Green Lantern: Emerald Knights Release Date: Available now Studio: Warner Home Video Packaging/Materials: Two-disc Blu-ray "Eco-box" with slipcover Year: 2011 Rating: PG Running Time: 1:23:40 MSRP: $24.98 THE FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURES Video 1080p high definition 1.78:1 Standard and high definition Audio DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: French 5.1, German 5.1, Italian 5.1, Castellano 5.1, Spanish 5.1 Stereo Subtitles English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Castellano, Spanish Same The Feature: 4/5 With the live action Green Lantern film due to open in theaters in a little over a week, DC Comics takes the opportunity, through an original animated feature, to provide a bit of back story on the intergalactic police squad known as the Green Lantern Corps (GLC). Longtime followers of the Green Lantern comic books will be familiar with the "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" spinoffs, which turned their attention to the various GLC members that played supporting roles to Hal Jordan, Earth sector's Green Lantern. While somewhat of a creative diversion for the writers and artists, the GLC comics gave the Green Lantern property a richer and more expansive history, and one that would ultimately come to influence - through Geoff Johns' acclaimed "Blackest Night" story arc - the entire DC Comics universe. Given the sheer depth and complexity of its history, "Green Lantern: Emerald Knights" cannot hope to be anything but an introduction or primer to the GLC, but nevertheless it is an effective one. As told to the newly recruited Green Lantern Arisia (voiced by Elisabeth Moss) by more veteran members Hal Jordan (voiced by Nathan Fillion), Kilowog (voiced by Henry Rollins), and Sinestro (Jason Isaacs), the tales run the gamut from the first Green Lantern to discover the power of the ring to the Lantern prophesied to bring an end to the GLC itself. For most the stories will prove suitably compelling - touching on themes of bravery, sacrifice and destiny - and longtime fans will enjoy seeing their favorite characters in animated form and call outs to major events in GLC history. The animation style itself isn't anything new or innovative, but is consistent with other Warner Brothers animated superhero productions and, as such, is polished and effective. Video Quality: 4.5/5 Line art in the 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer is clean and free of aliasing, there's no compression noise and likewise no signs of edge haloing. Backgrounds and some gradients show a hint of color banding, but only under close scrutiny. Given the 2D animation style, fine object detail can be hard to judge, but starfields show an impressive amount of separation and clarity. Colors are beautifully saturated and bold, black levels are suitably inky, and contrast displays the full range of values with no signs of compression. Audio Quality: 4/5 Dialogue in the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is consistently clear, detailed and intelligible. Surround channel activity varies depending on the particular Green Lantern tale being told, but most will find Laira Omoto's the most dynamic with its seamless 360-degree panning effects; however, more subtle effects are similarly balanced and enveloping. Though LFE could stand to go a little deeper at times, bass activity is full and robust and provides the track with suitable depth. Special Features: 4.5/5 The extras provide a wide range of material, covering the specific history of the Green Lanterns, providing a look at other animation projects, and making available portable copies of the feature. Considering the stars who provided their voices to the characters, it would have been nice to have some behind the scenes of their recording sessions or an interview or two to round out the package. Commentary by Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio features the two DC Comics representatives (Johns is the Chief Creative Officer and DiDio is co-publisher) providing a lot of Green Lantern comic lore and history. Only the Bravest: The Tale of the Green Lantern Corps (31:51, HD) explores the character of the Green Lantern / Hal Jordan character, what makes him unique and the nature of his appeal. The piece also spends some time on the concept of bravery, what people who embody this value have in common, and a history of the hero and villain. Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns (18:11, HD) describes Johns' "Rebirth" story arc that brought about the return of Hal Jordan and the restoration of the Green Lantern Corps, as well as the "Sinestro Corps War" and "Blackest Night" arcs. Batman: Year One Sneak Peek (10:47, HD) provides a glimpse of the upcoming, direct-to-video animated movie based on the Frank Miller graphic novel. The movie will feature the voices of Bryan Cranston (Jim Gordon), Ben McKenzie (Batman), Eliza Dushku (Selena Kyle) and Katee Sackhoff (Essen). All-Star Superman Sneak Peek (10:47, HD) provides a glimpse of the animated, direct-to-video movie based on Grant Morrison's 12-issues series. The movie features the voices of James Denton (Superman), Christina Hendricks (Lois Lane) and Anthony LaPaglia (Lex Luthor). Bruce Timm's Picks features selected works from the artist and producer behind the Batman and Superman animated series. Excerpt from "The Siege of Starro! Part 1" from "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" (2:38, HD) shows heroes fighting back the possessive powers of the alien Starro. "Revenge of the Reach" from "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" (22:58, HD) sees Batman teaming up with the adventurers The Challengers of the Unknown. From Comic Book to Screen: Abin Sur (3:11, HD) provides a brief biography of Hal Jordan's predecessor. Beautiful...but Deadly - From Comic Book to Screen: Laira Omoto (3:52, HD) provides a brief biography of the purple-skinned Green Lantern Corps member. Virtual Comic Book is an image gallery preview of the Green Lantern comic book issue "Airborne." Trailers DCU Application (:48, HD) promotes the DC Comics mobile app for iOS and Sony PSP. Matty Collector (:19, HD) promotes the Mattel Toys website. "Green Lantern" (2:33, SD), "All Star Superman" (1:10, HD), and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One" Blu-ray (2:00, HD) precede the menu load. A DVD contains the feature presented with anamorphically enhanced video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio in English only. A Digital Copy is available on the DVD and is compatible with Mac and Windows. The offer expires on June 5, 2012. Recap The Feature: 4/5 Video Quality: 4.5/5 Audio Quality: 4/5 Special Features: 4.5/5 Overall Score (not an average): 4.5/5 Warner Home Video turns in an excellent presentation for its direct-to-video animated feature exploring the background history of the Green Lantern Corps. The special features package provides a great breadth of material that should appeal to longtime comic book fans and newcomers alike.