Hal Jordan is evil! Eeeevil! What will Parallax do when his powers return after a year under the dome?
Previously in Green Lantern: Having seen his beloved city destroyed by Mongul and Cyborg Superman, Hal Jordan’s mind finally snapped. Taking down the entire Green Lantern Corps. Hal became the evil entitiy known as Parallax and would torment the galaxy until the events of The Final Night.
WHERE IS SUPERMAN AGAIN?
Through the pages of Superboy, Justice League International, and now Green Lantern, it is clear Superman is back, but absolutely no mention of his whereabouts are hinted at or indicated in the series. For a man who makes Metropolis his home, his absence in this week’s run focusing on the pre-Zero Hour Metropolis seems out of place and screams of poor event planning. At least in pre-Flashpoint Gotham, each of the heroes had a reason for being in Gotham when the dome went up. In this issue we see Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Parallax, Batgirl, and Captain Atom on panel as Kyle Rayner tells a new member of the Metropolis Police who was there and what was going on the day the dome went up.
As far as this story goes,Parallax chews the scenery in every panel he is in, and is so laughable as a Big Bad, it makes we wonder why he was even feared back in the day. Geoff Johns’s attempt wash away the really bad taste of Parallax and return Hal Jordan to his Silver Age godhood, makes me wonder why this title was even considered to be part of the lineup. To add to the confusion, Tony Bedard brings up Kyle Rayner’s dead girlfriend Alex in an off-handed one panel comment – the very character that kicked off the bigger discussion of killing women as plot devices which Gail Simone coined as “Women in Refrigerators.”
I’m all for owning up to your mistakes and recognizing a time when you may not have been at your best, but this book seems to want to drag all the worst of DC Comics from the ’90s and shine a spotlight on it. The issue comes off as cringeworthy at best. Tony Bedard isn’t afraid of pointing out all the bad things the general comic book reading public accepted back then. If this was the point of the issue, good job…
At least the issue has Kyle Rayner in it (for a few pages at least), and for whatever reason, this is the first and only book I’ve seen in the Convergence series that has a Note from the Editor in it pointing us to another book.
GOOD IN SMALL DOSES?
The art in this issue is a very different mix of styles that I don’t think fits in the overall story. Some pages feel like the dark and gritty vision we’ve seen in books by J.G. Jones, but then suddenly a weird ’80s pastel shows up in panel like a bad velvet painting. Then, as the battle between Parallax and Electropolis heats up, everything looks like John Bryne just prior to his Superman run. Interestingly I like the art in small chunks. If I’m reading the prison visit between Hal and Kyle, that works fine. If I’m reading the battle between Princess Fern and Parallax, that is fine too. What does’t work for me is that there is such a different approach to the art from the beginning of the book to the end that it is a complete turn off. It is equivalent to watching The Dark Knight, and by the end of the film, the cinematography has devolved into the dreck that was H.R. Pufnstuf.
BOTTOM LINE: AVOID IT
The closer I got to reviewing this book, the more I started dreading it. Given the choice (this is an assignment) I would have avoided this book completely, as this issue brought back nearly all of the things that were wrong with comics in the ’90s. If this book had 20 variant covers then it would have brought back all of the things that were wrong with ’90s comics. There isn’t much of a story here, there is no reason for Parallax to instantly return to his old ways when the dome goes down, and Kyle Rayner (one of the best Green Lantern characters) barely gets any screen time. Overall, reviews are going to be mixed on this issue. The introduction of Parllax, Kyle, and the death of Alex divided comic readers for years, and this book brings it up all over again. For me, Convergence: Green Lantern Parallax #1 is definitely a book to avoid.
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