While Green Lantern has made cameo appearances on Justice League Action it has taken thirty seven episodes for him to finally get a speaking role. This week’s episode, “The Ringer”, pits Hal Jordan versus his iconic nemesis Sinestro, however Sinestro has somehow managed to get an overcharged ring which is giving him the upper hand. Luckily for Hal there’s help on the way from Superman, Wonder Woman and The Atom. Fortunately they arrive just in the nick of time – whew!
I haven’t quite decided what I think of the show yet to be honest, so I watched the episode with a little trepidation. I haven’t enjoyed the tone of Teen Titans Go! or Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Justice League Action is clearly cut from the same cloth so when I watch the show I try to manage my expectations because for me I prefer the “less goofy” animated series like Justice League and Green Lantern: The Animated Series and that’s really not what this show is. It’s light and fun with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. Keeping that in mind, “The Ringer” is a lot of fun to watch to be sure.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series producer Jim Krieg is a major player in the show and we knew eight months ago that Josh Keaton would be providing the voice for Hal Jordan, so this episode feels like a mini reunion of sorts. Keaton of course does a great job as Hal and if nothing else about the episode it was great to watch it just to hear Josh lend his voice once again. Darin De Paul provides the voice for Sinestro and does a great job capturing the superiority complex in the character quite well. This episode marks the first significant appearance of Despotellis in an animated performance and it also includes a reference to the Sinestro Corps so the writer, Jennifer Muro, did do some homework to bring elements from the comics into her script. She did tweak the Green Lantern oath a little bit, but the minor word changes don’t lessen the moment where Hal charges his power battery.
If I have any criticism of the episode it’s in the use of the trope where the guest starring hero has to be rescued by the main characters. I get that the characters must all bow down to the Trinity for some reason, but there’s nothing wrong with showing why all the heroes are an important part of the team. Hal’s been shown on the series before as one of the main leaguers but it’s taken way too long for him to get a speaking role – Plastic Man has had more lines. Perhaps I’m just more sensitive because Green Lantern is my thing, but I waiting for the day when he’s treated with a little more reverence than he is here.
At any rate, the episode is light and fun and keeps Hal out there in the public eye which are all good things. “The Ringer” airs on the Cartoon Network on Saturday, September 23rd so make sure to check it out!