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Western Animation / Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

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Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a 2011 direct to DVD Movie out of DC's DVD Movie line.

An anthology much like Batman: Gotham Knight, framed as Hal Jordan telling tales of the Green Lantern Corps to the newly recruited Arisia Rrab as they prepare to fight an attack from the Antimatter Universe.

Features Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan, Jason Isaacs as Sinestro and Elisabeth Moss as Arisia, as well as Eddie Berganza, Alan Burnett, Todd Casey, Dave Gibbons, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi as writers and Chris Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery and Jay Oliva as directors.

While something of a tie-in to the Live Action Film it's not in the same continuity, and shares the drawing style and character models with Green Lantern: First Flight, though it's not a sequel to that either (where Hal is the rookie and Arisia is the veteran).

The anthology, with a framing story that is loosely based on the first Tales of The Green Lantern Corps. Comic Book miniseries, contains the following stories, which are mostly adapted from comic storylines going from the Eighties to the current volume, of:

  • The First Lantern, the sole original story in the anthology.
  • Kilowog, based upon the story "New Blood" from issue three of Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps.
  • Laira, based upon the story "What Price Honor?" from issue six of Green Lantern Corps Quarterly.
  • Mogo Doesn't Socialize, based upon the Alan Moore story of the same name (originating from issue 188, Vol 2 of Green Lantern).
  • Abin Sur, based upon "Tygers", also by Alan Moore and originally published in the second edition of Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual.

This film provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Bolphunga's spacecraft is a 3D model, while the rest of the film is standard 2D animation.
  • Action Girl: Laira and Arisia, as one would expect from Green Lanterns.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Kilowog's story is an adaptation of "New Blood" from the third issue of Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, but changes the name of Kilowog's drill instructor from Ermey to Deegan.
  • Adaptational Sympathy: Kentor Omoto's portrayal in Laira's story is more sympathetic than how he was portrayed in the source material. The original comic story from issue six of Green Lantern Corps Quarterly established that Kentor used to be a Green Lantern, but was kicked out for being a myopic zealot and is ultimately confronted by his daughter for his cruel reign over their planet. The Emerald Knights version makes it so that Kentor was never a Green Lantern and resents his daughter for being chosen over him, but in the end is remorseful of having to fight her.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Deegan has a less human appearance than Ermey, the comics character he is based on. Instead of looking like a yellow-skinned human, he is depicted as a bald, pale-skinned being with red eyes, tusks and wrinkles.
  • Adapted Out: Abin Sur's story, an adaptation of "Tygers" from the second edition of Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual, omits the child Abin Sur rescued after being informed by Qull that she is the only survivor of the ship crash he arrived to investigate. In addition, the foretelling of the downfall of the Green Lantern Corps omits Sodam Yat and replaces the Children of the White Lobe with the Sinestro Corps, while Qull himself is omitted due to Atrocitus taking his place as the prisoner interrogated by Abin Sur who foresees the demise of Abin Sur and the Green Lantern Corps.
  • Alien Blood: Deegan bleeds green. Jaydians bleed blue. Ardakian Trawl's species bleed indigo. Bolphunga's first opponent bleeds yellow. The dead Lanterns shown in Atrocitus's vision have either red, purple, or blue blood.
  • Alternate Continuity: The film shares character models with Green Lantern: First Flight, but is demonstrably not in the same continuity, the most notable discrepancies including Abin Sur's design being somewhat closer to how he was depicted in the comics, the fact that none of the characters are voiced by the actors who voiced them in First Flight and how Sinestro has yet to betray the Corps and obtain a yellow power ring when his Face–Heel Turn was the major conflict of First Flight.
  • Ambiguous Situation: At the time of the movie, Sinestro is still a loyal Green Lantern, and he writes off Atrocitus' foretelling of his Face–Heel Turn, describing the monster as a false prophet. The audience knows that Sinestro's fall is an inevitability, but it's not clear if Sinestro is lying about the validity of Atrocitus' prediction, or if he's giving an honest opinion and just hasn't decided to turn on the Green Lanterns yet.
    • There's also the fate of Bolphunga. He's last seen getting blasted by a Green Lantern beam from Mogo, but we don't know if he's dead or if Mogo just apprehended him.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Hal continues to share stories with Arisia as the film ends.
  • Animated Adaptation: Most stories come from the comics and some are done by the original authors.
  • Animesque: Laira's face goes there sometimes. She also gets a Transformation Sequence.
    • Arisia also has a moment when Krona looms behind her and she does the "raise shoulders, wide eyes, gritted teeth, body shiver" number.
  • Anti-Villain: Laira's father, Kentor. Despite his crimes, he remains a loving father who prioritises the well-being of his world. In the end, recognising the folly of his actions, Kentor commits seppuku and dies affirming Laira as the real protector of their world.
  • Arc Villain: Laira, Mogo, and Abin Sur's stories each feature a single primary villain (Kentor, Bolphunga, and Atrocitus respectively).
  • Art Shift: "The First Lantern" and "Kilowog" have a decidedly more cartoony style and proportions compared to the other shorts, which may be because those are the ones that focus the least on human-like aliens. The stories of both aren't Lighter and Softer though, they match up pretty well to the rest of the film and it isn't as dramatic a shift as similar DTV movies have done.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Krona's body is made of antimatter, so his weakness is coming into contact with regular matter. The problem is that he spends a lot of time in contact with Oa's sun, which has more than enough of that to make him go *poof*.
  • Artistic License – Space: A lot of action takes place near — or on — the surface of Oa's sun. The sun should have appeared a lot bigger.
  • As You Know: The way the Guardians expose who Krona is and why he was imprisoned. Also, for some reason, Kentor needs to remind his daughter how she became a Green Lantern.
  • Bad Future: Atrocitus tells of a future where Sinestro and his Corps destroy the GLC and conquer the universe.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Deegan turns the Green Lantern oath into one.
      Deegan: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, YOU FRIGGIN' BASTARDS!
    • Bolphunga delivers quite a good one when he arrives to face Mogo. Little does he know, he's a little out of his weight class.
      Bolphunga: Mogo, you skulking coward! I know not where upon this overgrown planet you are, but hear this! I am Bolphunga the Unrelenting! Bolphunga, at whose name the deserts tremble and the mountains quake! Bolphunga, who will cleave you from your soul! Come meet your fate, you craven cur!
  • Badass Normal: Kentor (in Laira's story) and Atrocitus (in Abin Sur's) both put up an impressive fight against a Green Lantern despite not having powers of their own. Atrocitus is even noted to have killed three Green Lanterns before being subdued by Abin Sur.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Bolphunga goes looking for Mogo expecting a fight with the mightiest warrior in the cosmos.
  • Berserk Button: Mogo seemed pretty content to let Bolphunga rampage across his surface cutting things. After all, what's a few trees to an entire planet? Then Bolphunga tried to firebomb the entire surface, so Mogo stopped screwing around.
  • BFS: Avra makes one as the first construct ever created from a Green Lantern ring. He then cuts a starship in half.
  • Big Bad: Krona, of the framing story. The whole film revolves around Arisia and the Corps preparing for Krona's attack, while Hal tells stories about the other Lanterns to pass the time. In the big finale, Krona and his demons battle the Corps with the fate of the universe hanging in the balance.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • During a skirmish with some shadow demons, Laira, Kilowog, and Sinestro swoop in just in time to keep Hal and Arisia from being overrun.
    • Sinestro, Kilowog and Laira blast in to save Arisia from a Shadow Demon.
    • Mogo in the final battle, single-handedly killing Krona's entire Shadow Demon army and pushing the planet into him when he was previously holding it at bay. He's literally a big damn hero.
  • Big Entrance: Mogo's Big Damn Heroes moment. Arisia sums it up: "He may not socialize, but he sure does know how to make an entrance."
  • Blood Knight: Bolphunga, his hunger for battle only matched by his hunger for food.
  • The Cameo:
    • Gallius Zed appears (and dies) in a flashback during Laira's story.
    • In Atrocitus' foretelling of Sinestro's Face–Heel Turn, the Sinestro Corps appears, with Sinestro's right-hand man Arkillo appearing among them.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Ardakian Trawl did not exist in the comics.
    • The first Green Lantern Avra is exclusive to this animated film, as not only is his story the only one in the anthology to be original rather than adapted from the comics, but the title of first Green Lantern in the comics belonged to Rori Dag, whose origin isn't at all like how Avra became a Green Lantern (and was subsequently retconned by the Wrath of the First Lantern arc of Geoff Johns' run and the "Out of Time" arc of Green Lanterns, which respectively established that a being called Volthoom was the first Lantern in general and that the first Green Lanterns were seven recruits gathered to fight Volthoom).
  • Cassandra Truth: Atrocitus tell Abin Sur how Sinestro is destined to betray the Green Lantern Corps, and form his own Corps based on the yellow light of fear, which Abin Sur refuses to believe.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The reveal of Mogo's nature is the entire point of "Mogo Doesn't Socialize".
  • Chekhov's Skill: Arisia says that she was taking physics classes before she became a Green Lantern. Guess who's the one to point out the best way to destroy anti-matter.
  • The Chosen Many: The Green Lantern Corps consists of countless members who have been chosen by their rings to enforce justice, and the film recounts their stories.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Laira gets this in the fight with her father.
  • Co-Dragons: Ree'Yu and Rubyn are both fiercely loyal to Kentor, and Laira must defeat them both before challenging her father.
  • Composite Character: Abin Sur's story, an adaptation of the Alan Moore story "Tygers", has future founder and leader of the Red Lantern Corps Atrocitus take the place of Qull.
  • Continuity Nod: Laira's Transformation Sequence when she first puts on the ring is the same as Hal's from First Flight.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Deegan draws the GL symbol on Kilowog with his own green blood.
  • Crapsack World: The entire universe was this in its earliest days, being a lawless wasteland in a state of perpetual warfare. The Green Lantern Corps was founded to fix this.
  • Creator Cameo: Bruce Timm as Galius Zed which is also a Death by Cameo.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: As Hal's narration notes, Bolphunga's fight with Mogo ends before it even begins; Mogo crushes his ship with ease as Bolphunga tries in vain to flee from the living planet he'd just provoked.
  • Dare to Be Badass: This is a point of the training that Kilowog and Deegan before him tried to instill in new lantern recruits. Justified in that some recruits never even had combat experience before joining the Green Lantern Corps, and thus need training and a good kick in the ass to turn them into proper Green Lanterns.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Sinestro gets a quip or two in:
      Arisia: Where is everyone?
      Sinestro: Patrolling the Sun. Things are starting to get hot out there.
    • Abin Sur is just as sarcastic to Sinestro as Sinestro is to others.
      Sinestro: I've seen you look better, my friend.
      Abin Sur: And I've seen you look worse.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the original story, Bolphunga flies away, and Mogo may not even have noticed his visit.
  • Decomposite Character: Laira's story is an adaptation of "What Price Honor?" from the sixth issue of Green Lantern Corps Quarterly, but changes it so that her father Kentor wasn't a Green Lantern. Instead, Laira's predecessor is Galius Zed, and Kentor resents his own daughter for inheriting the ring instead of him.
  • Determinator:
    • Green Lanterns run on Heroic Willpower, but Deegan stands out for successfully fighting back against a Khundian tank while being fatally bombarded by the same tank.
    • Bolphunga isn't called "The Unrelenting" for nothing; he keeps up his hunt for Mogo for months without even considering giving up. When he realises exactly what he's fighting, however, Bolphunga finally relents.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • A bunch of holograms show happy moments from Laira and her father's lives as they fight.
    • As usual, references to Sinestro being a good guy who'd never betray the Corps are played for as much of this as possible; Hal notes that Sinestro is the one Lantern he most wants by his side in a crisis (the two become arch-enemies in the comics), and Abin Sur is convinced that Atrocitus is lying when he foretells the rise of the Sinestro Corps.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Deegan. And Kilowog, obviously (although not as bad as Deegan).
    Kilowog: "First combat?"
    Arisia: "...Yes."
    Kilowog: "Don't worry, Rookie. This ain't gonna be half as bad as boot camp."
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Omotos are a very dark example. Laira is a heroic Green Lantern, but her father Kentor and stepmother Ree'Yu have become vengeful fanatics bent on avenging Jayd by massacring Khundians in cold blood, while her brother Rubyn is a sadist who relishes tormenting her and others. Needless to say, things do not end well for this family.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Oa. After it has been shoved into Krona's face. And thrown in the sun.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Laira's homeworld, Jayd, to Asian cultures, as in the comics.
  • Fatal Flaw: In his story, it's shown that Abin Sur was so dedicated to his duty that he would forgo resting in favor of working, and would only stop working to charge his ring when its energy dropped to unacceptable levels. This leads to him nearly dying when his ring power drops too low during the fight, the same thing that - as Atrocitus predicts - is what later led to his Death by Origin Story.
  • Foreshadowing:
  • Generic Doomsday Villain:
    • Krona is a powerful Energy Being that tried to destroy the Universe in the past for no apparent reason, and is returning to do it again. He never speaks, he just exists to be an obstacle. The anthology format doesn't have time to make him anything else, but it's particularly noticeable since Kilowog's and Laira's stories were able to carry the emotional weight that Krona's lacks completely.
    • The Khundians appear in Kilowog and Laira's stories as a ruthless invading army, but they get no characterisation beyond acting as a generic threat in Kilowog's story and a background influence in Laira's.
  • Genius Loci: Mogo doesn't socialize, because being a living planet makes it rather difficult.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Laira's father Kentor, in seeking to protect his world, becomes a ruthless despot whose own daughter is forced to put an end to his atrocities.
  • Heroic Willpower: In addition to literally powering the Corps, Avra gets this when things seem hopeless for the recruits.
  • Honor Before Reason: Laira's father commits war crimes in order to regain the honor he thinks he lost because Laira (a newly minted Green Lantern) had called for help from the Corps in order to turn back the invasion of her planet, as opposed to using her new powers to help her father win the battle.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: After hitting it with a planet.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Hal says that Laira "hasn't been around long", but Laira's flashback shows that Abin Sur was still alive when she became a GL, meaning that Laira has been a Lantern for longer than Jordan has.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Green Lantern rings are the former trope namer, though the story of the first Lantern shows that the Guardians didn't think of using the rings for constructs, meaning they just thought it would be a powerful force field/laser beam, and not the all purpose device it is.
  • Kamehamehadoken: Avra shoots one during a training scene.
  • Kirby Dots: When Krona appears.
  • Knight Templar: Kentor Omoto of Jayd. His atrocities are a way of ensuring that the Golden Dragon Clan—which he rules—reigns supreme, and of restoring his lost honor.
    Laira: What has happened to Jayd, father?
    Kentor: Jayd is safe.
    Laira: At what expense?
    Kentor: Only the blood of our enemies.
  • Large Ham: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper as Bolphunga, and Wade Williams as Deegan.
  • Lavender-Skinned Space Babe: Laira is a Jaydian, which means she looks like a human with pointed ears and purple skin, and is quite attractive.
  • Leotard of Power: Laira wears a surprisingly heavily-armored leotard, with a green breastplate and armored leggings.
  • Little "No": Sinestro utters one when he thinks Abin Sur has been killed by an exploding Lantern battery.
  • Logical Weakness: Krona's body consists of antimatter, so Arisia deduces that being hit with an equal amount of matter will destroy him. And it just so happens that the Lanterns have a newly empty Oa on hand.
  • Mordor: Ysmault, where Atrocitus is imprisoned, is shown to be a volcanic hellhole.
  • Multi-Melee Master:
    • Laira summons any number of melee weapon constructs in battle, including spears, swords, and flails.
    • In his duel with Laira, Kentor wields a shapeshifting weapon that changes into several forms, including a staff, a spear, and two sickles.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The phrase "Mogo doesn't socialize" is used three times when his story is brought up. Tomar-Re is the first to do so, referencing how he was the one who told Arisia the tale of Mogo in the original comic story.
    • Arisia wonders if Krona's coming is the "blackest night" foretold in the Lantern Corps oath. Sinestro replies that it's merely dusk. Comics readers know that Sinestro has a point.
    • Hal Jordan alludes to Ch'p, an alien squirrel-like Lantern, though he is unnamed but briefly seen. Jordan says that Ch'p was his backup against an army of Manhunters, the Lanterns' evil robotic forerunners.
  • New Meat: Arisia. Three days before the movie's events, she was just a student.
  • Noodle Incident: Hal ends the movie with one.
    Hal: C'mon, I'll tell you about the time I took on an army of Manhunters, and my only backup was this squirrel...
  • Not Afraid to Die: When Atrocitus foretells his death, Abin Sur shrugs it off, saying that everyone dies and that he doesn't fear death. Sinestro espouses a similar attitude while talking to Arisia.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Deegan when the Khunds go for Tank Goodness.
    • Bolphunga when he realizes exactly how screwed he is, when Mogo finally reveals himself.
  • One-Man Army: The first four Lanterns defeat an alien Armada. Later, Laira defeats the three greatest warriors on her homeworld, but not before intimidating their royal guard into surrendering.
  • Plot Hole: At the start of Abin Sur's story, he asks who Atrocitus is. Atrocitus doesn't give his name, but after his battery is destroyed Abin calls him by name. No explanation is given for how he learned it.
  • Posthumous Character:
    • In Laira's story, her mother; Laira is unfavorably compared to her mother by Ree'Yu (Laira notes that she inherited her mother's humility), and an image of his late wife visibly moves Kentor as he and Laira fight.
    • Abin Sur is dead by the time of the framing story, but his legacy survives in his ring (now wielded by Hal Jordan) and in the memories of his friend Sinestro (who narrates Abin Sur's story).
    • Kilowog's drill sergeant Deegan, Laira's father Kentor and the first Green Lantern Avra also qualify as examples of the trope in regards to the Framing Device, as the stories featuring them end with the implication or overt depiciton of their deaths.
  • Prophecy Twist: Oa was said to be destroyed in the battle. It was. Not in a good way for the bad guys, though.
  • Pun: After dismembering the four-armed Kloba Vud, Bolphunga quips that his opponent appears to be "completely disarmed".
  • Recursive Ammo: Khundians are fond of these.
  • Rebellious Princess: Laira, who defies her father when he begins committing atrocities against Jayd's enemies.
  • R-Rated Opening: Shadow Demons ripping a Lantern apart, which is quite brutal for a PG-rated movie.
  • Scenery Porn: The long panning shot of Mogo's surface.
  • Screw Destiny: Sinestro's viewpoint, contrasting his friend Abin Sur.
  • Secret Test of Character: This is implied to be the reason behind Deegan's mockery of Kilowog's tendency to put himself in danger to save his fellow recruits
  • Seppuku: Laira's father Kentor commits a PG version of this. He stabs himself with a dagger, but doesn't quite disembowel himself.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Laira is a humble, moral, and stoic Green Lantern, while her brother Rubyn is a smug and smarmy villain. Laira even notes that she'd be unsurprised if he had been responsible for the atrocities their father had carried out.
  • Space Police: The Green Lantern Corps, as usual. They are a militaristic organization, complete with irate drill sergeants and buddy cops, and battle intergalactic threats such as the Khundians and Krona.
  • Start to Corpse: The film begins with Ardakian Trawl's death.
  • Superhero Origin: The first story is about the first four Lanterns and their first mission, showing the origin of the Corps.
    • Kilowog's segment is all about how he learned how to become a Green Lantern under the tutelage of Deegan.
    • Laira's segment also briefly goes over her origin, telling of how she got her ring during a Khundian invasion.
    • In a sense, the whole film could serve as Arisia's origin story, detailing her first major victory as a Lantern when she defeats Krona.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Hal isn't the center of focus in the movie, but all except for one of the stories we are told are narrated by him and the action scenes in the final battle including him are given more detail.
  • Tempting Fate: Hearing of Mogo, Bolphunga scoffs that he fears no Green Lantern. By the end of the story, he's very afraid of Mogo.
  • This Is a Drill: Seen as a ring construct during "The First Lantern" story, and used to bore a hole through an entire starship.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Avra goes from a mere scribe to one of the first Green Lanterns, and from there, the first Lantern to realise the true potential of the Power Rings.
    • When she first got her ring, Laira could only call for help from the other Green Lanterns. By the time she returns to her homeworld, she's become a one-woman army. Hal notes that aside from Sinestro, Laira is the Lantern he'd most want by his side in a pinch.
    • Arisia starts the movie nervous and uncertain of her role as a Green Lantern. By the end of the movie, she's earned her stripes, the esteem of her comrades, and even has her own entry in the Book of Oa.
  • Un-person: Though he wrote two of the stories that are retold here, Alan Moore's name is conspicuously absent from the credits. This is probably at his insistence; he looks very poorly on adaptations of his work.
  • Villain Has a Point: Arisia notes that Atrocitus was right about at least one thing: Abin Sur did die. Sinestro is unimpressed, noting that everyone dies sooner or later.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Bolphunga spends weeks on a planet searching in vain for Mogo, slowly being driven insane from chasing endless reports of green lantern energy from his recon drones that lead to nothing. So he tries to firebomb the surface, which is completely undone in seconds while a giant Lantern symbol materializes. Finally he realizes what Mogo is. He doesn't take it well.
  • Villainous Valor: Even when disarmed, Kentor doesn't back down against Laira until she definitely proves herself a better warrior. After losing, he chooses to take his own life to atone for his crimes and proudly declares his daughter the true protector of their homeworld.
  • Wham Shot: While the viewers likely weren't surprised, Mogo's World-Healing Wave certainly acts as one for Bolphunga.
  • Wolverine Claws: Laira's brother Rubyn uses extendable claws that spring from his wrist gauntlets.
  • World-Healing Wave: Mogo does this to himself when Bolphunga tries to bomb the entire surface, reversing the damage in a few seconds before forming a giant GL logo on his surface to show Bolphunga that he's messed with the wrong planet.
  • Worlds Greatest Warrior: Mogo has a reputation for being the most powerful of all Green Lanterns, an undefeated warrior, and "a cosmic legend", and for good reason, as Bolphunga finds out: good luck fighting a planet on his own turf.