Green Lantern: The Animated Series has been a fresh entry into the DC animated catalog for a couple of reasons, one being that it hasn't relied on Batman or Superman to help support it, bringing characters to the forefront who tend to be overlooked by the general public. But the other, stronger reason that this show is so unique is the quality of the production, especially the writing and acting. The series dares to tell a greater story using the trappings of the Green Lantern mythology and succeeds admirably in talking about the human experience. The latest offering, "Love Is A Battlefield" continues the trend of exploring the nature of emotion while still providing a fun filled action romp that propels the over-arcing story ever closer to finality.
Jennifer Keene, who also penned "Heir Apparent", returns to the Green Lantern universe with this story, bringing Carol Ferris and Atrocitus along for the ride. The Aya Monitor makes a return trip to Zamaron and her welcome is no better the second time around. This time Aya is back to pit love versus rage, blaming the former emotion for her current state of the latter. When Carol is plucked from Earth as the Star Sapphires' champion and put in confrontation with a similarly hijacked Atrocitus the fight ensues between them until Hal and the Interceptor arrive to disrupt the proceedings.
|All Fired Up|
Aya's choice to pit the two against each other seems almost juvenile by nature, but her inability to be able to the handle the strongest emotions in the spectrum as they do battle internally within her drives her decision to pit them in battle externally as well. Carol tries to help Aya understand by throwing some literary references about the nature of love, admitting that one is capable of loving someone while still being mad at them, but as appropriate as it is to Aya's situation she remains unchanged. Aya is very much like a young person who feels ill equipped to handle the adult emotions well, but unlike most of us she has nearly unlimited power at her disposal should she completely fall to the darker side of her emerging humanity.
But she's clearly not committed to her path as we see how her posture visibly changes upon Razer's arrival. There's still something there, perhaps buried deep down, that prevents Aya from immediately lashing out at the Red Lantern despite her feelings of anger at his rejection. She also changes her plans on destroying Zamaron and sets her sights on one all consuming universal attack which not only ups the stakes for everyone, but it allows the crew time to get to Aya and perhaps turn things around in the end before her destruction is the only way to save the universe.
In a dramatic turn we see another sacrifice in the name of love this time around when Gi'ata teaches us another lesson about putting the needs of the one you love in front of your own. Having been smitten with Hal Jordan since "...In Love and War" she has much in common when she found her love rejected, however Gi'ata fares better in her handling of it and even finds much to look up to in her rival Carol Ferris. Throwing herself in front of Hal and dying in his arms is a powerful scene and while it might seem that this would bring Aya to her senses it only seems to galvanize her opinion on which is stronger.
Speaking of Hal Jordan, I absolutely loved seeing him emerge from Carol's portal and knock Atrocitus for a loop before shooting Carol a smirk - that's classic Hal right there and I actually stood up at that point when watching the episode for the first time. The battle between the two was great and Hal's resolve after the death of Gi'ata was spot on character. Seeing Carol fighting by Hal's side was a treat I've been looking for since she first donned the ring earlier in the season and I have a feeling we might see Carol again before the finale, and this time she'll be armed with her new jewelry.
|And, of course, Hit Me With Your Best Shot|
To touch on something I noted back in the "Homecoming" episode, there seems to be something going on with Carol's eyes. In the beginning her eyes were brown, but after being transported back to Earth from Zamaron her eye color changed to blue. In this episode her eyes started as blue but changed to brown once she put the ring back on. Originally I saw this as a possible continuity error but thought there might be a seed being planted and this new outing has me further convinced that it is intentional, but unless Cartoon Network changes their minds we are likely to not see what the creators had planned.
Jennifer Hale and Grey DeLisle both deserve special recognition for their performances this episode for all the great voiceover work. Likewise Josh Keaton continues to do a superb job as Hal Jordan, supplanting Nathan Fillion as the voice in my head when I read my comics!
"Love Is A Battlefield" is another great enty for the animated series getting four out of five lanterns.