Review: Green Lantern Legacy
Writer: Minh Le
Artist: Andie Tong
Colorist: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Green Lantern Legacy follows the story of Tai Pham. His grandmother dies after her store is destroyed and their neighborhood has been taken over by gangs and all around bad people. Tai is willed his grandmother’s green jade ring, which as one can imagine, turns out to come with a surprise. His two best friends, Tommy and Serena along with my second favorite Green Lantern John Stewart (sorry John, Jessica Cruz is really great), help him develop his skills as sector 2814’s new Green Lantern taking up the mantle held by his grandmother.
Tai is faced with some fearful Yellow Lanterns as he goes through his training. He must combat them and his giant head that comes along with being an adolescent with a power ring.
Green Lantern Legacy knows exactly what it wants to be. An entryway for kids to spend time with the space cops. Minh Le creates a realistic, three dimensional character who, if given this incredible responsibility, would act exactly like this. I know I would have. Tai is likable but stupid. So, you know, a 13 year old boy. His friends, Tommy and Serena, are excellent sounding boards. They handle it the way kids do. Everything about these characters ring true. I feel like I could open my door and see them outside.
The superstar of this book is Andie Tong. Wow. The pages are beautiful. The art makes it clear that there are softer edges to this story. Sarah Stern helps with that immensely for sure, but Tong is on fire. Tai’s costume change is so delightful. The action pages work. Tong never overwhelms us with too much. There are just enough big panels cut in with focused panels for the reader’s to linger, but not be distracted.
The biggest problem with this, besides the rewriting of canon, is that there are no real twists. The plot, while inspirational, follows a pattern that is cut from the cloth of every imaginable very special episode of every sitcom. That could be just that it is directed at a specific audience and the team didn’t trust them to be able to follow along with something with more complications.
I love what Green Lantern Legacy is doing. I get it. In general the DC Kids/Zoom line has been knocking it out of the park. My first comic ever was a Green Lantern. In that the Demolition Team tried to kill Hal. It was not really for kids. I like the idea of creating a kinder, gentler line to bring in tweens and little kids without giving them nightmares. Pick this up and get a kid interested in comics. S/he will thank you in 20 years.