Green Lantern: Beware My Power, 2022
Directed by Jeff Wamester.
Featuring the voice talents of Aldis Hodge, Jimmi Simpson, Jamie Gray Hyder, Ike Amadi, Brian Bloom, Mara Junot, Jason J. Lewis, Keesha Sharp, Rick D. Wasserman and Sunil Malhotra.
Discharged Marine sniper John Stewart receives 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.
DC’s latest animated film goes intergalactic in Green Lantern: Beware My Power as John Stewart takes centre stage in his feature film debut. Directed by Justice Society: World War II‘s Jeff Wamester from a script by Ernie Altbacker and John Semper, Beware My Power is a fun ride blending together multiple genres that nicely introduces the Green Lantern Corps and who John Stewart is for those unfamiliar with that corner of DC’s universe.
For many, John Stewart is the Green Lantern they grew up with after starring as one of the lead characters in the early 2000s Justice League animated series and its follow-up Justice League Unlimited. Since then, however, Stewart has only appeared sporadically in various animated series or films in small roles. Beware My Power is a glorious return to the spotlight for Stewart with Aldis Hodge (who is also set to make his DC live-action debut in Black Adam as Hawkman later this year) giving a great vocal performance as the newly minted Green Lantern. The choice to focus on Stewart rather than Hal Jordan, who is often Earth’s main Green Lantern in various projects, opens the door for audiences to experience the DC universe in a new light as well as explore new character dynamics between Stewart and other Justice Leaguers.
Supporting Stewart in his adventure is Green Arrow, Hawkgirl and Adam Strange. Green Arrow has often been depicted alongside Jordan, beginning with their team-ups from the legendary and late Denny O’Neil and Neil Adams in the 70s, but pairing Stewart and Green Arrow together makes a fun new team-up as they are almost polar opposites of each other. Green Arrow is a wise-cracking hero who enjoys adventurism but still recognizes their responsibility while Stewart is dealing with his own trauma as a former Marine having his fill of war and believes he doesn’t belong in this world of superheroes, aliens and interplanetary conflict. Their reluctant partnership is built up well with Hodge and Jimmi Simpson sharing nice chemistry as the two heroes, balancing each other out and exploring new facets of their characters.
This also marks the first time Stewart and Hawkgirl have shared the screen together since Justice League Unlimited, where the pair had a romantic relationship. Law & Order: SVU‘s Jamie Gray Hyder captures Hawkgirl’s warrior spirit and sense of duty quite well, having several memorable scenes to shine. Hodge and Hyder also share great chemistry through John and Hawkgirl’s experience as soldiers and there are a few nods to Justice League‘s romance between the two, teasing they could end up together again. Brian Bloom adds to the team dynamic as Adam Strange, a grizzled war veteran and respected scientist out to prevent further war while Rick D. Wasserman gives a good performance as the Green Lantern Corps’ feared enemy Sinestro.
Green Lantern: Beware My Power is a nice mix of genres, from superhero adventure, sci-fi and even mystery as Stewart and his allies investigate who is really responsible for some heinous attacks in the Rann/Thanagar War. The genre blend is pretty well balanced and the story is nicely paced as the mystery is built up over the course of the film. The animation is smooth and fluid, particularly during the action scenes as each characters skills are utilized so everyone gets a moment to stand out. The film also pulls from several different Green Lantern comics so those familiar with the source material might see some of the twists coming, but Altbacker and Semper make enough differences with the story that fans will find plenty to enjoy while audiences new to Green Lantern will be surprised.
Green Lantern: Beware My Power explores John Stewart in an intriguing way. He much deserves the spotlight and Wamester, Altbacker and Semper do Stewart justice with Aldis Hodge delivering a great performance as the DC’s new Green Lantern. The supporting cast does well with their roles and the story is fun and compelling while the animation takes advantage of all the different heroes’ abilities as well as the sci-fi aspect to the Green Lantern property. Fans of John Stewart and DC’s sci-fi corner should be very pleased with Stewart’s feature film debut.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.