New 52 Review: Green Lantern #1

Green Lantern #1, Geoff Johns (w), Ivan Reis (a) [Print Edition]

THE PITCH: The greatest villain in the history of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro… Is the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps? Plus: Hal Jordan is a jerk.

HOW WAS IT? This is, quite simply, the best issue of Green Lantern since The Sinestro Corps War crossover in 2008. I realize that some fans are going to take exception that, but I’ll make it even worse before I make it better: other than the Sinestro Corps War, and Green Lantern Rebirth, this is the best Green Lantern comic in decades… Mainly because I haven’t really liked the Green Lantern book in a while.

And here’s why, if you’re still with me: with very few exceptions, Hal Jordan – the center of the Green Lantern universe since Rebirth – hasn’t been much of a character at all. Sure, things happen, but they happen around him, people tell him he’s the greatest Green Lantern ever, he looks pissed off, and then some more things happen… Usually involving lots of different colors.

I’m not totally trying to be glib, but for a while now, I’ve been wondering where the Geoff Johns who wrote the best single issue of 2007 – the kick-off to SCW – was. And where was that same writer who literally made me whoop out loud at the end of that same crossover? He wasn’t there during Blackest Night, and he hasn’t been there for dozens of issues of the book.

Well, I’m extremely pleased to say, Geoff Johns is back. I don’t know if it’s the energy of this relaunch or what, but right now the writer is two for two in my book, first delivering a hilarious and exciting first issue of Justice League, and now a perfect synthesis of new reader friendly and deep continuity in Green Lantern #1. I’ll get to Ivan Reis’ art in a second, but without getting too over the top (“too late!” said everybody), it gives me a huge sigh of relief to know that the Geoff Johns who got me back into comics is… Back into comics.

So what’s happening in this issue? Basically what I said in the pitch: Sinestro is pissed he’s a Green Lantern; the Green Lanterns are pissed he’s a Green Lantern; the Sinestro Corps is pissed he’s a Green Lantern; and Hal Jordan is so happy to be human, he’s back to being a delightful a-hole. To say more is to ruin the surprises of the book, but like I said before, if you’ve never read Green Lantern before, you’ll have a great time reading this, and have no trouble keeping up. If you’re an old reader though, what Johns has done is streamline the whole storyline so that it’s fun again.

I said I’d mention Doug Mahnke's art, and I will: put simply, this guy continues to be one of the best superhero artists working today, and one of the only guys working who can have energy blobs flying everywhere and still make sense of the action. I’m glad he’s still working on Green Lantern.

So, if you’ve never picked it up, or left the title, the good news is: Green Lantern is back, and better than ever. When, in a while, at least.

BEST BIT: Hal Jordan explaining why he took Carol Ferris out to dinner. He’s such an idiot.

WORST BIT: The bit with the Guardians after Sinestro leaves them is probably the most continuity heavy portion of the book, and I wish the whole book was clean and easy for newbies.

EASTER EGGS: Not sure it’s an Easter Egg, but after the insanity of the past few years, it’s nice to see Hal and Carol back to their basic relationship – I’m sure the movie had something to do with that.

ACCESSIBLE TO NEW READERS? Mostly, yeah!

WILL YOU BE PICKING UP ISSUE 2? Yup!

RATING: 45/52

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New 52 Review: Green Arrow #1, Justice League International #1, Hawk & Dove #1, and O.M.A.C. #1

New 52 Review: 'Animal Man' #1 Is The Pick Of The Litter

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