“Revenge of the Green Lanterns”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ivan Reis (p), Marc Campos (i), Moose! Baumann (c)
Publisher: DC Comics
Okay, now this is what Green Lantern should be like every issue. It's taken 10 issues to get to this point. A long, somewhat arduous 10 issues. Despite an above average issue or two along the way, it was 10 issues full of incredible promise that was never quite fulfilled. Until now. While Carlos Pacheco and Ethan Van Sciver are both excellent artists, Ivan Reis already made this book his own.
While my normal tendency is to focus first on the story itself then the art, that's not the case this time. Ivan Reis has truly impressed me with this one issue. In my opinion, Neal Adams has always been THE Green Lantern artist. As great as Gil Kane was, Adams made GL his. And now Reis comes along and lays claim to the character. I can give no higher praise to Mr. Reis than to say this work is on par to Mr. Adams' work when he first drew Green Lantern. Even if the scene is just two men talking, you cannot help but feel the energy Reis puts into each page. And when the scenes do turn to action, you are totally blown away by what he's created. I may have been quite disappointed in some of his recent work, but he once again proves he's an artist on the rise.
One other thing about the art needs to be mentioned: Marc Campos' inks and Moose Baumann's colors do nothing but add to Reis' pencil work. It's sometimes a delicate balance that's easily disrupted, but not in this case. These three gentlemen work extremely well together and are making this an artistic feast for the eyes. Yes, heavy on the clichés, but every one of them dead on.
As for the story, Geoff Johns rarely writes a clunker, and he certainly didn't with this issue. He took the “One Year Later” jump with this title and made the most of it. Hal Jordan is firmly entrenched in his life. No more second-guessing his return to life. Now he's living life; Jennifer, er, that is Julie definitely bears that out!
Unfortunately, life as Green Lantern is a lot more complicated.
In the past year, there has apparently been a treaty signed, the Freedom of Power Treaty, that now makes it illegal for American meta-human activity in certain countries. In terms of Green Lantern, that's a hell of a complication. While the person with the ring is indeed American, he's also a part of an intergalactic corps that sees the world he's on as a whole, with no boundaries. The world, on the other hand, sees him as an American hero. This ought to be an interesting twist… One that plays out over Russia and a battle with a squadron of Rocket Reds. They don't see him as a hero trying to capture a villain (actually a bounty hunter after Jordan who apparently has a price on his head), but instead as invader of their airspace. As I said, an interesting twist.
One other interesting twist is the revelation that sometime in the past year Hal Jordan, as well as Jillian “Cowgirl” Pearlman and Shane “Rocket man” Sellers, was held captive as a prisoner of war for a month. Now in terms of a character building aspect of the story, it's a great idea. The thing is, I don't see Hal Jordan sitting idly by for a month not trying everything in his power to escape. Now that's probably not what happened. One of the things he would have definitely attempted to do is will the ring to him. It has been shown numerous times in the past that he and every other Green Lantern have this ability because of the strength of their will power, as well as the ring being “linked” to them. Also, if for some reason that has been changed now, why was no one searching him? Like John Stewart or any other of his heroic friends? It just doesn't make sense. So until it's fully explained as to why this never occurred, it's going to bug me and be the one part of this particular story that doesn't quite work for me.
Overall, this was a very good story. You get to see many aspects of Hal Jordan's life in this one issue, from Green Lantern to Captain Jordan to just plain Hal Jordan. Johns does an excellent job of showing it all without bogging down the story. There's also an appearance of Ollie Queen and Sinestro... well, an off panel appearance of Sinestro which shows him beginning to build his own Corps. And last, but not least we get to see a Green Lantern thought to have been killed by Jordan when he was taken over by Parallax. Yeah, another interesting twist…..
With the “One Year Later” jump, this title has really kicked it into high gear. There might be some things that I don't like, but for the most part this book is even better than I hoped for or expected. Yeah, this is as it should be. With this issue, Green Lantern is definitely one of DC's best titles. Finally.
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