So it looks as if not much is changing in the Green Lantern section of the DCnU (should I be encouraging this nickname?). Four titles, two of them pretty much what we have at the moment. Let’s take a quick look,
Green Lantern #1 ‘The series begins anew,’ says DC’s PR. Well, yes, no jury would convict on the basis of that statement – the Green Lantern comic is going back to single figures. But it’s still written by Geoff Johns, with Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy on the artwork, so can we expect change? Oh, hang on, here’s more of the blurb: ‘Change is coming. But set aside your fear. It’ll be worth the wait’. I expect that simply means another long, convoluted storyline expanding the Green Lantern mythos. Johns himself has said: “It’s building off the Green Lantern stories I’ve done since Rebirth, taking it in a very new direction that we’ve never seen in Green Lantern before. Green Lantern #1 picks up a few months later in a very different space than we are now. When you see the cover you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.” OK, I’ll pick up the new first issue, but I don’t really foresee a ‘bold new direction’. I’m not expecting anything fresh in terms of approach or theme – Johns and co have found a lot of success with their take on GL, so why change? I’ve heard a growing number of readers expressing dissatisfaction and/or boredom with the post-Blackest Night GL books of late, but enough people seem happy that Johns is unlikely to tinker with a winning formula.
Green Lantern Corps #1 This one’s by Peter J Tomasi with art from Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna. Tomasi’s also been around the GL franchise for years, and this is another existing book going back to number #1 – one he’s written previously. It still stars Guy Gardner and John Stewart and ‘an elite Green Lantern strike force’ … the only surprise will be any surprises at all.
Green Lantern: The New Guardians #1 Sadly, this isn’t the return of Eighties heroes Extrano, Gloss and chums, who emerged from the less-than-stellar Millennium crossover. Admittedly, the New Guardians weren’t popular, but as Earth folk with diverse backgrounds, powers and personalities, rather than another bunch of alien ringslingers, they had potential. What this is, is a spin-off title featuring representatives of the various ring power bases: indigo, yellow, blue and what have you – the Crayola Corps. Quoth DC: ‘The power of Rage, Avarice, Fear, Will, Hope, Compassion and Love combine to be the most powerful (and colourful) team in the corps under the leadership of Kyle Rayner. Beware their power . . . and their volatility!’ Well, the only thing in there that interests me is the presence of the likeable, underused Kyle, but it’s not enough to make up for the rainbow rings and their unbearable bearers. I just don’t enjoy the extension of the willpower concept to other emotions (love, hope etc) and ’emotions’ (will). Yet another GL regular, Tony Bedard, is writing, so current fans won’t be disappointed, especially as he’s joined by Green Lantern Corps colleagues Tyler Kirkham and Batt.
Red Lanterns #1 Grrr. Gore. Blood. Retching. Tedium. I cannot stand Atrocitus, his Harley Quinn-alike sidekick and all that powered-by-rage stuff. The only glimmer of hope for this book is writer Peter Milligan, who rarely fails to be interesting on superhero series. The popular Ed Benes is pencilling, with Rob Hunter inking, so it should cetainly look good. But I’ll give the angry mob a miss.
I realise that this is the Green Lantern concept’s moment in the sun, and DC wishes to maximise the opportunity for profit, but all four books look to be directly tied into the storylines of the last few years. Likely they’ll stick with the GL house style so far as art goes, too.
To me, this remix is a missed opportunity – there are so many parts of the GL universe, aspects of the concept, that could be tapped. How about senior GL Alan Scott being teamed with a rookie at the request of Guy Gardner? Maybe a John Stewart book based on Earth? A Tales of the Green Lantern Corps featuring solo stories?
Why not something new for longtime fans such as myself who don’t enjoy the current approach but would love to follow a Green Lantern comic? Something with a different flavour. What DC is doing with this latest round of realaunches and launches is bringing the day closer when the Green Lantern bubble bursts. It won’t be as soon as 24 hours, but it’s coming.