Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: Green Lantern: TAS "Green Lantern's Light"

You know, I must say. I had memories of this show that... may or may not have been viewed through rose-tinted glasses. Is this show awful? Or just not as good as I remembered? Let's review.

This was an action episode, so there wasn't much to it beyond the revelations regarding the Red Lanterns' motivations and the attempted genocide of Fronty's planet. Man, this show is filled with genocide. This isn't a criticism, just an observation. Kilowog's planet got genocided, Atrocitus' planet got genocided, Fronty's planet almost got genocided... Sure, you can say that the "planet was destroyed" to get it past the censors, but it's clearly genocide. That's pretty dark when you actually think about it. 

Most of the ones I touched on in the last Review are pretty much the same, so I'll only be going over two. 

Hal Jordan 
In terms of characterization, we've cemented that Hal is an idiot who goes with his gut. Sometimes, this can be a good thing. But sometimes, it leads him to go fight a Red Lantern drone that gets him and his team stuck in Frontier Space with no chance of rescue, backup, or escape. Whoops.

This Red Lantern clearly has a bit more depth than the others, as seen by his willingness to at least question his master's plan. We'll see how he develops in later episodes. 

All in all, this show is turning out to be... okay. The reason why has its roots in the show's origins.

The creators have stated that Sinestro was off limits as a villain (what with the film and all), so they decided to use the more obscure Red Lanterns as the main threat. Now, here's the thing. Batman is well-known, so you still have his star power going for you when you use obscure villains. But Green Lantern isn't as well-known, so when you use his more obscure rogues, you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel. 

The main problem with this series is that it's not very appealing, for lack of a better word. While it is nice to see some of these characters given their due, like Kilowog, this show suffers from a lack of "name" characters. 

For example, Fronty the Frontier Lantern. Anyone not familiar with the source material (heck, anyone period) could make the reasonable assumption that he was going to be a main character and not just cannon fodder. In the audience's mind, there's almost no way to discern the difference between main characters and side characters at first. In a Superman show, it's easy. Lois Lane is a main character, Joe Shmo isn't. But how do you determine whether Ugly Alien 1 or Ugly Alien 2 is going to be important? Especially when Fronty is given about as much characterization as Kilowog, who is a main character. 

For another example, the villains. The main villains, for now, are the Red Lanterns. But they won't be showing up every episode. Most episodes, the one-shot villain will be about as memorable (and unique) as the one-time guest aliens on Star Trek. With, say, a Superman show, you've got Lex Luthor, and Toyman, and Bizarro, etc. But with Green Lantern? Your one-shot villains options include... um... Kanjar Ro... uh... Sinestro no, he's off limits... Larfleeze... Goldface can't use Earth-based villains....  See the problem? 

That's not to say that Green Lantern: TAS is boring, or not engaging, or whatever; I just mean that the series is working uphill when compared to, say, Beware the Batman, or... I can't believe I'm saying this, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Everyone knows who the Hulk is, at the very least. 

So as it is, the show is just okay. But it still has a couple episodes of growth before our heroes reach the status quo. Yeah, this show's taking its time. I hate to say it, but I'm beginning to see why it was canceled. (Besides the other reasons.) Green Lantern isn't a big draw compared to other superheroes and "being okay" isn't enough.

Can it get better? We'll find out. See you then.

In Memory of Fronty.

1 comment:

  1. I do miss this show, quite a bit. It starts of slow and Hal is kinda of a one note character but that's why we have the rest of his crew. I only watched it for Razors and Ayas storyline, which seems to be the case with most fans from what I heard.

    My god that horrible movie! Withput a movie to anchor the series in place and draw more viewers this show was doomed from the start, If it was successful maybe another season would have been made but with Ryan Reynolds and such a poor script D.C.s attempt at starting a movie universe was stalled for years. They attempted an Iron Man by using a lesser hero film to make way for a larger universe, but copying the competition while ignoring what made them successful is never going to work out well.