Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New 52 Review - Green Lantern

(seriously, how cute is this little guy? Stop worrying about all the other Lantern related DC relaunch books and go buy Red Lanterns instead...)

Remember when Marvel put out their X-Men movie and then threw the comic team in black leather because they thought the film would draw people in to check out the comics? And then for Thor and Captain America they started new series so that people who loved the movie might be able to go and pick up the comics without potentially being scared off by big numbers like “Issue 636” or something like that? Whether or not you agree with those decisions, and regardless of how successful the movies were in creating new comic book readers, you have to be able to look at those shifts in the comics and say “Hey, Marvel clearly believed in those films enough to think the interest would cross over from film to comics”.
So what in the world does the current state of Green Lantern say about how much DC Comics believed in the movie they vomited out this past summer?

Look, I understand that for some inexplicable reason Green Lantern is DC’s Number One selling franchise. And likewise it’s understandable that maybe DC would want to keep their recent Green Lantern related continuity in-tact even with this massive opportunity to truly start from scratch. But still…

I read the last few issues of the War of the Green Lantern, skipped the second issue of the Aftermath of War of the Green Lanterns, and read this issue with a complete understanding of what was going on. And that’s the problem. This issue was a completely seamless transition from the last issue of the previous Green Lantern series to the first issue of the New 52 Green Lantern series. So seamless in fact that I almost suspect that Geoff Johns through a temper tantrum when he was told to restart Green Lantern at #1 and refused unless he could just pretend that nothing had changed in between June and September.

And this is where and why this entire reboot starts to fall apart.

If Green Lantern continuity hasn’t changed at all, then Cyborg Superman destroyed Coast City. We know from Swamp Thing #1 that Superman died and came back, so then it seems to follow suit that if the Death of Superman happened, and that the Cyborg Superman destroyed Coast City, that means Reign of the Supermen happened, but…over in Superboy #1 (*See Superboy #1 review), Superboy is still in a cloning tank, cloned by N.O.W.H.E.R.E., not Cadmus annnnnnnnnnnd…everything goes a little kablooey. And seriously kids, my DC Comic collection isn’t even big enough to fill one of the half-sized long boxes. My DC Knowledge is only good from about 1993-1997, and a handful of books from the last 12 months. So if I know enough to ask dangerous questions, what does that say about the success and acceptance of this reboot for people who have followed DC religiously for decades?

This would have been a fine Green Lantern #67…or 68…or whatever issue it would have been back in July if they hadn’t canceled the previous series after the end of War of the Green Lanterns story, but it’s a crappy #1 issues for a rebooted DC Universe. So much so that it takes away a lot of the fun that these new books have offered so far.

And as an aside…how the hell long has Hal been unemployed? Because that’s a huge stack of unpaid bills that were sitting there on his table. If we’re supposed to believe that his financial hardship is tied to his current situation with the Green Lantern Corps (which happened only 2 months ago in REAL TIME, and Comic Book Time is supposed to be shorter), then either this man is living way above his means, or Doug Mahnke just went a bit crazy with that scene.

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