Episode Title: “The Eyes of Despero!”
Original Air Date: February 6, 2009
In this series we usually get to see an interesting team-up between Batman and another hero, but occasionally Batman seems like a tacked on guest in his own series. This episode is one of the latter feeling like a Green Lantern Corps adventure, that just happens to have Batman in it.
The teaser shows Batman and the Justice Society member Doctor Fate teaming up to battle the mighty mystic Wotan. Doctor Fate confesses to Bats that his magic may not be powerful enough to defeat their adversary. Batman assures Fate that it’s not the magic in his help that counts, but rather the man wearing it. Sure enough, Fate loses his helm in battle and has to take out Wotan with a combination of punches, proving yet again that Batman is always right.
The story proper opens in deep space with Hal Jordan and several members of the Green Lantern Corps facing off against the formidable alien tyrant Despero. When Despero uses his third eye mind control power to turn the other Green Lanterns against Hal, Jordan emits a mysterious beam that appears to disintegrate the Lanterns (along with himself) leaving Despero apparently unopposed in his conquest. Back on Earth, we see Batman thwarting a robbery attempt by Three Musketeer reject Cavalier. After apprehending the Villain, a mysterious Green Lantern Ring appears before Batman and transports him to a nearly abandoned Oa. While investigating the facility, the Dark Knight hears the familiar (and obnoxious) voice of Guy Gardner coming from the brig. He approaches a cell to find Guy locked up along with Sinestro (still a member of the Corps) as well as the hapless canine Lantern G’nort. Batman frees the trio and they use their rings to create a green power suit for Bats that possesses all the same abilities as a power ring. Batman feels an immediate kinship with Sinestro, and the foursome set off to stop Despero. They discover that Despero has taken control of the most powerful Green Lantern Mogo, the living planet. Batman devises an excellent plan, but it nearly falls apart when G’nort cannot remember the Green Lantern’s oath. Sinestro deviates from the planned course of action, and decides to use his own methods to stop Despero, willing to destroy Mogo and G’nort in the process. Thankfully, G’nort finds his Lantern’s oath cheat sheet and saves the day, after Sinestro has exposed his true colors, proving that maybe Batman isn’t always right after all.
I was thrilled to actually see my favorite Green Lantern, Mogo (created by the legendary team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons), in an episode. Mogo is a high concept character originally created for a short one off story that can be terribly difficult to adapt into mainstream super hero yarns, but he is used to great effect in this episode. Also the members of the Green Lantern corps are some of the most interesting designs in comics, and we get to see a plethora of them here. The incompetent hero who saves the day, G’nort, does seem a bit ridiculous to me and does seem to be targeting a much younger audience than most of the characters that have appeared thus far in the series. I think he could have been portrayed with a bit more gravity, and still had the same impact in the story without seeming like a rejected character from The Snorks. Despite my problems with G’nort, the excellent way the creators dealt with Mogo and Thal Sinestro provided ample enjoyment for this twenty minute installment and managed to provide a reasonable amount of exposition for these characters that non comics readers may not now much about. Overall, despite it’s flaws, this episode is still more enjoyable for me than most attempts to adapt stories of the Green Lantern Corps.
Featured Characters: Doctor Fate (Gardner Fox, 1940), Wotan (Gardner Fox, 1940), Cavalier (Cameron & Kane, 1943), Sinestro (Broome & G. Kane, 1961), Despero (Fox & Sekowsky, 1960), Mogo (Moore & Gibbons, 1985)