Review: Green Lantern #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Art: Dexter Soy and Marco Santucci
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
After the acceptance of Oa into the United Planets, the Guardians of the Universe have to reorganize the Green Lantern Corps. Their mandate takes everyone by surprise and the surprise at the end of the issue results in a confused Jo Mullein.
There have been many numerous directions and new concepts in Green Lantern comics over the past 15 to 20 years. When Geoff Johns brought Hal Jordan back in Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2004 it began a resurgence for the Green Lantern concept which has lasted to this day. It survived “The New 52” and continued to flourish under Robert Venditti during the “Rebirth” era. Superstar writer Grant Morrison had the reigns for a couple years along with N.K. Jemison handling a side story in the Young Animal title, Far Sector which concludes next month. Last month’s Green Lantern #1 indicated that Geoffrey Thorne was ready for the task of leading the Corps in a new direction. Green Lantern #2 shows that he’s not afraid to shake things up and forge his own story while at the same time being fully aware the the history of these characters in the DC Universe. There are two major surprises in this issue that demonstrate this.
Firstly, as it fits into the story of Oa joining the United Planets, it only makes sense that the Green Lantern Corps would have to reorganize and redeploy in order to give way to the sovereignty of the United Planets and whatever law enforcement force they would utilize. The real surprise comes when the Guardians make the decision to drop 1200 sectors and reassign those Lanterns to special duty. John doesn’t exactly take this well at first. Thorne does lean back into the theme of the Guardians doing their own thing and not consulting any of their top Lanterns. They also disband ranks, so there are only 2400 Lanterns of equal status. Some readers will balk at this notion, much like John Stewart at first. However, it’s good to have a shake up to push the Corps into new territory. While Brian Michael Bendis’s run on Superman was atrocious, the idea of the Guardians ceding jurisdiction to the UP makes a lot of sense in the scope of DC’s shared universe outer space/sci-fi concepts.
One of the small things Thorne does that is quite interesting is found in his description of the make up of the Guardians. In the eulogy to her fallen brother, one of the Guardians states, “We are not primates, not mammals, despite our appearance. That we hold physical form at all is our choice, meant to put younger species at ease.” This is a neat bit of world building. It adds something new about the Guardians and also sets them apart from what we think of as humanity. The rest of the eulogy is just as interesting as she explains their perception of death. The Guardians’ relationship to “man” has been a theme that goes back to the “Hard Travelling Heroes” stories of the 1970’s and it remains just as prescient today.
The other big surprise comes at the end of the issue. Without spoiling anything, the results leave Jo Mullein, the Lantern starring in the aforementioned Far Sector with only Teen Lantern Keli. Bringing Jo Mullein into the main Green Lantern title is a great move. She’s proven to be more than the lead in Far Sector and is quite exciting in her own right. She has her own way of approaching things and as she’s been shown to be a unique Lantern in her own right, she and Keli will definitely have some things in common.
The art is awfully good as well. The first few panels that depict some of the destroyed areas from last issue’s terrorist attack recall some of the sci-fi comics of the ’50’s and ’60’s. Additionally, Soy and Santucci get all they can out of the emotions in their faces. Be it John or Guy Gardner or even the Guardian, it compliments the scenes perfectly.
I’m not really sure what Keli’s role will be in this series. Like John, it doesn’t seem like she belongs with the Green Lantern Corps. She has minimal exposure this issue and it seems to suit the book. She could become a liability for the title, but Green Lantern #2 doesn’t really suffer from her appearance like the previous issue.
Even better than last issue, Green Lantern #2 demonstrates that there’s a lot of room in the Universe for the concept and a lot of new ground to be covered in this series. The Green Lantern concept has operated on the notion that it’s not just one single individual. Hal Jordan may have been the focus for many of the characters’ 80 plus year history, but this series shows that there’s more characters and ideas to be explored through the core concept of a sentient being with a power ring fueled force of will.