So I’m watching the premier episode of the new Green Lantern show, and I have a few thoughts.
For a positive? The backgrounds are, for the most part, gorgeously illustrated. I think they really succeeded on that front. The character models…? Not so much. They don’t look as bad as they did in preliminary screenshots, but still. The designs for various characters are good, but the execution isn’t. Characters have no texture, which make them look incomplete, like cutting-edge 3D in the late 90’s-early aughts. Carol looks the worst, I think. Her face is really stiff, and her mouth is super weird and kinda creepy. (I may just be more focused on hers since they zoomed in on it like, three times in this episode.) She doesn’t look human outside of basic design. And the gratuitous use of asteroids in space remind me of something either Bruce Timm or Dwayne McDuffie said in a space-centric episode of Justice League….They mentioned that they tried doing the asteroids in CGI at first, but the result so closely resembled dog kibble that they went with 2D illustrations for the final project. (And it was gorgeous, of course.) My point is that they never seemed to figure out a way to alleviate this kibble problem.
Of course I understand that they can’t take the time to create a cinema-quality episode each week— that’s just unreasonable— but I’ve seen the animation for Star Wars:Clone Wars, and it’s far superior. Maybe if this show gets enough grounding, it’ll get its budget upped. But for now, it just doesn’t look…good.
Story-wise, it’s good at establishing the premise of the Green Lantern Corp, Hal Jordan’s background, and the section of the DC universe devoted to the lanterns. It’s done with more than tolerable exposition, and it’s not overwhelming when coming in with barely any knowledge in this particular field.
And centering around the Red Lanterns as nemeses is good enough for a plot. I assume it’ll get more interesting as it goes. And they’re building interesting characters within the Red Lanterns (Like Rayzor or however you spell his name), so I might actually keep watching.
(It’s unfortunate, however, that this is what comes to mind whenever I think of Red Lanterns. Unfortunate and hilarious.)
Hal, though…. Why do they keep picking Hal for things? I mean, I know that he’s the main character in this project because of the rebooted franchise. They made a whole movie about him, and goddamn if they aren’t gonna make him a star. There’s a lot of money riding on his ass. But seriously? The roguish, rules-defying hero archetype has been done to death, and frankly, I’m sick of it. It seems like that’s all they use for main characters these days; it’s uncreative. And Hal just comes off as a tremendous douche. He’s my least favorite part of this show, even more than the animation. Because I can stand the animation with the hope of it maybe improving in the future. It’s enough to sustain me. But every time Hal opens his mouth, I hope that his ring runs out of juice while he’s trapped alone in deep space. He’s an annoying prick, and I wanna just shove him off-screen.
Let me indulge myself for a minute here and talk about John Stewart. No, don’t go away! I’ll try to be fair and keep it brief!
Okay, so, for cartoon watchers that don’t read many comics (and there are many, many people that fit that bill), the most recent GL in their lives before that awful Ryan Reynolds film was John Stewart, because he was in Justice League. He’s not a standard fit for a main character, but I think he’d be an interesting choice. Maybe taking somebody as disciplined as John might seem like a risk of alienating child audiences, but I beg to differ. First of all, John has a strong sense of right and wrong that he upholds, and he’s actually very emotional. He may not overtly show it, but it’s a lot of his character motivation. And while when he’s “fun” he comes off as a bit embarrassing, it’s endearing. Besides, risking a fairly stoic character starring in a cartoon led to Batman: The Animated Series, so if anyone says it’s a bad move, I say go away (in favor of ruder expletives).
Okay now that I got that out of my system (I admit I have a heavy bias), I’d like to just mention that the little GL that Hal and Kilowog save from the Red Lanterns is awesome. He gets really creative and resourceful with his ring powers, and he has snark but doesn’t piss me off.
Can the show be about him?
Also Tom Kenny is in everything.
And I totally forgot the mention that the Guardians of Oa are channeling Mass Effect’s Citadel Council.
Ah, yes, “Green Lantern killers.” We have dismissed that claim.