PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
The sun of the Green Lantern homeworld, Oa, is becoming a gateway for Krona, an evil anti-matter alien tyrant that once sought to destroy all life. As precaution the Guardians of the Universe decide to evacuate Oa of all valuables, such as the Central Battery. While in line to charge their rings before the Battery is taken away, Green Lantern Corps rookie Arisia Rrab converses with Hal Jordan and expresses her selfdoubts as the newest Green Lantern. In response, Hal tells her the story of the first Green Lantern:
In “The First Lantern”, Avra, a scribe to the Guardians, is chosen by one of the first four power rings despite having no skill as a warrior. Avra and the other three original Green Lanterns are sent to stop a nation of warring aliens. One of the four Lanterns is killed and, with defeat at hand, Avra uses his willpower and imagination as a writer to continue the battle. He creates the first construct from his ring, a sword, that is used to decimate the alien war crafts. Taking Avra’s lead the other two Lanterns also create shapes from their power rings to win the fight. Thanks to Avra the war is won and the power to shape constructs from the power rings is discovered. Avra rises in prestige among the growing Green Lantern Corps, and after his death his ring is passed down until it eventually becomes Abin Sur’s and then Hal Jordan’s.
Back in line at the Central Battery, Hal and Arisia meet Kilowog, the head trainer of the Green Lantern Corps. He antagonizes Arisia as a rookie and reminds her that she still has boot camp. Hal tells Arisia not to fear Kilowog and relates the story of Kilowog’s own trainer.
In “Kilowog”, Sgt. Deegan trains a rookie Kilowog and others by removing their power rings and putting them in deadly settings. Kilowog confronts Deegan and accuses him of a reckless training method and having no value for the lives of his trainees. Sgt. Deegan is then called to act with his recruits when a nearby planet comes under attack. Deegan purposefully drops Kilowog’s ring before departing with the other recruits. In the battle Sgt. Deegan orders the rookies to protect the refugees as he deals with the invaders. As Kilowog catches up, Sgt. Deegan is mortally wounded. Kilowog destroys the army and goes to Deegan’s side. Deegan tells Kilowog he never would have let his rookies die and that he did what was best for their training. He passes superiority to Kilowog who then takes up completing the mission.
Hal and Arisia arrive at a border patrol of the sun and await Krona’s return. Arisia meets a Lantern named Laira and Hal shares her story:
In “Laira”, a princess, Laira is sent on her first solo mission to her homeworld to deal with charges that her people are attacking other nations unprovoked. Standing in her way, Laira quickly defeats her father’s mistress and her belittling brother. But when she faces her father she is saddened to learn that the recent war crimes were his own decision. He has been driven into rage by the loss of honor that Laira’s ring choose her and not him. Laira is ultimately able to defeat her father who admits she has truly earned her adulthood. He then commits ritual suicide to maintain his honor.
Back at the border patrol of Oa’s sun, every Lantern has been called to await Krona’s return. The only absent Lantern noted is Mogo. Hal explains who Mogo is and why he is not present:
In “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize”, Bolphunga the Unrelenting seeks to fight and destroy all the most powerful warriors in the universe and is told he will never defeat the Green Lantern Mogo. Bolphunga’s computer contains no information on Mogo but tracks his whereabouts to a mysterious green planet. There Bolphunga spends weeks tracking Mogo’s power signatures but never finds the elusive Lantern. Bolphunga sets explosives all over the planet to flush Mogo out but is horrified when the planet extinguishes all the bombs and Mogo is revealed to be the entire planet.
At Oa’s sun Hal and Arisia are attacked by Krona’s Shadow Demons and rescued by Sinestro. Sinestro then speaks of the prophecy that Oa will be destroyed and relates a story of Abin Sur and the Lantern view on destiny:
In “Abin Sur”, Hal Jordan’s predecessor Abin Sur fights Atrocitus, an alien criminal speaking dark prophecies. Abin Sur is assisted by Sinestro in capturing the alien. Sinestro and Abin Sur then have a conversation relating to the warnings that Atrocitus spoke and Sinestro insists that he does not believe in destiny. Parting ways, Abin Sur takes the criminal to a prison planet where Atrocitus again speaks on Abin Sur’s imminent death. He also warns Abin that Sinestro will rise against the Green Lantern Corps and create his own lantern corps built on the power of fear. Abin Sur however refuses to believe his friend would betray his Green Lantern duties.
In “Emerald Knights”, Krona finally arrives from the Oa Sun. All the Green Lanterns fight swarms of Shadow Demons as Krona, an enormous figure, rises from the sun. Many Green Lanterns are killed and all others fall back. It is Arisia who devises a plan: if Krona is made of anti-matter then an equal or greater amount of matter will destroy him on contact. The Green Lanterns fall behind the planet Oa and push it at Krona. Krona uses Shadow Demons to push back and the Corps finds itself stymied while taking casualties. However, Mogo the Living Planet arrives and uses its own mass and Lantern Power to assist his comrades. Oa and Krona are forced into the sun and both are annihilated. The prophecy of Oa’s destruction is fulfilled, but Krona is destroyed and the Corps is saved.
Mogo volunteers to be the Corps’ temporary base as they build a new Oa. Arisia is honored with an official entry into the Book of Oa for her heroic ingenuity, although she still has to report for Kilowog’s training.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a collection of tales told by Green Lantern Hal Jordan to fellow Lantern Arisia Rrab as the Green Lantern Corps is facing a major battle with Krona and his shadow demons who seek to destroy their homeworld/base of Oa.
Each of these tales is impressively told, animated, and voiced. I found myself more than impressed by each of them. My favorite, though, had to have been the climactic end involving Mogo, the living planet, and largest Green Lantern.
The most interesting of the tales must have been the introduction of Avra, the first lantern. We all know that the lanterns can do pretty much anything they can think of, but it all had to start somewhere, and it was great to see where it all began.
I also really liked how they gave Abin Sur his own moment to shine. Let’s face it, everytime we see Abin Sur, he shows up for a brief amount of time, long enough to get his ass kicked and send his ring out to search for Hal Jordan. However, it is always aid that he was a great lantern and this shows his greatness.
The voice casting is one of the real selling points of this film. Whenever there is talk about anything Green Lantern, Nathan Fillion is always mentioned. I happen to believe that if not for his age, he may very well have had a role in this summer’s feature film.
Jason Isaacs plays a great Sinestro, but then his entire career is based on his ability to portray villains, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
Arnold Vosloo, Kelly Hu, and Rowdy Roddy Piper also ignite the cast with their impressive voicing.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is quite enjoyable. Some may even say it is better than this summer’s Green Lantern. For me, I have to see them both again before I can make that decision, but I can say that I did enjoy Green Lantern: First Flight a bit more. Now, that’s my personal opinion. Some may agree and some may think I’ve lost my mind, but that’s just how I see it. If you’re a GL fan, then you can’t go wrong with either. If you’re not, then this is a good start for you, in terms of seeing what the corps can really do. I hope you check this out soon!
4 out of 5 stars