Green Lantern is one of DC Comics’ biggest properties, going back decades. But after his 2011 film debut with Ryan Reynolds was less than a success, any and all follow ups were stalled. As the comic book genre has dominated this past decade, the emerald warrior has been sidelined. But that is finally about to change, as a new Green Lantern series has been announced for the HBO Max streaming service.
The new series is said to take place in space, and is “Green Lantern inspired,” which suggests to us this show will be about the Green Lantern Corps, not a singular hero. And we definitely welcome this property to a serialized format. Yes, another Green Lantern related movie could have been cool. But here are seven reasons why we think the GL mythos are better suited for a series format.
TV Has Room for More Characters
The great thing about Green Lantern Corps as a concept is all the different characters who get to wear the ring. Unfortunately, in a movie, you’d only really be able to focus on one or two at best, probably Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Everyone else would have to be relegated to minor roles that don’t really do justice to those characters or their fandoms. With a TV series, even if you start with Hal and John, over the course of several seasons you can introduce Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and all the rest, and really flesh them out over a long period of time.
TV Allows for Classic Comic Book Storylines
Over the past several years, the Green Lantern series has produced some true comic book epics, stories like Hal Jordan’s fall from grace in “Emerald Twilight,” his return in “Rebirth,” to “Sinestro Corps Wars,” and “Blackest Night.” All of these stories would be much better served over several years of television seasons than a handful of films that would truncate all these classics and reduce them to a Cliff’s Notes version.
The Multi-Colored Lanterns Could Appear
One of the great things that writer Geoff Johns has added to the Green Lantern mythos over the past 15 years is the idea of the Emotional Spectrum, and how there are several other Lantern Corps in the universe based on different colors in that spectrum. While we might get cameos from some of those other Corps in a film, truth is, in a television series you would be able to explore them in far greater depth.
Crossover Potential with other DC Properties
Although you wouldn’t necessarily need to air this show on the CW, tying a Green Lantern series into the network’s “Arrowverse” would allow for a great opportunity: the union of Hal Jordan with his two best friends from the comics, Green Arrow/Oliver Queen and The Flash/Barry Allen. It’s not like these series are at all averse to crossovers! Or, even better. Make this the first DCEU live-action series, and introduce your future Justice League Lantern right here.
Proper Character Development for Sinestro
Sinestro is considered one of the great villains because we got to see him transform from Hal Jordan’s stern but successful trainer into an evil megalomaniac, best exemplified in the pages of Green Lantern: Secret Origin. Although actor Mark Strong was well cast in the movie version, his character’s transformation from good veteran Lantern to villain to the leader of his own Corp is a storyline that should be spread out over several seasons.
TV Gives Greg Berlanti a Chance for a Do-Over
Although DC TV guru Greg Berlanti was credited as the screenwriter for the 2011 Green Lantern movie, the project was all but totally taken away from him. Warner Bros. heavily rewrote his script and handed the directorial reins over to Martin Campbell. After the movie tanked, as a “sorry, we screwed up,” WB gave Berlanti the chance to make a DC TV series, and the result was Arrow. Five DC shows later, maybe it’s time to give Greg Berlanti a chance to do the Green Lantern mythos justice the way we now know he can.
A TV Series Would Give DC a Truly Diverse Ensemble
While the DC TV shows have been great when it comes to casting diversity, the main characters, until Black Lightning, have all been white people. Green Lantern Corps’ ensemble would entail leading roles for a black character (John Stewart), two Mexican-American characters (Kyle Rayner and Jessica Cruz), and a Muslim character (Simon Baz). If we’re roping Earth-2 canon into the mix, we’d have that realm’s LGBTQ Lantern Alan Scott. The best part: none of these individuals would be relegated to a “sidekick” position. They’re all Lanterns in their own right.
Images: DC Comics/Warner Bros.