Review: Green Lantern #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Jeremy Adams and Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art: Xermanico and Montos
Colors: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and Adriano Lucas
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Hal doesn’t let his failure stop him as he follows some advice from Kilowog and the mystery deepens for John Stewart and Guy Gardner.
Nostalgia can never be underestimated, but Green Lantern #2, like last issue, has a familiarity that is truly engaging. Jeremy Adams not only gets Kilowog’s voice right, but also the way he interacts with others, especially Hal. Additionally, Adams gets some personality traits that remind the reader of what’s likable about Hal as well as the complexity of the character. And, just for kicks, Adams brings in an appearance of the Demolition Team who first appeared back in Green Lantern (Volume 2) #176. (FTR- I bought that issue new off the stands!) And, where’s Rosie’s cigar? This callback to the mid-’80’s reminds the reader that Hal’s entire history is in play including some of his lesser known adversaries. The appearance of the Manhunter costume last issue functioned in a similar fashion, although the Manhunters are certainly adversaries with higher stakes than the Demolition Team.
In the same vein, Hal’s ability to utilize the Oan energy in the Manhunter to create a power ring connects this series to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, the series in which he first fashioned his own ring out of energy. As Adams uses Hal’s history and character to drive the issue, the same is true for his relationship with Carol Ferris. Adams doesn’t try to convince the reader that they SHOULD be together, but rather approaches the situation with the same complexity as he approaches Hal’s character. It’s easy to want Hal and Carol to be together, but as the history of that relationship it may not be the best thing for either of them. Carol shows all the conflicting emotions that make this feel like a real relationship. Will Carol’s fiance Nathan turn out to be a douchebag? Only time will tell, but this may be a classic Silver Age love interest that is actually better off without the hero.
Grant Morrison, in both seasons of The Green Lantern, approached the Carol question as well. It’s not out of the question, but Hal and Carol could potentially end up as friends, maybe best friends and that would truly be unique and an additional layer to their relationship. So far, this feels like it could tread new ground and not simply “ship” the classic relationship. Carol’s such a smart and capable woman it doesn’t fit that she would continue to go back to Hal when she constantly points out how he doesn’t hold up his end of a romantic relationship. It makes perfect sense that this is an important subplot for this series. Like Adams’ run on The Flash, the personal life of the main character is just as important part of the series. This grounds the book so that despite all the fantastic super-hero stuff that happens readers are able to have something very relatable.
Green Lantern #2 looks great, as well. Xermanico captures both aspects of these stories both in the exciting Green Lantern sequences as well as the concerned Carol sequence. Adriano Lucas provides some outstanding uses of color especially when Hal is flying in downtown Coast City and the page of Hal falling back to Earth he combines with Xermanico for a truly spectacular image. Not to be outdone, Montos in the John Stewart second feature gives a clinic in faces as he makes John and his Mama feel real. The reality of these expressions include the reader in their conversation in a fascinating way. Furthermore, this John Stewart story, though moving slowly presents the reader with a couple of mystery that Phillip Kennedy Johnson is revealing slowly and so far it’s working.
Like Adams’ The Flash, it’s difficult to find a negative in Green Lantern #2. The John Stewart feature is moving slowly, and that may not sit well with everyone. Perhaps, there should’ve been some follow up with the appearance of Sinestro’s appearance last issue, as well. Overall, these are very minor because what we get is so strong.
DC Comics may not be smart enough to keep Jeremy Adams on The Flash, but at least they are keeping him on something! Green Lantern #2 is only the second issue of this newest volume of Hal Jordan’s adventures, but it’s already proving to be the full package. The beautiful art supports a character driven story that draws the reader in with its familiarity and attention to the complexity in Hal’s character and relationships.