for the series, many beloved Green Lantern characters made their way to the show as well. Characters like Sinestro, Atrocitus, the Star Sapphires, Kilowog, Guy Gardner, and, of course, the Guardians were all introduced. Most of the other colors of lanterns came into the series in some way. Aside from the Green Lanterns, the Red Lanterns, and the Star Sapphires, Saint Walker appeared representing the Blue Lanterns, and Larfleeze, the one and only Orange Lantern, also made an appearance.
While the Yellow Lanterns were conspicuously absent, the man himself, Sinestro, was shown perfectly. He was still a Green Lantern, but he was already up to his tricks of violent “justice.” Surely, his evolution into the iconic Green Lantern villain was intended for future seasons.
Unfortunately, there would be no subsequent seasons. No Yellow Lanterns. No Blackest Night. Why? 2011’s Green Lantern movie didn’t do well. Many viewers hadn’t liked what they saw. This caused a lack of interest in Green Lantern that naturally led to poor toy sales. If toy sales don’t do well, a cartoon getting the axe is inevitable.
So, that proverbial axe came down and took out a great show. Poor Hal hasn’t quite recovered 100% still to this day. He wasn’t included in the Justice League movie, he’s a joke in The Lego Movies, and he’s even been shoved off planet in the comics, giving way to new Green Lanterns to take his spot in The Justice League. Although I see a number of positives in that 2011 movie, many remember it with disdain.
While Green Lantern’s reputation will hopefully be fixed soon, as the Corps has supposedly both a movie and an HBO TV series in the works, 2011 wasn’t a good year for Hal Jordan or the rest of the Lanterns. So, even though the show was developing as a great new entry in DC’s canon of animated shows, Green Lantern: The Animated Series merely ran for one season of only 26 episodes. The amazing show may have died on the vine through no fault of its own and still had so much more really cool ground it could have covered, but the brief run was still great and deserves a watch! With the revival of Young Justice on DC Universe’s streaming service, who knows, maybe someday Green Lantern: The Animated Series will get revisited, and we’ll all get to see what could have been.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series – The Show that Ended Way Too Soon
Writing - 9.4/109.4/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Acting - 9.8/109.8/10
Music - 9/109/10
Production - 9.5/109.5/10
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