New 52 Review: Green Lantern Corps #1

The cool Green Lanterns (read: not Hal Jordan) get their own book, and they're going to stick around in space where they belong.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Green Lantern Corps #1

If you'd like to read about movie star Hal Jordan douching around, you go to Green Lantern proper.  If you want to read about kickass space adventures with ringslingers who aren't douchebags, you come to the Green Lantern Corps.  Sure, one might argue that Guy Gardner's a bit of a douche, but he's really more of an ass.  There's a difference.

And in Green Lantern Corps #1, he's not even an ass.  He's just a nice gym teacher trying to get a new job, only to be turned down for insurance reasons since he's also a public superhero.  His fellow Earth-based public GL John Stewart is also having trouble in his day job as an architect, dealing with a bureaucracy that doesn't want to shell out for safety standards made necessary in a world full of pitched metahuman battles, refusing to budge even after the standard mild show-off scare tactics that usually get people to change their mind and agree with the superhero's point of view.  So the two of them hang out, realize that life on Earrh is so annoying due to who and what they have to put up with that they don't even really want to have 'normal civilian lives,' and so they head back to Oa to look for space trouble to get into.

This makes these guys interesting, and it sets the stage for a lot more imaginative stories than watching Jordan deal with figuring out how to pay the rent.  Let's get our alien on!

The alien in question is pretty creepy, too.  Super fast and super vicious, able to slice and dice Green Lanterns two at a time without being slowed down.  Is this guy connected at all to the disturbing genocide that happens on the planet Nerro that killed a couple of other GLs?  We'll have to see, but it looks like a supremely powerful threat and worthy of guys who wield magic wish rings.

This is how you do a reboot issue.  Green Lantern is full of baggage from before the reboot, because of course Geoff Johns didn't want to abandon his OWN work in the reboot – just everybody else's.  There's nothing here referencing War of the Green Lanterns or Stewart's reluctant, desperate decision to kill Mogo to save billions of lives.  Writer Peter J. Tomasi just gives us a little background on Guy and John before leaving Earth behind and getting right into interstellar intrigue.  Tomasi seems to put this mission statement directly into his dialog, as Guy is killing time taking in a planetarium narration that says "Remember, our solar system is just a small part of a larger and more wondrous universe."  The alien Green Lanterns are always the coolest ones anyway, because that's where creators can get wildly imaginative. 

Speaking of, Fernando Pasarin's artwork is also qutie remarkable – clean, pretty and detailed work with realistically expressive faces and he sure as hell doesn't shy away from the ugly stuff when showing us some murder-death-killin' and the carnage of the poor walrus-people of Nerro. 

Green Lantern Corps is a great launching pad for the kind of GL adventures you actually want to read about.  Why is there such a clusterfuck on Earth?  Space is a massive place, and a lot more time should be dedicated dealing with stuff out there.  It's refreshing to see these cool Green Lanterns realize that and go about their business without whining about bills.  And although Gardner seems like a more chill guy, he's not without some obnoxious behavior, so Tomasi should have plenty to work with, as it can't be too long before his two leads are butting their hard heads against each other.