I was never much into The Green Lantern, but I started working in comic book stores right before Geoff Johns brought Hal Jordan back to prominence as a major character in the DC Universe. There are about five seasons worth of stories that I’ve read that fit pretty neatly into the continuity that Johns mined from, and then created himself.
Season 2 brings us the downfall of Hal Jordan, and introduces us to yet another Green Lantern of Earth, Kyle Rainer.
Almost an entire season of Kyle as The Green Lantern? Haters gonna haaaaate.
Art by Dale Eaglesham
Season 2: Ion
(showrunners Ron Marz and Judd Winnick)
Serial 1: Emerald Twilight New Dawn, Zero Hour Crisis In Time
(written by Ron Marz, art by Darryl Banks)
Hal Jordan’s hometown, Coast City, is destroyed in the wake of The Death Of Superman. Because the guardians won’t allow him to save the city where he was raised, Hal goes absolutely bonkers, destroys Oa, and kills as many Green Lanterns as he can. Once he becomes Parallax, he tries to repair Coast City as well as the timeline. Several DC superheroes step in to try and stop him.
Emerald Twilight. 2 episodes
Serial 2: Green Lantern Baptism Of Fire
(written by Ron Marz, art by Darryl Banks, Paul Pelletier, Romeo Tanghal, and Albert de Guzman)
Kyle Rainer is the new Green Lantern of Earth and has no corps or guardians to train him. So he seeks out some of The Justice League to try and teach him how to wield the green power ring. Batman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman guest star.
Baptism Of Fire. 2 episodes
Episode 5: Green Lantern Emerald Allies
(written by Ron Marz and Chuck Dixon, art by Darryl Banks and others)
It’s the next generation of Green Lantern/Green Arrow as Kyle Rainer teams up with Connor Hawke to solve some serious daddy issues.
Emerald Allies. 1 episode
Episode 6: Green Lantern Emerald Knights
(written by Ron Marz and Chuck Dixon, art by Darryl Banks)
Kyle goes into the past and brings Green Lantern Hal Jordan back to the present to battle Parallax Hal Jordan.
Emerald Knights. 1 episode
Episode 7: Justice League New World Order
(written by Grant Morrison, art by Howard Porter and John Dell)
Now that Justice League International has been stripped down to a core group of superheroes, Kyle Rainer is given a spot in the Big Seven.
New World Order. 1 episode
Episode 8: Green Lantern Traitor
(written by Steven Grant)
Another three stories across time collection. This time it’s Abin Sur, Hal Jordan, and then Kyle battling a villain called The Traitor. The Hal Jordan portion is the least compelling, but it’s nice to spend some time with Abin Sur, particularly in The American West.
Traitor. 1 episode
Episode 9: Green Lantern Circle Of Fire
(written by Brian K Vaughan and Scott Beatty)
Kyle Rainer gathers a group of fringe DC heroes to battle a villain called Oblivion. This is the only DC proper story I’ve read by Brian K Vaughan, and it’s of a higher quality than much of the Kyle Rainer stuff.
Circle Of Fire. 1 episode
Episode 10: Green Lantern New Journey Old Path
(written by Judd Winnick)
Yellow power rings? Oh, dear. A prisoner at a mental hospital is given access to a yellow power ring before escaping and wreaking havoc that captures the attention of The Justice League and Kyle Rainer.
Yellow. 1 episode
Episode 11: Green Lantern The Power Of Ion
(written by Judd Winnick, art by Dale Eaglesham, Eric Battle, Brandon Badeaux, Jamal Igle, and Pat Quinn)
Kyle loses his Green Lantern identity in a battle with Oblivion. But fear not, he’s now the Green Lantern-like hero called Ion.
Ion. 1 episode
Episode 12: Green Lantern Brother’s Keeper
(written by Judd Winnick)
This is a fairly preachy story, pretty consistent with Judd Winnick’s early work. Homophobia and bigotry are bad, yo. And Judd’s not afraid to let you know it. Repeatedly. There’s also an interesting Alan Scott story here.
Brother’s Keeper. 1 episode
Episode 13: Green Lantern Passing The Torch
(written by Judd Winnick)
The end of Winnick’s run. Ion and Jade go to the reformed Oa and meets with the reformed guardians. Jon Stewart stays behind to protect Earth.
Passing The Torch. 1 episode
Serial 3: Green Lantern Rebirth
(written by Geoff Johns, art by Ethan Van Sciver and Prentis Rollins)
That was an intensely long season of Kyle Rainer to read through but there needed to be some dramatic tension before Hal Jordan, former Green Lantern, former Paralaxx, and former Spectre, comes back to the Green Lantern Corps. Yes, Corps. The Corps is back! Jon Stewart, Kyle Rainer and the Justice League are onhand for Hal’s redemption.
Rebirth. 2 episodes
Season 2 is 15 episodes
The X-Men franchise has had a few animated series, and is on their way to a sixth live action movie. But how would you put together a ten season live action show with continuity and including the best stories from the various X-books over the years?
At its heart, The X-Men have been a small band of mutants brought together by Professor Charles Xavier. He’s a professor because he runs a school. A small school. A small private school for mutants. But when Marvel handed the reigns of their franchise to Grant Morrison, he thought “What if we made everything about the X-Men bigger?” More mutants, bigger campus, higher stakes. And thus, all the X-men writers and artists followed him as he helped the X-Men involve into the 21st century.
Xorn meditates on how to eat a cheeseburger while wearing a metal mask
art by Frank Quitely
Season Five: Planet X
(showrunner: Grant Morrison)
Serial 1: New X-Men Ultimate Collection Volume 1
(written by Grant Morrison, art by Frank Quitely, Ethan Van Sciver, Leinil Francis Yu, Igor Kordey, and Tom Derenick)
Grant Morrison fucks shit up. Secondary mutations, how mutants fit into the evolutionary timeline, Professor X takes his school global, the X-Men give up their random uniforms for leather jackets with yellow Xes, Professor X has a twin sister, Emma Frost has a British accent and a heroic streak, a whole mess of new characters. So much goodness in one giant book.
E Is For Extinction. 4 episodes
Serial 2: X-Treme X-Men Volumes 1-3
(written by Chris Claremont, art by Salvador Larroca)
Meanwhile, Chris Claremont is back for a weird little run of his own. Rogue is trying to figure out Destiny’s book of predictions for the X-Men and how to stop world ending events. There are a lot of Claremont tropes of losing powers and team dynamics that are a fun respite from the Morrison stuff.
Destiny. 2 episodes
Serial 3: X-Corps
(written by Joe Casey, art by Ian Churchill, Sean Phillips, Ashley Wood, Ron Garney, and Aaron Lopresti)
On a more serious note, while Morrison’s book focuses on Xavier’s School, Joe Casey shows us what happens when Angel’s money allows the X-Men to form a corporately funded team to react to world events. Banshee leads a squad in Europe, while back in the US, some of the usual X-Men are joined by Chamber and Stacy X, as Casey explores a lot of religious and sexual themes (but not X rated sexual themes).
X-Corps. 3 episodes
Serial 4: New X-Men Ultimate Collection Volume 2
(written by Grant Morrison, art by John Paul Leon, Igor Kordey, Phil Jimenez, Ethan Van Sciver, Keron Grant, and Frank Quitely)
Our leather clad school teachers try to deal with the aftermath of an extinction level event and the outing of Professor X (as a mutant), a drug epidemic, a school based riot by a naughty psychic student, and then Bishop returns from The X-Treme X-Men to solve a murder of someone who is totally and completely dead forever.
Riot At Xavier’s. 4 episodes
Background story: Mystique: The Brian K Vaughan Ultimate Collection
(written by Brian K Vaughan, art by Jorge Lucas, Michael Ryan, and Manuel Garcia)
Throughout the third and fourth serials, we witness Professor X sending long-time X-foe, Mystique, out as a mercenary to do the jobs that Professor X can’t have traced back to him. What could possibly go wrong?
Episode 15: X-23 Innocence Lost
(written by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, art by Billy Tan)
We spend an “episode” away form the main teams as we meet yet another stabby member of the Wolverine “family”, as a young clone fights her Weapon # training to try and be a good uhhhh person.
X-23. 1 episode
Serial 5: Assault On Weapon Plus
(written by Grant Morrison, art by Phil Jiminez and Chris Bachalo)
I’m sure you imagine this season will end with New X-Men Ultimate Collection 3, the denouement of Morrison’s run. Ehhhh. Look, you can buy it if you want, but the last few issues of his run is a giant middle finger to Marvel’s Editorial, and while that’s conceptually interesting, it’s kind of annoying to read. I recommend getting the smaller trades. In this serial we meet Fantomex and discover what the “X” in “Weapon X” really stands for. (Spoiler alert: It’s not porn related.) Plus, bonding between Cyclops and Wolverine is always so much fun.
Assault On Weapon Plus. 2 episodes
Serial 6: Planet X
(written by Grant Morrison, art by Phil Jiminez)
I’m not really a fan of Planet X but it does wrap up all the plot development that Morrison laid down. We learn more about Xorn than we imagined. The “special class” at Xavier’s school goes rogue. Plus, while I’m usually sarcastic when I mention that a character death is totally permanent and forever, the death in Planet X has lasted fifteen years and that character isn’t back yet. Very much.
Planet X. 4 episodes
Season 5 is 20 episodes
Interseason special: NYX Wannabe.
(written by Joe Quesada, art by Joshua Middleton and Robert Teranishi)
X-23 and some other young mutants live in New York. They’re not on the X-Men’s radar, so they live their lives on the streets making dubious choice after dubious choice.