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Green Lantern #10 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Revenge of the Green Lanterns, part one

It’s One Year Later, and Green Lantern is definitely back…but with quite a shadow hanging over him; meanwhile, Hal Jordan prepares to be honored for a past deed…

greenlantern010 Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Marc Campos
Colors: Moose Baumann
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assoc. Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Cover Art: Simone Bianchi
Publisher: DC Comics

So…awhile back, Hall Jordan lost his city when it was blown up by an alien bent on having revenge on Superman for failing to save his family and driving him away from Earth. Hal couldn’t handle the strain, went nuts, killed a bunch of other GLs in his bid for control of the central power battery on Oa, became Parallax, tried to wipe out time to set things right, died to re-ignite Earth’s sun when it was put out, stepped forward as a volunteer-host for the Spectre during a spiritual crisis, and ultimately split from the Spectre as the real Parallax stood revealed…huh?

You don’t really need to know all that–though it adds a bit of context to the character. What you need to know for this issue is that Hal Jordan–Green Lantern–has apparently had his past exposed to the world, and/or done something that has led to most people of Earth not trusting him–regarding him as little more than some criminal acting without regard for Earthly laws and regulations.

Of course, this issue takes place a year after the events of the currently-unfolding Infinite Crisis so there’s a lot that’s happened that we–as readers–are not yet aware of. Though Green Lantern has been cast in a negative light (and this seems to extend to Jon Stewart as well, though we don’t actually see him in this issue), Hal Jordan is regarded as a hero for things he’s taken part in during the past year.

On the one hand–at the surface–this story seemed rather boring to me. Looking deeper, though, it’s actually a lot better than I wanted to give it credit for. The one-year jump allows for stories to be beyond the whole "hey…you’re back?!?" sort of situations. Hal’s gotten himself very much involved in life again and rebuilt as well as simply built new relationships. He’s fairly established again within the DC Universe.

Apparent flashbacks give some hint as to a fairly major event in Hal’s past (the missing year) that seems rich in character potential. I also like the fact that a story from the Green Lantern Secret Files & Origins 2005 comes into play here–we saw in that story last year that Hal leaves his ring behind when he flies. It added an extra touch of humanity (and/or recklessness) to the character, and provides context for stuff shown in this issue). That’s not to say that you need to have read that to "get" this issue.

The art gives me little to talk about–it worked for me. Things were clear panel-to-panel as to what was going on, all the more in context of the text. The imagery in general is pretty bright–we’re not mired in shadows here. Characters are recognizable and while they may not be clones of versions from other artists, they don’t at all come across as a reinterpretation, which means we have good art, good story, and a good issue.

There are some definite questions that arise from this issue: exactly what does the world know about Hal Jordan? What do they actually know about Green Lantern that has made GL unwelcome outside the US? (As readers, we have plenty of "dirt" that could place him in that position if the info were common knowledge to the residents of the DCU) And so on.

Having seen (and had it as my computer’s desktop for the last few weeks) the cover to a later issue of this title, I’ve a pretty good idea who the villain of this arc is, which takes away from the "shock" that’s apparent at the end of the issue. But then, anything lost there is replaced by an eager "Why?" to the whole thing.
In the end, this is definitely a good issue, and well worth checking out if you haven’t already. It’s also a good jumping-on point, as it’s the first "One Year Later" issue for this title, and in many ways functions as a new # 1–old and new readers alike are at the same point regarding Hal’s past year or so and his new life.

Ratings:

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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