Green Lantern: Emerald Knights - is a cohesive story, structured around an anthology of sorts with various Lantern tales/origins coming together to offer a broad spectrum, outside of the Hal/Sinestro stories we've grown into. It's a bear-sublime overview as to what makes them tick. There are few flaws and with contributions from Johns, Berganza, Guggenheim, Berlanti and Dave Gibbons, to say the least, it's a smooth segue how these stories flow and interconnect without really tying in that much. It offers proper character backdrop, appropriate character development and succinct prose as we see brought to the forefront the likes of Laira, Kilowogg, Mogo, Abin Sur etc who really would only be aired out in comics...or in small, sampled intervals on-screen.
Each story/character featured is given ample time as Hal Jordan dictates the genesis, trials and tribulations of various members of the unit to the rookie, Arisia, as the newcomer is thrown head first into a baptism of fire, fraught with the impending threat and gloom of Krona and his anti-matter dark energy. Hal narrates tales that show the strength and unity of the core as a whole but he does so using the canvas of individual stories that weave together intricately to help Arisia understand better the nature of the corps and its personnel...along with its spotted history. The tapestry is done with immense intensity as usual with DC's remarkable voice direction and artist direction, looping into a lot of comic creators melding with Romano, Timm etc. Of course, with Fillion, Isaacs and Vosloo comprising the core voice-cast, it's a spot-on foundation for the amazing and ever-evolving DCU animation fight sequences to build upon. They continually bring and improve their A-game.
While Hal takes a backseat, there's the endearing tie-in of Avra, the first Lantern in a tale of underdogs and underestimation, that wins over with sympathy and all-out-gusto. It's chock full of gamble with a reprising sense of earnest, justice and heart. True bravery and no punches pulled as we see how the first ring gets passed down through generations. While most of the film sticks to comic lore, some deviations occur but to enhance the final quality of the story, and this is draped on Kilowogg's origin that shows us his not-so-hardened side...which is a welcome respite through his tough exterior. It's a stark contrast to the tale of Laira, as this proves the most gratifying and eclectic story, with its arsenal of action and vast array of fight sequences. It's the most gritty tale and enjoyable, personally, as it shows the dynasty of a dysfunctional family opposing the duty of a space cop. Torn duty persists here. It tests borders and moral boundaries the most. Kelly Hu also turns on!
The Mogo tale also rings true to the books mostly and offers a jovial feel to a story that hinges still on Krona's threat, which when assessed proves overbearing to all the Green Lanterns, Guardians and to Oa. It's about prophecy, destiny and the non-timid nature of a villain intent and keen on wanton destruction. There are some nods to Blackest Night, with the most telling being Abin Sur's encounter with Atrocitus, although he reaches mostly to Sinestro, alluding to the Yellow Corps, much rather than the Blackest Night event. I'm sure the animators will get to this event as some seeds are sewn here. This proves a success in showing that other tales are welcome besides that of Hal and Sinestro...and it disappoints that Guy and Kyle are yet to make proper headway...though I hope that changes soon, bar a few cameos. The live-film bombed in quality to me but Parallax or Ion via DCU animation is something I think will prove vital and quintessential to this production company's already impressive quality.
The finale is cliched and not too mind-blowing (simply...move out the way when an object is thrown at you) but despite the anticlimax, it's an overall fun ride and a nice nod of power and rage to Krona, as well as just resistance from the corps. Overall, not starring and basing around Hal...proved a master-stroke of genius. It's time for DCU to stop masquerading and get to Barry Allen now. It's about bloody time!
Catwoman - this short by Paul Dini, is inexplicable in washing away that atrocious Halle Berry abomination in a dramatic flair, that just like the Black Adam, Green Arrow short etc had a concise dynamic built around a non-complex, riveting action sequence scheme. The precise tale here is one a la Robin Hood and incorporates a nice blend of action and solitude with a sultry tone. It's seduction and appeal for comic lovers as they cast gaze on the fluid, congruent ease of fighting and laminar skill of the deft feminine wiles here. The end is simple but effervescent in its elementary nature and spin of morality, precepts and the belief system of values set into inner doctrines. It shows how the star lady walks that thin fine line, treading with acrobatic proficiency a la Spider Man. It makes you want the Batman to appear to tussle and tango...but that's wishful thinking and high expectations to no avail.
Eliza Dushku chalks up a win, and yet again a showcase short shows how much DCU has to offer on the animation front. It's pioneer and an elaborate frontier...that makes you also wonder how they'd fare with some more magical realm tales like the SHAZAM short or maybe a JSA venture. It's a craving for more is what it is. Kudos for yet another valiant and entertaining, dare I say successful effort.