Monday, September 26, 2011

Green Lantern Corps #1 - A Review

Green Lantern Corps is another ‘New 52’ title that hasn’t been Revamped so much as it has been Renumbered. One might also call this book a Returning, as long-time GLC scribe Peter Tomasi returns to write it. Also Returning is GLC main-stay Guy Gardner – most recently seen headlining the Emerald Warriors series.

Following the aftermath of the War Of The Green Lanterns, both Guy Gardner and John Stewart – Green Lanterns and Earthlings – try to build something more stable. Stewart does this literally, returning to Earth to ply his trade as an architect while Gardner seeks work as a teacher and football coach. As the two discuss the recent changes in their lives, they are summoned back to the planet Oa and charged with the investigation of a series of murders. The issue concludes with the two senior Lanterns and their hand-picked team arriving on the scene of the crime only to find an abattoir’s worth of gore waiting for them.

Tomasi’s script is heavy on characterization and light on plot but that’s just what we need for this first issue. Presuming that the reader is probably familiar with what a Green Lantern ring can do but not so familiar with any Green Lanterns apart from Hal Jordan is a smart gamble given the recently release of the Green Lantern movie and Tomasi doesn’t waste time establishing Guy and John for new readers. Gardner is depicted true to form as a man’s man and guy’s guy – confident, enthusiastic and good-hearted but not the best when it comes to thinking things through. Stewart is depicted as more of a thinker but also as a man of principle, integrity and – when needed – action. We don’t get much analysis of the alien Lanterns but – knowing Tomasi’s past record – I’m sure that will come with the next issue.

The artwork by Fernando Pasarin is a good match for this title. Though he gets little chance in this issue to draw creative constructs (the standard by which I judge all Green Lantern artists), what few scenes do feature such constructs look good. The alien creatures are suitably interesting to look at and the storytelling from panel to panel flows well. Be warned though – this book is just as gory as a lot of DC’s newer horror titles, with scenes depicting a decapitation and a woman being cut neatly in half.

My opinion may be biased as a brazen Green Lantern fanboy but I think this is one of the best books to come out of the revamp so far. Tomasi doesn’t fix what isn’t broken and introduces us to the two main Earthling characters with ease. Pasarin’s style suits itself well to the scope and story this sort of book requires. All in all, a must read.

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