OK, DC, you can stop it now…
Seriously, it’s amazing what they’re doing to get people to jump up and down with joy. Already out the gate this morning on DC’s Source blog, they’ve just announced two new Green Lantern books and two being re-launched to go along with every other new book coming out in September.
The two being re-launched are Green Lantern #1 by the same GL team in Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke and Green Lantern Corps #1 by a returning Peter Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.
The two new ones are New Guardians #1 by Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham, focusing on Kyle Rayner leading the other Lantern Corps, and Red Lanterns #1 by Peter Milligan and Ed Benes. The latter here is no surprise, as it was announced several months ago, though it looks like they’re making it part of the re-launch now as opposed to lining it up with the upcoming movie.
Looks like the Green Lantern oversaturation is going to continue. Several folks I’ve talked to are already growing weary of the series and want it to return to its space cop roots – we’ll see if this is exactly the route it’s going to head.
If you know us here at CBF, we don’t go a moment without talking some Green Lantern. The on-going space cop saga swooped us in when Geoff Johns took over in 2004 with the Rebirth series. It upped its game with Sinestro Corps War. And its ultimate highlight came last year with Blackest Night becoming the last big DC crossover event. Everything was looking smooth and with a big-budget movie coming out in June, you couldn’t help but think the good times would continue to roll.
The next GL arc though started to slowly change that perception. Post-Blackest Night was the New Guardians arc that saw a mysterious little blue being stealing all of the different corps’ entities. It would have been a well-built mystery tale if Johns and company didn’t play the “Which Corps will star in the next issue?” game that seemed to be taking place. Delays and awkward pacing hurt its momentum even further – why would you decide to finally reveal the little blue being as Krona in one issue and then proceed to do a one-shot on Atrocitus the next?
I forgave all of this, as I’ve trusted Johns this far what with the hype he built for the next GL-centric event, War of the Green Lanterns, when I was at New York Comic Con last year. And while the first part kicked things off really well with Krona taking over the Guardians with his entities and placing Parallax back in the Green Lantern battery, there’s concern for what’s come after. The last 5 parts have all been just Hal, Guy, Kyle, and John getting chased and eventually deciding they need to wear other rings.
Where have I seen this premise before?
It’s no secret that DC found a gold mine in these other Lantern Corps and how their rings on other characters could bring about a lot of fanboy moments. They however became the Achilles heel that brought the pacing of the New Guardians arc to its knees. And like Blackest Night, the different Lantern Corps once again are united to take out a common enemy. One can’t help but think we’re treading familiar ground and judging from what I’ve read on other comic book posts, the fans are starting to see through it. There is such a thing of having too much of a good thing, of course.
Make no mistake – I want Green Lantern to stay strong. Warner Bros. definitely does too, hoping to expand its other properties into movies beyond the big two. But there’s clearly some problems to address. Some fans think taking GL back to its space cop roots will solve everything, other think we need a retcon of the whole GL continuity. I think the solution is three-fold:
1) Get back to basics – Green Lantern is Hal Jordan’s book. It lost that touch when New Guardians took over last year. War of the Green Lanterns has put some of that back, but I don’t think we’ll really know for sure if that’s permanent until the event ends. It definitely has to be done though.
2) Other Lantern Corps = cash-cow opportunities – DC has already announced that the Red Lantern Corps series is coming out around the GL movie release. Wouldn’t it make sense to highlight the others in their own books. I don’t expect all of them to succeed (especially given the competition for space on those store racks in an already small market), but the profits will come from some. Personally, I’d look forward to a Sinestro solo book done along the same lines as Paul Cornell’s fantastic take on Lex Luthor in his Action Comics run.
3) Give the CCO a break – Geoff Johns is THE premier super-hero writer today in my opinion. He’s also a CCO that, as much as he says he still wants to stay in comics, is going to have delegate soon if his contributions to the TV and movie side of the industry are successful. It’s hard to think of anybody else taking on Green Lantern too after the 6 years Johns has devoted to the character, but it can be done. Peter Tomasi has proven his strengths already in that realm with GL Corps and Emerald Warriors – why not go for the trifecta?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – is Green Lantern having a “phase” or do we see a downfall of which it would never recover from?
We’re finally getting some answers in Brightest Day #19 as we start wrapping up the year-long bi-weekly series from Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. We learn why Hawkman and Hawkgirl are now pixie dust, what the white light’s ultimate plan is (sort of), and why Aquaman won’t be able to use a tennis racquet with his right hand any time soon. Ivan Reis’ art once again continues to wow me.
I don’t get to talk about this book too much, but you should seriously consider picking up Jonah Hex #64. Every issue is accessible, so you can join in at any time. This issue shows what the lone bounty hunter will do when a woman wishes to kill him for rejecting her. I think you know where I’m heading with this.
There’s a lot to love about Scarlet #4. No, I don’t condone shooting your local law enforcement, but you can see how Scarlet wrestles with the issue of whether or not she’s willing to go all the way with her revolutionary agenda. She’s been a compelling character, one that you can see Bendis is putting a lot of effort into. And Alex Maleev’s art continues to impress with the stylistic, detailed pencils.
Invincible Iron Man #500 is full of content. Whether you want to see Tony Stark’s struggles to remember one of the weapons he built during his “dumb-down” period when fighting Osborn, the future of Tony Stark in the hands of Mandarin, or the lovely cover gallery of all Iron Man issues – this issue gives you all the bang for your buck.
And lastly, leave it to Johns and Tomasi to give you satisfaction with a certain story arc, only to rip your heart out at the end. Brightest Day #18 showed us that not all seems to be right with this white light that is fully powered up now. With other characters still having not completed their individual tasks for this light, it makes you wonder if they even really want to.
We’re mere hours away from the behemoth that is called New York Comic Con, but that doesn’t stop me from talking this week’s books.
This week, Uncanny X-Force #1 really made me believe a second iteration of X-Force could work. This could have fallen flat on its face putting Wolverine and Deadpool in another book, but it doesn’t and you have the capable tandem of Rick Remender and Jerome Opena to thank for that. Good mix of humor, banter, action, and plot that harkens back to the early 90′s X-Men days.
Not to be outshined, American Vampire #7 continues its epic run from Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque in 1930′s Las Vegas. The action take a break this issue, but it leaves room for getting to know new characters and sets up new plots for recurring ones.
And lastly, Brightest Day #11 rears its Black Lantern-infested head back into the picture. Call it Blackest Night Volume 2 if you want – I’m on board for what seems to be this new war of the light specifically involving Black and White Lanterns. Aquaman and Aqualad’s story though is developing really well as we come to learn more about the new kid’s past and powers. More fanboy goodness from the likes of Johns and Tomasi.
Enjoy your books this week – we’ll hopefully catch you at NYCC!
For some reason, I always get the next issue of The Sixth Gun the week after it comes out. It doesn’t stop me from talking about its continuing brilliance. From there, we go into Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert’s great mini-series in Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine that goes the way of the absurd. The 3-page spread in the beginning of issue #3 is enough to make jaws drop. Kubert really outdid himself with this piece.
The pick ultimately went to the continuing adventures of the 12 resurrected characters in DC’s Brightest Day #10. Firestorm and Aquaman get the spotlight this issue and there are a couple of great fanboy moments that we saw coming a mile away, but the journey towards them was well-paced and drawn out well. I continually enjoy what Johns and Tomasi keep bringing to characters I especially was never fully into before and I’ll continue to enjoy this ride.