DC Comics is doing the wackiest thing ever (for them) in a long time by crossing over their superheroes with Hanna-Barbera characters. I’m sure most readers are skeptical, but maybe it’s so crazy it’ll work? We review to answer the question, is it good?
Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Trapped in a strange rift in time, Green Lantern and Space Ghost are forced to battle a variety of foes – and each other! And even if they manage to survive, they will be thrown into a world with no concept of interstellar travel – or even what an alien is! Stripped of their weapons by a xenophobic culture, the duo will have to battle to regain them – but what happens when Space Ghost dons the Emerald Ring and Hal Jordan put on the Power Bands? And in the backup feature, Ruff and Reddy were once the toast of nightclubs, variety shows, late night chat fests and Broadway. Learn how they became the comedic duo of yesterday… before they hit rock-bottom today!
Why does this book matter?
Of all the combos out this week I think this one makes the most sense. They’re both space cops, they’re both all about pure good vs. pure evil and they both look damn good doing it.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
His ring should always flash like that.
Clocking in at over 38 glorious pages we get a done in one adventure with two of the coolest space heroes to ever grace a comic book page. James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela write Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1 with the gorgeous art of Ariel Olivetti in a fun sort of comic that sets up a conflict, thrusts the heroes into battle (you know they gotta do that!) and resolves a problem they both didn’t see coming. Given the proclivity of Space Ghost to be a bit over the top the plotting works quite well. Sure, the heroes fight each other at first, as heroes always do, but given the arrogance of the characters it actually makes a bit of sense. The writing team thrusts these heroes into a situation that’s quite foreign to them both–a planet that is off any chart and somehow in a dark place– which adds a solid ingredient of science fiction mystery. Hell, the writers even have the heroes trade powers for a bit, which allows them both a taste of one another’s strange abilities.
The art by Olivetti is gorgeous with a hyper realistic look to environments and objects that could only be done via computer. Space Ghost looks particularly awesome with a muscular thickness that’s impressive and Green Lantern doesn’t look bad either. The powers they use look quite fantastic as well as explosions too. Overall there’s a quasi-realistic look to it all that suits the space cop heroes quite well. The skin tones look particularly realistic too. Given how much talking there is in this book you won’t notice in part due to the clever and varied use of layouts.
Dig the invisible look.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The usual tropes of heroes meeting new heroes come into play which certainly puts a damper on the originality of the issue. Why must heroes fight each other? Because the fans want to see it happen! It’s fan service for sure, but hell it’s fun so how can you knock it?
I did not care for the backup in this issue. Howard Chaykin writes and draws it in his customary old school 50’s fashion as we learn about stand up comics and TV stars in a world where animal beings existed. A few dirty jokes and some adult themes take place over the 8 pages in a somewhat boring sort of way. I was partly shocked how adult the pages go given the main title is probably more for a younger audience, but I digress. The backup is slow and really only worth the last page as it sets things up.
Is It Good?
You’re in for a fun and gorgeously drawn issue that puts together two characters more alike than they might want to admit. Given their personalities it’s a combo I’d love to see more of.