Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Green Lantern: TAS "Heir Apparent"

Is this episode a good one? Is this episode a bad one? Well, I'd say the answer's pretty apparent!

Hey, the management reserves the right to make dumb jokes.

Before I forget to mention it, I'm fairly certain that Dulok is named after Sir Lancelot du Lac, one of the Knights of the Round Table. And I could go on for as long as you like about how the Green Lantern ring is like Excalibur, Iolande is like King Arthur, blah blah blah. Except this episode never really milks that opportunity for allusions and parallels. It's almost as if this episode wasn't aimed at English Majors, but at a general male audience. Darn old demographics.

This is the first episode of the series to adapt a specific story from the comics. The story of Queen Iolande comes from Green Lantern Corps vol. 2, #2–3. It's fine. As adaptations go, it's very faithful and only required a bit of work to fit it into the show's style. But unfortunately, the story was told pretty blandly. Heck, the episode's color palette was even bland. I get that this was a typical rocky alien planet, but does the actual sky really need to be brown, too? This whole world is just various shades of brown. And beige. And blue, but only grey-blue. But speaking of color, let's talk about our newest Green Lantern.

A queen who doesn't know if she's strong enough to rule before discovering that she was a Mary Sue all along. Yawn. To be fair, it's a credit to the show that Iolande didn't annoy me more than a little bit. Her biggest flaw is doubting herself. That doesn't create a three-dimensional character, that creates a self-insert character. The "girl who doesn't know if she's perfect but totally is" character template is not a compelling one, I'm sorry to say.

Never once does she even try to stick up for herself. She just kind of goes along with being insulted by Kothak, and all is immediately resolved when she becomes a Lantern. Not so much a "character arc" as a "character A-to-B."

Speaking of characters, this is the point when the show starts to tease Team Razaya.

"Wanna, like, go out or whatever?"
But having said that, there's really nothing new under the sun for either of these characters, though Razer's a bit more proactive in doing what's right. Aya's also starting to develop her independence some more, though it's only briefly addressed.

Honestly, I can't dislike this episode. The first four episodes were all about setting up the various characters, so this episode is really just all about seeing them in a standard situation. This is the "business as usual" before things start going downhill for our heroes. All in all, this is a nice little breather episode after finally setting up all the characters, but it's nothing spectacular. I don't really recommend it, but it's still enjoyable.

Next time, we'll meet the antisocial Green Lantern. See you then.

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