Even in an age rich with comic book adaptations, superheroes aren't always a sure thing. This is even truer on television, where a serialized format might best complement comics' source material. Even if a such a show gains a fervent cult following on the Internet, flagging ratings can sink even the most faithful and beloved televised versions of popular characters.
The time has may have come once more for the axe to fall on two such superhero television series: the animated Green Lantern and Young Justice, currently showing as part of Cartoon Network's DC Nation Saturday morning cartoon block. A press release by Cartoon Network highlighting its upcoming year of programming tellingly omits Young Justice and Green Lantern from its list of returning shows, indicating strongly that both series will conclude at the end of the current season.
While the Cartoon Network press release does not directly state that Young Justice and Green Lantern have been canceled, their absence from its lineup is telling. Moreover, the release specifically highlights two new DC Comics-based series set to begin airing as part of DC Nation on Saturdays – Teen Titans Go! and Beware the Batman. With these two shows slotted to begin next season, the departure of Lantern and Justice only makes sense.
Though Young Justice's cancellation has yet to be confirmed by its showrunners, it looks as if Green Lantern is definitely going the way of the dodo. Series producer Giancarlo Volpe acknowledged the end of the series via Twitter this afternoon. Volpe was muted in his announcement, fielding fan questions and confirming that all completed episodes of Green Lantern will air.
This is dismaying news for fans of both canceled series, which have gained decent followings during the previous year. However, it's not particularly surprising – the entire DC Nation block was bumped from Saturdays in October and placed on a hiatus that only recently ended. This move presaged to many that the programming block might see some serious retooling in the near future.
Though DC Comics fans may be irritated that these animated adaptations are on the way out, the incoming Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go! seem set to fulfill similar functions as Green Lantern and Young Justice, respectively. Beware the Batman is set to become the first CG-animated Batman adaptation and will apparently focus on aspects of the hero's mythos that have gone largely unexplored by previous iterations. Teen Titans Go! is a quasi-continuation of the rather popular Teen Titans cartoon series that aired on Cartoon Network in the mid-2000s; this version appears to lean more toward comedy than action and adventure.
As with any television series cancellation, a period of angry mourning has already begun for both Young Justice and Green Lantern. Thousands of fans have taken to the Internet's favorite mode of attempting to press for change and/or maintaining the status quo: a petition to reinstate the series for new episodes. However, with next season's DC Nation block already carved out, these pleas will likely fall on deaf ears. DC Comics fans will have to decide whether the cancellations are enraging enough to forego the interesting premises of the new DC Nation shows waiting in the wings.
Green Lantern and Young Justice will continue to air Saturday mornings on Cartoon Network's DC Nation through the end of the current season.
Source: Cartoon Network [via Comic Book Resources]