Why are they called Green Lanterns?
With the movie companies owning comic book companies and owning their own cartoon channels I think it’s going to be very common that every time is a major movie based around a superhero there will be an animated show in its wake.
Such is now the case with Green Lantern. I read the first Green Lantern stories when came out in DC’s Showcase Comics at the beginning of the “silver age.” And I was to follow him for the next couple of decades. But please forgive me for not knowing exactly where the Green Lanterns are today.
The Cartoon Channel, on Saturday mornings, is now running 26 new half hour episodes of Green Lantern as seen by Bruce Timm (who produced those wonderful Batman and Superman cartoons shows.) I grew up at a time where weekly TV shows had very limited animation. So the first thing I noticed here is that this show was computer animated which gives the characters great movement. The color palette is very strong and it is nice to see this show in HD. When the Green Lantern’s travel in outer space you get to see a green glow around their bodies it’s great. But they can talk and space and that is impossible but OK in a cartoon. This is such a far cry from the Flintstones and Rocky and Bullwinkle.
My favorite Green Lantern stories took place when he was off the Earth and with the Green Lantern Corps. On Earth, the stories seem more limited and the villains were not spectacular. But in outer space Green Lantern really did take off, often because he left his traditional superhero/secret identity sub-plots behind. I have now seen three episodes of the new series and even enjoy their sense of humor. For example, they make fun of how Jordan because he wears a mask in outer space where no one knows him anyway.
The series focuses on the adventures of Hal Jordan, and his fellow GL, Kiloton in their never ending battle against the Red Lanterns in the outmost part of the Galaxy. Atrocitus, another villain whose name tells us exactly the type of person he is, (Sinestro, Dr. Doom, and Julia Child) is trying to destroy the Guardians of the Universe who destroyed his home planet. Carol Ferris and most of the earthbound friends of GL are just given brief appearances.
Razer, a complex character and, perhaps, a “renegade “Red Lantern develops strongly in these stories and is fun to watch. While I am waiting for the Black and Blue Lanterns, I’ve noticed that the color of the different Lantern colors match the colors of the different Hulks.
In the episode where they’re bringing Razer to prison planet I realized that this is not a G rated cartoon, it is closer to PG because there are torture scenes. Now they’re not terrible torture scenes but you would never have torture scenes in a children’s cartoon. So it is obvious here that they are looking for the young adult to also watch the show. If there is one downside it is the HAL like computer on the ship named Aya, (I guess for A.I Artificial Intelligence). They make her too human and two powerful and all knowing.
The stories kept my interest and I enjoyed them. I give this show a B+. I gave the Justice League of America and A, and I am giving at this point the Avengers an A. I enjoyed the cartoon show much more than I enjoyed the movie.
Josh Keaton is the voice of Hall Jordan; Kevin Michael Richardson is Kilowog, Grey DeLisle is Aya and Jason Spisak is Razor.
And the answer to the bonus question: In colonial times, Police Stations used to hang a glowing Green Lantern as a sign of being law enforcement and a safe haven.