Animated Series Episode 24 Review – “Scarred”

With Green Lantern: The Animated Series coming to a close you could expect that the tension and action would be ramping up as the story of the Anti-Monitor’s invasion reaches its peak.  “Scarred” would prove you right with twenty minutes of cosmic revelation, foreshadowing for what could have been and action which will keep you on the edge of your seat.  As the crew of the Interceptor returns to Oa the crew find themselves on the wrong end of Appa Ali Apsa’s wrath while light years away the Aya Monitor continues to devour system after system.  

When Hal, Kilowog and Razer investigate the Science Director’s quarters for clues on how they might be able to defy the Guardians’ orders and save the day, they discover that there is a lot more to the female Guardian than anyone thought.  A couple of wonderful Easter Eggs can be found in the Science Director’s quarters and lab, mainly the ominous Book of  the Black and the beginnings of the Alpha Lanterns.  There’s also a reference to the Guardians’ past history of originating from Maltus that continues the habit that the show has of embracing the entire mythology of the Green Lantern universe which makes fans love the show all the more.
Capital One – what’s in your ring!
Anyone already versed in the Green Lantern lore can skip these next two paragraphs if you’re already familiar with the history, but the Book of the Black ties directly to the emotional spectrum with Black being Death itself.  In comics continuity the female Guardian known as the Science Director here is left scarred by her battle against the Anti-Monitor during the Sinestro Corps War.  As the caretaker of the Book of the Black, Death’s version of the Book of Oa, Scar as she is named becomes a central figure in the return of Nekron and the infamous Blackest Night event where all the Corps come together to prevent all life from being eradicated from the universe.  
The Alpha Lanterns were creations of the Guardians which serve as the Internal Affairs division, a merging of the best of the Green Lantern Corps with technology making them an amalgam of the Corp and the Manhunters.  And long before becoming the Guardians of the Universe the Guardians hailed from the planet Maltus along with the Zamarons.  There’s a lot of history there and some of which is still being revealed in the pages of the comics even now but I remain impressed with how the creators of the series have remained true to the fabric of the universe while making it easy to digest for those who aren’t steeped in the lore.
Don’t touch that book!
With some mysteries uncovered the crew sneak away from Oa to the mysterious coordinates found in the Science Director’s secret lab only to discover that she survived her encounter with the Anti-Monitor, but not without picking the same scars as her comics counterpart.  Here the series takes a really interesting turn by revealing Aya’s secret origin, tying together even more of the mythology in a very creative way.
Scar reveals that she used a piece of the entity of will to form Aya.  In Green Lantern lore each emotion in the spectrum was represented by an avatar, an embodiment of the emotion.  Ion, the entity of Will looking very much like a whale, was kept in the central power battery throughout history unbeknownst to the Green Lanterns themselves.  Also imprisoned there was Parallax, the bug like avatar of Fear, which led to the rings’ weakness to yellow, the color of fear.  In comics history Parallax influence Hal Jordan for years at the behest of Sinestro, sentenced to death in the central battery alongside the entity until Hal entered the battery himself and the victim of possession by the fear entity.
An Alpha Lantern prototype
There’s so much more to that story that I won’t go into here, but there are some interesting implications for the animated series that spin out of that.  We’ve seen that the rings don’t react well to the yellow aurem crystals which implies that in the show’s continuity that Parallax might be in their battery alongside Ion, so when Scar reveals she used some of the entity you could wonder if what was used to form Aya was all Ion, all Parallax, or perhaps a little of both.  Either way it’s this spark of one or both entities which resulted in Aya being more than just another artificial intelligence with her being imbued with a spark of life which reminds me a bit of Cortana from the Halo video game series.
At any rate “Scarred” picks up steam when the crew return to Galia’s planet to collect aurem crystals to create a warhead that might disable Aya long enough to get through to her.  This was a great call back to episode 8 (“Fear Itself”) which many people, myself included, considered a bit of a filler episode at the time but now carries greater significance now.  It’s at this stage of the episode that the heroes are really put in a bind when Scar turns on them, launching the missile at Aya as Razer tries to reason with her.
What follows is great drama and action as Aya retaliates against them and LANOS proves himself a LAME-O no more.  By the time the end credits roll our heroic threesome are left stranded once again without a ship and the odds stacked firmly, and highly, against them.  My great anticipation of what’s to come in the next two episodes in tempered only by the realization of the wasted potential left behind by decision makers who clearly don’t know the value of what they have.
Hal shoulda tried the old “look out, behind you!” trick
Jeremy Adams does a wonderful job balancing the action, humor, drama and the lore as he did with his script for “Blue Hope”.  As has become a hallmark for the series the writing is top notch and the writers have always done such a wonderful job of providing well crafted scripts which don’t pander to the audience but provide enough meat for the well read viewer.  There are a lot of prime time network shows that aren’t as well written as this series and at least in my opinion there are very few animated series that are in the same league as what we’ve been spoiled with by both Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice.
Adams gives LANOS a wonderful opportunity to be the hero and provides Sarah Douglas great fodder for her villainous turn as Scar.  It was also great to see Razer try to reason with Aya and be willing to reveal so much of himself; a far cry from where he started.  I’m not sure if it was in the script or it was a visual gag that someone else in the crew came up with, but I couldn’t help but think of Gandalf hitting his head on the ceiling of Bilbo’s home in Lord of the Rings when Kilowog found himself in a similar position in Scar’s quarters.
So here we are with only two weeks left and so much more that we all want to see from this show.  Knowing the seeds that are planted here makes it all the more bittersweet that once again the universe beyond the printed page fails to provide the Green Lantern mythology ample opportunity to be shared with the world.  That’s certainly not the fault of anyone directly associated with the series who have proven time and again that they get it.  “Scarred” gets ten out of five lanterns – like Aya, this episode performs outside its my designed operational parameters!

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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