As a kid, Superman was always my favorite comic book hero. In about the sixth grade a close friend of mine introduced me to the Green Lantern. Superman was still my favorite, but I found the story of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan to be quite interesting. It wasn't until I got to college, when another good friend introduced me to the GREEN LANTERN: THE ROAD BACK series, that Green Lantern became on equal footing with Superman as my favorite DC hero.
With the rebirth and return of Hal Jordan, Green Lantern has become a crucial part of the DC universe, even more so with the new "Blackest Night" event. Interest has picked up so much that after years of waiting a live-action movie has finally been greenlit with Ryan Reynolds starring as Hal Jordan. However, that film won't be released until about 2011 so to wet the appetites of GL fans and start spinning the synergy and building the hype, DC has put together and released GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT, a movie-length animated direct-to-DVD feature.
The origins of Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern are fairly well-known and the makers of this feature compact most of that story within the first four and a half minutes. From there Hal Jordan takes of for Oa to meet with the Guardians to see if he's accepted as a Green Lantern and if so, to begin his training. He's accompanied on the journey by the reigning poster-boy of the Green Lantern Corp, Sinestro, as well as several other members of the Green Lantern Corp. Sinestro vouches for Jordan's character at his initial inquiry and asks for permission to train Jordan personally. His request is granted and Jordan follows Sinestro as they search for the killer of Jordan's predecessor, Abin Sur. While on their mission, Jordan becomes wary of Sinestro's harsh and violent methods of "peacekeeping". The situations that occur later lead Jordan to unraveling Sinestro's ultimate goal.
As an action-adventure cartoon, GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT is a great movie. It does a wonderful job of finding the right balance between the necessary exposition to move the story forward and great action sequences. The scope of the movie is intergalactic allowing viewers to gain a glimpse into the massive scope of the universe and the huge trust and responsibility entrusted to the Green Lanterns. The movie also does a good job of characterization; building characters who aren't just cliché card-board cutouts. Though this is a story about Hal Jordan, it's also a tale of the Green Lantern Corp. Despite this, there are some flaws with GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT, mainly with authenticity and violence. This movie is a re-imagining of the story of Hal Jordan's origins. Though it stays true to the character of Jordan, other characters' personalities, motives, and origins have been dramatically changed. For instance, it becomes clear early in the movie that Sinestro isn't exactly what he appears, whereas in the comics Sinestro was actually an excellent Green Lantern, except on his home planet. Another character who has changed drastically is Boodikka who plays a key role in the plot of the story but for all the wrong reasons. The other major flaw of the movie is the violence. Personally, I don't have a problem with how violent the film is. I mean, in the comics, creatures are destroying worlds and killing people off all the time. However, in the comics people are usually resurrected in some form or the other and never really stay dead. Not only that, but it used to be in animated films and shows no one was ever shown actually being killed. Not so in GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT. People are violently stabbed through the chest, shot through the heart, have their necks broken in two, and are sucked into space. For older children and adults that might not be an issue, but for younger children it might be.
Overall, GREEN LANTER: FIRST FLIGHT is a fairly decent animated comic book movie. It is a re-imagining of the origins of Green Lantern and is rather violent for young children, but for older children and adults it's actually a very entertaining piece of entertainment.
Special features on the 2-disc DVD include promotional featurettes for JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER, WONDER WOMAN: THE AMAZON PRINCESS, and BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT. There's also a first look at the upcoming SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES DVD to be released in the fall of 2009; behind the story of Green Lantern featurette with Geoff Johns; character profiles of Sinestro and Guardians of the Universe; "Behind the Scenes of Blackest Night" featurette; a Duck Rodgers episode entitled "The Green Loontern"; and a two-episode story from JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED entitled "Once and Future Thing."
Of all the special features, the ones only worth much are the Geoff John's pieces (the history of Green Lantern & "Blackest Night") and the Duck Rodgers cartoon. The Duck Rodgers cartoon is almost priceless: it doesn't get any better when you successfully combine the wackiness of Daffy Duck with the seriousness of the mythos of Green Lantern. That is a great cartoon!
From Warner Brothers animation who gave us “Wonder Woman”, “Justice League Frontier” and ‘Gotham Knights”, comes DC’s next direct to DVD installment “Green Lantern: First Flight”. Directed by Lauren Montgomery with script written by Alan Burnett, the movie is a 75 minute ride in the beginnings of Hal Jordan as a member of the Green Lantern corps and incorporates several references in the story arc from “Sinestro Corps“collected … more
Let me begin this review by confessing my infatuation with the DC Animated Universe. When Bruce Timm and Paul Dini came on the scene with Batman the Animated Series back in September of 1992, I concluded that animated comic franchises would never be the same. The team proved me correct on through Superman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League and of course most recently, Justice League Unlimited (with pretty solid animated film releases all along the way). I still … more
Let me begin this review by confessing my infatuation with the DC Animated Universe. When Bruce Timm and Paul Dini came on the scene with Batman the Animated Series back in September of 1992, I concluded that animated comic franchises would never be the same. The team proved me correct on through Superman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League and of course most recently, Justice League Unlimited (with pretty solid animated film releases all along the way). I still enjoy Mask of the … more
When Hal Jordan first becomes a Green Lantern, he is put under the supervision of senior Lantern, Sinestro, only to discover that his so-called mentor is part of a secret conspiracy that threatens the entire Green Lantern Corps.