Green Lantern: Animated Series – Series One, Part One (DVD)

Apparently now there are multiple colors of the Lantern and multiple sources of emotions that can fuel power. And none of it has to do with merchandising. That bit if cynicism aside, Green Lantern gets his much overdue animated series from the Cartoon Network here in America and leads what is a pretty entertaining action science fiction series overall. It’s not as sophisticated as “Batman” or “Justice League” and rarely exciting as “Batman Beyond,” but as a Bruce Timm byproduct it serves its purpose as entertaining science fiction fodder that thankfully pretends the movie never existed.

Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, a valiant and courageous hero who is cast out in the belly of the galaxy with his partner Kilowog and an enemy stowaway Razer, a rogue Red Lantern who is stuck on the drifting ship with the two Green Lanterns and finds no recourse but to team with them to ensure his own safety throughout their journeys. Most of “Green Lantern” animated series revolves around the trio of soldiers trying to find their way back to Earth while occasionally coming across alien planets and getting in to all sorts of adventures.

Lacking the fluid continuity of past Timm series, the show is mostly self-contained episodes that begin and end within twenty five minutes, and it’s not much of a demanding series for its audience. Which is not to say that reflects on its quality. The exploits of the trio of Lanterns is entertaining and occasionally exciting, as they find themselves confronted with alien menaces of all kinds, and barren lands that pose threats to their safety. Since Sinestro, Green Lantern’s primary villain is now a staple of the movie universe, the main antagonists for the animated series are the Red Lanterns. Led by Atrocitus, they’re an army of Lanterns guided by hatred and anger whom swear to kill the Lanterns when they find them, and Hal must often guide Kilowog and himself to safety while trying to work around Razer who wants to get back to his own army. But as Stockholm Syndrome sets in over the course of the first season, the dramatic element of the series introduces itself where Razer discovers he is respecting and admiring the Green Lanterns while falling for the ship’s computer Aya, a sentient AI who transforms in to a beautiful cyborg aiming to aide them in their battles while trying to earn her place as a Green Lantern.

The animation as a whole is unspectacular but does the trick in setting the mood for a galaxy adventure where the tone is mostly dire and bleak. The group of stowaways are always at the edge of death at every episode, and they’re always at risk of being killed by some alien menace if they don’t step lively. Since the series is mostly self-contained there are plenty of references to the Green Lantern mythos and no references to other DC characters. The series also wisely side steps Jordan’s origin and just drops us right in the middle of the action. Josh Keaton performs well as the likable Hal Jordan, while Kevin Michael Richardson is great as the lovable Kilowog. Jason Spisak is often very entertaining as the constantly angry Razer while Grey Delisle is at her usual best as the protagonist Aya. At over four hours, Part One of the Season One DVD set presents some entertaining and exciting episodes aimed at tweens with some interesting characters and rather compelling episodes. It may not be a masterpiece of the Timm repertoire, but it’s a worthy series for such an entertaining character of the DC Universe. Featured in the Extras for the DVD is a digitial Issue 0 is Green Lantern The Animated Series.