If you’ve followed Green Lantern comics at all over the past few years, you know that Geoff Johns is the grandmaster of the character. He’s taken Hal into places he’s never gone before and he shows no signs of stopping. So it only makes sense that with the New 52 that he would be the one behind crafting the adventures of the very famous Lantern, but he had a different plan in mind. Sure Hal Jordan is in the series, but the focus of this initial arc is on his primary nemesis Sinestro.
After all these years Johns has a good grasp on writing dialogue for aliens, especially aliens that are space cops or the immortal bosses of space cops. This might be the part of his job that he excels at best because there seems to be a peculiar formula with his storylines, that being “Sinestro and Hal don’t like each other, Oops now they have to work together!” which can get rather tiresome after a few issues. But you can’t deny that he knows how to write for these characters even if they’re going through similar motions that they’ve already seen.
I think Johns’ strongest point though is directing the action beats of the story. He has the rhythm set up very well for his plots and they play out with precision and though his stories might feel repetitive, the action and fighting in his comics seldom are. Plus when you have a story that lends itself to the scope of the entire universe, you can have unique and interesting fights on alien worlds and against alien foes that we have never seen in another comic and Johns pulls this off. This trade reads like it was written as a graphic novel which could be good or bad depending on who you talk to.
The first five issues were drawn by Doug Mahnke and after working with Johns on so many other Lantern projects, he knows how to work it all out on the page. His designs for the characters are what really make the comic noteable in addition to his splash pages. The thing that he does so well that you don’t hear a lot about in comics though is the way he handles depth in the drawings. Cities, landscapes, planets, even space all look deep and rich thanks to his art. Mike Choi handled the art on the final issue of the trade, which isn’t a great as the rest because it doesn’t follow a similar style and it seems a little out of place in general.
“Green Lantern” Volume 1 is a good start for the character, especially if you’re new to him. Sure you might get lost by a few details in the story, but if you pick this up and like it just know that the future issues help answer a lot more questions that this volume raises.
Rating: 7 / 10
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