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Green Lantern: First Flight (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] by Directed by Lauren Montgomery
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B0021AENJG
Date: 24 August 2009 List Price $29.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: / Show Official Info /

To me Hal Jordan as drawn by co-creator/artist Gil Kane and subsequently the team of artist Neal Adams and writer Denny O'Neil was the definitive Green Lantern of Earth and every successor simply could not wield Jordan's ring as effectively.

Having watched and enjoyed this year's animated Wonder Woman from Warner Premiere, as well as the trailer for Green Lantern: First Flight, I was eager to watch the Blu-ray version and see if they stayed true to Hal Jordan's roots.

James Strong
Writing credits:
Alan Burnett (written by)

Christopher Meloni ... Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (voice)
Victor Garber ... Sinestro (voice)
Tricia Helfer ... Boodikka (voice)
Michael Madsen ... Kilowog (voice)
John Larroquette ... Tomar Re (voice)

Green Lantern: First Flight
CM: Even though I remember reading the story of how Hal Jordan was summoned by Abin Sur, the mortally wounded Green Lantern who summoned Jordan and passed on his power ring, but I don't remember Sinestro as being his mentor. Whether that was true at the time or not, it makes for a good story line here. Seeing how Sinestro's contempt for the Guardians turns into hatred and rebellion, then subsequently into an attempt to subjugate and humiliate the surviving members of the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians, makes for an excellent action packed film.

Behind The Story
Green Lantern: Behind the Story with Geoff Johns The New York Times Best-Selling Writer Discusses the Mythology of the Green Lantern
CM: This was an outstanding featurette that ended way too quickly for my tastes.

With Neal Adams (Artist, Green Lantern), Dan Didio (Senior VP & Executive Editor, DC Comics), Christopher Knowles (Author, Our Gods Wear Spandex), Paul Levitz (President and Publisher, DC Comics), Phil Cousineau (Author, Once and Future Myths), Christopher Vogler (The Author's Journey), Sabina Magliocco (Professor of Anthropology, Cal State - Northridge), Don Locicero (Author, Superheroes and Gods from Babylonia to Batman), and Scott Kleinman (Associate Professor of English, Cal State - Northridge).

CM: Listening to this eclectic group talking about mythology and religion; the magic ring; talisman; Wonder Woman's lasso; Merlin, Arthur and the Sword in the Stone; Harry Potter; and Popeye the Sailor was one of the best featurettes on the Blu-ray disc.

With Geoff Johns (Writer, Green Lantern), Neal Adams (Artist, Green Lantern), Peter Tomasi (Writer, Green Lantern Corps).

CM: According to Wikipedia the visual appearance of Sinestro was based upon British actor David Niven, but to me, Sinestro looks like Mephistopheles had possessed Niven and was suitably malevolent. Looking at him, I wonder how the Guardians could have been so naive about him. That said, I did enjoy learning more about his back story here.

The Guardians of the Universe
Peter Tomasi (Writer, Green Lantern Corps), Neal Adams (Artist, Green Lantern).

CM: Interesting but not earth shattering.

A First Look At: Superman/Batman Public Enemies
With Tim Daly (Superman), Gregory Noveck (SVP Creative Affairs, DC Comics), Bruce Timm (Executive Producer), Stan Berkowitz (Script Writer), Kevin Conroy (Batman), Andrea Romano (Voice/Casting Director), Xander Berkley (Captain Atom), Clancy Brown (Lex Luthor), Ricardo Chavira (Major Force), and John C. McGinley (Metallo).

CM:In this film noir, we see how Superman views Batman and vice versa.

I know I'm being very subjective in my tastes, but I strongly dislike the original artwork of Ed McGuinness and all of his superheroes who look like steroid abusers on the verge of fatal heart attacks. They all look like they have a little blood in their steroid streams.

That said, the superheroes in this animated film aren't nearly as over the top and I'm interested in seeing this film in hopes that the plot makes me forget about the artwork.

From Graphic Novel To Original Animated Movie - Justice League: The New Frontier
With Paul Levitz (President and Publisher, DC Comics), Sander Schwartz (Executive Producer), Darwyn Cooke (Writer/Artist), Mark Chiarello (DC Comics Editorial Art Director & Editor). Mike Goguen (Producer), Dan Didio (Senior VP & Executive Editor, DC Comics), Gregory Noveck (SVP Creative Affairs, DC Comics), David Bullock (Director), Bruce Timm (Producer), Stan Berkowitz (Screenwriter), and Andrea Romano (Voice Director).

CM: An interesting feature where Darwyn Cooke, the writer and artist of Justice League - The New Frontier, discusses serving as story and visual consultant on the animated movie based on his book. From initial doubts as to whether they could compress his story into a 75 minute film to pleasure that the producers had succeeded, you can hear Cooke's pride in both versions of his work.

Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess
With Paul Levitz (President and Publisher, DC Comics), Dan Didio (Senior VP & Executive Editor, DC Comics), Gregory Noveck (SVP Creative Affairs, DC Comics), Bruce Timm (Producer), Rosario Dawson (Artemis), Lauren Montgomery (Director), Michael Jelenic (writer of Wonder Woman animated movie), Virginia Madsen (Queen Hipplyte), Keri Russell (Princess Diana), Nathan Fillion (Steve Trevor), and Alfred Molina (Ares, God of War).

CM: Listening to the origins of the character of Wonder Woman was great, but hearing the story of William Moulton Marston, the man who created her was fascinating. Not only did he create the fictitious Lasso of Truth, in real life he also created the first lie detector, an invention inspired by his wife's observations. Marston was a much more established writer than most comic book artists, the result of having been brought up in a classical literary tradition steeped in Greco-Roman history which he drew upon for Wonder Woman. Simply put, this segment rocks and it made me want to watch the movie again.

Batman Gotham Knight: An Anime Revolution
CM: A fascinating feature on the making of this film, particularly how they used nine different Anime directors to create individual segments that could be connected together. Not being a big fan of the genre, I was surprised to discovery that most Anime heroes would be called antiheroes in North America. Quite cool!

Blackest Night: The DC Comics Event (Coming in July 2009)
Geoff Johns (Writer, Green Lantern), Dan Didio (Senior VP & Executive Editor, DC Comics), Peter Tomasi (Writer, Green Lantern Corps), Ryan Liebowitz (GM, Golden Apple Comics), Mike Phlaumer (Clerk, Golden Apple Comics).

CM:Resurrecting dead superheroes like the Martian Manhunter, Earth 2 Superman, and Barry Allen (Flash) as zombies who are aware of what they are. Since I'm not really a fan of the horror genre, I'll give this a pass.

Duck Dodgers: "The Green Loontern"
Watching Daffy Duck playing Duck Dodgers as he tries to fill Green Lantern's shoes is hilarious and I watched this cartoon and the five episodes of Justice League Unlimited several times through as I wrote this review.

Since I loved watching Green Lantern: First Flight and I've already admitted that I really liked I Am The Ring, listed as the one Blu-ray exclusive feature, this Blu-ray disc with downloadable Digital Copy is an absolute must own for anyone who knows the post-1940s version of the Green Lantern oath:

"In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power... Green Lantern's light!"

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