Having dropped the two existing Green Lantern books due to the never-ending Crayola Corps clutter, I’m intrigued to see a new series debut. Could this be the Green Lantern book for people who no longer like Green Lantern books?
Possibly. While it does feature Atrocitus from the Red Lanterns, the opening storyline seems not to be focusing on Corps lore. Instead we have Guy Gardner and Ganthet, Guardian turned GL, off to explore the Unknown Sectors (oooOOOHHooooo!). I’m not sure how there can be unknown sectors – surely if the Guardians have Lanterns protecting 3,600 slices of space, they have a decent idea as to what’s in each.
Maybe they forgot. They’re old, you know.
Anyway, Ganthet has made some pact with sworn enemy Atrocitus and persuaded Guy to go along with it. What the longterm plan is, I dunno … perhaps it’s been outlined in the other GL books. I’m not worried as ‘Story and Words’ chap Peter J Tomasi has written enough good comic books to merit confidence that he’ll reveal all as we go along. Before that, I’m happy to join Guy Gardner on the journey.
Guy is my favourite Green Lantern. He’s had a few shifts in personality, with different characteristics to the fore depending on the period – bland, brash, childike, hawk. Some characterisations have been due to medical conditions, but over the last few years it’s all been down to experience. Guy has seen so many horrors, so much courage and honour and sacrifice, that he’s mellowed and matured. He’s still the most ass-kicking of Earth’s Green Lanterns, but he’s thinking all the time. In this issue’s story, ‘Last Will’, he questions the sanity of working with Atrocitus, him being a lunatic monster and all, but has enough respect for Ganthet to go along with his plan … for now.
Ganthet has long been the most human of the Guardians, and while he’s taken himself down a few notches in choosing to be a regular Corpsman, he’s hanging on to the Guardians’ enigmatic ways. Remember, Oa’s blue man group were Yoda before Yoda; it would likely kill them to give a straight answer to anything. At the moment he’s seeming to have open conversations with Guy, but there’s obviously lots he’s not telling.
His other current hobby is scanning the prophetic Book of the Black for clues to future threats. As the book manifests pictures of forthcoming events, this may not be the toughest of tasks. Lord, I do hate prophecies in comic books … superheroes have access to time travel – if you wish to unravel a prophecy, go to the past to see who made it, or the future to see if it came true. Instead, characters faff around and worry. A better use of Ganthet’s time would be wondering just why the Guardians are so happy for him to quit their membership for the Corps, and for troublesome, questioning Guy to go off on a lengthy quest.
|Bleez, release me …|
As for Atrocitus, he’s as ridiculous as his name suggests, building a wall of skulls, pouring blood on bone and hanging out with a sidekick, Bleez, who looks like the bastard child of Harley Quinn and Bat-Mite’s more embarrassing cousin. I hope the creative get bored with him quickly, but his inclusion as one of the leads implies that plenty of people like him.
The illustrations by Fernando Pasarin and Cam Smith are, as the urban youth once said, fierce. With all the characters, weapons, energy beams, cities and space debris they design and delineate, the pages are frighteningly busy, but the narrative is never lost. Guy Gardner has rarely looked better – well, except for the scene in which blood dribbles from his gob. I believe he spent time as a Red Lantern. Which is nice.
An opening battle between Guy and some space mercenaries is a splendid distillation of his character, with Tomasi laying out Guy’s current sense of self, as Pasarin, Smith and colourist Randy Mayor bring the scene to brilliant life. I’m not sure how long this artistic team will last, but the book is lucky to have them. And then there’s letterer Steve Wands, going the extra mile to slot in some appropriate Interlac, a nice detail.
Rodolfo Migliari’s cover illo is a moody treat, and thoroughly enhanced by the three logos. All books should have three logos. The only bad thing about the cover is the price – $3.99 for 24pp of story? I’ve just checked a couple of random DC comics from this week (Superman and JLA: Generation Lost) and the norm still seems to be $2.99 for 22pp. If this proves to be this book’s regular deal, it’s a big black mark against it.
Price apart, this is a thoroughly decent first issue. I’ll certainly be checking in again next month. And that’s a prophecy.