Review: GREEN LANTERN #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeremy Adams, Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Xermanico, Montos
Colours: Romulo Fajardo Jr., Adriano Lucas
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Green Lantern #1: Spinning out of the events of Dark Crisis, the Guardians of Oa at the heart of the Green Lantern Corps have quarantined Sector 2814, home of the planet Earth—and its champion along with it! A heartbreaking defeat has sent Hal reeling, returning home to rediscover his roots…and find the man responsible for ruining his life: Sinestro. From the visionary team of Jeremy Adams and Xermanico omes a tale of redemption, loss, and finding out that maybe…just maybe…you can go home again. At least if you’re willing to hot-wire a power ring to do it. Also featuring part one of John Stewart: War Journal from writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson and artist Montos!
One thing that I’ve love about the Dawn of DC initiative is that DC is giving many of their long-time characters a more familiar status quo – but with new elements that show the characters have evolved and are still evolving. There is no wholesale retconning of DCU history back to the pre-Flashpoint era. Instead, their history through the New 52 and Rebirth eras are acknowledged and kept as part of each character’s backstory. However, some of the changes from those eras may be reversed or undone, they still happened.
After several years of Hal’s solo adventures centering around adventures in outer space and other dimensions, Jeremy Adams has brought Hal Jordan back to Earth, looking to resume his old job as a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft and rekindle his romance with Carol Ferris.
The issue’s introductory text gives us some interesting information. The Guardians of the Universe have disappeared, which seems a bit repetitive. How many times have the Guardians disappeared so far? But the important thing is that they seem to be out of the picture for the time being.
Also, the United Planets seem to have been making some surprising moves. They have seized control of the Green Lantern Corps. However, they seem to have a a secret agenda concerning Sector 2814, home of the planet Earth. They have declared it an “unsafe liability” and reassigned Earth’s Green Lanterns to other sectors.
This sounds somewhat nefarious. It seems someone powerful in the UP has plans for Earth, and they don’t want Earth’s Green Lanterns to interfere. This sounds very unlike the United Planets Brian Michael Bendis established in his run on the Superman books. The UP Bendis established was somewhat in awe of Superman and were generally well-disposed to Earth and its heroes.
It sounds like some corrupting influence has infiltrated the UP. While it’s spells bad news for Hal and his allies, it certainly provides a more fertile ground for interesting stories than Bendis’ original concept.
Also, we see that Sinestro is also on Earth. Is he mixed up in whatever is going on with the United Planets? Or is he got his own agenda. Whichever s the case, it’s only inevitable that he will be causing trouble for Hal in the upcoming months.
Given that Hal has been a full-time space cop for the past several years, younger readers might not be aware of Hal’s employment troubles. In the 60s and 70s Hal went through periods where he had been fired from Ferris Aircraft and tried a number of other day jobs to make ends meet. Carol doesn’t appear happy to see him and he gives a disastrous performance in the flight simulator this issue. So, it seems unlikely that he’ll be going back to his old test pilot job soon.
Speaking of which, the presence of the flight simulator was a nice callback to Hal’s origin story. In that story, Abin Sur summoned Hal to him, bringing along the flight simulator Hal was using along with him.
And the villain that Hal encounters, Steel Fury, is wearing armour created from a Manhunter robot. And the Manhunters were created by the Guardians as their first attempt at creating a cosmic police force. I wonder if this is just a reference to Green Lantern history or a tease that the Manhunters might be making a return.
This issue also includes a backup story featuring John Stewart. We are shown that John is also on Earth. This leads me to wonder if this story is set before the United Planets quarantined Sector 2814. Or if John has also quit the Corps and returned to Earth.
However, we only see John on Earth briefly before Phillip Kennedy Johnson moves the action to a parallel Earth. Here we see Guy Gardner and another unnamed Lantern attacked by a villain called the Revenant Queen, who is seeking revenge on John Stewart. Presumably, she would be after that Earth’s John, but I suspect she will be coming after his Earth-0 counterpart.
Overall, I liked the Hal story in Green Lantern #1 better than the backup. But, it’s still unclear what’s going on in the latter, so I will have to reserve judgement on this story for now. What Johnson’s shown us so far is intriguing, and he is a capable writer, so I am optimistic he will deliver a great story. But will it outshine Adams’ main feature? That remains to be seen.
Both Adams and Johnson provide intriguing jumping on points for their Green Lantern stories which are bolstered by superb artwork from Xermanico and Montos, respectively. While the John Stewart backup is intriguing, my attention is primarily drawn to the main story. Jeremy Adams has worked true magic for Wally West. So, I am eagerly looking forward to see if he can do the same for Hal Jordan.