Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Review: Green Lantern - First Flight

I got my copy of Green Lantern - First Flight today and I'm fairly impressed. I'm going to give a brief review. Don't worry too much about spoilers - I won't give away anything that anyone familiar with the basic Green Lantern story won't already know.

First Flight stars Christopher Meloni of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit fame as the eponymous character. He does a good job channeling the inner cop that is part and parcel with being in the Corps. Still, I kept hearing him as Detective Stabler, more my own problem than his. Little time is wasted on his origin - Abin Sur crashes within a few minutes of the start, and from there Hal Jordon is quickly pulled into the world of the Guardians and their chief agent, Sinestro.

Sinestro, glibly played by Victor Garber, does a passably good job of presenting his case. For those familiar with the Dungeons and Dragons alignment system, he's a classic Lawful Evil villain, with the emphasis more on the Lawful than the evil. He finds the Guardians methods ineffectual and short sighted, and longs to be in control of pretty much the entire universe. He initially advocates strongly for Hal's membership in the Corps because he's heard that humans are distrustful of authority.

Many other Lanterns make an appearance. Boodikka (Tricia Helfer, BSG's sexy Number Six) becomes Hal's confident on the team. Michael Madsen's Kilowog isn't quite as gruff as I'd like him, but gets the job done. We get to see Ch'p, Tomar Re, Arisa and lots more. The character designs tend towards the modern D.C. style, rather than the Bruce Timm style that JLU, Batman: TAS and Superman: TAS have employed. It gives the story a more serious tone, which is backed up by a surprisingly high level of violence. I guarantee you that the ultimate fate of quite a few characters will take you by surprise.

Green Lantern - First Flight is an exciting adventure with great pacing, strong performances, beautiful animation and some nice nods to longterm fans. Whether you're a super-hero expert or just a casual fan, you'll find plenty to enjoy. Highly recommended.

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