Green Lantern: The Animated Series #0 Review
It’s been twenty years since Bruce Timm and Paul Dini redefined animation and reimagined the DC Universe with Batman: The Animated Series.Twenty years later, Green Lantern, along with Young Justice is part of a new DC Nation block on Cartoon Network.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series #0 is written by Art Baltazar and Franco, the team responsible for the Eisner Award winning Tiny Titans. The story opens with Hal Jordan and Kilowog using a space ship to patrol the dark edges of the galaxy. They discover a lone power ring, with no Lantern corpsman. It turns out that the power ring is not a Green Lantern but a Red Lantern. The pair are set upon by a half dozen Red Lanterns. The Battle is quick and spectacular. Kilowog and Hal make for a narrow escape, but only Hal makes it back to the ship.
Aya, the ship's onboard computer directs Hal to the original signal source that brought him and Kilowog to this part of the galaxy. A square black box that acts as a refractor. What follows is a techno-jargon lesson on light refraction equal to Star Trek. Hal is able to use the device to rescue Kilowog by bending light around him to make him invisible to the Red Lanterns, similar the the way they had used the device to lure Hal and Kilowog with a phony green power ring. The whole plot of the Red Lanterns was to capture a power ring from a Green Lantern.
While making their escape, Aya alerts the pair that there is a second signal - a life form inside the black box. Hal and Kilowog free a tiny worm-like particle feeder from the device.
As a fan of Baltazar and Franco's previous work in Tiny Titans, this was an enjoyable adventure. I can see that this new Green Lantern series is going to show off a few things: the Interceptor spaceship with the female onboard computer Aya, and possibly Red Lanterns. I'm surprised that Sinestro and his Yellow Lantern Corps were not featured, but that might have been over-exposure. I would hope that the book focuses more on Hal's solo adventures rather than Green Lantern Corps tales.
I have a feeling that the ship is being introduced like the Spider Buggy in the '70's as a part of the toy line. That's disappointing.
I'm not familiar with Darid Brizuela's work, but this issue is pretty much on par with the look of the series and the all-ages style over in Young Justice and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He's no Mike Parobeck or Christopher Jones, but he's no Rob Liefeld, either.
I tend to lean more toward all-ages books. I enjoy reading Scooby Doo and Young Justice. There's a level of fun that's missing from mainstream books. The stories are geared more as done-in-one, with a moral and a lesson. Don't get me wrong, I have mainstream Green Lantern and Aquaman on my reading list as well. But I'm less inclined to read stories for shock value and gratuitous violence. At the end of my work day, I would rather watch cartoons with my ten-year-old son, and read a cartoon companion book than watch anything in prime time other than NCIS.As a die-hard Batman fan I'm really looking forward to this book coming out in April. It shows some definite promise for the future of DC's all-ages and animation prospects. If Green Lantern succeeds as Batman and Superman have, hopefully the rest of the magnificent seven won't be too far behind in moving from the page to animated or live action. It only took two decades for Green Lantern to follow Batman!