Thursday, March 8, 2012

Green Lantern: The Animated Series - Pilot Review


When I heard that Bruce Timm was going to be producing a Green Lantern animated show I just about died I was so happy. After the announcements and eventual release of the live-action film that let so many fans and moviegoers down, I was ready for the dose of superhero storytelling that only Timm can deliver. That all came to a screeching halt when I found out the show was done with CGI. I kept telling myself that there was no way it would be as good as other shows in the Warner Bros. animation arsenal.

I was wrong.

This show is everything I could want in a Green Lantern television series. It has an original premise and rewrites some of the continuity of the comic book, but all of Timm's series took an original direction. I'm welcome to rewriting some of the history in order to make it fit better on another medium. I just think that the movie turned many fans away from it. I'm welcome to the changes that were made because the story was incredibly fun and really engaging.

The basic premise is that Hal Jordan and fellow Green Lantern Kilowog hijack a prototype spaceship in order to patrol the deep frontier zone of space. A group of Lantern killers are on the loose and might be more of a threat than the Guardians of the Universe are leading on. As Jordan and Kilowog investigate the mystery, they find a new enemy that no one was expecting -- the Red Lanterns!

This show does everything extremely well, and it gets the characters, tone, and energy right off the bat. I felt like I was watching a Green Lantern story that had deep thought put into it and a thorough understanding of what it means to be a Green Lantern and a hero. In fact I was surprised at how dark and mature the pilot was. Within the first episode we have deaths, strong motivation, and not once does the show play to the lowest common denominator. We skip the origin story and get straight to the action with Hal Jordan and the other Corps members. It also helps that the voice cast, led by Josh Keaton (Hal Jordan), all seemed like they had done their research and really knew how to speak through these iconic characters.

I'm a huge traditionalist when it comes to animation. I'm usually 2D or nothing. But this 3D animation really made the ring constructs pop and gave the designs that 1950's and 60's feel that fits the science fiction aspect of Green Lantern perfectly. I'm giving the pilot a strong 4.5/5 for really impressing me. You can bet that I'll continue to watch it and see how they develop these characters in a new environment.

I of course don't own any of these images. All rights to the creators, DC Comics, and Warner Bros.

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