EPISODE REVIEWS - "HEIR APPARENT"
Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Original Airdate - March 31st, 2011
The Green Lanterns travel to Betrassus, a high tech yet medieval world, where they become embroiled in a murder investigation that could bring down Queen Iolande's kingdom
before it even begins.
Written by Jennifer Keene
Directed by Sam Liu
Review by klammed
I sort of want to call this the Will Friedle episode because… you know, Will Friedle. First though, the actual plot. The crew travels to Betrassus, described for us as “a high tech yet medieval world”. Add to “medieval” perhaps, “Roman” or “ancient”, and you have our series’ Betrassus. Betrassus is also, unlike its comics counterpart, not currently embroiled in a history of civil war, and with Iolande already queen. I was not personally familiar with the comics version before watching this episode, but this was not a hindrance. Characters and events are introduced smoothly and without excessive exposition, and sides are quickly, it seems, set up.
In one corner we have the ambitious Kothak, wishing to wed Iolande as per the planet’s archaic customs. In the other we seem to have everyone else. There’s Ragnar, voiced by Will Friedle (importance of this will come in later), Iolande’s younger brother who looks like the puppy fat has yet to fully leave him. There’s Dulok, the sector’s Green Lantern, noble and stately in demeanor, with Kevin Michael Richardson showing his range, playing both Dulok and the coarse Kilowog in this episode. With this much testosterone stalking around, Gladiator style competitions must be expected. With Friedle voicing one of the planet’s inhabitants, one can’t help thinking of the current Thundercats, though his Ragnar is quite different from the brash Lion-O or even Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis. Together with the rounded features of Ragnar’s character design, Friedle manages a very youthful, eager Ragnar in his introduction.
This episode is however a mix of out and out brawling action and a quieter spy cat and mouse game. Dulok goes missing. Hal’s racer-pod (yes, I am calling it that because the Star Wars-esque sound effects demand) is sabotaged, and ominous words of internal strife are related by Ragnar. Enter Razer and Aya. Some great lines coming from the interactions between these two, including, “When in my physical form, I prefer not to be pushed into the dirt” courtesy of Aya. This is definitely setting up for more between them as the season continues, and also gives a good foil as two different ‘rookies’ to the veteran pair.
The third act reveals the traitor: our very own, very hero sounding Ragnar! I’m not sure if Friedle has done many/any villain roles to date, so this is pretty much casting genius. Even someone who was familiar with the comics origin might have been thrown off by this seemingly alternate Ragnar, but GL:TAS does not stray too far from it at all. I very much enjoyed the reveal. Good camera work in the subsequent chase scene, and really appreciating the angles and shake effects going on there, where you can see the 3d being put to good use. The animation in general was fine, with very fluid character animation in Ragnar especially, and I’m appreciating the subtle gestures they are able to achieve in this new (for DC animated) format.
That end though. Wonder what Carol will think of it all if she finds out.
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