REVIEW: Green Lantern Corps #0

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DC’s zero issues boast that they allow an easy access point for a new reader. That claim is put to the test in Major Spoiler’s review of Green Lantern Corps #0. Will this book leave you wanting more tales of the Lanterns, or is it a tale better left alone? Read on, faithful Spoilerites…

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #0
Writer – Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils – Fernando Pasarin
Inks – Scott Hanna
Colors – Gabe Eltaeb
Lettering – Dave Sharpe
Editor – Matt Idelson
Publisher – DC Comics
Cover Price – $2.99

Previously in GREEN LANTERN CORPS:  In the current arc, Green Lantern Corps member John Stewart is front and center as he faces charges from the corps for murdering one of his fellow Lanterns. The evidence is there, plain as day, but thus far he has escaped a death sentence from the power-hungry group known as the Alphas. This month’s zero issue leaves this plot in limbo to focus on another well-known Lantern, Guy Gardner, and how his life is changed after receiving a power ring.

A ROOKIE’S TALE

Now, let me preface this review by saying I am DC’s target audience for this zero issue. I know who Green Lantern is and I’ve dabbled in some of his adventures, such as the Sinestro War and the new 52 GL title. However, I’ve not yet picked up any issues of the ancillary Green Lantern titles like GL Corps or Red Lanterns.

Still, I WANT to…I enjoy Green Lantern and I like the premise of space cops having cosmic adventures with weird aliens and so on…It’s just a matter of convincing myself I want to make the investment of time, energy, and dollars to get into this new series which to me appears to be secondary to Green Lantern as a whole.

So with that in mind, I eagerly picked up this issue which focuses on a Lantern I have some familiarity with, Guy Gardner.

In this issue, we see a great deal of Guy’s personal life. More to the point, we are introduced to Guy’s siblings and father. It seems the Gardners descend from a long line of police officers, and Guy was kicked off of the force due to what’s hinted at as possible culpability in the deaths of some innocent folks. Though his siblings seem forgiving, this event has driven a wedge between Guy and his father, who believes Guy has shamed the family name. There is some great dialogue and tension between father and son in this issue, especially during a major brouhaha at Guy’s father’s house. Unfortunately, this ended in a laugh-out-loud moment for me: As the two continue screaming at each other, Guy goes crazy and begins shattering his father’s awards and decorations. His father responds by promptly falling asleep a few feet away from Guy during all the chaos. This was the only moment in the book that really bothered me, and as I write this review I still find myself grinning from the exchange. If Guy’s father was such a hard case, I doubt he would have nappies while his son destroys his home.

The book is not all about Guy’s civilian life, however. As the book continues, Guy is able to help out a wounded family member and receives a power ring for his efforts. Guy’s time as a rookie in the Corps is briefly shown as he single-handedly brings down the alien murderer known as Xar, receives his badge from Kilowog, and makes acquaintances with Hal Jordan. All in all, a nice bit of action and some great character moments for Guy.

COSMIC COLORS

The art in this issue was nicely done, especially the coloring. In a series featuring cosmic power, the color can go a long way in getting the levels of power to come off well, and Eltaeb certainly succeeds in filling this issue with exciting and action-packed special effects. All of the characters and backgrounds are penciled very nicely. The rest of the corps has some great designs and Xar looks appropriately menacing. Additionally, there are a lot of intrapersonal emotional moments throughout the book and the character’s faces express these emotions well. Nice job.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH A LOOK

So does this book accomplish the goal of getting a new reader on the series? Well, on one hand, the story was pretty well done. Nice character beats and fun action sequences despite a slight bit of uneven pacing and Guy’s dad’s sudden bout of narcolepsy. The art was pretty snazzy as well. But on the other hand, I didn’t get too many incentives to continue reading about Guy’s adventures in the GLC. It was a great introduction to his personality, but there’s not a hint of the same friction Guy experienced on Earth during his time as a Green Lantern. If Guy’s greatest characterization is his hot-headedness, well, there wasn’t a lot to make me think he would continue acting like that in the Corps. Put it another way – Guy was more interesting as a normal guy on Earth than he was in space with a power ring on his finger taking down an alien.

This issue was just fine as a solo read. If you’d like a bit more green in your read pile this month, give it a shot. There’s plenty to enjoy in this issue. But as for the future, it wasn’t quite enough to encourage me to continue supporting the series.

Rating: ★★★½☆