Green Lantern: The Animated Series launched in 2012 from an impressive creative team made up of names like Bruce Timm, Giancarlo Volpe, Jim Krieg, Sam Liu, and Rick Morales. Unfortunately, being released in the wake of the critically panned live-action movie did the series no favours, and despite positive reviews, it was cancelled amidst poor toy sales after just one season made up of 26 episodes.
Ernie Altbacker was a staff writer on the show and has a "written by" credit for seven of them. In the show, we were introduced to a Red Lantern called Razer who, after developing feelings for a female A.I. called Aya, ended up working with the Blue Lantern Corps to control his rage and finally find hope.
Young Justice recently shocked fans by bringing Razer back and potentially making Green Lantern: The Animated Series canon in that world. With that in mind, we asked the DC Showcase - Constantine: The House of Mystery writer for his thoughts during a recent interview about the new short.
"Oh boy, that one hurt when it was not renewed. We had such big ideas. I would love for that to get revived just to watch it and see what other people do with it. I’m glad that those characters are slowly becoming canon and being used. I’d love to see them in a comic book or something."
As for what might have led to the show's end, Altbacker has some theories and, unsurprisingly, it all goes back to that movie. "I heard it was [the movie]. I have just as much information as a random person that would go digging on the internet, but I have heard from a person who knew a person who knew a person that they were like, ‘We can’t do a new toy line because we have too many with Ryan Reynolds’ head on it and I’ll get fired if I ask for more Green Lantern toys.’"
"That didn’t sell toys and we couldn’t have any toys, and it’s a very expensive show because it’s CG," the writer continued, explaining the show's unique predicament. "We had all the assets and they have them still, so I don’t know why they don’t go back. It would be cost-effective now and it’s hard to stockpile those assets. A CG show costs double what a regular 2D animated show costs."
It's a real shame that things went this way for Green Lantern: The Animated Series as it was a fun show with a lot of potential. The reaction to Razer's return in Young Justice proves there's still a lot of love for it among DC Comics fans, but we're not holding out hope for a revival all these years later, sadly.
Check back here later for our full interview with Ernie about his latest foray into the DC Universe!
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery arrived on Digital & Blu-ray on May 3.