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Sunday, 26 of May of 2019

Green Lantern: The Animated Series – “Homecoming”

“I won’t lounge here in luxury while evil triumphs!”

Green Lantern: The Animated Series title cardI’m still not likely to return to routinely writing about Green Lantern: The Animated Series when its second season starts, but it’s nice to go out on a high note.

“Homecoming” manages to achieve a very nice balance of its plots, both to this specific episode and paying off the season-long Red Lantern threat. It has solid action, some decent humor, and seems to indicate, at least I hope, that the next season may be a little more Earth-bound (though I doubt it).

I’d actually go so far as to say that it is likely the best episode the series has released.

Let’s take each of the three main areas of action in course, starting with Kilowog, Saint Walker, and Mogo. Clearly where all the money was spent (Earth-buildings look like a cardboard cut out, folks), and it’s well worth it. While the battle isn’t super dynamic, it’s still pretty exciting in so far as Kilowog is able to keep an entire fleet at bay and dodge lots and lot of lasers. When you pile in Saint Walker and Mogo, the battle does become a little more impressive (hard to lose with an entire planet on your side), and for once the Liberators actually feel a little threatening since Mogo is sentient.

Then there’s Hal. His little sojourn to Earth, and subsequent plot-necessitated amnesia, is fine enough, though much like when Carol was abducted by the Star Sapphires, I do wish the series had given more room to the Carol and Hal relationship to help it land a little better. I’m hopeful that, since the episode (and season) ends with Hal returning to Earth, we’ll see Hal patrolling his sector a bit more, and perhaps some other DC characters as well. Yes, Kilowog and Razer may not exactly fit in on Earth, but it’d be okay for Hal to be on is own for a bit, too.

The assault on Oa may be the weakest portion of the episode, though. Layers of doors slamming shut just create deadlines that we know Hal will arrive just in time to save. I do have to wonder where the hell all the other Green Lanterns were. I know they were all sent out away from Oa, but to where and to do what? Good grief these Guardians are really horrible administrators.

The final showdown with Hal and Atrocitus is a bit of a dull affair. Not enough budget for a decent construct fight (though the Red Lantern power does make it largely moot, I suppose), so we’re just getting standard hand-to-hand combat. And while I like that we cleverly censor Hal getting punched repeatedly in the face by Atrocitus, that we then have to follow it up with him not having a single bruise is one of those glaring S&P influences that just make you roll your eyes a bit.

So while I think the season has been largely a fine (if often uninspired) one, I do think that “Homecoming” ties up everything well, and without much fuss. The second half of the season, where the invasion fleet stuff started, does offer some narrative momentum beyond the random searching for allies on Sci-Fi-Trope-Planets, and that helped the show out immensely. In the next season, hopefully the show can find a better balance between episodic and serialized demands.

DC Nation Short – “Atom”: I’m a bit surprised we didn’t get the second half of this story during Young Justice, but we’re introduced to Ray Palmer (sadly not voiced by John C. McGinley), flying over  a jungle during a storm (because that’s smart). There’s not too much unique or exciting here (though I do want to know how he gets away from the snake, so it’s successful overall), but I am digging the two-part nature of some of these DC Nation shorts.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • “And I believe I am the first Blue Lantern in the universe.”
  • “You will find me a loud and grating voice for justice.” They really should’ve put Razer in charge.
  • Seriously: Earth looked pretty stiff and empty. I hope that gets improved in future episodes.

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