Beware his power.
Robert Venditti (W), Ethan Van Sciver (A), Jason Wright (C)
Cover by: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics
I’ve definitely established that I like Simon Baz, yet I’ve somehow neglected to talk about Hal Jordan. Hal is, by far, my favorite Green Lantern. He’s such a cool character with such an interesting arc in his history. He’s impulsive and cocky, but he’s also fearless and well—strong-willed. The trials and tribulations he’s been put through in his history have been memorable and legendary: Parallax, the War of Light, and the Blackest Night. Those are all such cool stories.
Really, I like all but one of the Earth lanterns: Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Jessica Cruz, Simon, and Hal. Even then, I think John Stewart is still a well-rounded and interesting character. I just dislike him as a (fictional) person. The fact that his character can still get that reaction out of me is still a testament to how well-made this character is. It’s sort of like how, as a Thunderbolts fan, I dislike Moonstone, but I still think she is a well-designed character.
Furthermore, I think the concept of the Lantern rings is genius: high-tech, futuristic weapons that run on emotion and imagination. They are so unique from a creative perspective, and, from a narrative perspective, they imply a depth to their wielders. They also put writers in a position where they need to flesh out their characters to justify their use of the rings.
Plus, I think Sinestro, Atrocitus, and Black Hand are some of the coolest villains/anti-heroes that DC has.
Anyway, onto the comic itself.
I have said before that a good first issue needs to either excite or intrigue.
This first issue really, really excited me.
These Rebirth one-shots have had a good track record of succinct stories that do a fine job of setting up the series that follow. This book is no different.
It opens up showing War World, now controlled by Sinestro and his corps of Yellow Lanterns. Sinestro himself is in bad shape, having drained his own body in his ambitious bid to supplant the missing Green Lanterns Corps. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan is trying to hold onto his corporeal form. Krona’s Gauntlet, which he has been using as a replacement for his ring, has been turning him into a being of pure willpower. This has been causing him to lose his memory and identity and threatening to disperse him into the emotional spectrum. To remedy this, Hal has gone to a dead planet where he has found a green stone, consisting of the same material of which the Green Lantern rings are made. He begins to forge a new Green Lantern ring, which causes a disturbance in the emotional spectrum detected by Lanterns of all colors. Once the ring is completed, he discards the Gauntlet, puts on the ring, and says the oath.
That’s the entirety of what happens in this issue, and it’s awesome. Sometimes intentionally writing a crowd-pleaser issue is all you need. I won’t lie, I was saying the Green Lantern Oath right alongside Hal. When I turned to the full page spread of him in his old Lantern uniform, I smiled ear-to-ear.
It was simple, but it worked. It got me effectively psyched for this series. That’s all it wanted to do. That’s all it needed to do. It showed what the upcoming story is going to be about, with the Sinestro Corps being the dominant power in the universe. It showed that some of the missing Earth GLs will return. It showed Hal doing something brave, reckless, and an affront to the long-passed Guardians of the Universe. The final line is Hal saying, “It’s about time I caused some trouble,” which is an incredibly Hal Jordan thing to say.
The art is solid too, with strong figures and popping colors. The faces are really distinct, and expressions are shown very clearly. However, whenever a character is shown from the side and lifting an arm, their side looks ridiculously bulgy and muscular. That was a tad distracting, but it’s a minor complaint which didn’t come up too often.
There’s really not much else to say. It was a really good first issue. Do you like the Green Lantern Corps? Do you like Hal Jordan? Buy it. You won’t be disappointed.
Final Score: 9/10