The season finale of Green Lantern: The Animated Series is now less than a week away and that fills my heart with sadness. The Aya-Monitor aims to go back in time and reboot the universe... this time free of organic life. Razer has given up hope of stopping her peacefully and the Green Lantern Corps has exhausted their options. So, how will this all wrap up? I have no idea, but I was lucky enough to chat with Giancarlo Volpe, one of the show's developers, in the meantime!
Comic Vine: I've been blown away with the Aya / Razer relationship. I never expected such an emotional connection from a cartoon on my Saturday mornings. Can you give us some insight on what the development was like with that aspect of the show? And, do you plan on breaking our hearts (again)?!
Giancarlo Volpe: When I interviewed for this job, Bruce quickly pitched the broad strokes of the show. I'm paraphrasing, but it was essentially, "It's about Hal, his buddy Kilowog, this Red Lantern, and this robot. Oh, and the Red Lantern might have a love relationship with the robot or something." I sat forward in my chair when I heard that bit. We had a lot of "shipping" in Avatar the Last Airbender, and I always loved telling that aspect of the story. Even among the episodes of King of the Hill that I worked on, the ones about Bobbie's relationship with his neighbor Connie were always my favorites. So when we got blessings to have a romance in Green Lantern, we all kinda took the ball and ran with it.
I just really love Razer and Aya's dynamic - he's a fussy, short tempered bad boy and she's about as virginal as they come because she's barely been alive that long. She's growing up incredibly rapidly, and is so new to feeling emotions. Experiencing her first heart break is extra painful because she has little to no past painful emotions to compare it to. A lot of people remember the first time they got their heart broken, it felt like it was going to be the end of the world. Well it's no different for Aya, except in her case, it literally could mean the end of the world.
As far as the finale breaking your heart, you'll just have to tune in and see! :)== TEASER ==
CV: If you had to pick just one episode as your favorite, which would it be and why?
GV: I love them all for various reasons, but the ones I've watched over and over again are Loss, Cold Fury, and the season finale, Dark Matter. The filmmaker in me is just incredibly proud of what we accomplished in those episodes. I've always said animation can be so much more than simply baby-sitter TV. And I think those episodes truly deliver.
Homecoming also gets an honorable mention, because I love how the good guys win and love conquers all. I'm cheesy like that.
CV: Were there ever plans to include non-Green Lantern related characters?
GV: I'm assuming you mean DC universe characters that don't normally appear in the GL comics? Yes, we got a hint of that by including the Thanagarians in episode 11. For the most part, we tried to keep the show based around everything that happens in the Green Lantern universe, namely because so much of it, especially the color spectrum stuff, had never been done before in animation. We were in no hurry to put, for example, Superman in the show mostly because we've seen plenty of him in other series and direct-to-videos. Had we gone for 6 seasons though, anything could have been possible.
CV: Which power ring would you want and why?
GV: If one were to pick me, it'd probably be the Blue Lanterns because I make a lot of my life choices on faith that everything will turn out for the better - sometimes to a level of naiveté. What I could probably use, however, is a Green ring. I need more will power, especially when it comes to eating too much.
CV: Who's your favorite character from each Corps?
GV: For the most part, it's the characters who appeared in the show - Hal, Kilowog, Guy Gardner, Carol, Saint Walker, Larfleeze, etc. That's one of the perks of my job - I get a pretty significant vote towards deciding who appears in the show.
CV: What other characters (comics in general) do you think deserve an animated show?
GV: I really like Soranik Natu, and her whole back story with Sinestro. I also like that her and Iolande bonded so well in the comics. I’m intrigued by the ridiculously over powered Sodam Yat, more in concept though than actually wanting to put him in the show. Every episode would have to involve him fighting aurem based weapons near a red sun. He's just a little ridiculous.
CV: Would you be able to elaborate a bit about what we have in store for us with these last few episodes?
GV: The stakes are getting exponentially cranked up as the Aya-Monitor gets further out of control. It's going to get really desperate for our heroes, while they wrestle with how to truly contain her. There's also going to be a lot of big scale battle scenes with lots of Manhunters, and more Green Lanterns on the screen than you've seen before in our series. And there will be feels. Lots and lots of feels.
CV: Can you tease any other projects you're working on?
GV: I can't say much right now, except that I'm still working at Warner Bros. Animation. I've worked on two projects since we wrapped Green Lantern, one of which takes place in the DC Universe, and other is so bizarre it’s not quite like anything I've worked on before. I'll be sure to tweet about them when I get permission to do so.
CV: Not a question, but thank you for GL:TAS. It really brings so much joy to my Saturday mornings and, if it is gone, I'm going to miss it a lot.
GV: Thank you so much for saying that. I know it might seem very bitter sweet right now, but it means a lot to know that people really enjoyed the series, even if it was a bit short lived. Who knows what the future has in store for Green Lantern? A part of me hopes his character will be a scene stealer in the live action Justice League, in the same way the Hulk was in the Avengers. Then the suits might change their stance on him being taboo. I promise, “Green Lantern” is not a curse word.
As Ganthet would say, "Whether this lantern burns or not Hal Jordan, hope will always remain."
Don't forget to check out the season finale this Saturday morning on Cartoon Network! Also, you can talk with Giancarlo over on Twitter.
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. He wants to live in an alternate universe where GL:TAS made action figures and was renewed for another season. Chat with him on Twitter.