REVIEW: Green Lantern the Animated Series
Warner Bros. was counting on a home run from the misfire that was the live action Green Lantern film. As that film was in production, the animation division was producing their first CGI-animated DC series, also featuring the hero of space sector 2814. Arriving on the Cartoon Network with much fanfare, the Green Lantern: The Animated Series ran from November 11, 2011 to March 16, 2013 for a total of 26 episodes. I disliked its look and found little reason to watch when it was apparent it had little resemblance to the source material. I gave it a second look when Warner Archive recently released the entire series as a 2-disc Blu-ray set. I have not changed my opinion.
The series immediately takes Hal Jordan (Josh Keaton) away from Earth and his sector to send him to “Frontier Space” and establishes the Guardians of the Universe actually have limits to their sphere of influence which makes little sense. He’s partnered with Kilowog (Kevin Michael Richardson), who apparently is no longer needed to train recruits and they jet around space in a spaceship, The Interceptor, which also makes no sense. The ship comes complete with an artificial intelligence, Aya (Grey DeLisle), who takes humanoid form and as she gains independence actually goes from ally to threat in one of the few interesting touches in an otherwise wretched series.
Why are Hal and Kilowog dispatched to the edge of space? Because Red Lanterns, led by Atrocious (Jonathan Adams), are picking off these fringe GLs as an act of revenge for his homeworld being destroyed by the Manhunters. During one of their first encounters, Razer (Jason Spisak) abandons the Reds and accompanies the Corps aboard the Interceptor. The series also features various familiar Guardians and members of the GL Corps.
And just to keep things colorful, we get a bunch of Blue Lanterns, Star Sapphires, and good ol’ Larfleeze (Dee Bradley Baker) of the Orange Lanterns. The relationship between Carol Ferris (Jennifer Hale) and Hal is as tense as in the comics but doesn’t really make either character more interesting. In fact, the writing is perfunctory and not very interesting and it could be the unfamiliarity of the writing staff led by Michael F. Ryugan, Jeremy Adams, and Jim Krieg. Milestone and DC Animated writer Matt Wayne is the only comic veteran on hand.
I will credit the final episode, “Dark Matter” as a cosmic adventure that does a good job raising the stakes but it’s too little, too late.
I love Green Lantern and he’s probably my favorite of the DC heroes which may be why I am so hard on this series and the film. Such incredible potential is continually squandered. Of late, the various incarnations are so busy being sweeping in scale while leaving characterization in the dark.
The transfer to Blu-ray is excellent with great audio and video. Being from Warner Archive, there are no extra features.