W: Peter J. Tomasi
A: Fernando Pasarin
I’ve been very curious to see how the recent events in the Green Lantern family of titles would play in the new DCU. And while there have been brief mentions, new readers don’t necessarily need to know all of what has happened to enjoy the new stories. For this volume of the Green Lantern Corps, we get a nice intro to Guy and Jon trying to figure out their place on Earth. I’ve always thought that four Green Lanterns for one sector was a bit much and Tomasi appears to agree. Guy and Jon try to get jobs, fail, and contemplate a move off world. While this is going on a green covered baddie brutally kills some throwaway GL’s. This new DCU is definitely edgier than its previous incarnation. So we then get the setup to this books opening arc, who is killing these lanterns and why. The writing is done well especially with Jon. He has always been a tragic sort of character and his reasoning is played nicely here. Guy is written a tad less brash than usual which is a welcome change. The art by Pasarin is very nice and fits the tone of the story well. His characters are balanced and his world is very much alive. I liked this book a good deal and while it wasn’t the best GLC issue I have ever read, it is certainly a worthwhile addition to the run.
W: Geoff Johns
A: Doug Mahnke
Issue #001 of the new Green Lantern book is really solid. It’s not great, but really good. For those that don’t know, Hal Jordon is no longer a Green Lantern. Sinestro is once again a Green Lantern. (Read War of the Lanterns to catch up) Since the events of War of the Lanterns were not undone by the relaunch, we see the Guardians up to their shady business as usual. Dealing with their lack of control should be fun to watch over the coming months. Hal deals with everyday life and doesn’t do a very good job of it. There is a nice bit of interaction with Carol that sets the tone for Hal going forward. The cliffhanger was all to predictable but still got me excited for this story. Overall a very good read. Mahnke is solid on art minus one panel where Hal has a terrible smile. Other than that, his work is as good as always.
So, the plan is to review all 52 of the New DC Universe titles that are launching the last week of August and throughout September. This week sees the release of Flashpoint 05, technically the final issue of the original DCU, and Justice League 01, the first issue of the new continuity. Let’s take a look at
Flashpoint 05 first.
The Flashpoint series has been relatively uneven at best so far. For a five issue series, it really seemed that nothing was happening up until issue 04. And even the events of that issue, Captain Marvel and the battle between Wonder Woman and Aquaman, were apparently handled in limited series. The main book deals with none of these conflicts and therefore makes them completely irrelevant to the overall story. I honestly felt after reading Flashpoint 05 that Dc simply could have published this issue and everyone would have been fine with that. it does tie up everything nicely and has a somewhat plausible resolution to the time travel story. The main issue I have with it is the change made to Batman’s status quo at the end. Spoilers ahead so skip by if you haven’t read the issue.
*The Flash gives Batman, Bruce, a note from his father, Thomas, who was Batman in the alternate reality. Bruce reads the note and breaks down in tears thanking Flash for delivering the message. While we do not get to see the entire note, it can be assumed that Thomas absolves Bruce of responsibility. Thereby Batman no longer has a reason to be. Any other conclusion that could be drawn from the note doesn’t make sense. It would be silly to think that Thomas wrote his alternate reality son a note saying that he was glad he was murdered in an alley so that his boy could grow up to be a great crime fighter.*
That complaint aside, Flashpoint 05 accomplishes what it needs to and sets up the new DCU. 7 out of 10.
The other title released this week is Justice League 01. This book is the official first entry in the New 52. It takes place 5 years in the past and showcases Batman and Green Lantern. Superman and Cyborg make brief appearances.
Two things struck me about this issue. One, Jim Lee, is still an unbelievable artist. His work here is spectacular and arguably, the best of his career. The new costumes look as good as they possibly can with his pencils and the inking and coloring is on point as well. The writing on the other hand left me feeling confused. Apparently, in the New DCU, I am going to hate Green Lantern. I understand that this is an Early look at these heroes and their first interactions with each other but he comes off as a complete prick. Not cocky like GL has always been under Johns, but as an utter asshole. I know that I cannot compare this GL to the old GL really, but, DC has already said that all of the Geoff Johns GL work would still be in continuity. Therefore, I know what Hal is going to be like, and I know what he was like before. And it just wasn’t this. Overall, this issue has my curiosity piqued and I will definitely be following this book closely. There is work to be done however and I expect more from Geoff Johns. 6.5 out of 10.
Overall Dc has quite a bit of work to do explaining where all of the previous continuity fits in with the New DCU. I am still excited by the prospect, particularly what is done with Superman, but will remain skeptical. I will continue to review all of the new titles as they are released and will have a wrap-up post at the end of September with recommendations on books to continue on with or ignore all together. It should be fun!
In a word, yuck. You can see his toes. YOU CAN SEE HIS FUCKING TOES! Are you shitting me? Why? It’s a goddamn superhero movie I don’t need reality. What I need is a Green Lantern whose toes are not visible. You know what I never thought about and you didn’t either, exactly what Kilowog’s toes looked like. AND NOW IT’S ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT! Jesus Christ bananas.
I really want to like this film. Honestly, I do. I am a huge GL fan. The GL stable of books is currently one of the very best on the market in both writing and art. The potential for a truly great franchise is there just waiting to be realized. But, this is Warner Bros. we are talking about. While they certainly have handled some franchises remarkably well, Harry Potter and the Nolan Batman films for example, there are others that unequivocally fell short of expectations, the Superman reboot/sequel and the Matrix trilogy come to mind. That being said Green Lantern is basically an outer space buddy cop movie. That’s a pretty hard premise to screw up. I don’t love the casting of Ryan Reynolds as Hal. I like Reynolds enough, just not as a guy who possesses ultimate willpower. The CG looks good for characters like Kilowog and Abin Sur but the costume still looks terrible to me. Judge for yourself in the trailer below.