PaulRom Reviews: Green Lantern: The Animated Series Premiere

The latest DC animated series debuted last night on Cartoon Network, boasting a one hour premiere. Does it live up to expectations? Hit the jump for my take (some spoilers ahead)...

Follow Paul:
By Paul Romano - 11/12/2011
FYI, I didn't get to catch the premiere of GL:TAS last night when it first aired on Cartoon Network, but I managed to watch it earlier today on YouTube. I gotta say that I was pretty impressed with what I saw (I initially had low expectations). While not perfect, the hour-long event proves that the series has some serious potential, and a great way for DC to launch some of their other characters into solo TV shows (Flash, Wonder Woman, etc). As usual, I'll be putting some spoilers in the following review, so if you don't want to be spoiled before watching, then skip to the final paragraphs.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series Premiere (2011)



Rating:


Starring:
Josh Keaton
Kevin Michael Richardson
Jennifer Hale
Jason Spisak
Jonathan Adams

Running Time:
Approximately 1 Hr.

Plot Synopsis:

In the first part of the two-part series premiere episode, ace test pilot Hal Jordan, who leads a secret life as Earth's guardian Green Lantern, is called back to Oa. Searching for the culprits behind a series of Green Lantern deaths in "Frontier Space", Hal and his gruff fellow Green Lantern Kilowog "commandeer" The Interceptor, a prototype spaceship powered by pure Green Lantern energy and an advanced artificial intelligence system that Hal names Aya.

In the second half of the two-part series premiere episode, Hal and Kilowog discover that a group of Red Lanterns, including the conflicted Razer and the vile Zilius Zox have been targeting and eliminating Green Lanterns in Frontier Space. Along with the help from a surviving Frontier Space Green Lantern Shyir Rev, Hal and Kilowog must stop the Red Lantern leader Atrocitus from destroying Shyir's home planet of Colony 12.


After being excited at the thought of an animated Green Lantern series, I was personally let down by the first promo or two for the two-part series premiere. The animation looked somewhat mediocre, and made the series appear to be passable. But after watching some clips, the series eventually won me over (and I'm getting over the animation style ATM), particularly with the inclusion of the Red Lanterns (some of my favorite GL rogues). As time drew closer, I became more excited for the premiere. And after watching it earlier today, I can gladly say that it succeeds in debuting what could be a very successful series.

The voice acting in GL:TAS is very solid. I was very hesitant with Josh Keaton voicing a character like Hal Jordan (I know Keaton best as the Spectacular Spider-Man), but he does an excellent job in bringing the Emerald Knight to life. Kevin Michael Richardson (one of Keaton's costars in Transformers: Prime is delightful as Kilowog, making the character seem rather irritable but at the same time lovable. Jennifer Hale is decent as Carol Ferris, but the character isn't really made likable here (maybe it's because she only had one scene, and there's little development as a result). The portrayals of the Red Lanterns are also well done, especially the leader Atrocitus. All the other vocal performances are good as well.

The recently released live action Green Lantern succeeded in churning epic space scenes, but took in too many earth scenes (it didn't help that the scenes set on earth were mediocre to average). The Animated Series decides to ditch the whole earth thing completely, only offering one scene to remind others of Hal's background. It works very well, and it reminds me of why I fell in love with the franchise to begin with. The way most of the other characters are fleshed out is also done well (especially with Kilowog, with his mentioning that his planet was destroyed, etc), and it makes you feel for them even though they look like 3D figures and not much else.

The animation here is both good and bad. While the action sequences are awesome and visuals just as good (if not better), the way Hal Jordan looks is too off IMO. It reminds me of The Incredibles mixed with Batman: TAS. The rest of the characters are done decently, but look a bit plasticy (particularly the Red Lanterns). Despite the somewhat halfassed animation (though as stated before, I'm getting over it...slowly), the brilliant storytelling is what really makes this two-parter worthwhile.

As for flaws, it's hard to think of any other than the aforementioned flaws (lack of character development for Carol and not completely rendered animation). The dialogue is just right, there aren't too many jokes from Hal (unlike the live action film), and the Red Lanterns are a rather original choice for the villains (better than Sinestro or Parallax, who are usually the villains in Green Lantern media). Other than the animation (which could definitely use some more rendering, hopefully in future episodes), everything is executed excellently.

In the end, the two-part debut episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series is indeed a good one. It's a good example of a TV series with imperfect animation that's still worth watching for the vivid storytelling alone. Hopefully in future episodes/seasons the animation will slowly improve. But for now, I definitely recommend GL:TAS for those who like watching space related TV shows (such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Green Lantern fans in general (especially those who still feel bitter about the live action film). I can't wait to check out the future episodes, and it'd be awesome to bring in characters such as John Stewart, Tomar-Re, and Guy Gardener in the future.
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE.
4
LIKE!
24 Comments
ZigZagStuffa - 11/12/2011, 1:29 PM
sweet
ComicBookMoron - 11/12/2011, 1:42 PM
Why do some people say the CGI animation here is "imperfect"? What's the "perfect" standard to begin with? Please cite reasons by GL animation is "imperfect" because as far as lay persons are concerned, it looks great.
superotherside - 11/12/2011, 1:47 PM
Awesome review bro... I enjoyed it as well... I for one always kinda liked the CG... sure I wish that they weren't done in such a simple design but you can't have everything... :P I would love a WW, Flash and other DC shows connected to this universe and then do a new Justice League show while continuing the other shows! That would be an EPIC = WIN!
secretasianboy - 11/12/2011, 1:50 PM
@ComicBookMoron
the animation isn't very detailed. the backgrounds are pretty empty. often light doesn't reflect realisticty. many of the figure look to similar due to lack of proper detail and are just exact copies.
an example to good CG animation would be Star Wars: The Clone Wars
great sets. use of shadows. detail on objects and people.

that set green lantern has better writing than Star Wars: The clone wars
superbatspiderman - 11/12/2011, 1:54 PM
Aren't they working on a show about Batgirl with similar animation?

I rally enjoyed the show and I can't wait for the new episodes to come. There are so many stories they can tell.
hush - 11/12/2011, 1:56 PM
The animation was well presented, but seemed a little sterile. It lacked a certain something.

The actual show was pretty good, very enjoyable.
superbatspiderman - 11/12/2011, 2:24 PM
@MrSpecs - That stinks. I thought that could have been cool but I would have rather had a show about Nightwing.
MarVell - 11/12/2011, 2:34 PM
Good review. I think the Green Lantern Animated Series is off to a great start. I thought the Animation was fine.
MaddMonkk - 11/12/2011, 2:36 PM
I think it will get better. I'm giving it a chance for a couple more episodes.
avengingson - 11/12/2011, 2:56 PM
Just watched it, and thought it was excellent... Way better than the movie....:/
dnno1 - 11/12/2011, 3:03 PM
I saw this today. Yes, this is very good and it has won me over. What is very uncanny is the fact that this still will get better with time.
UnscrupalousSmurf - 11/12/2011, 3:09 PM
DC just can't seem to get its animation shows wrong. GL is definitely a main stream character nowadays. GOOD!
CeltiC527 - 11/12/2011, 8:27 PM
Good review. I dont really see anything wrong with the 3D animation.

Everyone seems to complain that it looks like the Incredibles but I loved that movie, so I see that as a good thing.
marvel72 - 11/13/2011, 9:37 AM
3/5 good,would of been 4/5 if it had sinestro.
breakUbatman - 11/13/2011, 12:35 PM
THe show was great, but while I don't have a problem with the animation style the environments do look very empty. However I didn't see anything that couldn't have been pulled of in 2D but whatever.

The story was strong and I was pleased to see the intergration of the power battery unlike the movie version. Seriously Bruce Timm should be a producer or writer on the next DC character movie.

And we need a Bruce Timm for Marvel.
breakUbatman - 11/13/2011, 1:05 PM
I agree the visuals look pretty and all that but aside from that I didnt see any of the dynamic lighting that was mentioned in a press release. The action itself could have been hand drawn or maybe I've just been watching too much GITS: SAC etc
marvel72 - 11/13/2011, 2:08 PM
@ froggy

sinestro should of been at least a green lantern in the first episode then build up to the sinestro corp.

3/5 was a good rating,i watched the show hoping to see sinestro when i didn't i was a little dissapointed.

5 excellent
4 very good
3 good
2 average
1 poor

CVTom - 11/13/2011, 3:01 PM
I agree w marvel 72... the sinestro corps should have been in the first episode and the red lanterns introduced later in the series.
dnno1 - 11/13/2011, 4:40 PM
The way this series is being set up, Hal and Kilowog will be on a 9 month (i.e. the entire season)trek around the uncharted sectors hunting down the Red Lanterns. It stands to reason that this will change in the second season (should they make it there) where we probably will get to see other lanterns as well as some familiar villains.
mrjones - 11/14/2011, 12:00 AM
the batman t.a.s. style animation is a big turn off. i'll stick with Young Justice
Buzzbee - 11/14/2011, 6:37 AM
I liked the episode very much but the CG was mostly horrible. Hal Jordong looked like Mr. Incredible ripoff. Why not make him a little more anatomically correct. Just felt he looked mishapen, deformed.


I'll keep watching though. Ughhhhh, CG.
Moonwalker1991 - 11/17/2011, 10:20 AM
I heard Kyle Rayner was supposed to be the main GL instead of Hal Jordan... again. Guess that's why this version of Hal is so comical, just like the damn film.
NathimusPrime - 11/22/2011, 6:02 AM
i sat down to watch this and relized i forgot to set my dvr, I really dont want to sit at my computer and watch it, but if this review is true i might have to.
Moonwalker1991 - 12/24/2011, 8:48 AM
When does this show come back? Haven't seen any episodes since the premier. I'm guessing 2012 at the latest.

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.