The best animated superhero series only gets better. And the only science fiction series on TV that involves spaceships.
What They Say:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a far too enjoyable side episode involving an alternate universe with a Steam Lantern used that helped to expand on the Anti-Monitor just enough to make it worthwhile, the series shifts to a different area to revisit someone we haven’t seen in quite a bit. Taking us back to where Saint Walker and Razer are, we see how Saint Walker is working with him and Warth to try and expand their knowledge a bit more and tune them into the universe and the idea of hope. The Blue Lanterns are an interesting aspect of the various color lanterns and one that I’ve always enjoyed for the way that it felt like there were just so few but they had an aura about them that was engaging. Even more so within this universe as we saw just Saint Walker at first before Warth ended up being drawn into it. And using them as a way to teach Razer a bit more provides for a good angle to work with.
While this is really engaging on its own, there is a tie-in to what’s going on within the main thrust of this half of the season. With Hal, Kilowog and Aya coming to talk to the Guardian that’s there to find out more about the Manhunter issue in their primary sector, it’s welcome to see how it all comes together, especially in the way that Razer is glad to see them in his own way. And how he’s very, very glad in his restrained way to see Aya again after everything. There’s some really good growth and character exploration here that shows just how people can grow and change. With Hal only trusting Ganthet at this point, it makes sense to hunt him out and to get the details on what the manhunters are all about, and to see if there are some secrets that could be feretted out to help in pushing back against the incursion.
There’s also the bonus of seeing the Blue Lantern power battery become fully operational, which lets Hal see just how much the power of Blue powers up everyone in the area. And that includes the manhunter that they had brought with them, which gives us some good, powered up action. At least briefly, but it shows just what the power of working together can do. On the downside, as much as Razer has grown, he’s also not managed to think before he speaks as he’s definitely no fan of what he sees of the manhunter. And the things he says in its own way applies to Aya as well, though there are definite differences between her and the manhunter. Razer players his role well enough here, but it’s certainly cold on his part considering what he knows of Aya and the time they spent together.
Interestingly, the encounter pushes Aya to do something that’s both good and bad as she secretly takes the manhunter off the ship to try and help it to evolve its thinking. It’s a decent plan overall and fits in with her idea that machines can grow since she did so, but there’s something to be said for her being a special case. To balance this angle, and to play into it, we also get the arrival of three more powered up manhunters from space that have followed it to the source in order to deal with the emotional beings there and capture the battery. The battle is pretty big as it plays out as the powered up manhunters are definitely impressive beings, but it’s seeing what happens after things shift that really hits home. Aya’s attempts to sway the manhunters, to evolve, is well done as it reveals more about her. But it also reveals things about Razer as she gets caught up in the battle in a way she didn’t expect.
While I liked the first half of the season a lot, the second half is really reinforcing my belief that this is one of the best superhero series I’ve seen. There’s so much to like here in how it uses solid callbacks to past incidents in a creative way, grows its characters in meaningful ways and expands the lore of the various corps in engaging scenarios. The manhunters get some more material here and we see, at least at this time, that they truly cannot grow. We see that against the growth that Razer has been going through and how he still has much more to go. We also see it playing out against the way the Blue Lantern corps is growing and becoming a force to be reckoned with, but one that you have to be very careful with as well. Bringing Razer back into the fold is very welcome and seeing more of the Blue’s only adds to the enjoyment.