Geoff Johns, Sam Humphries (W), Ethan Van Sciver, Ed Benes (A), Jason Wright (C)
Cover by: Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright
Publisher: DC Comics
After Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire’s Justice League of America series came to a close, I was pretty much convinced that I would never see Simon Baz ever again. That was a disappointing idea to me. I really liked this Green Lantern, this down-on-his luck guy with a troubled past given one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. I thought the costume was really cool too. Seeing him make a return at all was a really appealing idea to me. Seeing him paired up with the newest Green Lantern of sector 2814, Jessica Cruz, was even cooler. I like her a lot too; the idea of a Green Lantern with anxiety disorder is creative idea. She’s a person for whom conquering the fears her mind throws at her is an act of great courage unto itself.
With the realigning of DC that Rebirth is bringing paired with Legendary Star-Lord writer Sam Humphries, this book has all of the pieces in place to turn into something really cool.
The story of this issue is pretty simple and straightforward, foreshadowing to future threats aside. It opens up with a previously unknown Guardian fleeing aliens called the Dominators with a box that holds a mysterious and forbidden ring. The mere opening of the box destroys the Dominator pursuers. From here, we get a look at Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz just trying to get on with their lives. Simon is cleaning graffiti off of his sister’s house while speaking to a government agent who wants information about the Green Lantern Corps. Jessica is visiting her sister at a soccer game. They both get a warning about an alien ship landing on Earth to which they both respond. It holds a Manhunter drone. The two cannot cooperate, and they are both handily defeated by the Manhunter. It is revealed to be a test by Hal Jordan. He is entrusting Earth’s protection to them, as he is leaving to track down the Green Lantern Corps. He sets them up with the Justice League. The issue ends with the revelation that Atrocitus has a plan to invade Earth called the Red Dawn.
This is a good introductory issue to these characters. It gives a nice insight to what makes Cruz and Baz tick while giving intriguing and potentially universe shaking hints at the future of this comic.
Green Lanterns have generally been some of the most interesting heroes, as each one of them as their own unique hang-ups and motivations. Hal is the hotshot, John is the soldier, Guy is the brawler, and Kyle is the artist. The fact that the ring is powered by said motivations makes the idea all the cooler and more interesting. Baz and Cruz are good additions to this roster. Simon Baz is trying to make up for his past mistakes and protect is family. Jessica Cruz is trying to figure out why the ring chose her while trying to conquer her own fears.
The art is really nice, with great detail given to textures and eye-catching colors worthy of a Green Lantern comic.
I have a rule about first issues. It needs to intrigue and/or excite. This comic does both with the precision and skill only writers like Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries have. It’s is a pretty simple issue, and the reasons it works are equally simple. Its goal is to make you interested in the future of this comic, and it succeeds. It’s a cool book, and the characters are very likeable while being very flawed. Give it a read. You won’t regret it.
Final Score: 8/10