It’s certainly no secret to regular readers of this blog that I am a longtime Green Lantern fan (despite my tendency to poke fun at Green Lantern). And, yes, Hal Jordan is my favorite Green Lantern, and has been my favorite Green Lantern my entire life, though I’m also very fond of Guy, John, Kyle, Alan, Natu, Kilowog, Arisia ... Aw, heck, I like ALL Green Lanterns.
I’m also not prone to gushing about new-release comic book issues on this blog, but I just HAVE to gush about Green Lantern #25. Reason? For me, the entire Sinestro Corps War has been the single best thing to appear in a regular-mainstream-ongoing comic title since Chris Claremont and John Byrne unleashed the original Phoenix Saga in The Uncanny X-Men years and years and years ago. I also think it’s the best Green Lantern/Corps story I’ve ever read, and I’ve read just about all of them, including all those going way back to 1959. Green Lantern #25 is one of those rare comics in which an epic storyline is wrapped up and ISN'T a huge disappointment.
I’m not going to launch into a tremendously detailed review essay of Green Lantern #25, but anyone who doesn’t want to encounter spoilers should quit reading right now because I’m gonna list things, big and small, that I noted and liked about the issue (and about the current Green Lantern run in general). And please note that these are just my opinions and observations. No one is expected to agree with me!
- Guy Gardner's reply to Hal Jordan's "Good luck" was completely appropriate: "We're Lanterns, Jordan. We NEVER have good luck." It's funny 'cause it's true.
- Those lousy Guardians of the Universe. I never know whether to love ‘em or hate ‘em -– and I’m sure Green Lantern Corps officers feel the same way. One minute the Guardians are being petty and treating their corps members like dirt, and the next minute they’re sacrificing themselves to fight the Anti-Monitor and blow up Superman Prime. Well, they may be petty and make remarkably dumb mistakes for such ancient and wise beings, but GEEZ the Guardians are bold little suckers.
- Speaking of the Guardians, I am more than a little honked off at Ganthet and Sayd: “Well, there’s this big nasty prophecy, and here are all the details. Now, you Earth boys have fun saving the universe -– we’re outta here. 'Bye!” Yeah, real helpful there. Thanks bunches. Your Blue Lanterns better be worth all this!
- Michigan wolverines! Literal wolverines! Green ones! With Michigan logos! Now, how many times has THAT sight ever been seen in a comic book? Not even the X-men take advantage of THAT gag. It's even funnier that Guy produced them while quoting from the movie Red Dawn. I appreciated that touch of humor very much. And to think I thought it was funny enough when Guy had a Michigan sticker on his power battery.
- John and Guy using WarWorld as a big ‘ol “grenade”--! Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT!
- Coast City displaying total solidarity and trust in Hal--! Sure, maybe the inhabitants should’ve had a greater sense of self-preservation, but that’s not the point behind trust. It was a total popcorn moment for Hal Jordan fans, and I was a total sucker for it. Beautiful, beautiful moment.
- “Kick their butts, Uncle Hal!” That was so cute! (So, why do I think a little girl yelling something like that is cute? Hell, I dunno ...)
- John Stewart clocking Bizarro Hal with a green sledgehammer was priceless. I was so hoping Bizarro Hal would put in an appearance. For anyone unfamiliar with Bizarro Hal, check out Action Comics #855 through #857 and have a laugh.
- So, the Sinestro sentient virus Despotellis was taken out by a Green Lantern that just happened to be a superintelligent smallpox virus ...? Granted, Leezle-Pon has been around for a while, but ... A virus doesn't seem like ideal Green Lantern material to me, but whatta I know? Sure, it wiped out Despotellis and subsequently saved Guy, but ... It's a SMALLPOX virus, for crying out loud, one of the nastiest diseases in existence. How odd.
- As much as I hate Superman(Superbrat) Prime (and that just goes to show that writer Geoff Johns has done a superb job of painting the character as a villain), I loved it when he hauled off the Anti-Monitor and chucked him across the cosmos. And, after all, that’s one of the perils that major villains face when they team up with each other -- They never seem to anticipate when one of them is going to go turncoat.
- Hey, Kyle's "crab mask" actually looked -- I dunno -- right for a change! Like it fit him properly or something. How strange.
- Much as I loved the huge epic battles between the heroes and villains all through the story, for me, nothing quite beat the fight involving Hal, Kyle and Sinestro -- without superpowers. Great brawl! And Hal's final insult-to-injury was the icing on the cake: "You're under arrest." Hee, hee, hee! Yeah, Sinestro can think his little scheme succeeded all he wants. Hal still managed to one-up him.
- I loved the moments with Jim Jordan's family. Good family moments are still, sadly, very rare in superhero comics, but Hal Jordan is one of the few superheroes who has always had a strong and extensive family background. It was so nice to see his surviving family members being handled well throughout the story. Jim and Susan have been in the comics almost as long as Hal has, and I'm always glad to see 'em.
- Interesting moment -- John Stewart, ever the sensible one, points out quite rightly that power rings with lethal force make the Lanterns no different from other cops or soldiers. Interesting, interesting ...
- Darn it, I actually feel sorry for Hank Henshaw. He certainly didn't make any real friends when he, er, befriended the Manhunters.
- Black Lanterns! That symbol on their rings looks suspiciously like the symbol for the Black Hand. Looks like when first the Spectre and then those little Kroloteans (Gremlin aliens) messed around with Black Hand during Rebirth and GL #4 through #6, respectively, they opened up a WHOLE can of worms. Hmmmmmmm ...
- THINGS TO COME: Undead Lanterns! Now wait just a minute ... That seems awfully familiar. Granted, writer Geoff Johns has been borrowing heavily from the entire library of Green Lantern lore, including those old stories by Alan Moore, but the Green Lanterns have faced issues of cosmic destruction before -- and they’ve certainly faced “undead” Lanterns before. For those who don’t already know this, way back in 1981 (and here I am showing my age again), there was a three-issue Tales of the Green Lantern Corps storyline in which the entire corps was up against a truly nasty critter known as Nekron, Lord of the Unliving. Now, in that battle, all manner of dead beings were resurrected to fight the Green Lanterns and the Guardians ("Everyone who has ever lived is mine now to command!"). Ultimately, Nekron was stopped due to many factors, the most significant being that dead Green Lanterns turned against him. And there are a LOT of dead Green Lanterns. This upcoming Blackest Night story seems similar -- except, of course, for the involvement of SEVEN different corps rather than just the Green Lanterns. Can't wait to see how that pans out.
- On this blog, I certainly haven’t held back the fact that I absolutely love Ivan Reis’s artwork, and I’ve loved it ever since he began illustrating Green Lantern. However, I think he really outdid himself on Green Lantern #25. Many “fair-weather” Green Lantern fans have made a big deal of Ethan Van Sciver’s artwork ever since Green Lantern: Rebirth –- and don’t get me wrong, because I love Van Sciver’s work, too -– but for me Ivan Reis’s work is easily on par with Van Sciver’s, if not better. Readers of GL #25 are even treated to side-by-side comparisons between these two superb artists. Hopefully readers who haven’t been keeping up with the current GL stories will now explore the issues leading up to Sinestro Corps War and see for themselves just how good Ivan Reis is, and has been all through his work on this title.
- Speaking of Reis’s art versus Van Sciver’s art -– and this is just a picky and totally self-indulgent fangirl thing (and read into this whatever you want, especially given my previous statement), but -- I like Reis’s drawings of Hal better than I like Van Sciver’s. Hal is supposed to be a very attractive man, and I just think Reis’s Hal is much more handsome than Van Sciver’s Hal. I also love the way Reis draws Batman and all of the machine components on Cyborg Superman -– and how he draws machinery in general.
Anyway, that's enough of my raves and rants for now. One more thing, though: THANK YOU, Geoff Johns & Co.! And thank you, DC! I can’t tell you how nice it is to have Green Lantern written by someone who I’m convinced loves the character(s) as much as I do. Thank you ever so much for this thrill ride -– for however long it lasts!