Hey everyone, Haven't done one of these in a while, but the timing seemed right, as we are days away from The Green Lantern finally getting his own animated show. As always, images appear courtesy of The World's Finest. Special shout out to Jim Harvey for his help too. And away we go - as always, feel free to post your own comments on the colourful history of the Emerald Knight! _____ Having had as big a surge in popularity in the comic books as one can ever recall hearing about, never mind reading, it seemed almost inevitable that The Green Lantern would finally make it mainstream. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. inability to make a decent live action superhero film that doesn't feature Batman in it has once again derailed their plans. The Green Lantern has had a whole host of appearances outside of comic books since the pop culture fell in love with superheroes again shortly after the release of the original Spider-Man movie in 2002. I thought with the movie been and gone, and the full release of his upcoming cartoon, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, now would be a perfect time to look back upon GL's previous small screen stories. I admit to knowing very little about Green Lantern – he’s had a massive surge in popularity in recent years in comic book circles thanks to writer Geoff John’s superlative run. I’ve read Rebirth and did enjoy it and have been encouraged by my brother on a daily basis to read this new 52 reboot featuring GL, but to advise, most of what I know about GL comes from the animated appearances and my brother twittering away about me. He often tells me GL is the best book on the shelf, to which I frequently remind him that Daredevil sits on that same shelf, to remind him he is wrong. Anyway, enough about the character himself and my ongoing feud with my sibling – how does The Green Lantern fare in DC animation? He made his debut in the modern age in an episode of Superman: The Animated Series towards the latter end of the show’s run in In Brightest Day. For someone who knew very little about the character, this was the perfect introduction for me and made a lot better backdoor pilot than a lot of the other team ups featured in the stellar show’s history. Kyle Rayner was the Lantern in the time in the comic books and he is the version they used in the show here – regrettably, his sweet 90’s costume isn’t translated here – we get a rather generic GL costume which still managed to pop on the screen thanks to the great colouring this show had and it’s excellent animation. I suppose most of you will be tired of hearing about how much better I think traditional ink and pain is better than this fancy new digital colouring they do now (especially when it wasn't new and wasn't remotely fancy, but I'll come to that later.) In relation to GL's appearance on S:TAS, it’s probably worth noting here that Rayner is my favourite Green Lantern. I'm not entirely certain why, but I've always had a fondness for Kyle and being that he's always been the GL during my lifetime, I wasn't exactly screaming in salvation when I hear that they were making plans for the return of Hal Jordan in the books, because I barely knew who he was. I am pretty much the same with Barry Allan being the The Flash now - Wally was always my Flash, so bringing the older guy back because DC Comics has screwed up so badly with their respective characters is not something I would jump for joy at. I see they are still struggling to get it right now - I do wonder how long it will be before they try and coerxe Mark Waid back on a full time basis, to which I tell them to stay far away from my beloved Daredevil scribe, you savages! The episode actually shows his origin – Rayner works at The Daily Planet and following the death of Abin Sur, presumably at the hands of Sinestro, the most bad ass of all the GL villains. The ring finds Kyle and as Superman investigates the space ship crashing to Earth and meets a rather irate Sinestro, who is of course, searching for the ring. After laying the smackdown on Superman in a way The People’s Champ himself would be envious off, he continues his search for the ring and it’s new owner. (I’m beginning to think all future retrospectives should have a nod to my favourite wrestlers from my childhood from now on!) The episode is fast paced and a lot of fun. Kyle is a lot more charismatic in the show than most of the guest stars and has good chemistry with Superman and Sinestro is quite the bad ass mo’ fo. Rayner’s unfamiliarity with the ring leads to some great moments, especially the one in which the somber Sinestro is foiled by Rayner putting green chewing gum in his hair. The fight scenes between The Green Guardian, The Man Of Steel and Sinestro are some of director’s Curt Geda’s finest works, and are up there in some of the best Superman: TAS ever produced. There was some powerful use of both the guest stars powers here – some highly original and visually delighting stuff. The script is one of the best the late Hilary Bader ever did. For me personally, it’s a toss up between this and season one’s My Girl. I really liked Sinestro here – a very sombre, bitter villain with great casting in Ted Levine. As mentioned earlier, there was some great use of his abilities and his dialogue portrayed him as a no-nonsense mercenary – a perfect foil for our wise crackin’ Kyle, again, excellently portrayed by Micheal P. Greco. Bless Andrea Romano, she just doesn’t do miscasting does she? In Brightest Day is one of the best episodes in the show’s run – as mentioned previously it’s doesn’t miss a beat in it’s pace, there’s some good banter between the three leads and it gives a good view at GL’s origin and his backstory – Oa, the corps, the guardians and his main nemesis are all shown in this single episode. Superman himself doesn’t do a great deal, but it’s a nice ‘different’ episode – no Lex Luthor, very little Lois Lane – just a straight up team up. It’s no World’s Finest but to be honest, there’s not really a whole lot wrong here. He never made an appearance in Batman: The Animated Series/The New Batman Adventures but one wouldn’t have to go that far into the future to see our boy on the TV again.