Green Lantern Animated Series Hal Jordan KilowogA Green Lantern in ‘Frontier Space,’ the outskirts of the known universe, attempts to rescue the pilot of a damaged space ship, only to find the set up a ruse perpetrated by Razer and Zilius Zox, two Red Lanterns who murder him as they have several other ‘Frontier Lanterns.’  18 months later, Hal Jordan, Earth’s Green Lantern, still a neophyte at this point (in keeping with this summer’s live action movie’s continuity) crashes a plane he is supposed to be testing because he must use his ring to save a train when its bridge collapses.

He has a brief interlude with love interest Carol Ferris before being summoned to Oa, the home planet of the Guardians of the Universe, the benefactors behind the Green Lantern Corps.  There, he is coolly greeted by Salaak and Kilowog before going before the Guardians.  It seems Hal is being called in for questioning regarding his brash actions involving a space dignitary, whom Hal revealed was using his power for wicked gain.  It is then that the fallen Lantern’s ring finally arrives on Oa.

The Guardians reveal the existence of the ‘Frontier Lanterns’ but lament that it would take 18 months to reach these distant regions, thus they are unable to aid these fallen and endangered heroes.  Later, however, Ganthet, the renegade Guardian in the comics, just happens to show Hal and Kilowog The Interceptor, a super fast craft capable of Warp Drive capabilities.  The ship, powered by a miniature Power Lantern and navigated by an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) with a female personality that Hal nicknames “Aya.”  Kilowog responds, “A.I. doesn’t spell ‘Aya’ it spells ‘Aieeee.'”  Kilowog brings their individual lanterns and they “borrow” The Interceptor and head toward Frontier space.

Green Lantern Animated Series RazerMeanwhile, another GL, Shyir Rev falls into Razer and Zox’s snare. The Interceptor nearly self-destructs in Warp Space, but Hal overrides the controls and pilots it through, saving the ship and all on board.  The two Green Lanterns encounter the first Red Lanterns they have ever seen and the two factions duke it out.  Hal runs out of power during his battle, but luckily Kilowog intervenes, allowing him to recharge using The Interceptor’s power battery.

Having rescued Shyir Rev, Hal and Kilowog contact the Guardians and tell them about the Red Lanterns.  At first, a Guardian threatens Hal with treason, then the GLs are attacked by an unmanned probe sent by Razer.  Hal reveals a nifty feature of The Interceptor, that it can interact with their rings, which Hal uses to create a giant drill outside the craft to power through an asteroid and destroy the probe, but not before their ship is damaged preventing them from accessing their Warp Drive, stranding them in Frontier Space!  They travel to Shyir Rev’s home colony for the time being.

At this point, Razer and Zox return to Shard, the remnants of chief Red Lantern, Atrocitus’ home planet.  There we get our first glimpse of this leader of the Red Lanterns.

Back on Shyir’s home planet, Shyir’s wife Biara, a doctor, tends to his wounds and we also meet his young daughter Amala.  Kilowog and Shyir mock Hal’s mask and need for a secret identity, to which he replies, “Ha ha, talk to me when your planets invent paparazzi and a 24-hour news cycle.”  Suddenly, Aya informs them that during the battle with the probe, The Interceptor was tagged with a tracking device, just as the Red Lanterns arrive en masse and threaten to destroy the planet!

Kilowog Green Lantern Animated SeriesAtrocitus reveals that (at least in his mind) The Guardians are responsible for the destruction of his home planet.  Hal battles Zox and Razer, while Kilowog and Shyir, using a map made by Biara, sneak under the planet’s surface and attack the Red Lanterns’ stronghold, only to be thwarted by Razer who makes the curious comment, “You Green Lanterns might enjoy destroying worlds, but I do not!” Kilowog slugs it out with Razer, hopefully allowing Shyir time to defuse the bomb.

Hal finds himself battling Atrocitus himself!  Razer intervenes and their combat spills into outer space.  Too late, Hal looks back in time to see Shyir’s home world explode!  He captures Razer and removes his ring.  Razer taunts Hal to kill him, but Hal refuses, stating coldly, “You will live with the consequences!”

Though all seems lost, Kilowog turns up with most of Shyir’s people including his wife and daughter.  When the two heroes wonder, hopefully, if Shyir Rev may have survived, sadly his ring floats past them, on its way back to Oa to find a new wielder.

It is revealed that Hal and Kilowog are stranded in Frontier Space, isolated from The Guardians and Oa, not to mention Earth, in Hal’s case!  These two Lanterns, in their damaged space craft are at the mercy of the vicious Red Lanterns as they drift slowly toward their home base, with their captive Razer.

I was really surprised by this approach to the series!  I honestly expected something closer to the comic’s continuity, which has been very successful or at least something tying into the movie.  This is a fresh approach, with Hal and Kilowog stranded and outnumbered against the Red Lanterns who are a brand-new threat to them.  The very fact that the producers chose the Red Lanterns over the more high-profile Yellow Lanterns is a bold choice!

The computer animation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it smooth and fluid.  I didn’t mind it one bit!  I mentioned before that the art style reminded me of ‘The Incredibles’ and there’s nothing wrong with that!  I loved the aura effect when the Lanterns were in space, especially with the Reds, who seemed to be engulfed in flames!  Awesome effect!  I wish they’d used it more when they were within an atmosphere.  They didn’t use their blood vomit powers much either.  (Sorry, but what else is there to call it?!)  One critique is that both Hal and Kilowog were less than inventive with their ring constructs.  I wish they had a bit more of Kyle Rayner’s imagination.  Instead, it was a bunch of hammers and clubs.

The story was both light and heavy.  There was just enough drama to make it poignant, but not too dark for kids.  The action was fun and brisk.  But there were a lot of clues that there is more than meets the eye with this series.  Did The Guardians actually destroy Atrocitus’ home world?  The Guardians, as in the comics, are hiding something that you just know is going to come back and bite them later on!  I predict, like ‘Justice League Unlimited’ and ‘Teen Titans’ things are going to build to a season-long mega-story built on smaller, seemingly unconnected tales.  All in all, a satisfying launch!