“To Be a Lantern”
Writer: Dave Gibbons
Artists: Patrick Gleason (p), Prentis Rollins (i), & Moose Baumann (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
This is an absolutely gorgeous book. From the writing by Dave Gibbons, to the artwork by Patrick Gleason & Prentis Rollins, to the coloring by Moose Baumann (especially Moose!), it's all just a feast for the eyes. Whatever problems Gibbons had in finding his writing chops with Rann/Thanagar War, they're all dispelled with this issue.
Now while Gibbons was teamed with some little, unknown writer by the name of Geoff Johns on Green Lantern: Recharge, Gibbons is the only one writing this book. I, for one, am very glad of it, too. As good as GL:R was, it was little shaky in some aspects of the story & plotting. That is not the case with this first issue of Green Lantern Corps. Gibbons hits the ground running and doesn't let up. GLC is not an easy title to write. Everyone has his own idea as to how alien species should act and interact, so the writer is already behind before he even begins. However, Gibbons is able to overcome that and just write one hell of a story.
Of course, most of the main characters are very known by now. Guy Gardner, Kilowog, and Salaak to name a few. These characters already have the personalities shaped by other writers, so there's no problem in picking up the reins there. It's the newer characters such as Soranik, Myrrt, Vath and Isamot than can prove to be the most difficult, especially in terms Vath and Isamot since they're both well known DCU alien races (Rannian and Thanagarian). But Gibbons is able to infuse each character with his own identity and the reader can tell they're not all the same “voice.”
With this being a first issue and in introducing so many new characters in such a strange looking setting, it could be a recipe for disaster and a convoluted story. However, Gibbons pulls it off. Not once did I feel lost. It's a very free flowing story, and the reader is just taken a long for the ride. And when the issue ends, you're left with wanting a lot more. Not because the story was lacking, but because you don't want to wait until the next issue! And while some might bemoan the fact that “their Green Lantern” wasn't in this book, I personally think that was the best thing about it. No Hal. No Kyle. No John. Just the CORPS.
Okay, so how many superlatives can I use here to describe the artwork? Everyone take out their Roget's Thesaurus and just look up whatever synonyms go with "gorgeous" and/or "fantastic." It'll save me from typing it all out. Plus, it's the perfect description for the work that Gleason, Rollins & Baumann did in this book. I'm not just saying it for the sake of hyperbole: This truly is a feast for the eyes. They also draw a kick ass Guy Gardner and Kilowog. And extra special props to Moose Baumann for his extraordinary coloring job.
Overall, this is one Green Lantern fan who is quite happy. Since DC decided to re-energize the Green Lantern franchise beginning with Green Lantern: Rebirth, every single GL title since has been a solid hit. This is yet another one and, dare I say it, quite possibly the best one of the bunch.
What did you think of this book?
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