Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Green Lantern: First Flight

Spoiler Level: High

Now THIS is one I first saw about a year ago when it was released.  I didn't want to review it until I'd finished watching all the bonus features, and since Rich and I recently watched it as part of our ongoing series of watching all the DCU OVAs, I figured it was long overdue.

The movie itself is AWESOME.  It doesn't adapt any one Green Lantern story; rather, it's a new take pulling from all the various Green Lantern mythos.  But all the key elements are here:  Hal Jordan, test pilot for Ferris Industries, is whisked away by a summons from dying Green Lantern Abin Sur to become his replacement in the Green Lantern Corps, a universe-wide police force run by the small, blue Guardians.  He's trained by a fanatical Green Lantern named Sinestro, who ends up turning on the Corps and becoming Hal's greatest enemy.

The details are different; Abin Sur looks much more alien now, and his reasons for coming to Earth (in a spaceship instead of under the power of his ring) are different, but those reasons get changed every few decades in the comics as well.  There's lots of appearances from other well known Green Lantern Corps members as well.  But this version treats them all differently; just because someone is a prominent Green Lantern in the comics doesn't mean that they'll be bullet proof here.

All in all, it's a faithful yet fresh take on Green Lantern, and a wonderful starting point for more stories.  In many ways it treats the source material in the way a big-budget live action movie would.  Hopefully the actual big-budget live-action Green Lantern movie being made now will do as good a job as this video did.

Being a big GL fan, this is the only DCU OVA I bought, and I bought the two-disc version.  There are some great bonus features on here, including the wonderful "Duck Dogers" episode "The Green Loontern" (talk about a lot of cool GL cameos!), documentaries looking at the history of the Green Lantern comics and the mega-event "Blackest Night," which was just about to start when this DVD was released.  What's missing, however, is anything on the making of this video.  That's because Warner Premiere likes to put the "making of" featurettes on the previous DCU OVA DVD (LOL) as a teaser to get you to buy the next one that's coming up.  Which I suppose I could understand, but for someone like me who is content to just watch the others and only wants to own the Green Lantern one, I would have liked it to be on here.

The bonus feature that I stalled on was the "Bruce Timm Presents 2 Bonus Cartoons" feature.  It's two episodes of Justice League Unlimited, "The Once and Future Thing" parts 1 & 2.   I watched the very beginning and didn't see what it had to do with Green Lantern.  I either turned it off or got distracted before I found out why these episodes were picked.  So now that I've finally gotten to watch them, I can say, "Yes! Awesome! Wonderful!  A great choice!"  Not only was it an episode focusing on Green Lantern John Stewart, it dealt with him meeting a future descendant of his, and featured the Kronos mythology of the hand that started the Universe!  Awesome GL stuff.  Mr. Timm, I apologize for having ever doubted you.

Oh, and I might be totally biased here, but while I think all the musical scores on these videos have been good, this one has been my favorite.   It's the only one I found myself humming the main title theme to.  I've been thinking for a year I should try to make an mp3 of it, and then low and behold, they release it on the "Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection" CD!  So someone high up must have agreed with me, right?  Gonna buy that one as soon as I have the extra money for it.

Word has it that there will be a second GL DCU OVA DVD (ROFL) to coincide with the new movie, but from what I hear it's going to be Tales of the Green Lantern Corps as opposed to a follow up to this DVD.  I'm disappointed that Hal apparently didn't sell well enough to warrant his own follow-up DVD, but I absolutely love the Corps so I'm still psyched about this.  And besides, Hal will be getting his own TV show soon anyway.  It's a good time to be a Green Lantern fan, and this was a fantastic First Flight!

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