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Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Check the Blog of Oa to keep up to date with all the news on the Green Lantern animated series airing as a part of the DC Nation block, Saturday mornings on the Cartoon Network.
The Podcast of Oa
Co-hosts William Giancoli and Myron Rumsey take you inside the Green Lantern universe with lively discussion about anything and everything to do with DC Comics Emerald Knights.
Comic Book Reviews
Every month the Blog of OA reviews all the Green Lantern titles from DC Comics. Find out what's been happening with our plot snapshots and whether each book was good enough to light up our five lantern review meter.
Green Lantern 101
Whether you're new to Green Lantern or want to refresh your memory, Green Lantern 101 features profiles on characters that make up the rich history of Green Lantern lore.
The Green Lantern Motion Picture
The Blog of Oa followed the creation of the movie from the early days of pre-production all the way through its release and beyond. Trace the history of the film from early speculation and rumor all the way through the future of a potential sequel.
Raging Bullets Podcast
From time to time we join our friends Sean Whelan and Jim Segulin to talk Green Lantern on the premiere DC Comics Podcast, Raging Bullets. Click here to see what episodes of their fantastic show we took part in.
Green Lantern Gaming
Playstation 3 owners can click here for instructions on how to download and install our free Green Lantern themes for you gaming console. Check out all our coverage of Green Lantern video games from DC Universe Online and Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters to online flash games.
The issue opens up with John Stewart still in space at the site of the remains of Xanshi, the planet that John wasn't able to protect back in 1988's Cosmic Odyssey. Black rings fly by as we see Pariah telling us that "Worlds have died. Worlds will rise" and see the black energy reassemble Xanshi piece by piece until we see Xanshi recreated in whole, complete with a Black Lantern insignia on it. Whether this is a living, er dead, er zombie planet on the scale of Mogo remains to be seen since this is the last we see of any of Earth's Green Lantern's for the rest of the issue
The next few pages offer some interesting and tantalizing pieces of information. Now I may be not remembering whether or not this was mentioned, but I don't think that we got a lot of information about the origin of the Star Sapphires other than that the Zamaron's found the first gem frozen in two crystallized skeletons in a cave somewhere. The location of that somewhere is show here as the leaders of the Star Sapphires mention that they brought those skeletons to Zamaron from Earth. I don't know as if that's been mentioned before, but in any case I think that this is perhaps a clue as to why the Guardians view Earth as somewhat important in the fate of the universe. Let the speculation begin!
The other interesting part of this section of the issue is in how Carol Ferris is able to resist the controlling aspect of the Star Sapphire energy. Part of Geoff Johns' emotional spectrum is that the further away from the center you get, the more the energy controls you instead of you controlling it. So it's interesting that Carol has been able to maintain her control over it unlike her past experiences with being possessed by the violet energy.
In fact, I think that Carol is the real star of this issue. Her inner monologue and the insight into her character really underscore her importance in the Green Lantern mythos and elevates her from simple love interest into a tragic character who's love for Hal and need to be loved takes a back seat to Hal's destiny. I've always believed that Carol is the perfect woman for Hal and that Hal is all too aware of his feelings for her, but his duty and knowing how what his father did for a living impacted Martin Jordan's marriage kept Hal from acting on his emotion. I really believe that Hal's love for Carol is only outweighed by his love of what he does and wanting to show his love for her by making sure that she doesn't suffer as a result of what he does. Of course she'd be happy with that and the fact that she risks it all and takes the Star Sapphire solely because her love for Hal is so strong that she wants to help him as she's told he would despite knowing it probably won't result in her getting what her heart desires.
The scenes between Carol and Sinestro are great as we see the two people who probably know Hal better than any other two people in the universe engage each other. It's really interesting that Sinestro has so much respect for Hal that he offers Carol the chance to escape harm. Carol's response, "I've never been a good girl", is an appropriate response - although the thought of any woman wearing that uniform and saying she's not a good girl is all good!
Then it all goes south for Carol as the Sinestro is able to liberate the captured members of the Sinestro Corps that the Star Sapphires have been trying to "convert". Again, we get a lot of insight into Carol Ferris through the resulting dialogue between her and Sinestro and we learn that Sinestro has a love of his own and, without spoiling for anyone who hasn't read the issue yet, reveals a shocking connection between Sinestro and another Green Lantern. It perhaps explains his relationship with another Green Lantern and possible reveals the identity of Soranik Natu's mother. Sinestro's reaction as he breaks free from Carol's grasp is perfectly in character as he becomes incensed over the memories that Carol has forced him to acknowledge.
Meanwhile the recovery of Laira's body from Ysmault continues as Alpha Lantern Boodikka's strict adherence to the Guardians' orders results in here laying waste to a number of Red Lanterns. This all backfires on them as black rings descend and takes controls of Boodikka's victims.....and Laira. At the same times the black rings arrive on Zamoran and Odym, although there are no dead bodies on the Blue Lanter homeworld for the rings to affect as the Blue Lanterns have been successful thus far in fending off the assault of Larfleeze's virtual Orange Lanterns. Among the recently undead are Amon Sur and The Five Inversions.
Speaking of Larfleeze, well the black rings have also found Okaara and the myriad corpses of the people who've tried to take the power of Avarice for themselves. Again, the two page spread showing Larfleeze's reaction is absolutely priceless. The issue ends with Scar and the Black Book and our mysterious big bad guy. Yeah I know his name's been leaked already, but I believe in the sanctity of the story and don't want to spoil it for those who don't want to know yet. But the ending reminds us that the Black Lantern rings have infected the homeworlds of all the other homeworlds of the various colors, except Indigo.
As always I'm left wanting more and waiting impatiently for the next issue. We get so much from the issue, it is both a visual feast and a solid, tight piece of writing. I have to admit that I was a little concerned when it was announced that Ivan Reis was leaving Green Lantern, but Doug Mahnke has really impressed me with the work he's done so far. Definitely a five lantern issue.
But as we've seen thus far, the Black Lantern version of our departed friends and family aren't exactly the way we'd like to remember them, in fact they are downright vicious and vindictive.....and I love it! So in reading Blackest Night Batman #1 I anticipated getting to see some cool scenes, although I knew by recent events that we wouldn't get to see Bruce Wayne interacting with his parents. But if we're going to see those moments explored in these spin off series, this first issue doesn't provide the reader with them as it's pretty much all set up for what's coming next.
We also get treated to more on Deadman's situation and I think that what he experiences underlines the fact that while the Black Lanterns may look like the people we know, and they have their memories, they aren't really the dead brought back to life. Unless Boston Brand is an exception to the rules of course. But if he's not that's a piece of information that helps us try to figure out how the Black Lantern's work. And the sequence where Deadman inhabits the bodies of the dynamic duo were a lot of fun.
Why? Well the rings will be promotional giveaways and comic retailers will need to buy a certain number of copies of specific titles in order to get a bag of fifty rings. And the problem may be that these titles aren't necessarily ones that your shop buys in those quantities. Here's a breakdown of what color ring is attached to what title, the title's release date and how many copies have to be ordered by your local comic shop in order to get the rings.
November 4th - Yellow - Doom Patrol #4 - 25 copies
November 18th - Orange - Booster Gold #26 - 25 copies
December 2nd - Red - JLofA #39 - 50 copies
December 16th - Green - Blackest Night #5 - 50 copies
December 30th - Blue - Adventure Comics #4 - 50 copies
January 13th - Indigo - R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 - 25 copies
January 20th - Violet - Outsiders #24 - 25 copies
Given that many retailers may not order those quantities of certain titles they will be faced with the challenge of deciding whether or not to buy the increased numbers or not. Some retailers may end up linking the premium to the purchase of the comic in question of just charging for the rings outright.
The statue is gorgeous, however the kicker is the price tag. Part 1 of the 4 part statue is $195. So in doing the math the complete statue will run you $780. I love my Green Lantern, but I love my marriage even more so I sadly am going to have to pass on this one. Unless I can get a good deal on selling my kidney...... Paging Geoff Johns - can you hook me up!? :>
The other cool news is "Absolute Green Lantern: Rebirth". This release will be an over-sized slip cased edition like all the other Absolute editions and will contain 224 pages retailing for $75. This edition will not only contain the six issues of the original mini series and the Wizard preview pages, but the first issue of Geoff John's Green Lantern run and the Darwyn Cooke story from the Secret Files issue that came out in 2005.
I guess that really depends on how much of a stickler you are for keeping true to the source material. If you're really dependent on a 100% true-to-the-comic film you're not going to find it here, and you're likely not going to find that in any comic related project taken to another entertainment medium. But if you're willing to let go of some of it and relax a little, "First Flight" is a fun and entertaining romp. There are a couple of transgressions that I personally have a little trouble getting past as I'll point out later on.
My cousin and I are life long comics fans and we usually watch comics films together at some point. A criticism we both share is that many comic book inspired films take too long to explain the character before we get going forward into the plot and we end up thinking that we would have been better served just jumping into the action. We both loved "Iron Man" because the origin moved pretty fast and it didn't slow the pace of the film down. On the other hand a huge amount of time is spent establishing Peter Parker as a character in "Spiderman", but it's done so well and it creates a great connection between the viewer and the main character that it's almost a neccessity for the uniniated because his story is actually more important when he's not in costume. It's a delicate balancing act that some movies get right and some just miss the mark. In "First Flight" we get the ring into Hal Jordan's hands before the opening credits roll. That's great in terms of moving the viewer along, but in this case it's also a hindrance because, for people not familiar with Hal Jordan the man, this Cliff Notes version of how Hal becomes Green Lantern doesn't tell the viewer why he's the best choice on the planet to get the ring. There's an opportunity lost to allow the viewer to make a connection to the hero of the film that is pretty important to understanding what makes him tick. One could easily argue that Bruce Timm and company know their target audience and, in trying to get the film down to a mandated running time, eliminated something they felt the viewer already knew, but I don't think that's neccessarilly an assumption any film maker should make. When Hal encounters a contingent of corpsmen there is no indication of how long Hal's had the ring, something that I think would have helped people understand why Hal could use the ring so readilly when there's an immediate conflict over Abin's fate and something that was as easy to deal with as putting a "x days later" graphic on the screen. Again, there are things that should have been included to say why it's not as easy as putting the ring on and why Hal Jordan was chosen to succeed Abin Sur.
Hal Jordan in this film is kind of like Indiana Jones - the story moves through him and you can enjoy "First Flight" as the action film it is, but when the film is done Hal as a character doesn't have an emotional resonance with the viewer. It has nothing to do with Christopher Meloni's performance at all - he does a great job but the script moves quickly through the plot and the story really doesn't give him or us many opportunities to get into Hal's head. Now Sinestro on the other hand - the film does a great job getting into his head and you really understand him as someone who isn't really a mustache twirling villain, but a guy who's been around the block and become jaded enough that his world-view has gotten majorly skewed. And Victor Garber does a great job with the role making the audience see him as not only the greatest Green Lantern, but a most dangerous foe.
Plot wise the film is just as fast paced as the opening credits. I'm not going to break the plot down and talk about exactly what happens, but there's a lot of great stuff here. What I found great about the Wonder Woman film holds true here as well. Both of them start with the commonly recognized premise of their respective mythos, but then they go off in their own direction. I actually prefer that to see adaptations of comic book stories for the simple reason that the film becomes a new experience for me. Sitting in the living room with my family who knows something about Green Lantern (they are living under my roof!) we all shared an adventure that was a new for me as it was for them. We all knew Sinestro would end up being the bad guy by the end of the film, but the journey there was a unique one.Scenes that really stood out for me where the scenes where Hal stands up to the Guardians when no one else but Sinestro seems willing to. In fact it's crucial to the plot that Hal and Sinestro have this seeming common bond that sets up their future opposition to one another. "He's got the hang of it!" has become my wife's favorite line of the movie and she chuckles every time she hears it. I also liked the whole series of events in the space station and the pursuit of Kanjar Ro. It was great to see Hal use the ring for more than just force bubbles and laser beams and in particular liked seeing Hal use his force of will to pass by the rest of the Corps during the hyperspace chase subtely illustrating how Hal isn't just another one of the corps
Some people have complained about the uber-weapon at the end and how it seemed to be more of a pet than a ring-powered WMD. I can kind of see that but it was easy enough to overlook. If there was anything in particular with the plot I'd say was a major problem was the whole thought behind the lantern's power source. The whole "green element" and "yellow element" thing feels like they had settled on how the film would end and needed to explain where their power comes from but didn't want to spend the time to get into the whole emotional spectrum thing, so they took the easy way out. It seems hokey and contrived to me and I'd rather have seen a few minutes spent on the emotional spectrum. One also is left wondering why Abin Sur's ring seeks out Hal when we see other rings return to OA when a lantern dies. These may seem like little things, but they detract from the film over repeated viewings.
Andrea Romano has done another great job with the voice casting and direction. Meloni and Garber do a great job and the co-leads of the movie. Michael Madsen's Kilowog is so-so in my book, but he gets the job done. Tricia Helfer does a good job with Boodikka understanding that her character is not exactly portrayed as she is in the comics. Veteran actor Willaim Schallart joins Malachi Throne and Larry Drake and the voices behind the Guardians of the Universe. I've always wondered what Tomar-Re's voice would sound like, and while I'm not sure John Larroquette's is what I hear but it works for the few lines he gets in "First Flight". Juliet Landau's voicework as Tala on the "Justice League" animated series worked fine, but as Labella she sounds as if she just walked off the set of "True Blood" with too much southern drawl and not enough exotic alien thrown in.
There are some nice extras as well, but notably missing was a commentary track and a behind the scenes featurette. There's a nice preview of the Blackest Night event and some information on Sinestro and the Guardians as well as Geoff Johns and the GL mythos. There's also the obigatory "Justice League" episodes as well. The Blu-ray edition also features a featurette on the use of rings and totems in various mythologies and "The Green Loontern" episode of "Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a half Century". This being the 50th anniversary of Hal's introduction in Showcase #22 it would have been great to have had a retrospective, but I get the impression with the increased pace of the production of this direct-to-dvd features that less time is available to put together extra content. Just like the Wonder Woman film the menu structure doesn't even have a scene selection option.
All in all "Green Lantern: First Flight" is an exciting and fun film representing a great effort to bring the Green Lantern mythos to the small screen. Bruce Timm has said that there may be another Green Lantern animated project in the future to coincide with the live action film, so I hope that even more care it taken if and when that happens to bring another adventure to Green Lantern fans. Despite some issues great and small this is definitely worth having in your collection and I would rate it four lanterns out of five.
I was born in 1964 with a very rare birth defect called Esophageal Atresia/Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula - in a nutshell the upper part of my esophagus connected to my trachea instead of the lower half. I'm one of the oldest people in the US to have survived having the defect since, at that time, it not only was difficult to diagnose the problem, the corrective procedure wasn't well known. I spent a lot of time in the hospital and I was easily prone to illness. Comics were my escape and something inexpensive enough that my parents could supply me with a ready supply.
One side effect of all this was that the scar tissue caused me to choke on my food quite often. In the days prior to 911 and the common knowledge of the Heimlich maneuver let me tell you that I had a lot of close calls and times when I nearly choked to death. Pretty scary for a kid - and in those moments when I wasn't sure of myself I looked to my Green Lantern for inspiration. I'd ask myself "what would Hal do?" -and Hal helped me find the strength of will inside myself that I didn't know was there. And if my hero could get out of tougher situations just on his sheer strength of will and courage, then I could too.
I was with Green Lantern every step of the way for a long time and only left the book a year or so after "Emerald Twilight" because I just couldn't accept what was done to not only Hal Jordan but the entire Green Lantern mythos. In fact I left comics altogether and only picked up issues when Hal would show up, finally returning to the hobby during "Day of Judgement".
So 2009 is the 50th anniversary of the modern Green Lantern mythos and the year I celebrate 45 years of triumph over my birth defect. With the new animated film and the live action film on the horizon, not to mention "Blackest Night", I felt the time was right for me to start a site and give something back to the characters that gave me so much. And beside, the way I figure it I owe the guy!