Green Lantern February 2011

All the Green Lantern titles get back into alignment this month, with all three wrapping up their individual story arcs in preparation for the kick off of War of the Green Lanterns.

I made no bones in my last post that I’ve been pretty dissatisfied with Green Lantern over the last while, so the fact we’re moving into the next big storyline gives me some hope we’re actually going to start seeing some pay off for the last year or so’s storylines, especially in the case of Hal and the New Guardians.

Green Lantern Corps has long been a favourite of mine, and again I made a point of how much I was enjoying Tony Bedard’s work over the other GL titles in my last post.  However, this month’s issue I found particularly weak.  To an extent it suffers from the same issue that Green Lantern’s had for the last while.  With all the focus on the Weaponer and Sinestro, the Green Lanterns become a footnote in their own book.  However this pales next to the incredibly forced inclusion of Firestorm.  I stopped reading Brightest Day several months ago, having realised I had no real interest in most of its plot lines.  So to suddenly have Firestorm turn up and info dump the latest goings on felt like it really derailed the storyline Tony Bedard had been telling over the last 4 months.

Its a particular shame, given how well Bedard previously handled tie-ins, when the events of Blackest Night spilled over into REBELS a year ago.  That felt very natural to me, and worked well with the story he’d already been telling.  The way this issue plays out, I have to either wonder if he originally had a different direction for this final issue, or if the storyline was stretched out to line up for War of the GLs, and the extra issue opened the door to the Brightest Day appearance.  Either way it all just felt a bit clunky to me.  That all being said though, I’m loving Tyler Kirkham’s art, and in general I’m still finding this the book I enjoy most of the three.  I hope this team plans on stick around for a while.

To be honest, this issue provides a similar thing to what we see in both Green Lantern and Emerald Warriors this month.  In the case of all three, little is actually resolved, in favour of having characters put in place for future storylines, be it the Weaponer, Zardor or Krona.    In the case of Emerald Warriors though, this is probably the most understandable, since this initial arc was really about setting up the new series, and while it perhaps dragged on a bit long (again, possibly to keep things lined up?), once War of the Green Lanterns is over, I’m assuming we’ll be heading straight back to the uncharted sectors for the continuation of this storyline of Guy and co cleaning up these more lawless regions (an idea I do really like).  I certainly have to assume locating Sodam Yat and freeing him from Zardor is going to be high on the GLs “todo” list.

Green Lantern meanwhile finally sees the New Guardians storyline that’s been running since last April come to an end.  Well, except its not an end.  Nothing is resolved, and in fact this whole 9-part storyline doesn’t have any sort of conclusion is massively frustrating.  This kind of protracted run-in to an event was done far more successfully with the introduction of the various Corps before Blackest Night, however, this is a complaint I’ve made countless times, and I can only hope Johns has a more satisfying story structure planned out for post-War of the Green Lanterns.  That said, I still enjoyed this month’s issue, as it brought this chapter to a close, giving us the Hal versus Krona face off that I’d really have rather seen last month (again, was that Atrocitus issue purely to keep all the books lined up with a larger plan?).  It does lose its place slightly after the confrontation, with a Hal/Justice League scene that didn’t quite work, as I didn’t feel Johns had made enough of Hal being torn between them and the New Guardians in the past.  The scene played a little as payoff for a conflict that hadn’t really been seen.

We do get some more of those patent Geoff Johns teases though in the meantime.  Most worrying for me was the Guardians hinting about one of the Earth GLs being lost.  I’m hoping this doesn’t mean one of Kyle/John/Guy will be killed off and instead, it just means they’ve left the Corps (which could possibly tie in well with Guy being in the uncharted regions – the Guardians may not take well to his Red Lantern infection after all – although they’d have the same complaint with Ganthet).  However the implication does seem clear that one of the Earth Green Lanterns won’t be coming out of this event.  If that is the case, then surely John and Kyle are the only two at risk?  I can’t say I’d be happy about losing either of them, and I really hope this is a red herring.

At the back of every DC comic this week, we’re also getting a preview of War of the Green Lanterns, which is set largely in flashback.  The biggest thing of interest here being Ganthet and Krona both looking at a third figure who is all chained up, in relation to the entities.  I’m guessing a big reveal in War of the GLs is going to be this third character.  We also see the continuing changing of Green Lantern history, with the Guardians now formed prior to Krona’s disasterous attempts to look into the origin of the universe (previously that event was what spurred the Maltusians to become the Guardians as penance for that mistake), and they also sport the white lantern symbol on their outfits.  At this stage, Geoff Johns tinkering with history this much is no surprise however, as he does like to fit the history of the characters to the story he’s currently telling and I’ll be intrigued to see who it was that was chained up.

So overall, this month’s GL comics were more of a relief for me, with the current holding position finally ending so we can get on with the event.  I sincerely hope we don’t see a repeat of this once this event is over though, however I did enjoy Green Lantern and Emerald Warriors this month.  While Geoff Johns has previously stated that he’s all about the big events these days, I think this last year in Green Lantern comics have shown the problems with this structure.  But then, they remain some of DC’s big sellers, but I really hope all three books get some time to breathe.  We went straight from one big event to another a year later, and I think that was just too soon.  I hope that once War of the Green Lanterns concludes we get a couple of years to let the fallout be explored (and let the Flash titles get some of the limelight).

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