Green Lantern’s Razer and Aya is love done right

Green Lantern - Razer & Aya

“Green Lantern: The Animated Series” has an oddly adorable couple in Razer the Red Lantern and Aya the robot. This week’s CartoonClack breaks down why this isn’t just concentrated cuteness, but also an example of a positive romantic relationship in children’s television.

 

I’m a sucker for romance. OK, scratch that — I’m a sucker for good romance. And while that definition can be very subjective, for me it’s about couples with a slowly developing relationship. It starts with building trust and growing into something special. Most of all, it’s about respect as well as romance. So imagine how happy I am that not only is a pretty cool romance happening on one of my favorite shows, but one that’s happening on a show aimed at adolescents – Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Yes, while Young Justice is my favorite cartoon out there right now, GLTAS has really captured my heart and much of that has to do with the relationship between the show’s two original characters — Razer and Aya. This newest episode “Blue Hope” focused on the two of them for the first time this season and really highlights why this only-really-just-begun relationship is so refreshing.

To put her in the simplest terms, Aya is awesome.

For one, the characters both have separate story arcs and character development outside of their budding romance. Razer spent most of season one as a sort-of prisoner turned ally for the Green Lanterns because he realized he couldn’t kill innocents anymore. He dealt with his past and his demons mostly by lashing out at others and himself, but he wanted to be a better person. Razer also came to better terms with the loss of his wife, arguably the driving factor to him becoming a Red Lantern and the main source of his rage (and therefore power). On the other side, we have Aya. To put her in the simplest terms, Aya is awesome. She’s a AI nav computer who keeps saving Hal and Kilowog and Razer over and over. She chose to make herself a Green Lantern. When Kilowog says she doesn’t even have a body, so how could she be a Lantern, she immediately makes herself a body and basically responds, “Any other reasons?”  She’s brave, clever and by the end of the first season all three of her shipmates acknowledge that’s she’s (to use Hal’s wording), “Not a rookie anymore.”

Outside of their own character development, season one had oodles of hints at their attraction to each other. It was very easy to go into full fangirl mode and squee with delight every time they had a moment together because they’re just so adorable. Yes, she’s technically their spaceship. Yes, she does accidentally look like his dead wife (oops). But the season finale proved that Razer’s affection for her is genuinely for her — I seriously doubt the Star Sapphires could have gotten him to Aya if he didn’t really love her.

Now that the hiatus is over and we’ve finally seen Razer and Aya face to face in season two, the best thing I can say about the episode is how it was just as much about their personal development as it was about the two of them together. Razer is dealing with his overall rage through Blue Lantern Saint Walker’s training, but he’s still struggling with his disbelief that Aya could ever love him … and whether he deserves to have love in his life again at all. Sure a lot of this comes from self-loathing, but he doesn’t just assume Aya loves him just because he loves her — that’s a big plus in my book.

As the Manhunter disturbs her with his blind apathy and desire to kill, she defiantly states, “I am nothing like you.”

After Aya calls Razer out for saying all machines are emotionless and apathetic (I was shouting, “Razer, she’s right there!” at the TV during that scene), she doesn’t wallow or try to figure out what she did wrong. No, she tries to befriend the damaged Manhunter instead. And it’s during these scenes that we get to see everything great about Aya come front and center. Aya sees the best in everyone. She chose her own fate. And as the Manhunter disturbs her with his blind apathy and desire to kill, she defiantly states, “I am nothing like you.” It such a powerful moment for the show and by the time the Manhunters detect emotion in her when she looks at Razer, we know it’s Aya choosing him for herself because she is her own person.

Best of all, the episode ends with Razer apologizing to Aya for his behavior, unlike some cartoon characters from last year (I’m looking at you, Young Justice and Legend of Korra). Thank heavens for that apology because it would have sent a really bad message to not have him apologize for indirectly calling her mindless and soulless.

Their personal growth makes their romance that much more interesting.

While Razer and Aya’s relationship is such a great part of this show, the beautiful thing about them is that they both have emotional and complex story arcs of their own. Their personal growth makes their romance that much more interesting. So what am I looking forward to going into the rest of the season? I’m looking forward to more individual character development for both characters. I’m looking forward to a positive representation of a second love. And I’m looking forward to them continuing to act adorable. That being said, I’ve seen the DC Nation trailer and I know that some dark stuff is coming for these two. Considering how his rage exploded when she was hurt this episode, I can’t imagine what’s going to happen down the line.

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Photo Credit: Cartoon Network

14 Comments on “Green Lantern’s Razer and Aya is love done right

  1. FINALLY someone wrote an article about this!
    One of my favorite aspects about this show too!

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  2. Thanks for writing this article and I totally agree with you. This relationship and the one between Beck and Paige on “Tron: Uprising” are both really well done and have become some of my favorite parts of the respective shows.

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  3. Razaya is one of the best parts of the show. Saint Walker and Mogo are awesome. This show is awesome on too many levels.

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  4. Wait, where did they neglect to “apologize” in YJ?

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    • I’m assuming Katie is referring to Kid Flash and how he never actually apologized to Artemis (or Miss Martian) for the way he treated her before they got together. Contrast Kid Flash with another character like Superboy, who also has a temper and is prone to making snap judgments. Superboy actually apologized to Miss Martian, Black Canary, etc. onscreen whenever he did wrong by them.

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      • But Artemis was just as nasty to him as she was to him. This isn’t like with Conner where he was being rude to him. I guess they were supposed to do the “love-hate” thing, but were too far in the “hate” to be seemed as flirting.

        What did Wally do to Ms M, though? He did clumsy attempts at hitting on her, she was amused, but that’s it, he backed off when she found out she wasn’t interested.

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  5. I hope you watched this morning’s episode. I cannot believe she died! I hope they bring her back!

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    • I don’t know what shocked me more: the fact that the producers spent all that time getting Razor and Aya together(slowly might I add) just to kill her off! or the fact that Razor didn’t go supernova like he did in blue hope, she was only injured then and he lost it, SHE DIES (IN HIS ARMS) AND NOTHING! I was getting the popcorn ready expecting a certain giant robot to get his limbs torn off single handed and he just gets dragged away, he doesn’t even struggle. All I can say is that Ep.20 better be a show stopper(NOT LITERALLY PRODUCERS)!!!

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  6. when aya died i was like “NOOOO! you and razer were supposed to get official!!” but I’m hopeful that she will come back.why? its a kids show. characters ALWAYS COME BACK SOMEHOW. even if its not physically. but i am interested to see how razer is dealing with it.

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  7. so any comments about todays episode? after last week i was emotionally drained; now this week was like a clear punch to the gut. i am hoping that there is a road to redemption tale. man, am i disappointed that this show is being canceled.

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  8. I watched every single episode of Green Lantern Animated Series from season 1 right up to season 2 episode 20 – “Cold Fury” and totally, completely fell in love with Aya and Razer and truly hoped that these two characters would have a ‘happily ever after.” When Razer finally confessed his love for her in episode 19 “Loss,” I cried…but when Aya returned in episode 20, and Razer broke her heart by saying that he did not love her after all, I felt all the pain that Aya felt with unrequited love. She went to shut-down mode, eliminating all emotion just so she would no longer feel the pain of rejection. I can’t blame her for taking over the manhunters and becoming their Queen. I do not understand why Razer had to leave her heart-broken, I just wished he can come to terms with the loss of his dead love, move on and embrace new love with Aya, and to see past her being just a “machine…” for she is much, much more than that.

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    • I think he say he didnt love aya is because he doesnt want to put aya in danger coz aya will surely do anything to save him even it will take her own life like what she did when the anti monitor fired at razor..he doesnt want to lose aya again..so thats why he choose to say like that..but what he doesnt realise that way would make aya more pain and aya would not care about herself anymore..coz she think razer doesnt need him..ahhh..love..its very complicated..the things we do out of love.. :)

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  9. Man I seriously wished this show wasn’t being cancelled. :(

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  10. Great article – and I so agree that a good romance is about a slowly developing relationship. The media of late is rich with stories of couples who seem to hook up and then see if they like each other. It has been very refreshing to see a relationship gradually built on respect, shared experiences, and small but growing connections. I’m really missing Green Lantern: The Animated Series. The show had great stories about redemption, friendship, trust, and love – themes that are a lot more mature that some of the stuff you see on prime time tv. I only hope that it gets a chance to continue – through the smgo.tv campaign or some other effort.

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