Green Lantern: Emerald Knights [Blu-Ray]

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights [Blu-Ray]
It's difficult to determine exactly who the intended audience is for this latest animated feature from the DC Universe. One can easily assume dedicated comic fans already familiar with Green Lantern lore will dig it, but it's also obviously timed as a precursor and additional interest generator for the fever-pitch of buzz surrounding the film about to introduce the character to a much wider audience. Emerald Knights does a good job expanding upon the mythology of the Green Lantern Corps without revealing too much about the future adventures of the primary characters set to be in the film. Nathan Fillion (Serenity) is a great fit as the voice of Hal Jordan, relating Lantern lore to a new recruit as the Corps prepares to face a massive new intergalactic threat. Each tale is written, anthology-style, by a different author and explores facets of what it takes to find the courage, strength of will and breadth of imagination required to wield a power ring. We learn about the first Green Lantern and the origin of the rings; why Kilowog (an oddly demure Henry Rollins) is such a hard-ass; how warrior princess Lantern Laira faces off against her genocidal, yellow armour-wearing father (yellow is the part of the emotional colour spectrum impervious to the effects the green power ring); just how massive a ring wielding entity can be (but not where fingerless Lanterns wear theirs); and Abin Surs' first encounter with broadly named villain Atrocitus. All of these yarns tie together to impact the overarching story of Emerald Knights, which, without its parts, wouldn't be much of a sum. Investing a great deal of thought into the psychology of bravery, primary special feature "Only the Bravest" sees a UCLA professor exploring the cultural and evolutionary significance of tales of bravery, using the mythos of Green Lantern as a contemporary example. It's a pretty smart piece, the depth of which is unexpected. Current shepherd of the DC universe Geoff Johns and DC co-publisher Dan DiDio get in on the conversation, and for a nice surprise, vital comic scribe Grant Morrison shows up in the following feature, "Why Green Lantern Matters: the Talent of Geoff Johns," which, aside from Morrison's insight, contains a lot of rehashed sentiments and interview clips from the previous feature, and is very spoiler-heavy, which is also an issue with Johns and DiDio's feature commentary. "From Comic Book to Screen" features for Abin Sur and Laira Omato have nothing to do with the process described by their titles, instead providing comic book examples of back and future stories of the characters. A virtual comic, lacking a zoom function, is equally pointless. More entertaining are "Sneak Peeks" of the upcoming Batman: Year One animated feature, including brief interviews with voice actors Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse), Katie Sackoff (Battlestar Galactica), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and some weak-voiced dude playing Batman, and the already released All-Star Superman, unfortunately lacking any comments from writer Grant Morrison, but thankfully including a little footage of Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) voicing Lois Lane. Emerald Knights successfully piqued my interest in both the movie and the comics, but it would've been nice if the creators had held back on dishing info on character arcs that the surely many fresh inductees would prefer to discover on their own terms. (Warner)