Comic Book Review: GREEN LANTERN #1

The new 52 #1s keep coming. How has the Emerald Warrior changed in the new DC Universe? Not much!

What we’ve learned so far in the DC reboot: if you’re Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison your stuff didn’t get touched when the universe rebooted. Just as Batwing proves that Batman, Inc. totally happened, Green Lantern #1 essentially picks up right where Johns’ previous run left off before Flashpoint. With Sinestro as Earth’s Green Lantern.

Yeah, it’s a pretty weird place to start Green Lantern #1, and I sort of wish that Johns had finessed the storylines a bit more so that maybe this issue opened with Hal Jordan being kicked out of the Green Lantern Corps by the Guardians, just so that it feels less like I’m coming onboard in the middle of the story (a recurring problem in this softest of all reboots). But that quibble aside, the issue is good, and I’m actually bummed that by the end Johns has moved Hal Jordan one step closer to being Green Lantern again.

The hows and whys aren’t that important (at least Geoff Johns didn’t think so when he wrote the book, as they’re not really included here), but Hal is now back on Earth, stranded as a human while Sinestro has been chosen by his power ring as the new guardian of Sector 2814 - and he’s not happy about it.

This is a pretty cool set up. For me there’s  never really been a Green Lantern and a Hal Jordan; Jordan has the most superfluous secret identity in comics. So now that he’s been robbed of his Green Lantern identity, what does Hal do? Who does he become? It turns out that his constant space travel has made it hard to keep up on his bills, and he’s not even able to buy a car (having been flying under his own power for years, he doesn’t own a car) without having a co-signer on the loan. On the other side of the equation what does it mean that the ring chose Sinestro to be the new bearer? The rings, we have been told, are never wrong.

But while Johns is taking the hyper-decompressed road on Justice League, he’s looking to get back to status quo quickly here. While a six issue jaunt of Hal being a regular dude on Earth would have been a welcome change, the last page of this issue leads me to believe we’re about two months away from Hal being the Emerald Warrior again.

Johns’ run on Green Lantern has been great and I understand the desire to not change it up since it is very much not broken (which of course makes you wonder what everybody at DC thinks of the titles that DID get more seriously rebooted). Green Lantern #1 is an okay jumping on point for new readers, but it really just feels like the next chapter in Johns’ very long and continuing saga.

Side note: is Geoff Johns getting sick of Hal Jordan? In Justice League #1 he has Batman fully humiliate him, and in the opening pages of Green Lantern #1 he has civilian Hal bungle a heroic effort and get arrested. He’s bringing Jordan down to Earth big time these days.