Hey gang, welcome back to an all new STS! About a month ago we previewed Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, and this week we are reviewing it just for you. Before we get to that, however, we have more great news for fans of DC Animation. On July 26, 2011, Warner Home Video will release Justice League season 2 on Blu-Ray for the very first time. This set features all 26 episodes of the second season, plus loads of extras, including commentary on three key episodes of the season, a never before seen deleted scene, and two featurettes, “Justice League: Declassified” and the brand new “The Justice Lords and Beyond.” With many of the series’ best episodes featured in this set, including “Twilight parts 1&2,” “A Better World parts 1&2,” and the epic three-part movie “Starcrossed,” you won’t want to miss this amazing Blu-Ray set. Check out the cover art below, and then even further down we get into some Green Lantern action.
Title: Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Written by: Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Peter J. Tomasi, Dave Gibbons, Geoff Johns, Alan Burnett, Todd Casey, Eddie Berganza
Director: Christopher Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery, Jay Oliva
Company: Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
US Release Date: June 7, 2011
Length: 84 min.
MPAA: Rated PG
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is basically an anthology of stories from the Green Lantern Corps’ past that are tied together through the current primary story. The main story focuses on Hal Jordan training a new Lantern named Arisia, while the entire Lantern Corps are preparing for an attack unlike any they have ever seen before. It’s during the battle preparation that Hal and various other Lanterns introduce Arisia to some of the Corps’ most legendary tales. Each of these tales spotlights a different Green Lantern, including Kilowog, Abin Sur, Laira, Avra, and Mogo.
The first tale told is about Avra, “the first Green Lantern.” The Guardians actually created four original rings that were to be given to four chosen warriors. Everyone was surprised when Avra, who was actually not a warrior, was chosen by one of the rings. Avra, along with three other “warrior” Lanterns, are sent in to stop a war in which they are ridiculously outnumbered. During the battle these first four Green Lanterns are forced to figure out what being a GL is really all about, and also learn just how powerful of a weapon their rings can be when they are utilized correctly. The tale of Avra is a really great story and it best exemplifies what the Green Lanterns are all about. I really enjoyed the fact that one character who seems like they would be least likely to thrive in this situation, is the one that blows everyone else away and defines the role of Green Lantern forever more.
As we all know, Kilowog is the resident GL drill Sargent, so the fact that his training story is one of the tales told is a really great treat. In this story we learn that Kilowog was trained by Deegan, an even more hard-core, kick-ass GL trainer than him. Deegan is as tough as nails and he puts Kilowog and three other rookies through hell. After watching another rookie nearly die in training, Kilowog and Deegan have it out. Their skirmish is quickly interrupted by an urgent call about an emergency situation. It is in this crisis that the rookies, or “Poozers” as Deegan likes to call them, come to really understand and respect their trainer, and he also learns a few things about them as well. This is by far the best of the GL tales, especially if you are a Kilowog fan. I personally loved the character of Deegan and his relationship with Kilowog. By the end of the story it is quite clear how Kilowog became the GL he is today.
Laira takes center stage in another of the tales told to Arisia. Her story revolves around her father who was the ruler of her home world, and the day he faced an enemy greater than himself. It is revealed that Laira was trained from birth to be a great warrior. When this enemy overtakes her father, the Green Lantern of their sector shows up to help fight off this invasion, but he proves to be insufficient to stop these would be conquerors. After he is killed in battle, the ring overlooks Laira’s father and chooses her instead to be the next GL. Laira is able to save her home word, but her true test comes sometime later when she is called upon to return to her home world to stop her own father. I was not too familiar with Laira, so I found her story new and interesting. Laira’s tale is definitely the one with the most action as far as hand to hand fisticuffs. It is also the most emotional of the stories, as Laira and her father are forced to face some difficult truths about one another.
Mogo’s tale is probably the most comedic one of them all. For those that don’t know, Mogo is a Green Lantern who also happens to be a planet. His story is told from the point of view of Bolphunga, a warrior who seeks out other great warriors that he feels are worthy enough to do battle with him. While encountering one such bloke, the armless beaten warrior mentions to Bolphunga that he will never be as great of a warrior as Mogo. Bolphunga is immediately intrigued by this mysterious Green Lantern. The remainder of the tale is about Bolphunga searching high and low to find the great Mogo, with hilarious results. As previously stated, this story helped to round out the entire movie by giving you a break for the seriousness and drama of the other tales. It also firmly demonstrates just how powerful Mogo truly is!
The final tale in this collection features Abin Sur, the Lantern who is most famously known as the predecessor of Hal Jordan. Sinestro recalls this tale of his once good friend, Abin Sur, to Arisia. In this tale, Abin Sur is trying to capture a very dangerous escaped prisoner, Atrocitus. Abin Sur’s mission is made even more difficult when his ring begins to run out of power. The adventure continues as Abin Sur has to wrestle his power battery away from Atrocitus and find some time in the midst of fighting to charge his ring with it. Sinestro appears in the story as well and offers a hand to his pal in need. What I found most appealing about this tale is that we got to learn a little more about the “dying alien” that gave Hal Jordan his power and set him on the path to his destiny. I also enjoyed getting a chance to see Sinestro as a good, respectable Green Lantern. There is also a great foreshadowing scene in which Atrocitus gives Abin Sur a warning about things to come. It is interesting to see how quickly Abin Sur dismisses the warning and what his rationalization for it is.
Once all these tales are told, we finally get to the meat of the story – the attack on the Green Lantern Corps by Krona. Krona is an ancient enemy of the Guardians, and although he was once banished, it seems he has found a way to return and get revenge against his jailers. During this massive attack, we get to see most of the Green Lanterns that were featured in one of the stories above play a pivotal role in helping to stop this anti-matter monster. This is also the only place in the entire movie where we get to see Hal Jordan and Arisia in action. As a whole, I found this movie very entertaining. If you haven’t seen the live action GL movie yet (it opened on Friday), or even if you have, this is a great place to get a crash course on the mythology of the Green Lantern Corps. The voice talent is great, the animation is top notch, and with note worthy, amazing writers involved, the stories are exactly how good you would expect them to be. Don’t miss this one for all the reasons stated above, but mostly because where else are you going to get to see Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan?