Current Reviews


Green Lantern: Brightest Day, Blackest Night

Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2002
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Artist: John K. Snyder
Publisher: DC

Plot: Green Lantern vs. the Nazis in Solomon Grundy's swamp.

Normally, I hate Green Lantern, but not when the title is worn by the original: Alan Scott. Mr. Seagle has been reading his archives. He delves into most of Lantern lore, polishes each trinket and sets them on John K. Snyder's Mantle for further restoration.

This is the story that posits where all of the myths fused. Lantern is already a member of the Justice Society, and he also knows Irene Miller, splendidly characterized as a tough thirties broad. This is the first retroactive story to suggest her becoming a radio personality for Gotham's WGAH. Alan becomes fully established as her radio engineer rather than the civil engineer he was in earlier stories. The identity crisis was switched in the original tales. So, we can't blame the post-Crisis ;).

Blackest Day, Blackest Night purports to be the first story in which the Lantern and Solomon Grundy cross staves. I believe there was a first Solomon Grundy story. Unfortunately, I do not possess it in any form to compare and contrast. What I can comment upon is the polishing. Solomon Grundy drawn very much like his original ghastly form will, in the context of the metafiction, also manifest a benevolent incarnation in James Robinson's Starman. So, perhaps turning Grundy from evil to simple-minded and territorial was a good decision. He adapts quickly, and both these attributes foreshadow the Solomon Grundy from Starman as well as his capacity to dote upon Jade. Somewhere DC should have good continuity.

Definite welcome additions are Seagle's and Snyder's attempts to make Alan's Green Lantern a weirder figure. Bill Finger and Marty Nodell always gave him a bizarre quality and often compared him to "a green ghost." The creative team here emphasize the oddness of Alan's ability to become intangible. Combined with the swampy setting, they give the whole book an eerie quality.

No punches are pulled for the Nazi sleeper agents. They're vile and evil. They have no depth because they should have no depth. Although, I have to say Alan's wish to save them from Grundy strikes me as a little naive.

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