Best Version of the Series Now Available
I was absolutely thrilled when it was announced that the Warner Brothers Archive Collection was set to release Green Lantern: The Animated Series on blu-ray. While I already own the series both as high definition digital downloads and on DVD I am more than willing to buy the series for a third time to get it in a high definition format with physical media. While the set is not available in any retail store it is of course available at Amazon for $21 and can be found on Warners online store for $24.95.
I’m not going to spend any time reviewing the episodes themselves since you can find a review for each episode on The Blog Of Oa by clicking on this link and browsing through all the content I have on this much missed series. If you’ve never watched the show before and are wondering if it’s worth the purchase, it definitely is and you can read my feelings about the show in a post titled “All Good Things” which I wrote when the series finale aired in 2013. Instead I want to talk about the quality of the release and whether it’s worth picking up if you already own it in another format.
This blu-ray release includes all twenty six episodes on two multi-layer disks with the Red Lantern arc on disk one and the Anti-Monitor arc on the second. The two-part “Beware My Power” episode is included as two episodes rather than including it as one double-sized episode that was aired as a special preview on the Cartoon Network some months before the show began it’s regular airing. There are no special features or audio commentaries which is not surprising as there were none on the DVD editions and Warner Archive is not known for adding new material to what is essentially an archival release. I would have loved to have seen inclusion of the original test footage that was shown at the 2010 New York Comic Con but alas that’s not to be.
While Warner Brothers didn’t add any new material they at least updated the menu a bit from the ugly menu system that they used on the DVD’s. The option is there to watch the entire disk in one sitting or you can access any given episode individually. One thing I was glad to find was the lack of advertising on either disk – not one trailer to be found, not even for the show itself!
Visually the blu-rays are stunning and look much better than either the DVD release or the digital HD downloads that are available from Amazon or a handful of other venues that offer them. The colors are brighter, the blacks are blacker and the animation is sharper. This version of the series really demonstrates what CGI brings to the table, but whether or not you’ll notice the difference will likely depend on the equipment you have. Generally speaking the smaller the screen the less you’ll notice the difference between DVD up-scaling on a Blu-ray player versus an actual Blu-ray disk. On my son’s 32 inch set it looked a little better, but on the 55 inch set in our family room there was a considerable improvement. I actually noticed some details and subtleties that I hadn’t noticed before.
Audibly the DVD’s Dolby Digital audio has been replaced with DTS Master Stereo which won’t matter much to a television’s built in speaker, but for a surround sound system or soundbar the upgrade elevates the gorgeous Frederik Wiedmann score to new levels.
Is the Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray edition worth the $25? Considering that the DVD’s will likely run you same amount money it’s a great value and it’s quite frankly the best version of the series that we’re likely to ever see. Despite already owning the series twice over I have no regrets in showing Warner Brothers how much I appreciate the show by buying it a third time. Green Lantern: The Animated Series is an amazing show and in my completely biased opinion it’s the best DC animated series to be released so far. Bruce Timm, Giancarlo Volpe and Jim Krieg produced something spectacular in these 26 episodes that stands as a complete story which leaves fans satisfied with what they’ve been given but sad that the voyage of the Interceptor was cut short way too soon. Ten out of ten lanterns.