DC Comics’ The New 52 rolls on in its second week! I’ll be reviewing all 52 #1 issues released this month, and you can find all of the reviews on the Comic Book Reviews index page. This week we get 13 more new series, including what has become DC’s best-selling monthly book, featuring one of its two most popular characters: Green Lantern. With the relaunch, we get something we haven’t seen in the comics for decades: Sinestro as a Green Lantern! On paper, this title looks like a guaranteed success. Is this first issue as exciting as it seems, and is it a good jumping-on point for new readers?
This review will be as spoiler-free as possible.
It seems that everything you know is not wrong. Green Lantern: Rebirth happened, the Sinestro Corps War happened, Blackest Night happened, and War of the Green Lanterns happened. While there must have been some stories that occurred a little differently than what we read, it seems that for the most part the Green Lantern mythos and universe is fully-intact in this relaunch. Considering that those are some of DC’s best-loved and highest-selling stories of the past decade, keeping all of modern Green Lantern history intact is a genuine blessing. Thankfully DC has kept to the rule of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and Green Lantern fans around the world rejoice.
This book is accessible to new readers, as it spells out the current status quo pretty clearly: Sinestro has been chosen by a Green Lantern ring and has the possibility of being redeemed; whereas Hal Jordan killed an insane Guardian and has been stripped of his ring and is now trying (and failing) to rebuild his civilian life.
All of the characters featured in this issue from Hal to Sinestro to Carol to the Guardians are written exactly as we’ve come to know them over the last decade, and the book is character-driven and offers some great moments. Particularly fun is when Hal asks Carol an important personal question, which I won’t spoil for anyone.
The art and writing are consistent and what we’ve come to expect. Green Lantern just may be DC’s most consistent book, and with any luck this relaunch will strengthen an already solid fanbase.
The only thing really wrong with this book is that it left me wanting more. We see pretty much zero Green Lantern “action” in this first issue, which may deter some first-time readers. Make no mistake that the material here is good, but it’s highly character-driven and not nearly as “exciting” as you might hope for a first issue designed to draw in new comic book readers. Green Lantern #1 is certainly well-written and will gain readers from the tremendous success of the DCnU relaunch, but I’m not sure it will get as huge a boost as it could have due to a relatively uneventful first issue.
Overall: Green Lantern has been the true “flagship” book of the DC Universe for several years now. While it looks like that title is going to be taken from it by Justice League (and perhaps a couple of the Batman books), Green Lantern #1 is as superbly-written, well-drawn, and interesting as it has ever been. I would have liked more in this issue, but everything that does occur is worthwhile. This book is rock-solid and a guaranteed success. The relaunch will certainly help this book and make the sales even stronger.