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With each new episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series I find myself truly reconnecting with my inner child, and I wholly mean that in the best possible way.  As I sit and watch each episode I catch myself smiling a lot, not just from the humor that the writer’s have put in each episode but because the team behind this show has really captured the elements of the Green Lantern mythology that made me latch onto it in first place.  From the goals and mission of the Corps to the imagination stirring science fiction concepts to the characterization of Hal Jordan, a man who will go to any length to do the right thing no matter what.  And that leaves me feeling so positive about the notion that out there somewhere kids are getting exposed to this and feeling the same thing and hopefully illustrating some important life lessons along the way.

With that said the fourth episode was a great deal of fun with quite a bit of action combined with some wonderful character development.  “Into the Abyss” presents the crew of the Interceptor with the challenge of rescuing a cargo ship captain whose ship has managed to fall into the gravitational pull of a pinhole, a microscopic black hole.  Upon investigation they discover that the ship’s precious cargo and the scope of the mission changes when Hal makes the decision that they can’t leave the cargo behind.  As the ship is pulled closer and closer to the seemingly inescapable pull of the pinhole the crew faces down the ever increasing odds to save the ship and themselves.

Does Hal underestimate the gravity of the situation?

This episode continues to deal with the decision to make Razer a part of the crew and there is some grudging respect developed between the Red Lantern and Kilowog.  Their dislike and reluctant acceptance of one another is played out very well and each time the two are forced to interact their characters become more dimensional.  I also loved the way that Hal’s flight skills became an asset since it’s something that doesn’t get a lot of play and is typically relegated to the background.  Matt Wayne’s script for this episode shows what it is about Hal that makes him a hero by his decision to risk everything to save the lives of other beings and working past the adversarial nature of the Red Lanterns.

The writing on this series has been stellar so far with just the right amount of humor added in to keep the script lively.  I laughed out loud a couple of times and the scene where Hal tries to get Kilowog and Razer to shake hands still gets me after a few viewings.  Two lines that Hal says in particular, “Brave, crazy, it’s a fine line” and “I live past the point of no return” do an excellent job of establishing who Hal Jordan is.  With every episode we get to see Hal show all the bravado and moral conviction that makes him the hero he is and why the ring chose him.  This is the Hal Jordan that got me into Green Lantern and I couldn’t be happier with how he’s being brought to life in this show.

While humor plays a role in the show it’s not overplayed

Grey DeLisle (Aya)

Aya plays a major role in “Into the Abyss” and we see her interesting transformation as she begins to evolve past the point of being just an AI system in a computer.  If I take her look to be what it appears she will likely be instrumental in helping Razer come to terms with his past, another smart move by the creative team to create the potential for something greater than giving her a body.  Aya is used to some degree as a narrative device, often used to inquire about something much the way a child might, allowing other characters to provide information to the audience through their explanations.  Aya is voiced by Grey DeLisle, who is no stranger to the DC universe having provided the voice for Catwoman in the Batman: Arkham City video game, the voice for Boodikka in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and the voice of the power ring in the Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game.

As much as I love Josh Keaton and Kevin Michael Richardson as Hal and Kilowog respectively, Jason Spisak needs praise for the voiceover work on Razer.  Spisak, who also voices Kid Flash on Young Justice, brings dimension to Razer and really brings to life the conflicting emotions that are going around in the character’s head.  Razer represents the dark side that we all have and he’s an integral component of the series as a needed foil for the Green Lanterns to play off of.

How far can Razer be trusted?

I also have to give kudos to Frederik Wiedmann’s work on score for the series so far.  While there hasn’t been the typical opening credits to the series he’s created a wonderfully majestic musical theme for the show which captures all the grandeur and adventure that Green Lantern encompasses.  Wiedmann does a great job with creating the right emotional beats with the score, making the music a vital element to the whole experience.  Weidmann’s score for the two part debut episode was so good it was nominated for an Annie Award earlier this year.

The dynamic use of camera control in this episode helps validate why CG animated was the right way to go for this series.  There are several sequences in “Into the Abyss” where I felt that there were things done with the camera work that would have either been very difficult to do with hand drawn animation or it just wouldn’t have looked as visually compelling.

“Into the Abyss” is another stellar episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series.  The only downside of the show so far is the wait  we have before we get to see the next one!  Five out of five lanterns.

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