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Green Lantern season one ends with a bang – CartoonClack

The CGI-based superhero cartoon closed its first season on Saturday with 'Homecoming,' but did it give us the answers we craved? And what's to come for this DC Nation series?

Last week’s episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series ended on an ominous note: Atrocious had taken over the ship, Aya had been reprogrammed to serve the Red Lanterns (her tear during this week’s finale was a nice touch) and the Red armada was making its way to Oa to release its full carnage. Oh, and our heroes are stranded. They are actually so far away from Oa that Hal’s only option is to try to reason with the Star Sapphires.

Not to step on the toes of diehard Green Lantern fans, but I really didn’t like the Star Sapphires’ first episode in the show or really their concept at all. Do we really need a legion of angry harpies that force men to love them and trap them forever? They were less annoying in the finale, since they had realized that effectively drugging men and holding them in pink crystals may not be the loving thing to do (you think?). In a clever turn, the writers didn’t just let Hal get to Oa — he has to use the Star Sapphires’ power to send him to Carol, who’s on earth and within traveling distance to Oa. I warmed up to Carol by the end of the first Star Sapphire episode because she wasn’t clingy and knew that Hal had to do everything he could to save the universe. In “Homecoming,” she quickly figures out that something is wrong when Hal doesn’t remember being a Green Lantern, and she once again puts the fate of the universe ahead of her own wants. She might not have superpowers anymore, but she certainly does her part to help save the day.

Kilowog is up against a huge fleet of Red Lantern ships (the reveal of his duel humongous guns was impressive), and considering I’ve been warned about Kilowog dying in the comics, I was a little nervous for the guy. I mean, he was almost poisoned in an earlier episode and we’ve seen two Green Lanterns killed in the series already, so having him go down in the last episode of the season wouldn’t be out of character for the series. Maybe that’s why I got chills when Kilowog said the Green Lantern oath before the fight … it probably helped that Kevin Michael Richardson has such a great, gnarly voice. But thanks to the kick-ass Saint Walker’s brand new Blue Lantern ring and some help from Mogo the living planet, Kilowog takes down the whole fleet. It’s scenes like this where the CGI is most effective.

The big payoff of this episode was dealing with the Red Lantern’s reasons for going to war … namely the desolation of their worlds by the Manhunters of Oa and the Guardian’s choice to ignore what they unintentionally caused. Hal Jordan may be cocky and headstrong, but he also believes in doing the right thing. Hal humbly asking for forgiveness and offering a truce shows how far he’s come in this series. The Red Lanterns still bug me (how can you say you’re just looking for justice when your oath includes “bend your minds to pain and hate”?), but most are willing to listen to reason, including Zilius Zox.

Speaking of Red Lanterns, one of the big successes of the series is introducing Razer, the Red Lantern who joined Hal and co. in their quest to stop Atrocious. Like Zuko in A:TLA, Razer shows that the “other” in a story isn’t necessarily evil. His backstory, his struggle to deal with his hate leaving Atrocious and his slowly growing relationship with Aya made for really good television. He’s voiced by Jason Spisak, who is also Kid Flash on Young Justice, so I’m a bit of a fan. Once we saw the portal open up at  Zamaron, I was really hoping this meant he would become a Star Sapphire. For one, it would have been a nice growth for his story, since he’s been wanting to discard his red persona the whole season. For another, it would be nice to have a male Star Sapphire. But no, he’s still red. Good news, he was only able to use the Star Sapphires’ power because it sent him to the person he love: Aya. And the fans who have been shipping these two almost all season can now rejoice. Granted, Razer didn’t actually tell Aya that he loved her, but he knows it now.

Overall, Green Lantern: The Animated Series had some bumpy bits in the beginning but found a nice pace as the season progressed. The duo of GL and Young Justice made DC Nation one of my must-see viewings every weekend. What the series has managed to avoid is making Green Lantern boring, and a lot of that has to do with location. If the show was just about different aliens coming to attack earth each week and Hal having to fight them, it would have been damn repetitive. By having Hal and his team travel to other planets, it becomes a space odyssey that can change tone with each story while developing the main characters consistently throughout each episode. Even episodes that appeared to be filler like “Heir Apparent” and “In Love and War” had direct tie-ins to later episodes and the overall story of stopping the Red Lanterns.

As of now, DC Nation will be showing reruns of the show, but the big question is … when will we get to see more? A release date for season 2 hasn’t been announced yet, but the DVD set coming in August is named season 1 … which does imply multiple seasons. But with the Red Lanterns at a truce with the Guardians and Hal on Earth with Carol, where are we to go from here? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

Photo Credit: Cartoon Network

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