It can seem, at times, that eventually every superhero comic—no matter how obscure—will get its own TV or film make-over. But while Green Lantern did have its moment—in the form of the 2010 Ryan Reynolds film—compared to Batman or Superman, Green Lantern has been shockingly neglected. Which is a shame because those familiar with the comics will know that not only does the character have huge potential, but a pretty decent line in super-villains.
DC’s latest animated universe adventure, goes some way to rectifying the lack of Lantern action with a feature-length tale that sees the induction of John Stewart in to the Green Lantern Corps.
Recently discharged Marine sniper John Stewart (Aldis Hodge) is at a crossroads in his life, one which is only complicated by receiving an extraterrestrial ring which grants him the powers of the Green Lantern of Earth. Unfortunately, the ring doesn’t come with instructions, but it does come with baggage, like a horde of interplanetary killers bent on eliminating every Green Lantern in the universe. Now, with the aid of the light-hearted Green Arrow (Jimmi Simpson), Adam Strange (Brian Bloom), and Hawkgirl (Jamie Gray Hyder), this reluctant soldier must journey into the heart of a galactic Rann/Thanagar war and somehow succeed where all other Green Lanterns have failed.
DC’s animated releases have always been fan-pleasers but this is one that does require a fair-bit of canon knowledge, as well as familiarity with the animated Adam Strange short on the Apokolips War blu-ray. That, in itself raises some questions, that are never satisfactorily answered, about which timeline we’re actually in. In fact, there are more continuity WTFs than there should be in a release of this quality.
And it is quality—Green Lantern: Beware My Power looks good. It looks very damn good. The shame of it is, that it’s not really a Green Lantern story. In fact, once Adam Strange and Hawkgirl arrive, all three ‘new’ characters seem to be vying for screen time, and it’s hard to know whose story we’re following.
That said, there are still enough ‘ooh’ moments to fill an entertaining 88 minutes. Here’s hoping that next time the film-makers hold their nerve and let Green Lantern occupy centre stage in his own film.