Saturday, August 8, 2009

Green Lantern First Flight is Awesome!

I pre-ordered the Green Lantern: First Flight Blu-Ray well in advance of ship-date through my good friends at It came fairly promptly. I watched it last week. I was pretty overwhelmed with joy. I wrote to pretty much everybody I knew who read comic books, and told them that Green Lantern was sensational.

Nobody was more skeptical of this project than I was. Green Lantern is probably my all-time favorite comic book. There were a few others that also-ran in that contest. The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the Legion of Super Heroes were other close calls. The Justice League at its finest could also compete. Regrettably, The Justice League of America was an inconsistent book, sometimes great and... well... Let's just say this Blu-Ray totally out-performed all my expectations by about 30 fold.

The union of Super Heroes, Science Fiction, team work, and a dash bit of mysticism & comedy is where you will find my sweet spot for entertainment. My favorite entertainment always contains these elements. At the rather old age of 35 I discovered Dragonball Z, a Japanese Anime and Manga that contained all of these elements with distinctly Asian world-view. I went gaga over it. At the rather old age of 37, I flipped out over The Incredibles. While it lacked a strong scifi bent, it made up for it with a dash of James Bond. Very cool! Still, Green Lantern was my all-time favorite.

With that said, I dreaded the news that Warner Brothers was going to make a dedicated cartoon version of Green Lantern as a prelude to the live action movie starting none other than Ryan Reynolds. Nothing personal Ryan, but my first impression of you came in that tremendous disaster known as Blade Trinity. Furthermore, I just don't believe anyone on Earth can do a live action Green Lantern anymore than anyone on Earth can do a live action Drangonball Z or a live-action Superman. These books are just to epic in scope, and the characters are just too powerful. The visual effects budget would have to something like $1.2 Billion USD. It ain't going to happen for less.

Well, I am overjoyed to report that the cartoon Green Lantern is sensational. This the second-straight lights-out grand slam home run by Warner Brothers Animation Studios. The first was Wonder Woman, the best implementation of a DC comic I had yet seen. Now they've topped it with Green Lantern.

Somethings have changed a bit, but they utterly nailed everything of importance. The most important aspect is the science fiction concept of a galactic community of worlds, policed by a collection of immortal (Platonic) Guardians, located OA (OH-AH). I loved the origin of Sinestro's Yellow ring and lantern. The Weaponers are pretty hellacious mysterious figures. They were very well designed and executed.

Don't want to spoil too much of the plot, but suffice it to say (without spoilers) that Sinestro's character presentation may be the best implementation ever done. Sinestro is a member of the senior cadre of Green Lanterns. He is an amazing competent and efficient guy. He is a hardened law man who sees the Galaxy going to hell in a hand-basket. Sinestro implies that the community of worlds is at a tipping point where it is either going to be restored to good order, with peace and safety for all, or it will descend into a lawless chaos where thugs & anarchists rule. Sinestro believes the Guardians of OA are soft, and they will doom the galaxy to chaos and the Green Lantern Corp to death through their inaction and their unwillingness to do what is necessary.

Although they are increasing disturbed by the brutality of his methods & tactics, the Guardians cannot dispute Sinestro's efficacy. They know he is totally committed to busting evil. They are also painfully aware of the rising problems of order in the Galaxy. They reprimand him at least once during the show, but they still rank Sinestro as one of their most trusted super-agents. Maybe too much of a killer, commando, snake-eater, head-hunter, demolition, hitman, lawman, but... you can't have perfection.

Sinestro is far more than willing to do what is necessary to take down the Kanjar Rhos of this Galaxy. He just has to sweep away the last vestiges of the crumbling social order to do so. This means removing the inept Guardians from their seat of power. This puts Sinestro firmly in the tradition of Right-Wing, Law 'N Order dictators, like Generalisimo Ferdinand Franco of Spain, the very historical figure I believe they used as a model for Sinestro.

The Goddamn thing is that Sinestro has a point. In fact, he has a few points. He has a factual case with reason. This is the sort of universe where an expert veteran Green Lantern like Abin Sur can be murdered by henchmen of the space gangster and pirate Kanjar Rho. It should be noted that Abin Sur (Hal Jordan's predecessor) was also a member of the Green Lantern senior cadre, right beside Sinestro. He was one hell of a guy. It should also be noted that Kanjar Rho was also deep into a plot to destroy the Guardians (until Sinestro fucked him over) sensing an opportunity due to their weakness and vulnerability.

So, in conclusion I loved the movie. I did not expect this to be a high quality production, grappling with more mature themes of law, order, chaos, liberty, tyranny, anarchy, and organized crime. I did not expect this movie to raise a disturbing problematic, but it did.

Big thumbs up! 9.85 out of 10. I love it. I highly recommend it.