NYCC 2011: Green Lantern The Animated Series Pilot Sneak Peak Review

The MTV Theater at New York Comic Con was packed on Saturday morning for the sneak peak screening of the pilot episode of Green Lantern The Animated series. If the pilot is an indication of the overall quality of this series, then Green Lantern The Animated Series can be described in one word, and that word is AWESOME.

The animation is stellar. Try to picture a mix of the CGI from Star Wars: The Clone Wars meeting the classic Bruce Timm style from the Batman, Superman and Justice League cartoons.

NOTE – There are spoilers in this post after this picture. If you’d rather not have anything spoiled, come back after you’ve seen the pilot.

When we first see Hal Jordan, he’s in a familiar predicament, namely crashing an expensive Ferris jet plane and immediately being called to Oa by the Guardians of the Universe. Right before he leaves, he agrees to pick Carol up for dinner that night. By the time we are halfway through the episode, it’s apparent that Hal will not be making dinner or to his day job at Ferris any time soon.

Interestingly, the villains in the pilot weren’t Sinestro’s Yellow Lanterns, but rather the Red Lantern Corps. Atrocitus is in the pilot and it was immediately evident, even when he was cloaked in shadow, that they have redesigned Atrocitus’s look for the series. It looks like The Animated Series versions of Atrocitus and Kilowog might come from the same home world. Kilowog mentions in the episode that his home world was destroyed. Atrocitus looked more like a leaner and meaner Kilowog than the Atrocitus of the comics. This makes sense from a storytelling point of view. Kilowog uses his grief over the destruction of his home planet to drive him to save others, while Atrocitus takes the opposite path of seeking vengeance from the Guardians, who he blames for his planet’s destruction.

On the right is Atrocitus from Green Lantern The Animated Series

I was very happy to recognize Kurtwood Smith as the voice of the Green Lantern that Hal and Kilowog attempt to save from the murderous Red Lanterns. Sadly, this will be the only episode featuring Kurtwood Smith’s voice. This series isn’t pulling any punches showing the Red Lanterns as a real threat. By the end of the episode, two Green Lantern rings were off in search of new wearers. I take that back; they did pull the Red Lanterns’ punch a little, as they no longer vomit flaming blood on their adversaries. The Red Lanterns do have a cool looking fiery glow surrounding them though.

After the pilot was screened, Bruce Timm fielded questions from both the moderator and the audience. When asked if the series would show Hal’s origin story, his answer was no. Bruce went on to explain the reasoning behind this, saying that between the recent Green Lantern feature film and Green Lantern: First Flight, we’ve seen Hal’s origin enough times. Bruce gave a noncommittal answer to whether or not we would be seeing the other Earth-based Lanterns, Kyle, John and Guy, but seemed to indicate in his tone and smile that fans should expect to see the other Earth Lanterns at some point in the series.

Whether you’re a fan of Bruce Timm’s DC cartoons or the character Green Lantern, especially the Green Lantern comic written by Geoff Johns, you will mostly likely be very happy with Green Lantern The Animated Series. Do not miss it when it premieres on Friday, November 11 at 7 PM on Cartoon Network!

Written by David Henehan