I haven’t read a Green Lantern title since Kyle Rayner had the ring and Hal Jordan was as dead as Barry Allen and Bucky Barnes put together. Does this re-introduction to Green Lantern have me swearing an oath to read it every month or swearing off comics for good?
GREEN LANTERN #1
Writer: Geoff Johns
Inker: Christian Alamy with Tom Nguyen
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously, in Green Lantern: The Guardians of the Universe establish a peacekeeping force assembled from fearless beings from all sectors of space: The Green Lantern Corps! Sinestro was the greatest Lantern of them all, til Hal Jordan came along…
In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night
This issue kicks off with someone reciting the Oath of the Green Lanterns, and it is revealed to be none other than…Sinestro? Dressed in an update of the classic GL uniform, surrounded by Oans, and bound by chains of lantern energy, we discover that the ring chose Sinestro to reclaim his old title of Green Lantern, possibly for a chance at redemption for his betrayal of the Corps. The chains fall away and upon asking what is expected of him, Sinestro is informed, “…What other Lanterns do… Protect your sector.” A nice opening sequence, and I enjoyed the tense exchange between Sinestro and the Oans.
Sinestro departs for his home sector and we learn the Oans are working off the axiom, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” then the Guardians turn on Ganthet, in an effort to make sure they are of one mind for their new mission. I like the intrigue going on here, setting up some questions for the future.
No Bill Collector Will Escape My Sight
We then cut away to Hal Jordan, no longer possessing a power ring, but instead possessing a host of financial problems. This subplot bugged me, I thought it felt a little too Peter Parker for my tastes. He quickly jumps into hero mode, mistakenly assaulting an actor and getting arrested. Carol Ferris bails him out and we find that Hal was booted from the Air Force for being MIA because of his GL duties. Ferris Air is willing to offer Hal a bit of redemption of his own with a job offer, but not as a pilot. Carol and Hal casually discuss their costumed pasts, and it’s established that she is aware he was a Green Lantern, and she is the former Star Sapphire.
Past Continuity There, But Light
With a new #1 as a new introduction to the concepts and characters, I think Johns took an interesting approach in that the issue focused on characters that all appeared in this summer’s Green Lantern Movie. If someone only familiar with the film picks this up, there will be lots of names they already know. I’m not sure this was deliberate, but I’m guessing it was, giving the reader familiar and relatable characters, not necessarily in a familiar situation. I know the Green Lantern mythos has expanded greatly in recent years, and I found most of the exposition of past events making me curious about the back story and not dreading it. Why isn’t Hal a Lantern anymore? What is the Guardians’ new mission? What is Sinestro’s angle with Hal, and why did the ring choose him to become a Lantern once more? All these questions have me curious about where the story is going, and if those questions have been answered in previous books, I hope Johns will answer them as deftly as the exposition in GL#1 had me asking them.
I have to admit to being more interested in Sinestro’s story in space, and his dealings with the Guardians and the Yellow Lanterns than in Hal’s more mundane earthbound financial and romantic problems. I’ve always enjoyed the galactic backdrop and weird aliens of Green Lantern as the concepts that set it apart from other DC superhero stories set on earth. It appears these two worlds will be colliding as early as issue #2, so I’m not too concerned that Hal’s money problems will consume every issue of the book. I am a bit concerned that Hal comes off as a jerk in the book, but redemption seems to be a theme here, so perhaps we’ll see Hal and Sinestro approach possible redemption each in their own way.
And The Pictures? Yeah, the Art Was Tight
The art on this book was good, and I enjoyed it. I like clean art and Mahke/Alamy delivered, the art is detailed but not over rendered, with generally tight pencils and bold clean inks. I’m not a fan of a lot of the modern computer coloring, but I didn’t notice it here and that’s the point. The coloring integrated with, and enhanced the pencils and inks for a nice overall package.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Ring Is The Thing
While it didn’t blow me away this was a good re-introduction to Green Lantern. I finished the issue wanting to know more. That’s the point of the New 52 so the story did the job it set out to do. I think a lot of the conflict and interest in this book will come from the fact that neither Sinestro nor Hal like their current situation, and will have to work together to achieve their goals. A good story with solid art earns Green Lantern #1 three stars.