GREEN LANTERN: TAS Series Finale "Dark Matter" Review
We've come to the end of our 26 episode journey friends. Were all the loose ends tied up in a satisfactory manner? Continue on for my review of the series finale of Green Lantern: The Animated Series which recieves a little help from executive producer Giancarlo Volpe.
"Aya and Razer have but the briefest of moments where they fully express their feelings for one another before Aya fades to space ether. Rayaza shippers will have a field day with this ending for a long time to come. "
The jilted-lover trope is nothing new in television but Green Lantern: The Animated Series has cranked up this notion to a whole new epic level. Can Aya and Razer reconcile in the last 20+ minutes of animated footage? The way these things usually play out in television, the obvious answer is yes, but GL:TAS has surprised us before.
Aya, (the AI of Hal Jordan's ship) is out to destroy all organic life after Red Lantern Razer tells her he can't return her affections. She's gone Super Saiyan after stealing the essence of the Anti-Monitor and has more than enough enough power to carry out her threat. Needless to say, she's not dealing with rejection well but we're dealing with hyper intelligent computers and intergalactic space guardians so it stands to reason that things might be a little different from your typical breakup. Think of it as the cosmic equivalent of having an ex-girlfriend slash your tires. With Aya on the verge of executing her plan, it's up to Hal Jordan, Kilowog, Guy Gardner and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps to stop her. Curiously, none of the other Lantern Corps show up, which is odd considering that Aya is about to end all life in the universe. The creators and writers of the show are too smart to build up Hal Jordan's interactions with the various color spectrums of the guardian corps only to leave them out of the series finale. That should be a clue that Bruce Timm, Giancarlo Volpe, Jim Kreig and co. had no idea that this would be the last episode of the series. Nevertheless, the story wrapped up a lot of the loose ends before the credits roll.
After an act break, we're on Oa which looks pretty epic. The Guardians address the Corps on the eve of battle; it's reminiscent of the best scene in the Green Lantern movie where Sinestro addresses the Corps before confronting Parallax. The animators pull no punches when it's time for the confrontation with Aya and her Manhunters. While most of the Lanterns are fighting, Hal Jordan and Tomar Re figure out that Aya has secretly limited her path of destruction to only unpopulated star systems. With that in mind, Hal thinks there's still a chance to save Aya rather than destroy her.
The focus shifts back and forth between the Corps and Manhunter confrontation and Hal Jordan pleading with Aya to belay her actions. In the fight, a lot of your favorite Lanterns get a chance to shine including Guy, Kilowog, Ch'p, Chaselon, and more.
The renders here are some of the best of the series, sliced and diced Manhunters reveal inner circuitry and mechanical intestines - a level of detail you simply wouldn't have in traditional 2D animation. As the conflict progresses, Aya and Hal arrive at the Hand of Creation - Aya's plan is to alter the big bang in such a way as to devoid the universe of all organic life at its very point of origin.
If you recall, the Hand of Creation is something we previously saw in Bruce Timm's Justice League Unlimited and has been featured in various DC comic books numerous times. While she is distracted by Hal, Razer arrives and stealthily approaches Aya to stab her in the back. However he changes his mind at the last second just as Aya hits him with an energy blast that puts him on the brink of death. Seeing her lover in such a state and by her own hand no less jolts Aya back to her senses. She utilizes the majority of her newly acquired power to save Razer however it comes at the expense of her ability to control the Manhunters. Returned to her normal, sensible self, Aya decides the only way to stop the Manhunters once and for all is to upload a virus that will destroy all the mechanical constructs in one fell swoop but unfortunately that virus also destroys her as well. It's a sad moment that's played out beautifully by the animators and voice actors. Aya and Razer have but the briefest of moments where they fully express their feelings for one another before Aya fades to space ether. Rayaza shippers will have a field day with this ending for a long time to come.
Back on Oa and in the celebratory aftermath, Razer decides that he doesn't believe Aya is truly gone and decides to head into space to find her. He says what appears to be his final goodbyes to Hal and Kilowog (who actually gives him a hug). As Razer heads into space to begin his journey to find Aya, a Blue Lantern ring appears and streaks off after him.
Were all the questions raised answered in the series finale? No. There was no Sinestro, no other Lantern Corps and no final interaction with Scar. There's definitely room for the show to continue but the ending is not as open-ended as the one for Young Justice: Invasion (more on that later). However, the show ends in a nice place, full of "feels" as the kids say these days. It's up to the viewer to decide if Razer ever finds Aya, if that's truly the last adventure Hal, Kilowog and the Red Lantern have together and whether Razer trades his rage for hope. It's good television, better scripted and more captivating than some of the prime time dramas that air on network television (looking at you NBC). The storyline probably passes right over the head of adolescents 12 and under but they'll probably just sit there slack-jawed at the bright shiny cg animation and explosive battles. It's definitely one of those television shows that's tragically ending ahead of its time and it will definitely be missed as evidenced by its vocal and active fan base.
Click here to find out from Bruce Timm why the show was cancelled.
Click here for my review of the series finale of Young Justice: Invasion.
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