Green Lantern: Beware My Power (2022) poster

Green Lantern: Beware My Power (2022)

Rating:


USA. 2022.

Crew

Director – Jeff Wamester, Screenplay – Ernie Altbacker & John Semper, Producer – Jim Krieg, Music – Kevin Riepl, Supervising Animation Director – Mac Whiting, Animation Services – Edge Animation Co., Ltd., Maven Image Platform, Studio Grida & The Answer Studio. Production Company – Warner Bros. Animation.

Voices

Aldis Hodge (John Stewart/Green Lantern), Jimmi Simpson (Green Arrow), Jamie Gray Hyder (Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol), Brian Bloom (Adam Strange), Nolan North (Hal Jordan), Rick Wasserman (Sinestro), Suni Mahorta (Power Ring), Ike Amadi (Martian Manhunter), Keesha Sharp (Vixen), Simon Templeman (Sardath). Mara Junot (Lyssa Drak)


Plot

A spaceship crashes near the home of former soldier John Stewart, He races to the scene and rescues a blue-skinned alien before it dies in his arms. This is one of the Guardians of Oa who bequeaths him a ring that attaches itself to John’s finger, informing him that he has been chosen as a Green Lantern. He desires only to get rid of the ring so it takes him to the Justice League Watchtower to understand more. There he meets Green Arrow, the best friend of Hal Jordan, the previous wearer of the ring. John and Green Arrow take the Guardian’s ship to Oa to find all of the other Guardians and members of the Green Lantern Corps dead. They then encounter Hawkgirl, Shayera Hol from the planet Thanagar, who is seeking vengeance for the elimination of her people. She blames Adam Strange, a native of the planet Rann, who also turns up. Rann and Thanagar have both been at war due to a Zeta Beam that teleported Thanagar into Rann’s orbit, causing mass devastation to both planets. John, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl and Adam cross the galaxy in the Guardian’s ship, seeking the villain Sinestro, a former Green Lantern who is manipulating the wars for his own benefit.


was the 45th of the DC Original Animated Movies. It comes alongside Superman: Doomsday (2007), Batman: Gotham Knight (2008), Justice League: The New Frontier (2008), Green Lantern: First Flight (2009), Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009), Wonder Woman (2009), Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010), Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010), Superman & Batman: Apocalypse (2010), All-Star Superman (2011), Batman: Year One (2011), Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part I (2012), Justice League: Doom (2012), Superman vs. The Elite (2012), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part II (2013), Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), Superman Unbound (2013), Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014), Justice League: War (2014), Son of Batman (2014), Batman vs. Robin (2015), Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015), Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015), Batman: Bad Blood (2016), Batman: The Killing Joke (2016), Justice League vs Teen Titans (2016), Batman and Harley Quinn (2017), Justice League Dark (2017), Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017), Batman: Gotham By Gaslight (2018), The Death of Superman (2018), Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018), Batman: Hush (2019), Justice League vs The Fatal Five (2019), Reign of the Supermen (2019), Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019), Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020), Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020), Superman: Red Son (2020), Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021), Batman: The Long Halloween Part One (2021), Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two (2021), Injustice (2021), Justice Society: World War II (2021) and Catwoman: Hunted (2022).

Green Lantern has been one of the core characters in the DC superhero line-up ever since his first appearance in 1940. On the other hand, Green Lantern has fared unevenly on the screen. His first appearance was in the ridiculous Justice League of America (1997) tv pilot played by Matthew Settle. He was part of the line-up of the animated Justice League (2000-4). There were two animated films, Green Lantern: First Flight (2009) and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011) and the tv series Green Lantern: The Animated Series (2011-3), but then came the massive flop of the live-action Green Lantern (2011) – a film that its star Ryan Reynolds never ceases to take an opportunity to diss. More to the point, since the live-action film there have been no animated Green Lantern films – up until this new film here, the character’s only appearance has been as one of the line-up in the animated Justice League films. Aside from a brief background glimpse of a Green Lantern in the live-action Wonder Woman (2017), the DC Extended Universe live-action movies of the late 2010s have been notable for the lack of appearance of any Green Lantern, while Green Lantern Corps, a follow-up to the Reynolds film that was touted for several years, has failed to emerge.

Beware My Power can be seen as a decisive attempt to rewrite the Green Lantern slate and start over – to the extent of even wiping out Hal Jordan. The John Stewart Green Lantern was introduced to the comic-book page in 1972 and has frequently stepped into Hal Jordan’s shoes. John Stewart has been used in a number of screen Green Lantern incarnations to add some diversity into the Justice League – both George Miller’s abandoned Justice League: Mortal film during the 2000s and the animated Justice League tv series sidestepped Hal Jordan and gave us Stewart as Green Lantern. There were also plans to introduce Stewart in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) but these ended up being dropped.

The John Stewart Green Lantern (voiced by Aldis Hodge) in Green Lantern Beware My Power (2022)
The John Stewart Green Lantern (voiced by Aldis Hodge)

Beware My Power tries to reset the basics for Green Lantern. On the other hand, as a long-time reader of the comic-book, you kind of balk at the way it sets about doing so. The film’s plot casually wipes out not only the Guardians of Oa but also the entire Green Lantern Corps, while turning Hal Jordan insane and into a mass murderer. It is almost as though someone came into the comic-books and decided they hated Green Lantern/Hal Jordan and wanted to burn down every single established aspect of the character and mythos and recreate their own version.

There surely seem less drastic ways of conducting a character reboot without obliterating not only the character but also everything associated with it. Certainly, this does have some precedent. During the 1990s, when DC were conducting drastic character changes in an effort to boost readership, there were the Reign of the Supermen (1993) and Emerald Twilight (1994) storylines where Coast City was eliminated and Hal went insane, conjuring a ring simulation of the city and then becoming the villain Parallax and eliminating the Guardians and Green Lantern Corps. The role of Green Lantern was subsequently inherited by Kyle Rayner, while the dead Hal Jordan went on to become the new Spectre. However, this proved an unpopular move and Hal Jordan was reinstated as Green Lantern in 2004. And it is not that previous continuity has not been erased before – when Hal Jordan became Green Lantern in 1959, all continuity to the previous incarnation Allan Scott was expunged.

The film also introduces Adam Strange, a Buck Rogers-styled character dating back to the 1950s, an Earth archaeologist who would teleport between Earth and a series of adventures on the planet Rann. Strange had earlier appeared in the DC Showcase: Adam Strange (2020) short film and in live-action in the tv series Krypton (2018-9) – although all mention of his origin as an Earthman has been dropped here and we are given the clear impression that he is a Rannian. We also get a Hawkgirl (but no Hawkman) and a drastically condensed version of the Rann-Thanagar storyline from self-titled comic-book series that ran in 2005 (one that did feature Kyle Rayner and the Green Lantern Corps but no Sinestro or Hal Jordan).

It is during these scenes and the planet-hopping action that Beware My Power is at its best as it becomes a Space Opera with human characters caught between a vast intergalactic war where sides are being manipulated by unknown forces. It’s just when the film tries to tie in comic-book continuity, you are left with a bad taste in the mouth.


Trailer here


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