Review: Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Jeremy Adams and Alex Segura
Art: Eduardo Pansica & Julio Ferreira and Mario Foccillo
Colors: Luis Guerrero and Prasad Rao
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Insomnia strikes against Hal Jordan and the Emerald Gladiator must face his greatest fears…or at least his most obvious fears.
Strangely, the biggest positive for Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1 is how seamlessly it flows from last month’s Green Lantern #2. Jeremy Adams set it up very well as things felt very organic at the end of the issue. In that sense, this could simply be Green Lantern #3 and it would feel like Adams’ story was just continuing. It will be interesting to see how this Knight Terrors interlude ends and gets back to the same spot at the end of issue #2.
Eduardo Pansica does a nice job delivering on the visuals as he delves a little into the horror and gives Hal some terrified looks as he faces down his … “fears.” Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1 also contains a Sinestro story that appears to pick up from his surprise appearance in Green Lantern #1. Sinestro also appears to be affected by Insomnia’s attack and he has his own fears. There’s some real irony here as Sinestro is known for operating in fear. At its core this back up seems to he more interesting than the lead story due to this irony and that there’s a lot more potential for revelatory storytelling with Sinestro. Readers know a lot about Hal Jordan including the biggest obstacles he’s faced in his life.
And that’s sort of the biggest problem with Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1. We know the traumatic issues in Hal’s life are the death of his father, keeping his job at Ferris Air, conflict with the Guardians and his turn into Parallax. It’s no surprise they show up here, but they are just sort of glanced over. Parallax seems to be set up for a major conflict in next month’s Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #2, so there’s a chance for more development there.
The death of Hal’s father has been done to death in previous stories as well has having to confront his past as Parallax. I’m not sure all of these are really fears, though, especially, since Hal is supposed to be able to overcome great fear. This doesn’t seem like a premise that should be that hard for Hal to deal with. This contributes to a lack of stakes for the issue. Part of that is also that Hal doesn’t understand what’s going on and that there are stakes as outlined in other Knight Terrors books. Additionally, a reader who’s not buying those other Knight Terrors books doesn’t really understand the stakes either. It’s no fault of the creative team on this issue, but this is a feeling that pervades this event.
If this was a Justice League story arc that wasn’t interrupting almost every title, I think it would play better. It could be an interesting and good JL story (maybe JL and JL Dark story), but it doesn’t seem to add anything to the crossover titles. I wouldn’t even consider these “fears” of Hal to be fear. They are mostly past trauma that he’s already dealt with. When it comes to conflict with the Guardians, I don’t even think that’s fearful or traumatic for Hal. I think he relishes confronting them. Isn’t that sort of in line with his characterization of challenging authority? And since he can create his own ring, the Guardians can’t even take that from him. One “fear” does have some potential- inability to hold a job.
Does Hal truly fear not being able to keep a day job? He’s had a number throughout his existence, test pilot, toy salesman, Air Force pilot, and truck driver. It’s touched on really quickly, but is this something Hal actually fears and hasn’t dealt with? There’s story to be mined here. It may not happen in this two-parter because it’s not sexy or sensational, but it would be a different angle to explore as part of Hal’s character.
Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1 is ok. It’s limited due to the scope of the event and that it’s not really clear what’s going on unless one is reading the entire event, or at least the introductory issue. The event may bring you to all the tie-ins, but this issue won’t get you excited about the event. Adams does his best to connect it to the main Green Lantern book, but it clearly veers off from Green Lantern #2. The lack of stakes doesn’t help, nor does “fear” being the plot point since that’s what Green Lanterns overcome easily and regularly. It’s Tuesday, right?