DC Comics’ newly formed universe has brought about many a change. Tons of new books and characters (which you can see in our weekly reviews here) have been introduced, and many of the usual suspects are still around. Now, sometimes change can be a force for good. Has the new DCU brought about the good in one of Touring the Cosmos‘ most spotlighted characters, Green Lantern?
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy and Keith Champagne
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Green Lantern was one of the few titles where a lot of the mythos was kept in tact, and the story had only a minor blip during the transition. The main story points that readers were left with just before the reboot have mostly been kept together, and the story has very nearly picked up where it left off. So why does it feel like Hal Jordan and co. have lost some of their flavor? With such a rich history and an amazing creative team on the book, why does it feel as though Green Lantern’s efforts have been somewhat lackluster?
Geoff Johns has undoubtedly been the king of comics for a while. Some of you may argue, but let’s be fair. Johns has given the big three of DC a fourth, and has spun some of the best stories (Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night, just to name a few) of the last few years. But now that DC has decided to do a grand overhaul of their ‘verse and Johns is playing a bigger role in it all (Chief Creative Director), his work has slowly changed. Sinestro is currently a member of the Green Lantern Corps and Hal Jordan has no ring, which is a great twist, but it seems as though the execution of it all is pretty obvious and lacking a bit of emotion. Johns has, as usual, weaved enough twists and turns into his story to keep a reader interested, but it just seems like the quick, five minute reads of Green Lantern has lost its usual charm. Sinestro is in the midst of his own corps, yet the Yellow Lanterns and Sinestro himself aren’t showing the usual emotions in that scenario. Sinestro has met some familiar Korugarians, but the relationships seem a little shallow. Now it may be early to call this all a foul, but it’s hard to compare this work to some of Johns’s better stuff. The art from Mahnke has been consistently awesome, with him pouring as much emotion into the pages as he can.
Right now is not the time to really get into the three spin-off titles that share the Lantern moniker, although we should take a quick look. Red Lanterns (Milligan, Benes) follows the popular villain(?) Atrocitus, and his merry band of blood spewing psychopaths. One of the most popular corps to come out of Johns’s run, Red Lanterns, like Green Lantern, has really failed to amaze like many fans expected. Milligan is putting a lot of focus on the inner workings of the corps, but with Atrocitus jumping from planet to planet it is difficult to get engaged in any of the tales being told. The Green Lantern Corps (Tomasi, Pasarin) is probably the best of the four GL titles (yeah, I said it), with plenty of action and intrigue to keep readers interested. Corps is really progressing the Lantern mythology, whereas the other titles aren’t quite keeping up. New Guardians (Bedard, Kirkham) has a very promising premise, but where Corps takes one big step forward, New Guardians seems to be taking only baby steps. None of these books are bad, and all have amazing talent working on them, but it seems as though followers of Green Lantern have been spoiled with such big sagas in the past that the smaller stories seem a bit too slow.
This brings us to our next problem. Have the fans of Green Lantern been so spoiled that it is hard to keep our attention anymore? Have the massive crossover story lines brought us to a point where anything less just won’t do? Is this a problem with not only Green Lantern, but the big two publishers as a whole? It would be presumptuous of anyone to make that call, but from a simple standpoint, it might seem so. Johns has created a very thorough new mythology for Green Lantern, and once he started exploring it he just did not stop. Now that the well is seemingly dry, though, Green Lantern better not fall by the wayside. Although wallets are given a break, the mind, which has been running at light speed for so long, following story after story, has been given a little unnecessary break. Has Johns run out of tricks for Green Lantern? Hard to see that being the truth. Hopefully Johns and co. (which is the most likely case) are just brewing up their next massive crossover which we have all become familiar with. Green Lantern has deservedly earned the attention of many people over the last few years; let’s hope that the ride isn’t over yet.