Green Lantern #1 review

I bought this issue on the basis of the cover, which promises fun. So many Green Lantern series of the last 20 years have been so darned grim that I craved some light to go with the shade.

And there’s light aplenty in this debut issue, as the Guardians host a galactic conclave. And the question up for discussion? Does the new United Planets want Oa as a member, or will it reject the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corps whose members have, for so long, imposed their idea of order on deep space.

Sinestro, representing his new world, has a predictable position.

I have to say, he makes some good points.

While other planets are more sympathetic, proceedings are, to say the least, severely disrupted by a visitor from a realm more usually seen in the future of the Legion of Super-Heroes than in the Green Lantern series – the Sorcerers’ World of Zerox.

Longtime Green Lantern readers will realise the antagonist, Yridian, is talking about the Starheart, the orb into which the Guardians secreted untold amounts of mystical energy. She’s come to get it back…

With ‘The Source of Peace’, writer Geoffrey Thorne and artists Dexter Soy and Marco Santucci treat us to a double-sized story laying out the scale of the series. As well as Lanterns of green, yellow and red variety, there are Thanagarians, Dominators, Coluans and more. The good thing is that for once, rather than fighting, they come in peace, to enjoy a festival thrown by the Guardians.

As for the little blue men and women, they don’t seem too worried about whether or not they’re allowed into the cosmic club. They are concerned about the newest wielder of their green energy, Keli Quintela – the self-styled Teen Lantern (well, she’s only 11).

The book is full of great scenes like this, promising mysteries to be investigated, along with nice interaction between the characters.

I’m with John, the Kryptonian robes are excellent. Heck, everything looks excellent as drawn by Soy and Santucci, and coloured by Alex Sinclair. Favourite visuals include Hal Jordan’s approach to monitor duty and the arrival of a handsome stranger in a space poncho. The credits don’t break down who illustrated which pages, and while I think I could make a good guess – Soy’s people are slightly more chiselled, as opposed to Santucci’s smoother stylings – let’s just acknowledge that I enjoyed all the illustrations. The characters look terrific, the panel to panel storytelling is splendid and I loved being in this world.

The only storytelling problem arises from the modish cold open – we start with apocalyptic action, pop back two hours and never get a clear catch-up moment. I understand the device on telly, it’s meant to stop you switching channels, but can anyone explain the point in a comic book? We’ve already bought the thing.

Anyway, while I might have reordered the pages, I did enjoy them all. Thorne shows a good knowledge of Green Lantern, and wider DCU history, building on it without letting it overwhelm his own ideas. He juggles the many players with skill, with John Stewart, Hal Jordan and Kelli Quintana especially well served. I’m not sure if one of them, or someone else, will be the ‘Green Lantern’ of the title, but maybe it’ll be option C, none of the above. I’d be fine with an ensemble cast or rotating leads, both approaches have been successfully applied in previous years.

As for the new characters, I love Yridian’s speech patterns, she sounds like a bad pirate, and I hope to see more of her. And the mystery man – I assume he’s a Green Lantern – brings instant charisma.

My favourite phrase in the book comes from Sinestro, in that panel above: ‘Fear owns the Oans’ is a pun with a point, just great.

That cheery cover is drawn by Bernard Chang and coloured by Alex Sinclair, with a splendid new logo by Kenny Lopez. Letters inside the book come from the ever-excellent Rob Leigh.

All in all, this is an engrossing, good-looking beginning to what has all the ingredients for a great run. What did you think?

11 thoughts on “Green Lantern #1 review

  1. I am not an automatic GL fan. I have disliked Hal Jordan going back decades and I feel like there are way too many Earth GLs without anyone saying Bismoll has five or Thanager eight, you know. The Crux World concept could change that opinion mind you if fleshed out but I stopped reading Far Sector the second I realized it was an Earth GL telling older civilizations how they should do things. Heck, the last GL series I enjoyed starred Kyle and before that it was his series pre-‘Hal Will Be Shoved Down Your Throat Because He Is So Coool’ by Johns.

    That leads to how much I freaking enjoyed this book! John, Simon, and Keli are the stars here but you get the feeling it could be any of the GLs taking lead in future issues. John gets to be as much a Corps leader as Hal without denigrating the buffoon, Simon might have found his niche as more than capable back up GL, and Keli is the sheer delight Bendis created her to be. Creating the Teen Lantern that fandom joked about for years could have been Wonder Twins bad but instead it turned out excellent!

    And honestly? When I finished this book, after reading its last page, I actually said out loud to myself ‘this is fucking awesome’. If Thorne can make future issues even partly as great as this, I’m in for the long haul!

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    1. I know Hal is unpopular with many people but I prefer to remember the good times – there are Lanterns I like more, such as Kyle, but he was my first, and it wasn’t always Kari Limbo and Arisia! I’m OK with him not being the focus of this series but I would like him as a regular.

      I was sure Teen Lantern was fade into limbo post-YJ, so it’s brilliant to see her here.

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      1. I read the GL back ups (his only home when I started reading) because it was in books I bought. I bought the GA/GL revival because I was a completist and wouldn’t be diagnosed with OCD for decades yet. It’s also why I bought most of the GL run after. I never much cared for Hal as Generic Hero #812 through all that. I didn’t really like any O’Neil stories ever. I can’t even think of an exception. GA/GL (the revival and when I read reprints of the classic run) taught me to loathe Green Arrow and I’ve always disliked how every GA writer had to hobble Black Canary (the better fighter, smarter character, and she had a powerhouse power). The Kari Limbo and Arisia stuff lowered my opinion of Hal further. Only Kyle and Marz/Winick kept me on when I became more discriminating and I don’t think I’ve bought a dozen issues since Johns revived Hal and the ridiculous emotional spectrum (besides Kyle and Carol’s series). If I had my druthers, Barry would still star in the Flash and any GL except Guy and Hal would be the star of the GL book, though TBH, I’d rather Jessica, Jo, and Simon (and isn’t there an Asian GL now too?) be defrocked. So many Earth GLs feels like s ci fi version of the Great WHite Savior trope to me…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wasn’t going to give this a shot. I love the Green Lantern mythos, but am very picky about the issues I’ve collected over the years. Enjoyed Morrison’s run, enjoyed Gerard Jones’ run (including Mosaic), O’Neill and Adams, the Silver Age series, and sporadic one-off stories/mini-series in-between. But I’m a fan of Thorne as an actor from his work on “In the Heat of the Night,” had no idea he was a successful writer, no idea he was a comics fan, and became curious about what he would do here/the new voice he’d bring to GL. And then I read some reviews, including the one above, and decided to buy issue 1. And I’m on board. It was a smart, entertaining read, packed with fun DC references. And though I’m a fan of Hal Jordan, it’s nice to see the spotlight shift to some of the other Earth Lanterns. I’m not sure where this is going, but Thorne seems like a talented, passionate guy. Will this be considered a “classic” run? I don’t know. But I’m not sure Gerard Jones’ work is really considered in the top tier of GL runs, but I really enjoyed his take on that mythos. And I’m really optimistic I’ll feel the same about Geoffrey Thorne’s as well.

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    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments, Brian. I’m with you on the runs I’ve enjoyed – it’s a real shame that Gerard Jones’ Mosaic run will likely now never be collected due to his convictions. I don’t know Geoffrey Thorne as an actor at all, I’ll have to check out his work.

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  3. Great review dude!
    No.1 arrived in the post today & I just read it…
    I absolutely loved it!
    I wasn’t into Morrisons GL so it’s great to be collecting a LANTERN title again.
    Ace to see keli from YOUNG JUSTICE and the artwork & colouring was amazing!
    I’m loving INFINITE FRONTIER so far.
    Take care mate🤓👍

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    1. And you too! Thanks so much for the comments. I’m enjoying a fair few of the new books.

      I persevered with the Morrison GL until about two issues from the end, but it was just too much work for too little reward.

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  4. I picked this up on a whim the other day, and read it this afternoon… and really enjoyed it! I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.

    I have a couple thoughts about the “in media res” starts to the comic. The first is: When I see that, I haven’t necessarily bought the issue yet. Books I’m on the fence about, I flip through to see if I want to read it. Usually just to see if I’ll find the art appealing (and the lettering: I’ve set books aside because of amateurish lettering, or too-small lettering; on the other hand, I remember flipping open a book that looked interesting, seeing John Workman’s lettering, and buying it on the spot). But sometimes I want a better look at what the book’s about. The opening scene’s not a bad way to start, and I won’t be spoiled that way.

    Also: Comics have been doing this for ages…only the scenes used to only last one page. In a certain sense, this technique is very much like a splash page from the 60s, showing the hero in a tight spot, only to start the story for real on page 2 at the Daily Planet or wherever. In one sense, it’s easy to think of Splash pages as simply a second cover… but they’re also pretty much exactly this: a scene from later in the story that whets the appetite and makes the reader wonder how we got there. Everything old is new again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the different perspective, Rob. I did like the old-style splash pages, more when they weren’t another version of the cover. I once timed an episode of Alias, so tired was I of long cold opens – it took 19 minutes for the story to wind back!

      Anyway, I’m glad you like this too!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 19 minutes…! That’s a lot.

        I’d love to see an episode start that way, then about 5 minutes in, give us a voice-over: “I bet you’re wondering how I got here.”

        And then a shot of the hero in a Toyota Camry. “I drove here. Now, back to the story.”

        And then we return to the fight scene, in progress.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, nice one! You are wasted on this blog!

    I’m not. I just spent ten minutes sorting out a terrible tweet because I realised ‘Speed Force’ rhymes with ‘horse’. Who’ll be the first to make a ‘the horse is lame’ gag?

    Liked by 1 person

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