When it comes to Rebirth there are titles that are vastly changed, but others that have stayed relatively the same. Green Lantern is one of those books that’s shifting things around quite a bit — but in such a way that fans new and old alike need to see it.
Is it good?
Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s this book about? DC Comics’ summary reads:
Creative powerhouse Geoff Johns puts the ring on again as he, co-writer Sam Humphries and artist Ethan Van Sciver debut a new era of emerald greatness! Rookie Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz tackle the universe’s toughest beat: Earth.
Why does this book matter?
The mastermind behind it all, Geoff Johns, is writing this book for one (co-written by Sam Humphries); also, Green Lantern is his baby, as he’s been bringing fresh, big ideas to the character/title for what feels like decades. This book is no different, opening with a new idea right off the bat. Artist Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Benes bring a detailed primo title look to Green Lanterns: Rebirth too, which makes you wonder are more resources being brought to this title because it’s going to end up being very important?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 certainly feels important right off the bat with well-written captions detailing a brand new source of power to the Green Lantern mythos. Sure, writers bring in new ideas that change the game on the regular, but for some reason this one seems like an idea that’d been locked away waiting to be revealed to the mythos for quite some time (and at just the right moment). Once Johns and Humphries sets up the looming threat – and a pretty scary alien race – we’re dropped into the lives of the two main protagonists. This transition helps set up the stakes and the lowly place of both of our heroes. Earth has two new Green Lanterns and even together they may not be ready for the looming threat.
You’re looking tense Simon.
The two Green Lanterns are Simon Baz – who isn’t completely new to being a Green Lantern – and Jessica Cruz – who was anointed a Lantern in Justice League #50. Both Lanterns interact with individuals that help ground them in their real lives, which helps introduce them quickly and efficiently. They’re soon called to action by their rings though and from there we get their immediate reaction to each other; Johns and Humphries establishes the rocky relationship right off the bat – and the odd nature of Earth having more than one Green Lantern – with action scenes that help show us how new to the game they really are. The fact that Johns and Humphries introduces another layer of threat on top of all this shows he’s a master at balancing a story. In another person’s hands this comic would be a mess, but between new threats, character dynamics and introductions it all flows quite nicely.
The art by Sciver and Benes is as you’d expect with bombastic splash pages, highly detailed and rendered characters with solid inking throughout. The inking imbues a darker tone throughout, which is customary for this series considering the nearly constant looming threat for the characters. Benes draws the human interactions of the Green Lantern characters and his style is quite a lot like Michael Turner’s of Fathom fame. The style gives the panels a somewhat wistful look which grounds the real life moments a bit more than the outer space scenes Sciver draws.
It can’t be perfect can it?
When Hal Jordan pops in (very briefly mind you) it’s more of a quick check in to get the reader adjusted to Hal not appearing in this title. It works sure, but he comes off as mean, annoyed and less supportive than he should be — which doesn’t really suit the character. Maybe it’s a way for Johns and Humphries to make the reader buy into the new Green Lanterns and care less about Hal, but it seems a bit off. That said, he tells the characters where he’s going, which in turn feels like a commercial for the book he is appearing in. Most of this issue is well paced and balanced, but this segment felt a tad forced.
So those aliens are kind of freaking me out.
Is It Good?
Having read all of the Rebirth books so far this is by far the best of the bunch. This book establishes the main characters and villains efficiently, but most importantly has written an addictive series right off the bat. If you’re on the fence about Rebirth, Green Lanterns: Rebirth is a sure thing.