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My love letter to Green Lantern: The Animated Series

Recently a rumour spread around the internet that Warner Brothers has initiated a no jokes policy for their upcoming DC films and part of this is down to the failure of Green Lantern at the box office.

And this got me to thinking about Green Lantern and the Green Lantern especially in light of the recent success of the Guardians of the Galaxy film. DC had the opportunity to make their Guardians of the Galaxy movie, instead they insisted on focusing on Hal Jordan’s earth adventures.

It also got me thinking about one of the saddest results of the failure of the movie, the lack of support for Green Lantern: The Animated Series. This series was incredible and was exactly the sort of space opera that the character of Green Lantern deserves.

One of the most interesting aspects of the series was the love story, which seems like a strange thing to see for an action series that was supposedly market towards males.  But then it should as no surprise considering the involvement of Bruce Timm and Giancarlo Volpe, 2 guys who worked on action series in the past which also included romance angles, the Timmverse DC animated universe and Avatar: The Last Airbender respectively. The love story in GL: TAS wasn’t even between a Green Lantern and someone else, it was between 2 characters created specifically for the series. Razer starts off the series as a villain, a red lantern, who was overcome with grief for the loss of his wife who was murdered. Aya starts off as Artificial Intelligence, not the most likely of romances. And these aren’t 2 characters who have 50 years of history in the comics, instead we see 2 characters develop a relationship and themselves as we see Razer start to become a good and Aya becomes more sentient. Over 26 episodes a beautiful love story developed and ended in one of the most heartbreaking cliffhangers, with Razer refusing to believe that Aya was gone and vowing to scour the universe to find her and then…

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Man, I wanted to see Razer get that ring and you know Aya had to be out there somewhere. It was particularly interesting that the series finale focused a lot on these 2 characters considering it was a Green Lantern show, but that just shows the strength of the writers.

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But the love story wasn’t the only reason this series was great. I loved seeing these characters explore all the different worlds, seeing all these different Green Lanterns like Ch’p, the Mogo episode and of my favourites, Chaselon. We also saw other rings. In the series we were introduced to Green, Red, Blue and Orange Lanterns along with the Star Sapphires. Should the series have continued I’m sure we would have seen Yellow introduced, after all we got a Sinestro episode, I would have loved to have seen him getting his yellow ring play out in the series. We even got the introduction of Guy Gardner and a mention of John Stewart (“the fake news guy?”).

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The show also provided us with some great fight scenes. We really saw what those rings can do, from one on one fights to epic space battles. And the music, the music was perfect. A lot of people talk about animated shows that were cancelled too early and Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Young Justice and Spectacular Spider-Man are always brought up but Green Lantern is the one that upset me the most.

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All in all, Green Lantern was a fantastic animated series and I can’t help but wonder, if the film had been a success, would this have received a greater push. Regardless, I hope that those in charge of the DC Cinematic Universe look to what has made their animated series so beloved when deciding the direction of their movies.

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