This week DC Comics drops wave 2 of Future State. One of the titles this week is Green Lantern 1. With the laundry list of Green Lanterns out there, I really did not know what to expect with this title. When I saw it consisted of three different stories, I thought this might detract from it a bit. Some of the other titles lose something when they divide into such small stories. Not here. All three stories here stay tightly focused and tell some pretty good tales.
Now I have two minor complaints with Green Lantern 1. The first again is the timing. I have said this with a couple of other issues, but it really doesn’t feel like the future. Instead of some major time jump that introduces us to new characters, this issue uses three tried and true lanterns, John Stewart, Jessica Cruz, and Guy Gardner.
This leads to my second complaint. In Justice League, there is a black woman named Jo representing the Green Lanterns. I knew nothing about her, so I hoped she might show up here so we could learn a bit more about her, but nope. Not only does she not show up in this title, but she seems to have evaded one major problem in the universe. Her ring still works!
Green Lantern 1 – John Stewart
While the other two stories may be good, Stewart’s story is by far the best. The story itself comes across as quite simple. The Lanterns’ power has gone out of the universe. Their rings no longer work, yet Stewart leads a group of former Lanterns in an attempt to rescue a race called Shaar. Their planet falls to invaders bent on killing every last life form, but the lanterns try desperately to stall for the time needed to get the last of the Shaar off-world.
The battle is lost before it began, but they fight on anyway. They think they might be close to achieving their goal, but the God in Red pre-emptively launches all of their advanced guard ahead of schedule. This section reads like a good old fashion war movie. We follow our heroes, hoping they can achieve the impossible, but in the end, we know the cause is lost.
Green Lantern 1 – Jessica Cruz
With the power of the Green Lanterns gone, a power vacuum exists, and Sinestro is more than happy to fill it. Sinestro sends three of his goon squad, Lyssa Drak, Low, and UGG-1(damn she’s freaky) to take over a Lantern space station in Sector 0123 (Okay, who has that combo on their luggage?). They plan to take over the infrastructure to help Sinestro control the galaxy.
This station, however, does not sit empty. Jessica Cruz has maintained it for the past year even though she no longer has the power of her ring. Despite the disadvantage, she must protect the station to keep communication up for the sector.
This story flows well enough, but to get the most out of this story you need to understand who Jessica Cruz was before the ring. She suffered a terrible tragedy and suffered from the trauma of watching her friends being killed in front of her. Her ‘PTSD’ paralyzed her until a ring chose her, whether she liked it or not. She grew and learned how to confront her fears with the ring, but the underlying trauma remains. She must face her fears (the very power her foes use) to protect the station.
The real test lays ahead of her. She manages to subdue the three Yellow Lanterns, but instead of calling it good, the yellow ring is attracted to her use of fear against others and offers her power once more, under the yellow banner!
Green Lantern 1 – Guy Gardner
I thought this story started out kinda lame, but then I learned more about Guy. It confused me at first why Guy can use his ring when the other Lanterns could not. He begins by talking to a squirrel. It may sound weird. Heck, even Guy asks why he is talking to a squirrel, but the squirrel has the comeback of the day with “Eat a wormy nut, Gardner.”
He follows orders and heads down to a foreign planet where the inhabitants are ready to go to war over a piece of space junk. His ring translates for him as he tries to fix the problem. THEN his ring goes out on him and he is left unable to communicate with either side.
Guy is a total smart ass with no filter on his mouth. This fact makes the next 25 years pretty entertaining. The two races are determined to go to war over anything, but Guy somehow talks them through it, after learning their language. He thinks he almost has it, but then who should appear but – Lobo! Guy knows his plans are screwed now.
Green Lantern 1 – Overall
Green Lantern 1 may be the most well balanced of the Future State books so far. It gives us three equally compelling stories to read. The first exemplifies extreme guts and fortitude, the second bravery, and the final story is just plain hilarious and fun to read. The best part is one does not need to be steeped in Lantern Lore to follow them. I highly recommend this title.
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