Green Lantern: Beware My Power is the 47th animated feature film from the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line. Directed by Jeff Wamester and written by Ernie Altbacker/John Semper. It features the voice cast of Aldis Hodge as John Stewart, Jimmi Simpson as Green Arrow, Brian Bloom as Adam Strange, Nolan North as Hal Jordan and Jamie Gray Hyder as Hawlgirl. Available on Blu Ray from July 26th, please visit here to order now.
In Green Lantern: Beware My Power, recently discharged Marine sniper John Stewart is at a crossroads in his life, one which is only complicated by receiving an extraterrestrial ring which grants him the powers of the Green Lantern of Earth. Unfortunately, the ring doesn’t come with instructions – but it does come with baggage, like a horde of interplanetary killers bent on eliminating every Green Lantern in the universe. Now, with the aid of the light-hearted Green Arrow, Adam Strange and Hawkgirl, this reluctant soldier must journey into the heart of a galactic Rann/Thanagar war and somehow succeed where all other Green Lanterns have failed.
From the very start of its 87 minute run time, Green Lantern: Beware My Power makes it very clear that this is an animated movie for a mature audience. With an opening set in a chaotic war zone to the ending that takes place on another planet, this is a film that contains action with a side order of strong violence, not to mention a garnish of blood. However, despite the earned 15 certificate, director Jeff Wamester ensures that this feels like an authentic DC Comics story, with the depictions of the characters we all know and love being consistent with the source material.
How does he do this? By allowing them to be themselves. The script from Ernie Altbacker and John Semper lets the principal characters all have their time in the sun. Their personalities are genuine and certainly don’t feel out of place, which is a huge feather in the cap of the creative team. The dynamics between the established heroes such as Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter are firmly in place, the hierachy of the JLA set. Throwing in the new, raw and initially out of his depth John Stewart is an intriguing premise. Seeing this untested new hero start to step up to the level of his newly found peers allows for some great, snappy dialogue too. Seeing Stewart and Queen go on an interstellar odyssey evokes memories of the classic Hard Travelling Heroes comic run, albeit with John Stewart taking the place of Hal Jordan.
Speaking of Hal Jordan, his fingerprints are all over the storyline of this movie. No spoilers here, but this movie contains a twist that rivals some of the very best in comic book history. To say anymore would ruin the surprise, but safe to say it is a twist that builds on several minutes of misdirection before pulling the rug out from under you in a way that is designed to carry maximum emotional impact. I have always been a fan of this kind of sleight of hand scriptwriting, so this is heady stuff to me.
As is always the case with DC animated movies, the voicecast is top drawer. Aldis Hodge, soon to be seen making his DC live action as Hawkman in the Black Adam movie, has just the right amount of gravitas to play John Stewart. His delivery is charismatic and also manages to convey the sense of bewilderment that this former soldie r, dealing with PTSD, gets from being thrust into the world of the Green Lantern Corps. His fish out of water gains strength and belief as the movie moves forward and Hodge certainly conveys that. Huge kudos to Jimmi Simpson too, his Green Arrow is pitch perfect. Full of bravado and with quips to spare, this Oliver Queen is lifted wholesale from the comic book page. With voice acting royalty Nolan North on typically fine form as Hal Jordan too, this is a voice cast with huge depth that elevates the material tenfold.
The action scenes here are solid gold standard. Hard hitting, and brutally balletic in nature, they are on a par with the best DC animated movies out there. Wamester and his team of animators are at the top of their game when depicting spandex-clad smackdowns, giving each blow a sense of impact and damage. Like the best comic book panels, it jumps through the screen and smacks the viewer in the face.
Green Lantern: Beware My Power is a worthy addition to the annals of DC animation. The story is gripping, the violence full on and the stakes are oh so high! It never stops pushing forward and I would certainly welcome the chance to get more adventures with the incarnation of John Stewart, as he strives to rebuild the Green Lantern Corps and lead the new generation of heroes. Fingers crossed we get to see that!