Green Lantern: The Animated Series

In Brightest Day, In Crappiest 3D Animation...
Admittedly, I wasn't very impressed with the commercials for the new Green Lantern: The Animated Series on Cartoon Network. Over the years, DC Comics and Warner Brothers have given us plenty of animated shows with more attractive animation styles, like the dark seriousness of Batman: The Animated Series, the quirky J-Pop style of Teen Titans, and the realistic yet playful Young Justice. What use do we need with a Green Lantern cartoon done up in a 3D rendered style? Not much if you asked me.

Putting my prejudices aside, I tuned in to the one-hour premiere earlier tonight (mostly by chance as I managed to catch it just in time) and I have to say I'm happy I did.

It's really no surprise that Green Lantern would get his own show, given the recent release of the movie. Though the movie wasn't received all that well by fans of the comic, it did make a buttload of money, and no doubt WB wants to ride that wave of popularity for whatever it can. Not to mention the relaunch of the DC Universe included 4 main Lantern themed books, as well as Hal Jordan showing up in other titles. Green Lantern is doing well, so Cartoon Network is happy to fan the flames.

I was willing to give the show a chance because I had high hopes for the writing. I'm glad to say I wasn’t disappointed on that front. At the beginning of the episode, Hal is already a Green Lantern, and well-versed in the use of his abilities, which I liked because it meant that they didn't have to rehash the same old origin story. (It probably helps to sell some DVDs as well, since the series seems to fit in nicely with the movie.)

I like that the Red Lanterns are the villains, though
they now vomit "energy" instead of blood.
The choice of villains is strange to me. Having the Green Lanterns square off against the Red Lanterns is a pretty ballsy move on WBs part. Seeing as how the Red Lanterns are the embodiment of rage, intent on killing, they would have to tone down their bloodlust quite a bit to make them more family-friendly, which they did well enough. But I was a little shocked that they held dear to the Red Lantern's core ideals and actually killed a couple of Green Lanterns. And there's no question about that. Though there was no on-screen, blood-filled death, the characters definitely died. Kudos to that.

I'm still not sold on Hal Jordan's new personality. Clearly DC is trying to make him more jocular and light-hearted, as opposed to the staunch heroics of the Hal Jordan of old. Ryan Reynolds epitomized the nu-Jordan in the movie, and even Geoff Johns gave Gal this new personality in the JLA reboot. But to do this, they've had to take Hal Jordan's confidence, and mix in Kyle Rayner's levity, while adding a pinch of the Guy Gardner arrogance. It works in a lot of ways, but it's not what I'm used to. I'm still willing to over look this as, so far, Hal has been a fairly strong character.

I still don't like the animation. It seemed like they are trying to emulate the style of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But GL doesn't have the same texture or detail that Clone Wars has so it just comes off looking clunky and dated, like the old Reboot show from the 90s.

Overall, I'm happy with Green Lantern: The Animated Series. The writing is on par with what I expected, maybe even a little better. I really wish the producers had put a little more effort into the animation, but it was fluid enough to at least be shrugged off and accepted. I'll certainly be tuning in for at least another couple of episodes. I'm definitely willing to stick around for more on Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns. Hopefully there'll be an appearance by Dex-Starr in the future. It'll be worth it for that alone.

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