14 October 2011

Spotlight on Green Lantern

In honor of the live-action Green Lantern movie hitting shelves on DVD and Blu-Ray today (in an extended version no less) I thought it appropriate to revisit and update the onscreen history of the many Emerald Knights bearing the name of Green Lantern. Since the original posting in April of 2009, GL has been quite busy, and it looks like even with a few hiccups along the way, the Green one was a bright future in store. 

In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!

Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern, appearing in All-American Comics #16 in 1940. Scott was an engineer who had come into possession of a magic lantern, created as a modern day Aladdin.

Though not quite as well represented as Batman or Superman, The Green Lantern has had a lot of exposure over the years sharing the fame among several Lanterns.

Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan was the first to appear in a superhero show on his DC Heroes segment during Filmation Superman/Aquaman Hour in 1967.

Hal returned to the small screen in 1978, joining the rotating supporting cast of Superfriends. Hal's origin, including Lantern Abin Sur was featured in the Challenge of the Superfriends episode, "Secret Origins of the Superfriends."

Hal would continue to appear in the other incarnations of the series through the 80s.

Green Lanterns first disastrous live-action appearance occurred in the Legends of the Superheroes show in 1979. This live action variety show version of the Superfriends show also featured the most famous of Lanterns, Hal.

In 1997, the Green Lantern's only other (and also disastrous) live-action appearance occurred in the pilot episode for the Justice League of America television show. Needless to say, the show was a no go. Interestingly, although he looks like Hal, he is actually Guy Gardner (note the trademark double breasted uniform).

Kyle Rayner would make his debut in 1999 in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "In Brightest Day."

Rayner would steal the origin of Hal, getting his ring from the dying Abin Sur.

A year later, a future alien kid Green Lantern, Kai-ro was featured as part of the future Justice League in the Batman Beyond episode, "The Call." For those big Kai-ro fans out there, he would return all grown up for a Justice League Unlimited appearance.

John Stewart got his big break in 2001, making the cut as the Green Lantern member of the Justice League animated series.

Though he was masked in the unaired pilot, he opted for the disguiseless look in the series.

Episodes spotlighting Stewart gave other members of the Green Lantern Corps (some of whom cameoed in Superman) a chance to appear, expanding the GL universe on screen.

Guests included Katma Tui, Galius Zed, Kilowog, Salaak, Tomar-Re, Arkkis, Chummuck, and Larvox.

In the episode, "Legends," the League was transported to a parallel world where the Justice Guild of America played homage to the comic book Justice Society of America. Green Guardsman was a representation of Lantern Alan Scott. Where Alan Scott's power was ineffective against wood, the Green Guardsman had no control over aluminum.

In 2003, Green Lantern Hal Jordan was back in a wacky Duck Dodgers crossover. Many of the Corps were also featured here (although in very cartoony form) including, Katma Tui, Boodikka, Ch'p, Kilowog, Salaak.

The episode, "The Green Lantoon," showed Dodgers donning a Lantern uniform after a mistake at the dry cleaners. Oops.

The Justice League version of GL would crossover on the Static Shock series as well.

Stewart freshened up his look for the 2004 series Justice League Unlimited. Now sporting a goatee and shaved head, he was not to be trifled with. Also, his constructs had been pretty unimaginative in the prior series to keep him from being Superfriends goofy, but Stewart eased up a bit and started to be more creative with his ring.

Some of the Corp appeared again in this series including Kyle Rayner from the Superman series. A few more Lanterns were added to the mix as well including Stel and Arisia.

In the episode, "The Once and Future Thing, Part 2: Time, Warped," a reality rift allowed for Hal Jordan to momentarily appear in this animated universe.

Having returned to the comics, Hal Jordan was again the "Lantern of the hour," and he would again be the favorite to appear on screen. The final season of The Batman, airing in 2007, saw team-ups including one with Hal himself in which Batman was briefly a ring bearer as was the Penguin.

The Hal origin would again be told complete with Abin Sur in the 2008 direct to video adaptation of Justice League: The New Frontier.

The 2008 series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, choosing to team up Batman with lesser known heroes like Blue Beetle and Adam Strange, chose to feature the fallen from favor Lantern Guy Garner who's bad haircut finally got its onscreen debut.

In this series as well, a number of the other Corps members have appeared including G'nort, Sinestro (as a Lantern), Mogo, Ch'p, Kilowog , Tomar-Re, Arisia, and even Hal Jordan.

And thanks to some power ringing, Batman got to don a Lantern uniform, though no ring.

After Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League all got feature direct to video movies, Green Lantern was next in line. Coming Summer of 2009, Hal Jordan will be featured in his own movie along with Boodikka, Ch'p, and Sinestro as Lantern.

This movie looks pretty awesome as you can see from the trailer.

And 2010 just may be the year that the Green one finally gets his big screen debut. At this point, the idea sounds too good to be true, so until filming actually gets under way I will remain cautiously optimistic. The $150 million movie is rumored to focus on the Hal Jordan origin story, borrowing heavily from the Emerald Dawn storyline. Just like in the upcoming Green Lantern: First Flight animated tale, Hal will be under the tutelage of one Green Lantern Sinestro. Together they will fight Legion and Hector Hammond. There are also rumored appearances by the fashion challenged bowl cut and double breast touting Lantern Guy Gardner as well as Clark Kent.

UPDATE: 14 October 2011

To start with, I missed a Green Lantern appearance in the original post. Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern and member of the Justice Society of America made a practically non-existent appearance during the opening sequence of Justice League: The New Frontier. Nevertheless, this was Alan's first time on screen.

In early 2010, Smallville paid tribute the the classic JSA. Although his appearance was brief, the cameo in Absolute Justice was the live action debut of the Green Lantern, Alan Scott.

In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Hal Jordan faced off against the alternate world's equally green Power Ring, a member of the evil Crime Syndicate.

Next, Hal Jordan appeared in Imaginext's tribute to the Super Friends / extended toy commercial, Joker's Playhouse.

During the series premier of Young Justice, a pair of Green Lanterns made appearances.

Both Hal Jordan and John Stewart were introduced as members of the adult Justice League.

 In June of 2011, the lesser known members of the Green Lantern Corps were given the spotlight in the animated Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. New recruit Arisia played a central role as mentor Hal Jordan helped her prepare for an upcoming battle.

As the movie unfolded, the backstories of various Lanterns including Laria, Mogo, Abin Sur, and Kilowog were told through a series of interconnected vignettes.

The move wrapped up with still on the right side Sinestro leading the Corps to victorious battle against Krona. In all, the film included Apros, Arisia, Avra, Blu, Boodikka,Chaselon, Ch'p, Arkkis Chummuck, G'Hu, Jeryll, Hal Jordan, Kilowog, Isamot Kol, Mogo, Naut Ke Loi, Laira Omoto, Palaqua, Penelops, Princess Iolande, Tomar-Re, Salaak, Sergeant Deegan, Sinestro, Abin Sur, Ardakian Trawl, Wachet, Xax, and Galius Zed.
A couple weeks later, the live action Green Lantern featuring the origin of Hal Jordan disappointingly fizzled out in theaters. Although Abin Sur, Sinestro, Kilowog, and Tomar-Re, along with Hal, got the most screen time, other Lanterns included Rot Lop Fan, Penelops, R'amey Holl, Voz, Stel, Naut Ke Loi, Ngilia G'rnt, Norchavius, Salaak, M'Dahna, Medphyll, Morro, Isamot Kol, Larvox, Lin Canar, G'Hu, Green Man, Hannu, Bzzd, Chaselon, Galius Zed, Amanita, Apros, and Boodikka.

Finally receiving a speaking role, Alan Scott (this time in his classic costume) made an appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold on the episode Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth!

Update: 22 October 2011

 Just two weeks since the last update, Young Justice has given two Lanterns cameos. In  Revelation, Guy Gardner lent a hand to fight off the worldwide threat of killer plants.

In Humanity, during a flashback revealing Red Tornado's origin, the android was shown joining the JSA whose team members included the elusive first Green Lantern, Alan Scott.

The next milestone for Green Lantern will be the debut of his own animated series later in 2011. Green Lantern: The Animated Series will focus on Hal Jordan and Kilowog, though doubtless other GLs will swing by.

Always keeping busy, Hal Jordan is also slated to face off against the Legion in 2012's Justice League: Doom in which Star Sapphire is set to be his chief adversary.

1 comment:

  1. This is one awesome post.

    Specially for people (like me) whom are not that savvy in GL lore and appearances.

    Great work!