"Invasion" leaves us with just one more episode left in the first "mini-season" of Green Lantern: The Animated Series and like any great show it's all been building up to a crescendo that will be unleashed on fan next week. The latest episode continues to move the Red Lanterns and Green Lanterns to the point of no return and as the title implies the invasion by Atrocitus' forces has begun.
Continuing from last week's episode the Red Lanterns have captured Byth Rok and squeeze the password to the Lighthouse out of him while the Interceptor crew debates whether to destroy the Lighthouse and prevent the invasion or wait a couple of hours until their ultra warp drive is functional again and jump to meet the rest of the Green Lanterns on their way to meet the inevitable incursion. Choosing the path that would save the most lives proves troublesome when the Red Lanterns have arrived first and gained control of the security protocols.
Meanwhile Atrocitus recruits a new ally on Mogo and Saint Walker comes face to face with his destiny. Just when Hal and his team have gained the upper hand on the Lighthouse Atrocitus arrives and the race is on to escape the collapsing asteroid field when the Lighthouse is destroyed. As the episode comes to a close Hal, Kilowog and Razer are left to fend for themselves when Atrocitus' plans leave them alone in space as the invasion is set to begin while he steals the Interceptor and Aya and sets course for Oa.
This episode is filled with some awesome moments and I keep finding myself geeking out so much about this episode that I don't know where to begin. Looking back over the twelve episodes one can clearly see the growth of the characters and to see Aya in particular evolve to this point is very rewarding. And as a Green Lantern fan it's hard not to be excited by not only getting to see Mogo in action once again, but to in the same episode see Saint Walker receive the Blue Lantern ring, not to mention a throw-in reference to Blackest Night, and I'm in pure bliss.
|Saint Walker faces his destiny|
While "Flight Club" was clearly a humor driven story, drama and action are purely at the center of the stage for "Invasion". The musical score is suitably supports each moment, elevating it to even greater proportions and once again I find myself longing for a soundtrack CD to add to the collection of scores I listen to when I read my comics. Josh Keaton delivers a great performance as Hal Jordan and his sense of doubt in the closing moments really drives home the nearly hopeless situation he finds himself in, pun intended. But the star of the episode for me is Phil Morris and his portrayal of Saint Walker as we see the depth of the character behind the double lidded eyes and why he is destined to be the first of the Blue Lanterns.
What Green Lantern: The Animated Series has done so right in this first season is keep the cast of characters fairly contained and worked within this cast to build up the show without getting too distracted by the wealth of Green Lantern history to pull from. It would have been far too easy to turn this series into a "space monster of the week" show and it would be a shadow of what we have been given. Instead the intentional focus on a over-arcing story with a relatively trimmed down cast has allowed the creators to establish some basic elements of the Green Lantern universe and them use them to build toward something which I truly believe is going to be epic. I'm very grateful to the makers of this show for making the right choices and delivering to fans the Green Lantern series that the mythology, and the fans, deserve.
From a visual standpoint there has also been a great deal of evolution from the initial pilot. This show begs to be seen in high definition and shame on Warner Brothers if they don't offer this series in the blu-ray format. The lighting in particular stood out for me in this episode and I think the creators continue to find unique ways to provide camera direction that uses the advantages of CG animation to create dynamic visuals that I think would be extremely difficult if not impossible to recreate in hand drawn animation.
|Atrocitus chews the scenery and leaves the Green Lanterns in a dire situation|
If there are any criticisms to be handed out about Green Lantern: The Animated Series it would be in the level of support that the show is receiving from Warner Brothers. Outside of the McDonald's Happy Meal promotion and what attention comes from comic book print ads and Cartoon Network spots, there's no support for the show and I am concerned at how that might be affecting the ratings. A toy line is clearly in order and a video game would be a great addition as well.
"Invasion" is an amazing episode full of all the drama one would expect from the penultimate episode in a long form television show while not forgetting that there needs to be some levity to keep the tone from being too heavy. On the eve of reaching a climactic end of the first season "Invasion" is another emerald gem. Five out of five lanterns.