Saturday, March 8, 2008

Green matter

While popular, Geoff Johns' revival of Green Lantern has been, in some respects, a disappointment. At least in comparison to Gerard Jones' GL work in the early '90s. Jones was the last writer to deal with Hal Jordan as a hero before his spree of flying around killing people and ending existence as we know it. Before Parallax and the sort-of return to heroism as the Spectre. Jones' Green Lantern was a man of the road, a sort of idealized Kerouac figure with not a lot of pretense. Around this same time he also wrote Green Lantern:Mosaic, a surreal series with John Stewart policing the newly populated Oa.

Years have passed. Comics have changed (some more). Johns has concentrated less on shambling charm and weirdness, more on action. He's good at it, and it's part of the reason for the series' popularity. But it can be a bit much. Hal has returned to the Air Force--a move that has something of a midlife crisis/trophy wife air--and the Green Lantern Corps itself has gone out of the way to prove itself hard. When Hal and John Stewart joshingly argue over which branch is tougher, the USAF or the Marines, one waits for them to break the tension and start making out. Perhaps not the effect that DC wanted.

With #28, though, things are getting more interesting. The Guardians had already allowed deadly force against the Sinestro Corps, reversing a centuries-old by-law against killing. Now they are granting the use of deadly force against al enemies. Right after creating a league of cyborg Alpha Lanterns, who may decide that the Guardians are enemies. It's a series of entertainingly bad decisions.

Also, Hal confronts Sinestro himself, who is officially awaiting execution. Sinestro's calm responses suggest he has foreseen the Guardians' measures, and approves of them. At the end of their conversation, he suggests that he might believe in the Corps more than Hal does. So yes, interesting.

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