Friday, July 13, 2007

Review - Green Lantern 21

By Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert.
Colors by Moose Baumann, Letters by Rob Leigh
Published by DC Comics, July 2007. $2.99

A pair of superhero sagas tonight -- first, GREEN LANTERN! The cover says this is part two of “The Sinestro Corps War,” while page one says it’s chapter one of “Sinestro Corps” -- either way, this issues features the fallout of Sinestro’s master plan to wipe out the Green Lanterns throughout the galaxy. Now, I was born and raised a Marvel man -- I kept up with DC mostly through the SUPER FRIENDS and SUPER POWERS TV shows, so I know Sinestro is the pink guy with the mustache who fights Green Lantern. What this issue tells me is that he’s teamed up with an assortment of DC baddies -- Cyborg Superman from the “Reign of the Superman” story of the 90’s, Superboy Prime from INFINITE CRISIS, and the robot Manhunters from I-don’t-know-what -- and they’re murdering Green Lanterns, following the rings to their replacements, and murdering them too. The villains wield yellow power rings, and there’s an evil insect-like parasite involved called Parallax that used to possess to Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and now possesses Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.

Whew! The good news is that most of that information flows like honey and doesn’t impede the enjoyment of the story whatsoever. In fact, it probably amplifies it -- even without the benefit of a “Previously In…” page like Marvel uses these days, it’s not that hard to get caught up in the story, and it feels -- in a good way -- like I’m being plopped into a superhero sci-fi epic that has been going on for some time now. There’s a lot of history here to take in, especially for someone (me!) who doesn’t know many Green Lantern specifics, but it reminds me of the way I felt when I read SECRET WARS as a kid -- there was a large cast of characters with pre-existing relationships, but I was able to keep up with what was happening now while appreciating the history they were sprung from.

There are a few points of confusion -- why Sinestro is embarking on this master plan, for one thing. Sinestro’s history as a Green Lantern himself is alluded to, but it’s not explained how things went sour -- something about a fall from grace, and too much pressure placed on his shoulders. I also don’t know if I buy Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Earth, as the doubting hero unwilling to bear the burden of leadership. I thought Hal was supposed to be fearless, the greatest Green Lantern there ever was. But I dunno, maybe that was Earth-2 Hal, or pre-Crisis Hal, or something like that.

This is still the opening salvo of the Sinestro Corps storyline, so there’s not a whole lot of forward movement here -- but I’m for sure coming back for more. GREEN LANTERN and “The Sinestro Corps War” is shaping up to be one good superheroes-in-space epic.

Tell Me More: Green Lantern.

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