The Quarter Bin

Videos, Reviews, and Previews For Comic Fans

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

Posted by Luke Brown On June - 7 - 2011

It’s going to be a big year for Green Lantern. The comics are arguably as popular as they’ve ever been, there’s a blockbuster movie coming out in just over a week, and there’s even a Green Lantern video game hitting stores today. Not one to be left out, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video have teamed once again for another direct-to-DVD feature focusing on the Corps. Like Batman: Gotham Knight before it, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is an anthology tale made up of a few different short stories. Though Hal takes a back seat to some of the lesser known members of the Green Lantern Corps, Emerald Knights is still an entertaining film that casual and hardcore fans can both enjoy.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Directed by Christopher Berkley, Lauren Montgomery, Jay Oliva
Written by Geoff Johns, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Peter Tomasi, Dave Gibbons, Alan Burnett, Todd Casey, Eddie Berganza

Near Oa, it appears an ages old villain has returned from the anti-matter universe to see out revenge on the Guardians who put him there. It’s then up to the Green Lantern Corps to make sure that when this ancient foe strikes, he’s pushed back, and the universe and Oa can remain unscathed. We get to witness all the overarching story events through the eyes of new recruit Arisia, who is currently being trained by Hal Jordan. Strangely enough, for an animated movie that’s supposed to draw interest from its relation to a major motion picture, there’s a huge lack of Hal Jordan in this movie. I’m not complaining, mind you. I think the spotlight being shone on other members of the Corps is great, but new fans hoping to see more of this Hal Jordan character might be a little disappointed.

The five stories that the movie showcases are all pretty decent. Some are straight-up adaptations of previous comic tales, while a few were created just for this feature. I particularly enjoyed seeing Kilowog’s early days recreated here as that’s one of my favorite recent stories from the comic books. The tale of the first ring-bearers was also rather interesting as it’s the first time we really get to see that far back into the history of the Green Lanterns. The other three tales, as well as the main narrative, are all solid, and I’m sure that everyone will be cheering for Mogo no matter how familiar they are with the source material.

While just about every voice actor is more than adequate for his or her respective role, I’ve to say that Nathan Fillion was massively underutilized. Warners made just about every geek on the planet elated with the announcement that Nathan would be playing Hal Jordan in this animated feature, yet he barely gets any time to really play at being Green Lantern. Most of his time on screen is spent educating Arisia, who is wonderfully portrayed by Elisabeth Moss, and the action he sees is brief at best. Moss really does a great job playing a character that is both full of awe and wonder, as well as being innocent and eager to succeed. Sinestro is barely in the film, but Jason Isaacs does a nice job, as does Arnold Vosloo as Abin Sur and Kelly Hu as Laira. Kilowog gets a nice amount of screen time, and though I wasn’t sure Henry Rollins was going to be more than Henry Rollins, I though he did a decent job. Not everyone has the depth of Michael Clarke Duncan’s voice, and though the vocal range is vastly different from what people will see in the live-action feature, I do think Rollins does well here.

Though this movie is meant to act as a point of interest for new fans looking forward to the feature film, and to a lesser extent, a new reason for longtime fans to get excited, I don’t think it’s quite as good as Green Lantern: First Flight. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is slightly more cohesive and better written than Batman: Gotham Knight was, and there’s definitely a lot to like about it. However, as far as Green Lantern animated movies go, it pales in comparison to Warner’s earlier effort. Do I think people unfamiliar with the characters and universe will enjoy this? Yes, but probably to a lesser extent than what Warner Bros. hopes. They’re taking a bit of a gamble making Hal Jordan a secondary character to all the others in this movie, and some casual people might be a bit let down by the fact that the star of the big film is barely in this at all. Hopefully though, these viewers will be more excited by the interesting characters and stories presented here, and seek out even more Green Lantern stories.

78/100 – Above Average.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is available today on Blu Ray, DVD, and On Demand from Warner Bros. Home Video.

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