Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CBR:Quickies Green Lantern


Today I'm gonna review a bunch of the current Green Lantern stuff since Geoff Johns resurrected the character & brand! All books since the relaunch, up until just before the Blackest Night event~
(since it wasn't all released in paperback form and it will be better to have a look at the whole Blackest night when everything will be available)

We'll check some pre-Geoff Johns book some other time!
The Green Lantern Oath. Corny? Sure! But classic and always fun to have featured~

Aaah! Green Lantern!
One of my favorite concepts, not just character or comic, amongst the super hero genre of comic books.

You see in the DC Universe, Green Lanterns are the space cops, guardians of peace and equlibrium in the universe. The Guardians of the Universe created this special force which patrols the whole vast space, divided in 3600 sectors. They come all equipped with a power ring able to materialize whatever they can imagine (objects, materials, substances...everything!) and all are supposed to have the ability to overcome great fear.

The first "human" Green Lantern from Earth, sector 2814, was Hal Jordan. (second if you count the magic-wielding Golden Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott). Then came more human Lanterns, Guy Gardner, John Stewart and finally Kyle Rayner. After many change and events... Coast City, home to Hal Jordan was destroyed (by Cybord Superman in the last parts of the event Superman Doomsday) which drove Hal Jordan insane (or was it something more...?). He became the creature known as Parallax... destroyed most of the Green Lantern Corps and Guardians... and was finally defeated by the Justice League and his friend Green Arrow...

Around the 2000s, Geoff Johns, DC's writer-extraordinary, helped clean up the Green Lantern books and lineup.
He brought back Hal Jordan, explained past events and cleaned the whole Green Lantern continuity and organisation.
All 4 human Green Lanterns became active GLCorps members. Now there would be officially 7200 officers for the 3600 sectors with Hal and John Stewart as primary terrestrial Lanterns. Guy and Kyle would become honorific members, helping train new Lanterns on the Planet Oa. The whole Corps and Guardians back as well...


Comic title: Green Lantern: Secret Origin
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #29-35

In the middle of his run, with clear objectives in mind, Geoff Johns decided to write a modern take on Hal Jordan/Green Lantern's origin.
This isn't you classic tale, it ties some early past events to the current GL events. This story tells how Hal got the ring, in what mess was Abin Sur, original wielder of the power ring, shows Hal's future foe Sinestro's evil root and and describes the rise of Atrocitus.
So this books' secret origins aren't exactly just Hal Jordan as a Green Lantern. But the "War of Lights" origin.

Overall: Very great book to "jump in" or understand clearly the concept behind Green Lantern.
If you want a book to start off, I advise trying it with this one.
It directly ties in with the later Sinestro Corps War event, the future Red Lantern Corps and even Black Hand/Blackest Night!

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Rebirth
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ethan Van Sciver and Prentis Rollins
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6 (miniseries)

Hal Jordan was dead and reborn as the Spectre. Guy and John Stewart weren't GL anymore. And Kyle was the last of the Green Lanterns.
Then came Geoff Johns who restored in this miniseries Hal's status, his place in the DCUniverse and many other things!


Overall: It's a very fun read! If you're afraid to dig into this because of continuity or the need to know a lot more about Green Lanterns or the DCU...worry not!
It's well thought and all necessary knowledge will be re-introduced easily.
A great miniseries and all other writers who try to bring back characters "from the dead" should take a note from Johns!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: No Fear 
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Carlos Pacheco, Ethan Van Sciver, Darwyn Cooke and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #1-6; Green Lantern Secret Files and Origins #1

Hal Jordan is back from the dead.
This book tells us how he tried to regain control of a life he left behind for a very long time.
Carol Ferris, Thomas Kalmaku... Hal's long time friends and cast of characters are restablished in the series.
Oh, and the other creation of the Guardians, the Manhunters, are also back!!

Overall: The new GL series really starts off in this book!
This is an important read, if you want to know everything about Coast City, GL's cast and future threats are introduced in these first 6 issues!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Carlos Pacheco, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #7-13

Continuing events from where issue 6# left off!
More Green Lanterns are introduced back in the series!
There's an on-going plot about the current GL Corps status and the role of the Green Lanterns in the Universe...

Overall: Great book. From this book onward, it's better to have checked some past GL stuff to understand the whos and whats.
Anyway, great writing, great artwork... Check it out if you're a fan!

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Wanted: Hal Jordan
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #14-20

It was bound to happen!
This is the story arc where Hal Jordan messes it up with the DC earthly cast of characters. Hal is framed, everybody tracks him down...

Overall: Very dynamic writing in this new arc!
Things get messy, well, messier for Jordan. Hal confronts the Justice Society and Alan Scott.
Also some new threats start to show up...
Great arc!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern Corps: Recharge
Written by Geoff Johns & Dave Gibbons
Art by Patrick Gleason and Christian Alamy
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1-5 (miniseries)

Spawned from Geoff Johns' reboot, the Green Lantern Corps is back in action!
This book reintroduces the Corps, the Guardians, Kyle and Guy.
Also this book shows how Lanterns are recruited and establishes a lotsa new members and future key players!

Overall: I kind of even prefer this side series on the GL line of comics.
The Green Lantern Corps is very, kind of Star Wars meets Cops. The intergalactic guardians of peace is a great concept!
This is a great place to start reading be it the main GL series or the GLCorps.
Also it will establish Guy & Kyle new role as mentors and honorary Lanterns.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern Corps: To Be a Lantern
Written by Dave Gibbons
Art by Patrick Gleason and Prentis Rollins
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 2) #1-6

This is it! The beginning of the new Green Lantern Corps!
Introducing new members Isamot Kol & Vath Sarn (from Rann & Thanagar), Soranik Natu (red skinned smexy doctor) and many more!
And returning Lanterns like Stel, Kilowog the official GL trainer, Guy Gardner, etc..
Guy's assigned to boring duties, young Lanterns learn what's it mean to be a Lantern and the newly fortified planet Oa is developed upon.

Overall: GLCorps is a fun read!
"To Be a Lantern" is a very accessible read.
The concept of the space cops is really well explored in this sub-series. And don't miss this one if you wanna learn about the secondary players in the GLCorps!

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern Corps: The Dark Side of Green
Written by Dave Gibbons
Art by Patrick Gleason and Prentis Rollins
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 2) #7-13

The new Lanterns are developed a bit more. New members join.
Guy gets assigned to a new mission...oh there's some plotting on the Guardians of the Universe's side. (including a new special division for the "Corps")

Overall: Dave Gibbons is a great artist...and an as much great writer judging by this series!
A bit more light hearted than the tales on Hal Jordan's side!
That's what I call great entertainment! Oh and the ladies of the Corps do kick ass~
A must read, be you a fan or not.

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War Vol. 1
Written by Geoff Johns & Dave Gibbons
Art by Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #21-23; Green Lantern Corps (vol. 2) #14-15; Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special

Here is is! The first big Green Lantern event!!
Sinestro, ex-Green Lantern and long term foe to Hal Jordan, creates his very own army! The Sinestro Corps!
This is a crossover event between both GL series and even some other DC characters.
Sinestro takes on the whole Corps and the Guardians thanks to his very own take on the power rings, fueled by hate and fear...

Overall: What a great way to kick off an event!
Epic, on a large scale.
Fear not the DC references and allusions if you're a newcomer!
Sinestro never kicked so much ass in the past!
The yellow-ring wielders seem unstoppables and the whole GL Corps is on the brink of extinction!!
This first part covers the beginning of the event and explains a lot of past Sinestro-events to his situation.
Check it out if you're a fan of the characters and wanna check a GL event~

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War Vol. 2
Written by Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Patrick Gleason and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #24-25; Green Lantern Corps (vol. 2) #16-19

The menace of Parallax is back with a twist! (that's the monster who "took control" of Hal Jordan in the past)
Sinestro's winning...
Then the Guardians help the Corps with a game change, new rules...which might just help the Lanterns win the war!!

Overall: I find this event to lose a bit of its steam past the middle part...
Anyway, it's still fun, connects some on-going issues with GL's past (Parallax, Cyborg Superman...)
The end seems a bit abrupt to me...

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern Corps: Ring Quest
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason, Prentis Rollins and Drew Geraci
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 2) #19-20,23-26


Straight from the pages of Sinestro Corps War, Mongul is trying to collect more power to rule over the galaxy!
Guy, Kyle and co get stuck in their quest to collect all the remaining Sinestro's ring...

Overall: New creative team! New artists and now Peter J. Tomasi on the writing! I like his past Nightwing and Hawkman titles, which he made quite fun. (well, Hawkman was a bit confusing on some parts, but still fun...)
I also don't really understand why this re-collects issue #19 of the Green Lanter Corps series....
Anyway, new adventures, new foes!
Still fun, still easy read, check it out, if you're a regular or even if you're someone who avoided the Sinestro Corps' War!

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern Corps: Sins of the Star Sapphire
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason, Luke Ross, Drew Geraci and Fabio Laguna
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 2) #27-32

The Sinestro Corps war may be over.. but the War of Light kicks in this book for the Corps!
The Star Sapphire conflicts with the Corps... it's up to Guy and co to clean up the mess!

Overall: As said on the cover, this is a prelude to the future new event Blackest Night, so will be the next books.
The Corps has some conflicts with this side group sprung from the Guardians of the Universe themselves.
The story, under Tomasi, isn't as "light hearted" and fun as I said from past story arcs of the Corps..but it still is pretty solid.

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Shane Davis, Ivan Reis, Mike McKone & more
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #26-28, 36-38; Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns

Atrocitus forms the Red Lantern Corps, in the sector 666. A new group emerges to destroy the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps...
Hal Jordan, John Steward and the Corps deals with the consequences of the new rules established by the Guardians...
Why are all those new colored Corps rising at the same time??

Overall: On Geoff Johns' side of the story, things get bloodier. Johns said himself he was a big fan of horror and slasher flicks, grewing up in the 80s.
This new part of the story could be criticized for  it being quite gory and explicit...but I guess it's part of the fun afterall!
Things start to go faster and faster, to a new common goal (the Blackest Night event...) .
Nice story arc, well drawn...but could have been a bit better... (I find it somehow "lacking" that extra punch the earlier run had)

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern Corps: Emerald Eclipse
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Buchman
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 2) #33-38

The Corps deals with both the Ged Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps...
Plus the newly appointed Alpha Lanterns created by the Guardians...
Also Sodam Yat, currently wielder of the legendary power of Ion gets his time to shine...Will he be able to save everybody else!?

Overall: This book closes some threads (Sodam Yat, Ion, Sinestro's status, the Red Lanterns and Alpha Lantern issues) and opens new ones!
Better than previous Tomasi's issues and ending of right you need to be for the Blackest Night event...


I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Agent Orange
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Philip Tan, Ivan Reis and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #39-42

Follow-up to Rage of the Red Lanterns. Picks up exactly where it left!
And last, before the Blackest Night starts off, final new Corps rise up.
Agent Orange tells the story of the Orange "Corps", under the influence of the Orange light of avarice.
A past secret of the Guardians is revealed... Hal discovers the strength and weakness of some colors...
Plus this book contains a quick recap of the current Corps and introduces the rest of the Lights.

Overall: Wow! I loved this one, much better than the previous issues!
The Agent Orange is a great new addition to the mythos.
This story ends up right before the new event...


I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


And that's all for now~
As you can see, it has been a pretty consistent run, be it on the Green Lantern's side or the Corps' .
Some weak issues on Peter J. Tomasi part. (why did Dave Gibbons leave already?).
But it's a pretty great franchise from DC Comics. No surprise it has been on of the best selling comic books these past years, since Geoff Johns' take! (all publisher confounded)


Green Lantern is currently into one of the big 3 at DC's. Alongside the name of both Superman and Batman!
(poor Wonder Woman :( she just doesn't have the same economic power, even if she's one of the most well known character among non-comic book readers... I sure hope Straczynski brings her back to the scene!)


The series is also being made into a full lenght live movie, a CGi animated series and probably some videogames as well...


Geoff Johns made the series accessible again, fun and epic.
Next time I'll be either checking the Blackest Night event or some past pre-Geoff Johns titles!
 
That's all for this time's Quickies!

4 comments:

  1. I've already gotten some of the GL books. Namely Secret Origins, Rebirth, No Fear, GLC: Recharge, and both Blackest Night and BN:GL (Got me a Black Ring, but I'm still missing a Red Ring, which I can't find anywhere yet). Already buying the monthly comics starting with Brightest Day and still getting more. And they'll all be mine! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE!!! (Larfleeze is a real cooky character in the BN stories)

    Already enjoying Green Lantern books a lot, as is my big brother. And other stuff by Geoff Johns (even if he does tend to write gory death scenes, but now I sorta get why he does those now), including 52, Superman, The Flash and Brightest Day. I'll probably check more of his other older comics here and there some point.

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  2. I'll suggest the early Hawkman run, which helped me love the concept and character (immortal Egyptian guy using alien tech'). And some early Flash stories, not just the current ones!
    Oh, and the JSA was a pretty fun book too~

    I really dig Larfleeze, what a fun character! He even had a little issue/story in the Agent Orange TPB.

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  3. Awrighty. Have been wanting to check out the JSA for a while. And Flash Rebirth was a real nifty comic to read, whether or not you're a big Flash fan.

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  4. I liked the Johns run on GL, even though I had problems with it.
    I hope that there one day will be a Blue Lantern book.

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