With The Green Lantern being one of the most iconic DC Comics properties of all time, the Emerald Knights have come to life in animation on several occasions. One of DC’s beloved legacy titles is the Green Lantern Corps, where several characters have worn the heroic title over the decades. Since the birth of the Green Lantern mythology, there have always been various characters for readers and mainstream fans to follow. Whether it’s Hal Jordan, Alan Scott, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner or new additions like Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, DC has really fleshed out this corner of their ever-changing world.
When it comes to adapting the Green Lantern Corps for live action, whether on the big or small screen, they are some of the most cherished DC characters to bring to life. Even though HBO Max is working on a The Green Lantern A live action series, this will be one of the few DC TV shows to require a substantial financial budget, compared to other DC dramas. Warner Bros. Pictures would also still be doing a Green Lantern Corps movie. But luckily, that’s not something animation has to worry about, which is why Green Lantern has appeared more in TV shows and animated movies.
Due to the amount of Green Lanterns that exist in the comics, most of them have had their fair share of animated appearances over the years. Depending on the property, their roles vary from being the main character to being a support player. Since there are always new animated movies and shows coming out of the DC Universe, the Green Lantern Corps is shown almost at least once a year.
One of the most famous Green Lanterns that has made the most animated appearances is Hal Jordan. So far, Hal has been the only Emerald Knight to direct his own movies and TV show. Christopher Meloni and Nathan Fillion (who voiced Hal in several iterations) voiced the popular hero in Green lantern: first flight and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, respectively. Outside of this specific franchise, Fillion has played different versions of Hal in movies like Justice League: woe and Justice League: the contentious area paradox. When Warner Bros. Animation launched its shared universe inspired by New 52, Justin Kirk lent his voice to Justice League: war, before Fillion, finally, takes over in Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Superman’s death, and The reign of the supermen.
In 2012, Josh Keaton played him in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, which ran for 26 episodes on Cartoon Network. While this was the first and last time Hal had his own show, Keaton returned for other DC cartoons such as Justice League action and DC Super Hero Girls. Another significant DC property that Hal was a part of was the movie Justice League: the new frontier, with David Boreanaz as Green Lantern. In Superman: red son, an adaptation of the popular graphic novel, Sasha Roiz portrays an Elseworlds iteration of Hal.
While Hal may have appeared more than any other Green Lantern in animation, John Stewart on Justice League / Unlimited Justice League received major recognition by becoming the Emerald Knight of a different generation. Phil LaMarr, who voiced several DC characters during his career, brought John to life and became a big fan favorite. DC even updated John’s comedic counterpart to match LaMarr’s version on the Justice League cartoons. LaMarr and the writers had a huge impact on how John is portrayed today. Aside from the two shows, LaMarr also voiced on the Static shock series and Superman: red son.
Young justice was another lively DC property to include John, with Kevin Michael Richardson lending his voice for several episodes. Had Green Lantern: The Animated Series been renewed for another season, it was planned to feature John. However, he was named in the penultimate episode “Ranx”, as John was established to be Earth’s New Green Lantern. John also appeared in smaller capacities, with a speechless cameo on Harley quinn and while Roger Cross voiced it in both Dark Justice League animated films.
Another great Green Lantern who has appeared in various DC animation projects is Guy Gardner, the Emerald Knight with an arrogant attitude. His biggest role was on Batman: the brave and the daring, where James Arnold Taylor voiced him for several episodes. Funny enough, Diedrich Bader, who played the Caped Crusader in Batman: the brave and the daring, ended up expressing Guy on Green Lantern: The Animated Series for a few episodes. While Guy has been featured in a handful of episodes on Young justice, he appeared in speechless cameos until season three Troy Baker played him.
Guy has had a handful of appearances when it comes to DC animated films, including Superman: red son, where he was voiced by Jim Meskimen, fighting alongside Hal and John. But other than that movie, Guy made cameos in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League, Justice League vs. Fatal Five, and more recently, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
Despite being a great Green Lantern himself, Kyle Rayner has surprisingly enough had very few appearances in animation. His first appearance in a DC cartoon was the Superman: The Animated Series, where Kyle was voiced by Michael P. Greco in the episode titled “In Brightest Day”. This iteration of Kyle became a Green Lantern as Abin Sur’s ring chose him to become the next Emerald Knight. With Sinestro as the villain of the week, Superman and Kyle team up to take on the popular villain Green Lantern.
The next time Kyle would appear in Bruce Timm’s shared universe was on Unlimited Justice League, only this time it was voiced by Will Friedle. At Justice League, Kyle lost his name in the episode titled “Hearts and Minds”, until he appeared correctly on Unlimited Justice League. During the eighth episode, “The Return,” Kyle appears, now being a more experienced Green Lantern than when fans saw him on Superman: The Animated Series.
Other green lanterns in animation
Jessica Cruz – One of DC’s most recently invented Green Lanterns is Jessica Cruz, whose animated appearances include Justice League vs. Fatal Five, voiced by Diane Guerrero. Cristina Milizia also played Jessica in several Lego DC projects and the web series DC Super Hero Girls. For the continuous DC Super Hero Girls TV show, Myrna Velasco took over from Milizia.
Alan Scott – The Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, has had a few limited appearances outside of the comics. Most of them were speechless cameos, including on Young justice and Justice League: the new frontier. Alan’s biggest animated appearance was on Batman: the brave and the daring, where he was voiced by Corey Burton.
Kilowog – Oa’s main trainer for the new Green Lanterns is Kilowog, on which Dennis Haysbert, Kevin Michael Richardson, Michael Madsen and Henry Rollins have spoken. Justice League, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Green lantern: first flight, and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, respectively.
Abin Sur – Before Hal became Green Lantern, his ring belonged to Abin Sur, who has appeared in several animated films and TV shows. Green lantern: first flight and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, were some of Abin’s prominent animated appearances, voiced by Richard McGonagle and Arnold Vosloo, respectively.
Arisia Rrab – While Arisia Rrab has made many voiceless appearances on various DC animated shows, she has had a larger role in Green lantern: first flight and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, voiced by Kath Soucie and Elisabeth Moss, respectively.
Boodikka – Tricia Helfer and Gray DeLisle voiced Boodikka in Green lantern: first flight, and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. For DeLisle, the sequel became his second voice for Boodikka, after playing the character in the Dodgers duck show.
Tomar-Re – Another more recognizable green lantern that has appeared on screen is Tomar-Re. Aside from his multiple cameos, Tomar-Re has served as a recurring character on Green Lantern: The Animated Series, played by Jeff Bennett. Tomar-Re was also part of Green lantern: first flight and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, with John Larroquette and James Arnold Taylor voicing it in the respective installments.
Soranik Natu – Green lantern: first flight, and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights featured Soranik Natu in cameo spots.
Salaak – In Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Tom Kenny portrayed Salaak, another member of the Green Lantern Corps. Apart from that, Salaak made brief appearances on Dodgers duck, and both Justice League cartoons.
Katma Tui – Kim Mai Guest brought Katma Tui to life Justice League in the episode “Hearts and Minds”, before making a speechless return on Unlimited Justice League during Kyle’s solo episode.
Isamot KoI – One of the Green Lanterns who fought Sinestro in Green lantern: first flight was Isamot KoI, although he had no dialogue.
Green man – In Green lantern: first flight and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Green Man made appearances speechless.
G’nort – Alexander Polinsky brought G’nort to life for an episode of Batman: the brave and the daring, where he joined Batman, Sinestro, and Guy in pursuing the villainous Despero.
Ch’p – The squirrel-like Green Lantern Ch’p appeared as a supporting player in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Batman: the brave and the daring, as good as Green lantern: first flight, where David Lander voiced it.
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