By: Matthew Rapier:
Beware My Power:
One of the best decisions WB and DC have made together happened almost 20 years ago now. A show called Batman: The Animated Series hit the airwaves in September of 1992 and is often considered the definitive version of the Caped Crusader. After that, another successful run with Superman and the Justice League in their series solidified what’s collectively called the DCUA(DC Animated Universe). Once those shows came to a close the DC animation department began focusing on direct to home video animated features which have been a combination of original stories and adaptations of beloved tales from the comics. There is, of course, a team behind all of these endeavors, but the driving force behind it all has been Bruce Timm.
Where the Green Lantern live action film has failed amongst audiences and critics alike, DC is hoping Green Lantern: The Animated Series will capture the imagination of kids and also adults who have been long time fans of the character. I think there were little concerns when it was announced that Bruce Timm would be bringing his style and expertise to the character. The difference with this project it’s his first step into the CGI territory.
The pilot episode, “Beware My Power”, does well in not wasting time on Hal Jordan’s origin. Immediately Hal is thrown into a situation on Earth where he has to use his ring and act fast to save a train heading towards a broken bridge which allows passage over a deep canyon. It’s good to see action this earlier on, because the viewer’s attention is held from that point and is left wondering what else the ring can do for a regular man. Not long after this event Hal is joined by fan favorite Kilowog, and they are off into space searching for a new threat.
Another good decision from the creative team is introducing the Red Lantern Corps of rage as the first big threat for the Green Lantern Corps. It would have been so easy to introduce Hal being chosen then whisked off to Oa for training with Sinestro berating the human at every turn. Now we have a real threat for the Corps in the Red Lanterns and one that can easily be understood by younger children. From previews of merchandise it seems that the Blue Lanterns, who bring a beacon of hope with their rings, will also be joining in to give the Green Lanterns that extra boost of confidence when the situation is stacked against them.
My only gripe is with the animation which seems to be in the growing stages even now, but is something I expect will improve as the season continues. This is a minor complaint within an overall stellar debut from a character that deserves to be in the same discussion as Superman and Batman. Hopefully people will tune in to see all the adventure and imagination that makes the world of Green Lantern so much fun. There is worry that the live action movie could dampen some of the success for this show, although if curiosity gets the best of some folks it could erase the image of what was given on the big screen.
The pilot episode has just about anything you could hope for in a show based on Green Lantern; tons of space action, awesome ring constructs, and the will to overcome any situation no matter how daunting it may seem.
Overall Grade: 9.5/10