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EPISODE REVIEWS - "RECKONING"

Green Lantern: The Animated Series
"Reckoning"

Original Airdate - April 14th, 2012

Razer seemingly betrays the Green Lanterns and returns to Atrocitus on the Red Lantern homeworld, Shard. He attempts to kill the Red Lantern leader but is found out. Hal, Kilowog, and Aya go behind enemy lines to rescue Razer and discover the secret of the Red Lantern armada.

Written by Ernie Altbacker
Directed by Sam Liu

Review by klammed

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Review:
Razer’s one of the new characters introduced to the Green Lantern mythos right here on this animated series. He’s also part of the Red Lantern Corp, a relatively new addition to the Lantern world itself. This all sets up for huge challenges in both bringing the Red Lanterns as an enemy, to life, and developing our sympathies for Razer.

In this episode, the group scout out Shard, Atrocitus’ home world. He get some good exchanges between Razer and the Green Lanterns about the success and necessity of it. Needless to say, Razer’s a pretty good name for a guy with the biting, sarcastic wit our renegade Red Lantern has. This has become a stock feature of the GLTAS episodes so far, but each exchange still feels fresh, to the commendation of the writers. Importantly, a clear distinction between the ideologies of the Green and Red Lanterns is established here. Razer insists that “You have no chance of victory if you aren’t willing to die for your cause”. Interesting use of words, seeing as Green Lantern power is reliant on WILL itself.

This would be a Razer-centric episode, as if the Red Lantern world/base weren’t a strong enough indicator. Razer’s decision to take matters in his own hands steadily reveals more about his intentions and character than we’ve seen so far in the series. Sure, he’s still the angry, troubled soul and stinks of emo-teenage rage, but there are definitely hints of something darker and more grounded pushing him along. His sabotage of the ship was a deviousness that I think, over the course of the last few episodes, we’ve been conditioned not to expect. It’s not that straightforward either, as we’re kept second-guessing his plan and alliances throughout the episode.

Oddly, Aya did not seem to register his rigging of the ship either. I’m not sure if this meant to indicate the weaknesses of the Guardians, or an indication of Aya’s development as a sentient being with the similar flaws that living things have. With her continual questioning, without judgment, of Razer’s actions, she offers a stark contrast to the burning emotions which drive Razer. Their interaction is constantly nothing short of wonderful, and considering that they were both freshly created for the show, it’s amazing what’s been done with them so far.

Onto Shard. Hearing the Red Lantern oath was a nice touch. The world itself is bleak, and red, and bleak, a sort of floating, cleaner Apokolips. While I understand the limitations of production for Saturday morning television, I still have problems accepting the rocky, and gritty textures in the show, perhaps because other space and high-tech elements are so believably slick and stunning. This will probably be my main complaint through the series, I think. Atrocitus himself seems a bit plasticine-like, especially his face. The crags don’t seem to go deep enough, the mouth not burned enough away, though the heart, and by heart I mean biologically representative heart, of his head is quite disturbing. He’s very clearly the main bad guy, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

We get some good action sequences as always. More Red Lanterns make for more possibilities in terms of fight choreography, and we get some good battles here, but the main showdown at the end, without a Green construct in sight, was nothing short of spectacular. I wonder why the Red Lantern constructs are always so much more kinetic than the Green ones through this show. Is it the unsteady nature of rage vs the solidity of will, or what? They certainly have the capacity to make the Green lantern glow as flame-like as the Red, but they’ve chosen not to. Something for the fanterns to mull over.

And finally, main plot development! The stakes just got higher.


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