Back in 2011, Warner Brothers was getting ready to release their live action adaptation of Green Lantern. It seemed like they were gearing up for it to be one of their biggest releases ever.
In order to increase interest even further, Warner Brothers Animation released the DCAU feature, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, and it has become one of my favorite DC films. Instead of presenting a single narrative, it’s an anthology of several stories featuring members of the Green Lantern Corps. This approach makes a lot of sense since parents would probably be taking their kids to see the live action film a week later, and it lacked in exposition concerning the alien members of the Corps. It also provides comic book fans another animated Green Lantern feature, something that has not happened since the live-action one bombed.
Each story is told through the perspective of Hal Jordan who, in turn, is telling them to Arisia, his protege. I really like this aspect, Hal sees a lot of himself in her. You get the impression that he’s handing down the same tales that were told to him when he too was facing feelings of uncertainty. This framework also lends itself to teaching the audience about Green Lantern lore and further engulfing them in the DC Universe. My favorite of all of them would have to be the first story, which is about the first Lantern, Avra. Just like Luke Skywalker being a farm boy or Harry Potter being an orphan, Avra begins as a mere scribe for The Guardians, tying it to traditional fantasy. His first construct is even a sword. All the other stories are just as good and enthralling, but this one always stood out to me the most for that reason.
Nathan Fillion takes his first of many turns as Hal Jordan, and proves to be the perfect voice for Hal; calm but assertive. He’s funny too, and delivers plenty of great quips. I’ve often wondered why he wasn’t cast in the live-action version as well, since he looks the part. Then again, I guess he dodged a bullet. Warner Brothers released Emerald Knights to promote what they thought was going to be one of their biggest hits, yet it ended up being the superior product to that.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is available on Blu-Ray and DVD.