New York Comic-Con 2011 saw the premiere of the first episode of the all-new Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Geeks of Doom was there to watch it. The show will launch on November 11th on Cartoon Network with the one-hour episode that was shown. The animated series will then take a bit of a break before returning to Cartoon Network in the spring as part of the DC Nation block of programming.
The series is produced by animation legend Bruce Timm, but according to Timm, is not a part of the unofficial â€œTimm-verseâ€ which includes shows such as Batman: The Animated Series, Superman, and Justice League. During the panel, Timm remarked that some fans had attempted to link the universes together, but he wasnâ€™t really buying it.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series follows Hal Jordan (Josh Keating) and Kilowog (Kevin Michael Richardson) as they explore the uncharted edge of space. They are hunting down the Red Lanterns, who have been killing off other Green Lanterns, in a bid for some kind of revenge. The episode that was shown features Hal and Kilowog getting a new ship that allows them to travel the great distances needed to reach the uncharted sectors. The shipâ€™s AI, dubbed Ia by Hal, is the third main character of the show, and is sure to be a character that sees a lot of growth throughout the series.
I was at the Green Lanternpanel last year when the show was first talked about, and some test animation was shown then, but it was pretty rough. The animation has improved from that early test footage, and in my opinion looks pretty good. Your opinion of the art style is largely going to depend on how you feel about the Clone Wars CG style, which is similar.
The animation looked smooth, and they did a particularly good job with the Green Lantern constructs. Hal broke out the giant green fists, and Kilowog used his giant green hammer, but that wasnâ€™t the only uses of the powers that impressed the audience. There was one point where one of the alien GL’s (voice by Kurtwood Smith) used his ring to create a turbine to whip up a tornado to cover his escape, and I just thought it was a very cool use of the powers. Timm addressed the use of CG animation versus traditional hand-drawn 2D animation, and said that it just made sense, as CG animation is just cheaper and there is a much quicker turn around. However, donâ€™t worry, Timm is still committed to hand drawn animation when he can.
The voices and writing on the show were also very well done. Keating and Richardson are both experienced voice actors, and they instantly conveyed the characters with their voices. In a short time, the characters’ personalities were established and you knew who these guys were. You can tell right away that the writers understand Hal, as well as the other characters.
With the main villains of the show being the Red Lanterns, at least for the first season, the show creators had to back off a bit from how they are portrayed in the comics. I mean, they vomit napalm blood in the comics, and youâ€™re not going to get away with that on Cartoon Network. What ends up happening is that they use their powers in pretty much the same way as the Green Lanterns, with a lot of lasers. There is a bit of energy coming out of one characterâ€™s mouth, but itâ€™s really just the one character. It worked fine in the show, and I canâ€™t blame them for changing that factor. In all honesty, a lot of changes were made to the Red Lanterns. Atrocitus is more or less the same, but there is a new character named Razor, who is a bit conflicted about his role in the Red Lantern Corps. In general, the Reds are much more eloquent than the rage beasts they are in the comics, but again, I can see how that wouldnâ€™t work in a show aimed towards younger viewers.
So, I enjoyed the episode and I think the crowd liked it with me. There was a lot of cheering going on throughout the show and I think there is a lot of anticipation to see the rest of the series. The creators have done a lot of things right with the series and there is a lot of room for it to grow. With Bruce Timm hinting at more of the human Lanterns and some big guest stars to come, it should be a very exciting first season. You can watch the opening scene from the first episode now; be sure to check out the premiere when it airs on November 11, 2011.