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Green Lantern: The Animated Series #1 Review

Sometimes I wonder if DC understands their own characters. Sometimes I think the answer is yes.

In the new Green Lantern animated series, Hal Jordan and Kilowog follow a Green Lantern Corps ring to the farthest reaches of protected space. In a ship. Called the Interceptor. With a female onboard navigation system named Aya. That sounds like David Hasselhoff having adventures behind the wheel of a customized Trans Am, code named K.I.T.T. with an alien sidekick. Oh, wait - Green Lantern has been re-imagined as BJ and the Bear! A '70's series starring Greg Evigan as a truck driver with a chimpanzee sidekick chased by a gruff state trooper played by Claude Akins who was on another truckin' series, called Movin' On! Both were pretty much a television verision of the Burt Reynolds movie with Sally Field and Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit! Hal and Kilowog are just a couple of good ole boys, never meaning no harm! No, they're The Dukes of Hazzard in space!

The problem I have with this plot is that it is dragging. Very. Slowly. To. Any. Kind. Of. Conclusion. Atrocitus is the leader of the Red Lantern Corps. His objective is to eliminate the Green Lantern Corps out of revenge against the Guardians. One Green Lantern at a time it seems. Three of his Red Lanterns are part of an execution squad. Hal and Kilowog follow one of the Lantern rings back to its sector and a confrontation with the three Red Lanterns using the Interceptor. Beating the other two Lanterns, Hal and Kilowog capture Razer, who may be on a path of rehabilitation and reform on the journey back to Oa. And adventure follows them on the trip back.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series #1 picks up the story from there. Hal and Kilowog are piloting the Interceptor back to Oa with Razer in his cell. a pair of energy-hungry shadow entities board the ship. One starts feeding off Razer, taking on his form as an evil twin. The other feeds off Kilowog becoming his duplicate. Since there's only two of them, Hal is free to use his full wits to fight them off. The fight ranges between the shadow entities using Kilowog and Razer as hosts, feeding off their energy, being kind of tangible and being completely shadow. It takes some doing, but Hal figures out the best way to defeat them.

I don't have any problems with Art Baltazar and Franco's script. It's pretty basic and has a good lesson to it. Darid Brizuela's art is enjoyable. I'd prefer Tim Levins or Christopher Jones, only because I'm biased from their work on Batman animated tie-ins. The conflict I have is between the kid and the adult in me. The kid in me sees the Interceptor and wants it for Christmas so I can put it next to the three Batmobiles on my shelf. The adult in me wonders why the Guardians would need to build a Green Lantern battery-powered ship in the first place. The Guardians were never seen using it, since it is brand new. It appears to be created solely to put Hal and Kilowog on their journey. Unfortunately, the adult in me is winning out over the kid that just thinks it's a cool ship and just please shut up and follow the cool adventures that these two are having, already!

I guess what I was expecting is adventures similar to what is going on in the mainstream Green Lantern book. Hal goes from flying jets to flying using just the ring. Every other issue brings Hal against his arch-nemesis Sinestro. That is what I'm expecting from a Green Lantern animated series, either on Cartoon Network or the companion comic book. That's not what is happening. Instead, it appears that lessons are being learned in tolerance and acceptance of people that are different and peaceful conflict resolution. Hopefully, the Red Lantern storyline will resolve - with some satisfaction - and move on. I'm ready for Sinestro, Sonar, Doctor Polaris, Black Hand and Goldface.

While I like Hal's adventures in space - and Hal has a vast sector of space to patrol - he's from Earth. I'm used to stories being about aliens bringing the fight to Hal and Earth. This exploring strange new world and discovering and befriending new life forms and boldly going where no Green Lantern has gone before doesn't really comfortably suit Hal. That makes me wonder if Green Lantern is going in this direction to be different for the sake of being different; or experimenting, to try to be fresh and original. I hope DC knows what it's doing.          



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