Thursday, 6 June 2013

Review: Green Lantern #21

Written by Robert Vendetti
Art by Billy Tan
Published by DC Comics

It's the dawn of a new era for the Green Lantern Corps as new leadership ascends through the ranks. Meanwhile, Larfleeze the Orange Lantern aims to take advantage of their distraction to plunder Oa for all it's hidden treasures!

Robert Vendetti faces no easy task. Coming hot on the heels of Geoff Johns' masterful finale mere weeks ago, the new creative team have to keep the proverbial plates spinning, whilst planting seeds for their own run. To his credit, Vendetti turns in a hell of an issue. He effortlessly follows on, without missing a beat.

In a rare breather for the series, Hal Jordan finds himself at a loose end (at least for the moment) and decides to catch up with girlfriend, Carol Ferris aka Star Sapphire. In a clever twist on their powers, Carol fears losing her love for Hal, which is becoming harder each day given his penchant for the dramatic. Should this great love fade, so too would her control over her ring. Something she's just not willing to sacrifice. It's a really clever spin on their dynamic and manages to keep them apart, despite acknowledging their feelings.

Soon called back to Oa to report to the next generation of Guardians, Hal finds them packaging their bags and making for the door. Rather than reverting to the age old status quo, these new Guardians have no intention of leading the Corps. They know being locked away for a millenia would make them terribly ineffective leaders and fearing making the same mistakes as their recently-deceased brethren, they have no desire to follow in their footsteps. In one of their final acts, they appoint Hal the new leader of the Corps, much to his surprise. Seeing this natural rebel have to fight against his own instincts and become a respectable leader is sure to be a major driving force in Vendetti's run. Not to mention, I'm pleased to see Hal partnered up with Kilowog once again. Their double act in the recently cancelled animated series was a sight to behold and I'm glad it's making the leap to the page.

There are several villains in play that threaten the Corps in this issue. The much hyped Relic appears to menace them in a flash-forward that opens the story. While the book closes with Orange Lantern Larfleeze making a play for all the treasures of Oa. I can't imagine the two threats are linked, as Larfleeze reeks of opportunism, while Relic strikes me as far more sinister. The thread that links them both is the call to arms sent out by Hal, as he dispatches hundreds of rings out into the Universe to replenish the Corps' diminished ranks. The rookies the rings bring back appear rather sheepish and nonthreatening, but to be fair, they've just been plucked from obscurity and thrust into a heated battle, so I'm impressed they haven't wet themselves yet.

Ultimately, this is a solid foundation upon which Vendetti can build. He's essentially promising that Johns' legacy remains intact, with wonderful additions like Larfleeze still out there, just waiting to be used. On the flip side, he's using these comfortable surroundings to introduce his own new characters into the fold. The Green Lantern series has been left in such a healthy, successful state, that a writer would have to actively sabotage one's self to muck it all up and Vendetti is no fool. While it will always be sad to see a changing of the guard, we appear to be in able hands for the months to come.

8 out of 10

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