Green Lantern: The Animated Series is an American computer-animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Green Lantern. The series aired on Cartoon Network, as part of their “DC Nation” television block. A one-hour sneak peek aired on November 11, 2011, it ran from March 3, 2012, until March 16, 2013, with a preview special airing on November 11, 2011. A special screening of the first episode was shown at New York Comic Con 2011 on October 15, 2011. This was the first Green Lantern television series and the first CGI DC/WB series. The series was cancelled after one season due to poor toy sales from the live-action movie.
Once again, another great DC animated series axed because of poor toy sales because apparently, that’s the only reason why we make great movies and TV shows anymore, just to sell toys….fuck you DC…
Anyway, let’s look at the plot…
The series focuses on the adventures of Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, and his partner Kilowog. Hal Jordan travels to “Frontier Space” the region of space at the edge of the Guardians’ territory, where Green Lanterns are being picked off by the Red Lanterns. Atrocitus, their leader, wants revenge for the destruction of his world by the Manhunters, the now-decommissioned android enforcers of the Guardians. After defeating Atrocitus, Hal and Kilowog adopt Razer, a maverick Red Lantern into their fold. Their next great threat is the Anti-Monitor, who seeks to literally consume the Universe.
The essential idea for this series was to do for Green Lantern what Batman: The Animated Series did for Batman. In fact, the original concept was described as “a Bruce Timm-does-CG project.” So, did it do that? Well, for the most part, yes.
A lot of that magic that Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series did to expand on the characters from each universe definitely came into shape with Green Lantern and they did a really solid job of expanding the universe of these characters with these nicely written scripts, good usage of the characters, and some pretty interesting character development.
Now, did it all work? Not necessarily, there are a couple of negatives the series had. For one thing, the CG animation, while it can look nice at times, is a little bit too choppy in the earliest episodes like they are trying to adapt the style of animation Pixar did with The Incredibles 7 years prior. As the season continues, the animation starts to look a lot better albeit a little distracting. Batman: TAS & Superman: TAS’ animation styles worked better because the animation styles for both shows stayed more true to the Batman & Superman mythos and looked more genuine and more fluent.
Most of the voice work is just okay, Josh Keaton, who plays Green Lantern, does try his hardest to get the role locked down but he just can’t get that pizzazz that makes Hal Jordan who he is, you would’ve been better off putting Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Hal in this. The rest of the cast works okay, you can always depend on Kevin Michael Richardson and Grey Delisle to deliver strong performances but everybody else, it’s basically like they’re phoning in their performances, there’s not only that truly stands out.
Overall, Green Lantern: The Animated Series does a good job expanding the universe of Green Lantern and the characters but the mixed animation and the mediocre voice work prevents this series to being as good as Batman & Superman but for what it’s worth, it’s still got more than enough enjoyment to recommend. If you felt betrayed by the Green Lantern movie, definitely give the animated series a fair shot.