Current Reviews


Green Lantern Corps #1

Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2006
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Dave Gibbons
Artists: Patrick Gleason (p), Prentis Rollins (i), Moose Baumann (colors)

Publisher: DC Comics

"Okay. Doctor Soranik Natu. I'll be straight with you. You got it in you to be a Top Lantern. Maybe one of the very best."

Natu is the Katma Tui look-alike on the cover to Green Lantern Corps. Don't get too used to her. Since she's "got it in her" to be a "Top Lantern" I suspect that DC will have her raped, tortured, crippled and/or killed in a Big Stupid Event. On the whole though, I doubt that I'll mourn her passing as much as I did Katma's demise because Natu doesn't exhibit much in the way of personality.

This blankness of characterization can be broadened and directed toward all the other Lanterns in the book. Kilowog often says "Poozer," but he's still written very shallowly. Guy Gardner acts like a jackass, but he doesn't act as annoyingly as he should act. In Green Lantern Corps his is more of a generic jackassery, the kind one may find in the jackass character on a failing sitcom.

Dave Gibbons is no stranger to writing super-heroes. He is partially responsible for the most brilliant team-up of Batman and Superman. Without him, there may never have been a post-Crisis World's Finest. So, I am willing to give him some time to flesh out these characters, but as they are now they merely fill roles. Guy is the nutso one. Natu is the reluctant one. Kilowog is the big one. Myrt is the young one. Salaak is the anal-retentive one. Mohawk Dude is the mean one. He's so important that he doesn't even rate a name.

The tone of the series may also be in part responsible for the way Gibbons writes the characters. Gibbons seems to be going for a gritty NYPD Blue in space, and that doesn't really work for a Green Lantern book. Green Lanterns are shiny. They should be presented as beacons for optimism. They patrol the sectors and use their magnificent rings to combat evil. They should be sources of wonder. Instead, the reader watches the Lanterns get involved in bloody warfare, consumed by self-doubt and suffer through in-fighting both bureaucratic and physical. This is extremely dull because thousands upon thousands of cop dramas have been produced, and about eighty percent of them cover these tropes.

Patrick Gleason compliments Gibbons' dark and grimy tone with shadowy artwork that's enhanced by the inks of Prentis Rollins. The deeply shaded muscle tone and hyperdramatic cast to the characters swallows moose Baumann’s colors that include ubiquitous glowing greens. That's an asset for the atmosphere, but a deficit for those looking for swashbuckling space tales.

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