September 15, 2011

REVIEW: Green Lantern #1

Welcome back, Sinestro!

Fortunately for current fans, Green Lantern has the unique distinction of being totally unaffected by the events of Flashpoint and the DC relaunch. It may say #1 on the cover, but there's no origin story, retelling, or flashbacks going on here. Being one of DC's best selling titles, it was an obvious decision - if it's working why "fix" it? Fans of Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke will be at home.

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This issue picks up where the last issue left off. The Guardians of Oa have stripped Hal Jordan of his power ring, which has mysteriously chosen the evil Sinestro (and former Green Lantern) as the "new" protector of Sector 2814. Despite Sinestro's wishes, the Guardians decide to follow the ring's decision. Without spoiling the action of the book, this obviously creates a conflict between Sinestro and his yellow-ring bearing Sinestro Corps. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan is literally grounded on Earth, and dealing with the everyday problems of rent and unemployment, as well as his relationship problems with Carol Ferris. As crappy as their respective situations are, it's actually kind of fun to see them struggle in their new roles. Unfortunately for Hal and Sinestro, the two enemies will likely have to work together to get what they want.

Despite how much I enjoyed this issue, I have to admit, for new readers trying this book out, it may be an unusual starting point. Unless you have even a vague understanding of who's who in the GL universe you may be a bit confused. However, Johns does make it pretty obvious that Sinestro, the BAD guy, doesn't want the green ring, and Hal, the GOOD guy, is just trying to adjust to life grounded on Earth and life without the ring.

One question readers may have is why the Guardians just couldn't strip the ring from Sinestro, like they did Hal. If they don't want him wearing the ring, why not just take it from him? However, this is a tiny detail, and Johns does address it (albeit not answering it entirely) early in the book. The Guardians are clearly up to something, and we'll have to wait to see what that is.

Overall, I think readers old and new will enjoy this one. Johns and Mahnke have proved in the past to be an excellent team and its more of the same here. Green Lantern #1 is a great issue and will leave you wanting more.

: Being skeptical of the DC relaunch, I'm ecstatic that no changes were made in the Green Lantern books. After reading through a stack of all new DC #1's the past few weeks it's good to see some CLEAR continuity. I have to admit, it's fun seeing Sinestro and Hal Jordan struggling in their new roles.
The creative team of Johns and Mahnke was a nice familiar feeling.

THE BAD: Despite the #1 on the cover, it's not a good jumping-on point for new readers. Unless you have even a vague understanding of the GL universe, you might be a bit confused.


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