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‘Green Lantern: The Animated Series’ Pits Hal Jordan and Kilowog Against the Red Lantern Corps [Comic-Con]

Fans got their first serious dose of Cartoon Network’s upcoming Green Lantern: The Animated Series today with several character-heavy clips shown at Comic-Con. In addition to introducing Hal Jordan and Kilwog, the clips gave fans their first look at the duo’s talking space ship and their core antagonists, The Red Lantern Corps. On hand for the CG animated show’s panel were Bruce Timm, Warner Bros. Animation’s Sam Register (Teen Titans), producer Giancarlo Volpe (Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and producer/story editor Jim Krieg (Ben 10: Alien Swarm). Hit the jump to read more about what’s in store for Green Lantern: The Animated Series when it debuts in 2012.

The Animated Series will tell the story of Hal Jordan and his partner Kilowog, who race to the edge of the Guardian Frontier to fight off the Red Lantern Corps as they invade GL territory and menace alien civilizations.

The panel kicked off by explaining its unique visual style, which takes Timm’s signature characters designs into the 3D plane under Volpe’s expertise from working on The Clone Wars. Volpe was quick to credit Timm with moving the show forward, noting that while he’s technically the CG expert on the show, he’s learning a lot from the acclaimed animator.

“It’s great working with Bruce. He makes decisions really fast and they’re really good,” said Volpe, “I think it’s how he gets a lot of work done and it keeps the quality of the show consistent.”

In terms of taking Timm’s 2D style into the third dimension, Volpe explained that the animation team was inspired by Mattel’s line of Timm-styled action figures from the Justice League Unlimited line since Timm had liked the way they fleshed out his character designs.

“I took the Justice League toys,” said Volpe on developing the show’s aesthetic, “We kind of set them up in the office and turned them and took pictures of them.”

Menacing the Green Lanterns in the new series are the relatively recently created Red Lantern Corps. Explaining the decision to run with these villains as opposed to other characters from GL lore, Krieg noted that this show would up the stakes by having a small number of heroes face a large number of foes.

“What’s fun about [the Red Lanterns] is the Green Lantern Corps is so vast,” said Krieg that’s it’s great to have an enemy that’s a legitimate threat.”

The show will also introduce two brand new characters, including Hal Jordan and Kilowog’s artificial intelligence-run space ship powered by a lantern battery, AI (pronounced “Aya”). The second new character, Razor, is a Red Lantern who comes to tap the power of rage for good rather than evil.

“He’s a little bit of a bad boy,” said Krieg

Given the hardcore tone of the Red Lantern Oath, one fan wanted to know if it had been retained for the more kid-friendly show.

“It exists in the comic book and we found that it might not be in good taste for the show, so we rewrote it and made it slightly kinder,” laughed Krieg.

“We really wanted to animate them vomiting blood, but we didn’t think that’d go over too well,” said Timm.

The panel wouldn’t reveal if Dexstar would make an appearance, but said “It’s very telling that we’re not telling.”

When asked about whether the Green Lanterns would face the Guardians’ former servants the robotic Manhunters or Nekron and the Black Lanterns, the response turned hinted at another possibility altogether. “Maybe,” said Timm, “Orange is a good color, we like orange.”

Blackest Night, however, isn’t in the series immediate future.

“Not yet,” said Timm, who explained killing all the characters they’d need to bring back would take time.

Parallax is also an unlikely foe for the time being.

“Ummm, No,” said Timm.

Provided ratings are high enough, the panel said that they might get around to introducing more Earth Lanterns like John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. For now, the emphasis will be on Hal Jordan, though.

The panel ended with a surprise transition into a CG animated trailer for The Flaming C, joined by TBS talk show host and Flaming C co-creator Conan O’Brien. From that point on, Timm and O’Brien commanded the crowd, but the Conan star managed to tease Green Lantern’s Guardians for appropriating the tool of 18th century mariners in their war against cosmic crime.

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