As previously blogged about in the PiercingMetal Musings; DC Comics recently re-launched a number of titles and started them off from issue #1 under the branding of “The New 52”. The initiative’s prime objective being to up the number of titles available each month and to offer new readers an easier chance to jump on board with their characters. New costumes and beginnings are par for the course with the reboot but a number of the company’s most historic moments shall remain unaffected. The New 52 appears to have segmented the titles into a number of different groups based on the relation of the character – for instance there is a Superman and Batman grouping to enjoy and each title relates directly to the character. From these segments I have opted to share my thoughts on the first issues for your reading pleasure. The Green Lantern mythos gets four titles and while that initially surprised me, in the end it made a lot of sense when you consider that he had a movie released over the summer of 2011. The titles are Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: The New Guardians and Red Lanterns.
Green Lantern #1: Sporting a cover that features Sinestro, we find the most infamous of villains once again wearing a Green Lantern Corps uniform and being directed by the Guardians as being the one whom the ring had chosen. Is he on board with this decision? Well, I leave that discovery to you readers at home. The title gives us a non-powered Hal Jordan and we see him dealing with the pitfalls of normal life with his on and off again romantic interest Carol Ferris. I am very behind in my Green Lantern mythos and have yet to tackle the epic “Blackest Night” and “Brightest Day” trade paperbacks that I have but I can honestly agree with those who said that newbie’s to the character might have a little trouble following him since this appears to pick up in the middle of something. Maybe that will change going forward. I hope so since this is the flagship title of this segment of The New 52 titles.
Green Lantern Corps #1: As a longtime Green Lantern fan I had to say that I was glad that a title dedicated to the actual Galactic Police Force that the Lanterns are was actually part of the relaunch. This makes sense with the overall number of active Green Lanterns in DC Comics continuity. This issue starts off right with a questionable baddie and his Lantern keepers who are each dispatched with malice and quite violently. We see a Lantern decapitated on the second page or so. So something nasty is out there and after them all. We find an actually likeable Guy Gardner trying to lead a normal life outside of his Lantern duties and John Stewart being caught into the mire of red tape and bureaucracy in his spare time. The two head to Oa and lament the idea how they maintained a public persona instead of wearing masks like Hal and Kyle did along the way. When learning of the earlier attack they head to a location with a small company of other Lanterns and find only more mystery and death. I had to say that the storyline did keep me curious from beginning to end and I find myself looking forward to the second issue. The writing by Peter Tomasi felt strong enough in terms of the characters while the art of Fernando Pasarin was spot on. I really enjoyed this title.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1: I will admit that I had little hope or interest in this one based on a “New Guardians” title that was released back in 1988 after the “Millennium” series. That title was awful in my humble comics fan opinion so this would have to be a good one for me to get on board. The new “New Guardians” begins in a bar where we meet Kyle Rayner for the first time. He is an artist running out of luck and money until one of the Guardians pays him a visit saying how he has been chosen for the Green Lantern Corps. As the title progresses we meet a number of other Lantern types from across different color spectrums. There is the Red, the Yellow (or Sinestro Corps), Indigo and Star Sapphire. Some of these Lanterns appear less than friendly and we see how they are dealt with before it all comes to a head at the final page where a newly green Rayner meets the representatives of these other rings hierarchy. The different rings and their respective corps all made appearances in the “Brightest Day” storyline which was the follow up to “Blackest Night”. This was a fast paced read that kept my interest so I was happy about that, and I am curious about how this whole grouping of ring bearers will progress over time. Nice work.
Red Lanterns #1: More characters first observed in the latest Green Lantern story arcs and these “Red Lanterns” appear to be a much less forgiving sort than their green contemporaries. Written by Pete Milligan and art by Ed Benes, this one starts off with a quirky intro that will definitely appeal to cat lovers. We soon meet Atrocitus who is a big, pissed off alien that holds a serious contempt for the Guardians who we learn were responsible for the death of his people. He leads the Red Lanterns in their quest to eliminate the Guardians and the corps of this type is under his command. It will be interesting to see how this group of characters interacts with the green ones who work for the side of the Guardians while he seeks to exterminate them. Clearly there is a misunderstanding somewhere as I always thought those little blue guys were the good side of the fence. Atrocitus might be a little crazy in his vengeful rage and we are tipped off to this by the revelation that he keeps the corpse of Mad Guardian Krona in a secreted location. This title could be a winner and it is surely different.
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