Animated Series Episode 15 Review – “Reboot”

Hal Jordan performs his first action as a member of the Green Lantern Honor Guard, joining Tomar-Re in investigating another Manhunter installation much like the one uncovered on Earth in “The New Guy”.  As one would expect all heck breaks loose shortly thereafter and by the end of “Reboot” the threat of the Anti-Monitor and the return of the Manhunters become a very clear and present danger.

It’s funny to think back on how much I looked forward to the Green Lantern movie and specifically in seeing the Green Lantern Corps in action.  Yet despite the sheer geek joy in seeing the Corps assembled, reflecting on it there wasn’t really a whole lot of action to be had.  But in the span of just over twenty minutes we got more Corps action in “Reboot” than we did in the whole movie.  Joining Tomar-Re is the returning Kilowog, but we also get to see Larvox, Chaselon and Ch’p, who completely stole the episode with a hilarious sequence where the mighty, mighty space squirrel faces off against Hal.  There’s also a neat little Easter Egg of sorts – if you look close enough at the scene where Hal recruits Kilowog it is Ke’Haan who flies rather quickly by.  I tried to get a good screen grab but he’s moving too fast to get a clear image of his features.
Ke’Haan is but a blur, but a recognizable blur.
“Reboot” does a great job of balancing out the seriousness of the return of the Manhunters with a middle act which plays up the humor factor, largely due to the aforementioned Ch’p sequence, but also in Hal’s rescue of Aya, who’s been slated for some dissection by the Guardians.  With Aya out of commission a new AI program, LANOS, has been installed who has none of the charm of his predecessor which earns him a fitting new nickname from Hal.  When Hal discovers what is to happen to Aya he choose to sneak in with the help of Kilowog and sends Ch’p on a mission to swap the new Interceptor AI program with Aya while he distracts Chaselon.   The whole middle of the episode was just a fun romp that had a lot of moments that made me smile.
But despite the more light-hearted fare there’s plenty of things to cause some concern.  While Aya is back, she’s lost her body in the process however temporarily and it’s a little troubling to think that the Guardians would choose to dismantle her, although I guess with all things considered about their history with robots perhaps a little paranoia is justified.  But perhaps the most serious moment of the episode comes in the final moments when the Green Lanterns discover the literal scale of the threat they will be facing in the Anti-Monitor and one member of the crew is seemingly blasted out of existence in a suitably epic moment.
No Mas! No Mas!
The voice casting for “Reboot” features a few standout performances of note.  Sarah Douglas, who if you don’t recognize as Ursa from the first two Superman films just tear up your geek union membership card, voices a female Guardian noted in the credits as “Science Director” but who many fans believe to be Scar. While apparently the Sinestro Corps War storyline is off limits, there’s a formula for the future that the rest of this season shares with that now-class story: Anti-Monitor+Scar=Blackest Night.  I’m not saying that’s what is going to happen, but, well, it’s been mentioned before by producers Giancarlo Volpe and Jim Krieg that they thought they had a way to do it if the show stuck around long enough and I wouldn’t find it surprising to see some of the elements foreshadowed regardless of whether or not it comes to fruition. Either way Douglas does a great job of conveying a cold and calculating character with a bit of menace thrown in for good measure.
Voiceover veteran Jeff Bennett does a a great job with Tomar-Re, striking an almost Spock like tone which offers moments of character driven humor as he is used as someone for Josh Keaton’s Hal Jordan to play off of.  I’m hoping to see Tomar-Re stick around for awhile in part due to him being my favorite alien member of the Corps as well as loving how his character is being portrayed so far.  While the actor portraying Chaselon is uncredited, whoever it was did a wonderful job in just a few moments of screen time to establish the crystalline being as the Charlie Brown of the Green Lantern Corps.  
Let’s hope there’s a lot more Tomar-Re coming soon
Visually the animated series continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  Still more new constructs appear in “Reboot” and the character designs for the expanding cast are all spot-on.  The sense of scale when the Anti-Monitor is contrasted against the Green Lanterns was a must needed shot as viewers didn’t have a clear sense of just how imposing a threat the destroyer of universes really is.  And from a story telling perspective the moment when Aya is informed that Razer isn’t joining them shows how good of a job the creators have done to convey emotions without speaking a word, although Grey DeLisle’s one word response certainly helped to underscore the AI’s disappointment.
He’s one big bad Mother…shut your mouth!
With the Anti-Monitor revealed to the Corps it’s only a matter of time before word gets back to the Oa about this new threat who plans to use the Guardians’ greatest failure to devour the whole universe.  Director Sam Liu did a great job with Mark Hoffmeier’s script, not that that’s a surprise given his track record.  There are some great visuals and camera movements that takes advantage of the CGI tools that the creators have at their disposal. 
“Reboot” is as much a literal nod to the return of Aya and the reactivation of the Manhunters, but perhaps in a symbolic way it speaks to what this series represents with the notion of establishing Green Lantern as a viable media franchise.  The episode is another winner in a loooonnnnnggggg line of great episodes, fifteen to be exact.  It may sound like a broken record, but this is another five lantern showing.  

About the author

Life long Green Lantern fan and co-host of the Podcast of Oa. I'm a Barbecue snob and aficionado of blues music. Hal Jordan is my co-pilot!

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