When Warner Brothers was promoting the Green Lantern movie last year there were a lot of comparisons being made to Star Wars. While the film didn’t match that comparison in the minds of many I think anyone watching Green Lantern: The Animated Series would have a hard time not seeing the magnitude of the universe being explored by the show’s producers. As we prepare to enter the end of the first “mini season” of thirteen episodes the overarching narrative reaches a major turning point with the tenth episode, “Regime Change.”
|Skallox and Bleez lead the assault|
In this episode we return to Betrassus and see how things have developed for Queen Iolande and her brother Ragnar since his quest to rule his people led him to commit murder of their Green Lantern during the fifth episode, “Heir Apparent”. Ragnar’s rage leads to the inevitable recruitment by Atrocitus and he overthrows his sister. Meanwhile Hal and Kilowog learn of the truth behind the rage of the Red Lanterns and Ganthet faces a crossroads with his fellow Guardians who have sent all the Green Lanterns on a year long mission to confront the approaching Red Lantern invasion.
There’s so much to love about this episode from the dramatic over the top rise of Ragnar to the all out action between the crew of the Interceptor and the Red Lanterns who set up shop on Betrassus. As we’ve come to expect from the series the writing continues to be witty when it needs to without going overboard and all the right beats are there when the story of the Manhunters unfolds. The voice cast brings the words to life with just the right performances, buoyed by the majestic soundtrack which frankly deserves to released for fans to enjoy.
|No man escaped the Manhunters!|
Besides the reveal of the failure of the Manhunters, the story of Appa Ali Apsa’s rise to leadership of the Guardian Council and the banishment of Ganthet is a high point for the series. Ganthet’s departure from Oa and the dialogue he shares with Sayd is all the more poignant given the passing of Ian Abercrombie. Fittingly the show pays homage to him with a special dedication before the closing credits roll. While I know we’ll see Ganthet again, somehow it just won’t be the same without Mr. Abercrombie so adeptly portraying him. The fate of Ganthet lies elsewhere beyond the Green Lantern Corps and all the elements are in place for his inevitable reunion with the blue power battery and Saint Walker.
Once again paying respect to comics history I was fanboy happy to see Appa be the one to emerge as a bit of an antagonist knowing his past of being the Guardian to join Hal and Green Arrow during the “Hard Travelling Heroes” days and eventually going mad as the sole Guardian on Oa until being killed during his conflict with the three Green Lanterns of Earth. It’s only fitting in my mind that he be the one to rise and it will be very interesting to see how his increased stature will play out in the coming episodes. I also found that while the obvious meaning to the episode’s title applied to the situation on Betrassus it just as easily fits the story of what’s happening with the Guardians on Oa, another example of the great work by the show’s creators to make this show as smart as it is fun to watch.
|Appa Ali Apsa leaves Hal out to dry|
I think that “Regime Change” further shows the evolution of Razer, particularly in his reaction to the presence of a Liberator on Betrassus. He’s come a long ways since not caring for anyone and it certainly appears likely that his path will cross again with Saint Walker, who’s own fate might hold the power to Razer’s redemption if Razer can overcome his rage. I think that his story is building to a climax where he will have to make a choice and there’s a great deal of dramatic potential in how that particular story unfolds.
Producer Giancarlo Volpe tweeted that the final three episodes make up an epic conclusion and I think his choice of words is very appropriate. If I had to describe the show, epic is the first word that comes to mind. Grand in scale and executed eloquently, Green Lantern: The Animated Series is a shining example of what Green Lantern fans have loved about the mythology for years. “Regime Change” is another brilliant episode fully warranting five out of five lanterns.