Home > Weekend Asides > Duck Dodgers Chapter 12.05: “The Green Loontern”

Duck Dodgers Chapter 12.05: “The Green Loontern”

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Written by Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone, Paul Dini and Tom Minton
Art Direction by Ted Blackman and Mark Whiting
Directed by Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone
Originally Aired:October 18, 2003
DVD: I’m watching it in glorious hi-def thanks to the Green Lantern: First Flight Blu-Ray.

Summary: The respected galactic hero Duck Dodgers has his laundry mixed up with some nobody’s uniform (Mal something?) and finds a mysterious green ring. He then proceeds to save a bunch of hapless aliens with a sociopathic fondness for green from a purple guy who sounds like someone Jean-Luc Picard warned him about once.

Debuting Characters: Too many to name, but significantly this was Guy Gardner‘s first animated appearance.


A commenter was lamenting that there never was a full Green Lantern Corps episode on Justice League, but there was actually a pretty good reason for that – Warner Brothers was working on a fully-fledged Green Lantern Corps series around the time Justice League was in production and probably didn’t want to burn the idea out.

Our original Green Lantern Corps idea was going to be a young Kyle Rayner being trained by Kilowog. It was a cool idea. Who knows, it may be a cool idea in the future.

Tony Cervone, interview with Starlog Magazine

However, the series wound up being put on the back burner, and much of the staff wound up taking over a science fiction project of a different sort: Duck Dodgets in the 24 1/2th Century. Paul Dini explains how they got to the next logical step:

“When Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone, Tom Minton, and I were thinking up stories for the first season of Duck Dodgers, it dawned on us that it would be fun to have Dodgers mistakenly join a group of space-going heroes like the Jedi Knights or the Green Lantern Corps.

Spike, Tony, and I had already done an animation development on the Green Lantern Corps a few months before, so the models were already done.  Though the characters were a bit more cartoony in design than those on Justice League or even Teen Titans, the tone of the show was going to be fun, straight-forward adventure, and we always regretted that the Green Lantern show did not move forward into full production.  We pitched our Duck Dodgers / Green Lantern crossover story to Paul Levitz at DC who was very amused and gave us his thumbs up.  We thought Green Lantern would be the natural one to team up with Dodgers, as he’s the hero that fits best into the futuristic space theme of Dodgers’ series.”

Paul Dini, interview with The Pulse

Well, other than the Legion, but they got their own show anyway (one thinks Levitz gave that idea an even more enthusiastic thumbs-up).

Thoughts on the Episode:

This episode is almost designed for me not to like it – I’m not a Green Lantern fan, I prefer Bugs to Daffy (fulfilling Karl Kesel‘s Daredevil:Spider-Man::Bugs:Daffy corollary), and if I have to watch Daffy, I like him more as the paranoid maniac from Duck Amock than playing the part of Duck Dodgers. Still, this is a fun bit of comic geekery, along with a really great casting choice for Sinestro.

So, if you haven’t seen this one, the deal is that a dry cleaning mix-up leaves Duck Dodgers in possession of a Green Lantern ring and costume. After some brief hijinks, he’s summoned back to Oa, just in time to watch as most of the GLC are teleported away by attacking robots. The guardian Ganthet cons Dodgers into going after the robot’s master, Sinestro, and through a series of flukes (and Kilowog showing up at just the right moment), the plot is solved.

Of course, the plot is mainly an excuse for the jokes and the cameos, and while the cameos deliver in spades (Chip and G’nort, for crying out loud!), there’s just not that much in the way of great gags in this one. The bit with Daffy being ‘the first of his species to receive the gift of flight’ is a great line, there’s some good comic book gags, and Sinestro’s robots steal every scene they’re in by spouting dialogue that sounds like it was pulled straight from Futurama (“Don’t trust him fellas, he’s from East Polygon high!”), but other than that this is more of a light action show than the type of absurdist comedy that Daffy does best (insert obligatory “Duck Amok” reference here).

However, compared to the relatively calm and cold Sinestro of the DCAU, John De Lancie plays him completely over the top and it totally works. Considering Sinestro’s a man with a purple head in a blue suit sporting a gigantic Fu Manchu, I totally approve of this approach.

It’s not like I’m going to grade it, but you could see where there’d be a decent series in this idea, but this episode needs to be funnier – I’m not sure if that was a problem with Duck Dodgers the series in general, as this is the only episode I’ve seen of it. If you’re a big GLC fan, you’re probably going to have more fun with this (although First Flight is probably your better option there anyway).

Random Thoughts:

  • I used to be able to mock the nutjob Hal fans by noting that his only appearance since Super Friends went off the air was a two-line JLU cameo and this episode, but sadly he’s back in favour at DC which means he’s the default GL for projects like the upcoming Crisis on Two Earths movie.
  • I think I first read the name Tomar Re when I was about six years old, and I’ve been pronouncing it “Ray” all that time. Sort of the same way I didn’t clue in that Jamie Reyes was said with a Hispanic inflection until I watched Batman: the Brave and the Bold.
  • Mogo is shedding one giant, Cuba-sized tear that he didn’t make it into this one. No one loves Mogo. 😦
  • Before anyone asks, I don’t think I’m going to do a review of Smallville’s JSA episode, because that unfortunately means I’d actually have to watch Smallville.

Line of the Episode: “In blackest day or brightest night… watermelon… cantaloupe… a superstitious and cowardly lot… with liberty and justice for all!” What, nothing about power and responsibility?

Next Justice League: The lead characters slip into an alternate universe where the heroes rule over Earth with an iron fist after a significant death changes history, in “A Better World.”

Next Time: A lead character slips into an alternate universe where the hero rules over earth with an iron fist after a significant death changes history in Superman: TAS’ “Brave New Metropolis.” Hey, hang on a minute….

Categories: Weekend Asides
  1. OctoPrime
    January 22, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Of course nobody loves Mogo.

    He doesn’t socialize.

  2. January 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Bugs over Daffy?! Oh well…Donald Duck’s my choice cartoon mallard anyway!

  3. January 28, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    OctoPrime :
    Of course nobody loves Mogo.
    He doesn’t socialize.

    I’m sure Galactus would love to have Mogo for dinner. *rimshot*

    The Duck Dodgers series was incredibly funny, a mix of absurdity and intellectual humor. “Thank you I minored in Exposition” is actually a running gag. It’s worth seeking out the stronger episodes if you don’t like Daffy/Dodgers.

    If you do, and you haven’t seen it, watch it now because even though you SHOULD be ashamed of yourself, THERE ISN’T TIME. WATCH!

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