Thursday, September 30, 2010

CBR:Quickies Green Lantern (2)


Here's a 2nd feature about Green Lantern books!
(to check my previous one, use the CBR button above!)

I was going to review all the Blackest Night-event books...but before date, I wanted to have a look back at older comics~
Our heroes! Green mean ring-wielding space cops!

Since last time I talked about and explained a bit of the Green Lantern mythos and Hal Jordan, the "Greatest Lantern of them all", this time I'm gonna discuss about the other Earth Lanterns.

Hal Jordan wasn't the only Green Lantern to occupy the DC Universe.
Long before him, when comics where in their Golden Age, there was Alan Scott, the original GL.
When comics where being reinvented during the following Silver Age, Alan Scott was made GL of an alternate universe, Earth-Two (invented to keep older WW2 characters around more recent ones, despite the many years that separated them). Since DC restarted its universe in the 80s with the "Crisis", Alan Scott is now simply an older hero from another past generation.
Alan Scott isn't a space cop like the other members of the Green Lantern Corps and isn't directly linked to the Guardians of the Universe. He simply uses the power of the Starheart, a mystical-based green flame. Created by the Guardians when they were tried to understand magic.
Since Alan's power is organic-based instead of engineered, he can't arm nature, like wood and plants.

While Hal Jordan was travelling the USA with Green Arrow to get back to a more earthly plane and understand who he fights for, the Guardians decided to have another Lantern in the sector 2814.
Enters John Stewart. Former War veteran and architect. John filled in for Hal for a moment and became the second Lantern. More of a replacement for Hal when in need than a full-time Green Lantern.
He quickly grew on the fans and has been the official GL representant on DC's Justice League team (both in comics as in the cartoons).

But not John nor Hal were supposed to become Green Lantern when the alien Abin Sur crashed on Earth. Noo.
It was Guy Gardner who had the greatest willpower in the region where he crashed. Guy was a nice all-around person wh had been through a lot of jobs. Gym teacher for a while, he was destined to overcome great fear.
But when Abin Sur searched for a replacement, Guy was too far away while Hal was closer..since the time was running up, Abin called in Hal. And that's how Guy Gardner missed his first call to join the Corps.
The second time was after an accident, he ended up in a coma. That's when the Guardians pickled up John.
But finally, his time came and Guy Gardner became a GL. He after all that, he wasn't the sweet hearted nice guy anymore but an angry GL who had enough of being left out for second-bests.
The character's been through a lot over the ages - he became amnesic, lost his GL ring, used the yellow ring from the evil Sinestro for a while and was infected by a "warrior" virus for a while - but two little things never changed.
His good intentions at heart (and love for Tora/Ice).
And his unique  costume.

And last (but not least), Kyle Rayner.
We'll check Kyle a little in a future review.
For now, let's just say he became a Lantern when there was no more Green Lantern Corps. He kept the flame burning.

Currently, all four are Green Lanterns. Hal and John are the GL of Sectore 2814, most of the time hanging on Earth. Kyle was the Guardian's favorite Ion for a while and he and Guy are for the moment Honor Lanterns.


Comic title: JSA Presents: Green Lantern
Written by Steven T. Seagle, Tony Bedard and Junior Thomas
Art by John K. Snyder III, Dennis Calero, Staz Johnson, Mike Norton and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern: BRIGHTEST DAY/BLACKEST NIGHT and JSA CLASSIFIED #25, 32-33

Before there was Hal Jordan, there was Alan Scott wielder of the Starheart mystical green flame.
In this recent collection, Alan Scott confronts memories of his dead daughter, Jade, in the dawn of new DC events.
Plus collecting Alan Scott's epic confrontation against Solomon Grundy.

Overall: It a great way to check out some Alan Scott stories, specially if you're not super experienced with Alan Scott's GL.
One of the first DC heroes (chronologically to appear), Gotham City's real first superhero.
The art's gorgeous on both stories and the stories basic enough to present clearly who and what is this Golden Age Green Lantern (which are their real purpose).

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: DC 1st: Green Lantern
Written by Ben Raab
Art by Jamal Yaseem Igle & Pete Woods
Format: One shot issue special

The retelling of Alan Scott's first team up with Hal Jordan!
Kyle Rayner is attending a special event at Alan Scott's radio company. There, with Jade, he meets up Alan Scott who tells him his first team-up with Hal.
It's a simple yet sweet story.

Overall: Two stories in one!
There's 2 different creative teams working on this book, one for the present day Kyle & Alan story. And another for the Hal & Alan flashback.
Around 2002, DC Comics made several of these "DC 1st" one shots. They weren't exactly all good. Only this GL one and a Batgirl/Joker story came out nicely.
The flashback story is actually the retelling of an ol' story, showing off new elements.
The art's a bit weird on the Kyle Rayner sequences... Anyway, a nice book, worthile to be in your GL collection if you come across a copy of it.

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: ION vol. 1: THE TORCHBEARER 
Written by Ron Marz   
Art by Greg Tocchini, Tom Grindberg and Jay Leisten
Format: Trade collecting Ion #1-6

After Jade died, Kyle Rayner was turned into Ion, the Torchbearer.
 He didn't realize what exactly was his new role nor the extend of his powers.
This first collection follows Kyle as he attemps to understand his role in the bigger picture.
Kyle tries to find back his roots, a break away from the Corps and the Guardians.

Overall: Kyle is possibly my fav GL (or one of my favs anyway), probably because he's an artists and uses the power ring unlike another member of the corps.
This miniseries give him a little spotlight, taking place simultaneously as Geoff Johns current GL and GLCorps books.
The story is pretty interesting and describes this unique character. It gives him some background, something we can relate too. It's a nice book!

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: ION vol. 2: THE DYING FLAME
Written by Ron Marz   
Art by Greg Tocchini, Fernando Pasarin and others
Format: Trade collecting Ion #7-12

In this follow, Kyle continues his search for an identity, a motivation.
Kyle finds "the bleed", a passage into other alternate dimensions. (not the recently revealed 52 multiverse, just "parallel universes to this multiverse").
He confronts alternate realities and finally find himself and his purpose.

Overall: Great conclusion. With a bit fan service in the cameo of the WildStorm Universe (for fans of this Inprint!). Also characters from the Elseworld Tangent Universe cross over, including fan-favorite very different Green Lantern.
I prefered the second half of this miniseries, so the score won't surprise you.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold
Written by Mark Waid and Tom Peyer  
Art by Barry Kitson and Tom Grindberg 
Format: Trade collecting Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold #1-6

This little spinoff from the Brave & the Bold crossover-comics focuses on the friendship between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, The Flash.
Not really an on-going story and more like vignettes from various points in the past (when it was written, Hal was dead and Wally West was the new Flash).


They had nothing in common, one was a space cop while the other was a more earthly based speedster, one was a cocky adventurous rebel pilot while the other was a serious hardworker moderst police scientist...despite all that they formed an unbreakable friendship and truly were the Brave and the Bold.

Overall: One of my favorite non-Geoff Johns Green Lantern books!
It's well constructed and very unique.
The stories cover their early years, later points and nearly-recent events.
The dynamic between those two is great.
I really recommend this comic, be you a fan or no ;)

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern/Green Arrow Vol. 1
Written by Dennis O'Neil   
Art by Neal Adams & Dan Adkins, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Giacoia, and Dick Giordano
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #76-82

During the 70s people started losing their interest in Green Lantern. It wasn't the coolest thing of the moment anymore.
Came along Dennis O'Neil. Dennis wanted to try different things with comics. Movies and TV used greater-than-life subjects to talk about common subjects, why couldn't comics do the same?
After taking away all of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow's fortunate and growing him a beard in the Justice League comics, O'Neil decided to team him up with the other Emerald hero from DC and hit the road in a new direction.


Hal Jordan hasn't been in touch with his planet for too long. He kinda lost sight of what really matters as his role of GL, for who he fights for every day.With Green Arrow, his long time friend, they decide to travel the USA to check on the people behind sector 2814. The Corps depower Hal Jordan for this task and one of the Guardians tag along to have a look at of the creatures that they swore to protect.
They go from town to town, Ollie tries to put sense into Hal's head who was lost in military reflexes and rules for too long.

Overall: This award series changed and evolved Hal Jorda into a more human being. Gone was the sillyness of the Silver Age. Comics like the Watchmen or Batman Year One are what they are because of the changes O'Neil started doing in funny books.
Povery, drugs, racism...It touches every subject!
"Green Lantern" become "Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow" (and later Green Lantern/Green Arrow).
And Oliver Queen got the attention he deserved. (hey! I love this character!)
The first Volume don't contain the more controversial stories but it's a great way to start aynway!
Plus it contains an introduction by Dennis O'Neil who give us his opinion and views on changes he started with this book.
A must!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern/Green Arrow Vol. 1
Written by Dennis O'Neil   
Art by Neal Adams, Dick Giordano and Bernie Wrightson
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #83-87, 89; back-ups from Flash (vol. 2) #212-219, 226

In the first half of this book, Hal and Ollie continue their soul searching quest through America.
All the fan-favorite stories to have shaken both the GL and Arrow mythos are in this collection!
Since Hal's not protecting space sector 2814, the Guardians decide to give the power to another torchbearer. John Stewart's first appearance is in this book!
Plus Speedy helps bust a drug dealing black market..only to be found using some!!!

In the second part (from issue 89), it's the later stories of this GL/GA era. After a while, the sales started to slow down a bit. Maybe it was too critical of America, maybe the audience was getting tired.. Anyway, to help boost up sales a bit the story went more and more scifi again, like any GL book should always be about.
And finally, the second feature (mostly Green Lantern Corps stories that aren't reprinted in this collection) became a place for the other half of this duo. Green Arrow went in one direction and Hal Jordan in another.
While Ollie continues his social tales of urban America, Hal meets his successor John Stewart.
Finally the book became a solo GL on-going series again (about John Stewart mostly)...and the duo Hal Jordan/Oliver Queen returned as a second feature in the more successful Flash comics.

Overall: My favorites stories of this era are collected in this volume. Gone is the Guarding tagging along with the Emerald warriors. Instead, Black Canary joins in the duo for most of the stories in this paperback.
There's an introduction by Dick Giordano worth mentioning.
It's an era of change both for the culture awareness and the comic series presented here (it went back to scifi with a new lead character after that).
Great book, DC comics history.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1
Written by Mike W. Barr, Len Wein, Paul Kupperberg, Robin Snyder, Kurt Busiek and Todd Klein
Art by Joe Staton, Dave Gibbons, Carmine Infantino, and others; Cover by Brian Bolland
Format: Trade collecting Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #1-3 and Green Lantern #148, 151-154, 161, 162 and 164-167

The Green Lantern Corps is not only composed of Earth heroes...There's also thousands of other people and creatures from all over the galaxy in its ranks.
This book is about them.
It starts with an event, an important event....The Corps and the Guardians are in danger...against a creature trying to break free into our dimension from the death realm! Nekron try using and corrupting the light of live to breach into the DC universe. From the point of view of Hal Jordan and Katma Tui we see and are introduced to a much bigger Corps like we've never seen before.
After the little arc from the GLCorps miniseries, the book offers second features from the on-going Green Lantern comics. Tales of various membres of the Corps.
Some are more mystic with touches of fantasy, others directly more scifi with bigger-than-life threats.
Different planets, various cultures, one Corps.

Overall: A great compilations!
The stories are well presented and go from one end to a completly opposed one.
They cover quite a large spectrum of type of comics, heroics one, adventure even some comedy!
I specially dig Dave Gibbons' contribution to the GL mythos, being a big fan of this artist.
Also it's a great way to see established some fundamentals GL elements, from the Corps, OA to even Nekron, one of the key players of the latest GL even, Blackest Night.
If you're a fan, know your GL-stuff and are motivated enough to check this compilation of 80s GL comics.

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2
Written by Alan Moore, Len Wein, Kurt Busiek, Dave Gibbons and others
Art by Dave Gibbons, Kevin O'Neill and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern #168, 169, 171-173, 177, 179-183, 185, 187-190 and Tales of the Green Lantern Corps ANNUAL #1

More second-features from GL comics of the past!
In this second volume, the more important stories are collected.
And I mean it really.
More Dave Gibbons stories (art AND writing), Alan Moore entries in the GL universe, Ch'p stories, follow-up to some previous Tales...
It really depicts lots of very different members and the life of very different characters.
There's a story about Stel, a fan-favorite GL, a silent story, political stories, epic journeys...

Overall: More Tales is always a good thing!
My favorites are in this 2nd edition, including one classic "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" introducing the biggest membre of the Corps! :P
Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore started the collaboration in this series!
Very fun look at the GL mythos like the 1st volume. With a slight preference for this one.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps
Written by Geoff Johns, Ron Marz and others
Art by Dave Gibbons, Pete Woods, Jerry Ordway and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special; Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Ion; Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Parallax; Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman; Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman Prime; Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files; back-up stories from Green Lantern #16-20

Playing on the previous Tales, "Tales of the Sinestro Corps" collects all the one-shots made around the Sinestro Corps War event (as seen in my previous GL review).
It's composed of origin stories of certain membres of the yellow corps as well as some sidestories.
Some are told through Lyssa Drak, guardian of the Sinestro book, which is a nice gimmick, it gives the story a sort of "Tales from the Crypt"-vibe.
What's the motivation behind the cybord-Superman? Who is Superboy Prime?
As well as some membres-specific stories that seem like a twisted tales on the original concept from the 80s.

Overall: Very fun book. Specially if you're a fan of the larger DCU or just GL.
It makes a great companion book to the event as well as perfectly introducing bizarre concepts like Superboy Prime and Cyborg Superman, key players of the Sinestro Corps.
Like the original Tales of the GLC, the stories varies from genre and feel.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: Legacy - The Last Will And Testament Of Hal Jordan
Written by Joe Kelly
Art by Brent Anderson and Bill Sienkiewicz
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern: Legacy miniseries.

This is an in-between tale. After Hal was killed as a crazy Parallax and before being brought back in Rebirth.
It's not a retrospective of his life, as some may think.
But a story of redemption through Tom Kalmaku's eyes, a friend of Hal.
It tells how he was able to forgive and accept Hal in his heart again after he went insane.
We also see John Stewart and Guy Gardner. What did happen to them.
How a universe without the Corps was.
And finally how the planet Oa was brought back as well as Kilowog.

Overall: A very different story from all the space-opera usually around the GL characters.
Joe Kelly is a fantastic writer and he tells a great tale of redemption before Parallax was retconned as a creature possessing Hal's mind.
Great story that establishes how they so easuly forgave Hal on his return.
A must!
You may not even like GL and still found some love for this book.

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!


Comic title: Green Lantern: In Brightest Day

Written by John Broome, Alan Moore, Ron Marz and others
Art by Gil Kane, Dave Gibbons and others
Format: Trade collecting Green Lantern #7, 40, 59, 162, 173, 177, 182, 183 and 188, Green Lantern (vol. 2) #51, Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #6 and Green Lantern Corps ANNUAL #2.

A compilation of important Green Lantern stories, picked up by Geoff John himself.
See Hal Jordan's first meeting with the Guardians, or Sinestro, his first team-up with Alan Scott, when he was introduced to Guy Gardner (as well as a What if.. scenario if Guy had been chosen at that moment), John Stewart's introduction, the first hint at a larger prophecy and some GLCorps Tales.

Overall: Okay, I say right from the start my negative points. Some stories, already present in "Tales of the GLC" have been reprinted here. (as well as John Stewart introduction in GL/GA).
On the good part, Geoff Johns introduces the collection and makes a like introduction to each story of this book. Each one!
See the ideas and basic elements which Johns bases his own current series on.
The stories are taken from various eras, there's old school material in here as well as some 90sEXTREME art!
Great must have for all GL fans!
There's a ton of material and pages here!
As well as the seeds of Abin Sur's prophecy, the trend and direction the book is currently taking...

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!


As you see..I'm a big huuuuge GL fan.
Next time we'll dig into Blackest Night.....

The GL franchise is easily likable thanks to a great concept and the fantastic directions it can take depending on the characters and events.

Till next time~


 
That's all for this time's Quickies!

2 comments:

  1. Did want to get B&TB as well as the GL/GA comics at some point. And I guess there's more for me to consider, too! Awesome!

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  2. This "special" Brave & the Bold is great and almost better than the actual B&TB series!
    It's the overlook on Hal & Barry friendship that actually sold it to me!

    And if you like GL, I really recommend to give a try at any Kyle Rayner GL comic/ION.
    He's my favorite Lantern!^^

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