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Comic Book Review: Green Lantern #1

By: Matthew Rapier

One of the main concerns I had with the initial announcement of the relaunch was that the DC I once knew would no longer exist. Rumors were swirling that many of the characters would go through radical changes to help usher in a new universe that new readers could jump into and enjoy just as much as established fans. Last week we were given a glimpse into the new worlds of Batman and Superman. While Batman seems to have stayed on the same course he was before, Superman is getting a bit of a make over with the classic bits of his story thrown in.

How would this relaunch effect the Green Lantern corner of the universe though? I became a huge fan of the character in 2004 when Geoff Johns gave us ‘Rebirth’ and followed the stories from that point on. Johns was basically building one continuous story for 7 years and I was trying to overcome a great fear that his epic would be null in the DCnU. When I finished reading Green Lantern #1, I realized I had nothing to fret over as the story picks up right where it left off. This may not exactly cater to new readers, but I believe it’s set up in a way to be a perfect jumping in point.

The comic opens up to Sinestro reciting the Green Lantern oath on Oa, bound in chains, as the Guardians look on. Sinestro is quick to announce that he is not looking for redemption nor will he follow orders from the blue munchkins. The Guardians seem to  brush off what they once would have deemed as insubordinate comments to simply suggest Sinestro only needs to protect his sector.

Back on Earth, Hal Jordan is experiencing a dilemma of his own. From being out in space for far too long he has failed to pay his bills and in the heat of a misunderstood moment,  he attacks an actor during a scene requiring abuse of a woman. Carol Ferris has to bail him out of jail and is quick to remind him that he no longer posses a Green Lantern ring which puts Hal at risk more than ever before. Without hesitation Hal asks Carol what she has planned for the next night.

In space, Sinestro has created an interesting construct to view his home world, Korugar, from a distance. His followers of the Sinestro Corps have enslaved the planet much to his displeasure. When he confronts one of the members they assume him as betraying his own Corps. Sinestro kills the member standing his ground on his decision.

Hal and Carol seem to be sharing quite a nice time at their planned dinner. Hal tells Carol that she is right about the ring moving on and that he should try to do the same in his life. Hal braces himself to ask Carol a question he never thought he would… for her to sign a lease on a car for him. She throws wine in his face, obviously expecting another question, and storms out. They argue out by her vehicle, she leaves Hal there alone, and he walks back to his apartment to find an eviction notice taped to the door.

A voice booms from behind, “If you want your ring back, you’ll do everything I say.” It’s Sinestro looking as happy and cheerful as always.

As I mentioned earlier, there is history here. Everything that happened in ‘War of the Green Lanterns’ is continuing in this first Green Lantern issue of the relaunch. I think that it’s handled in a way to let new readers know that something has happened before and if you stick around it will be revealed again in time. Johns’ knows these characters inside and out; working on them for the amount of time he has makes his writing flow easily throughout the entire issue. It moves along at a quick pace and while there isn’t much action, there is plenty to keep you glued to the book wondering where he’s going next.

Ivan Reis was once the standard Green Lantern artist in my eyes. Doug Mahnke took over the art duties for the title during Blackest Night which is another golden choice for the book. I can’t see anyone else, but Mahnke drawing these characters at the moment so it’s a great move to keep this creative team together. He handles the more subtle moments in this issue with the care that it deserves and I can’t wait until the story lets loose with some huge action to showcase all of his talent.

This is a good jumping in point even though there are years of history leading up to this. You can come in as a new fan without trying to worry what’s happened before. Reading all the material before this can be considered something that you don’t need but would hate to never know. This one is a must read and brings a breath of fresh air back to the Green Lantern books.

Overall Grade: 9.5/10

 

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