Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Green Lantern #16
Johns, Mahnke, Alamy & Irwin
Green Lantern wraps up its introduction of its newest Green Lantern, Simon Baz, while disguising itself as being part of the "Rise of the Third Army" crossover. The book provides a mildly entertaining, heavily clichéd, mostly generic origin story in this arc and, particularly, this issue. The book is a fine read but far from the greatness Johns has been known to show off while penning Green Lantern these last eight years.
Simon, yet another Earth Green Lantern, is accompanied by the squirrel-like Green Lantern, B'Dg in this comic book. B'Dg shows up looking for Hal Jordan and finds Baz wearing his ring. While B'Dg tries to determine what has happened to Jordan he also, conveniently, trains Baz a little bit on his ring and how to charge it.
If this all sounds familiar it's because a lot of this already occurred when Jordan first got his ring and Sinestro showed up. The Hal Jordan origin has been retold so many times over the years with various tweaks here and there, the details could easily match those in this issue. Johns doesn't stop there though.
Baz manages to perform the unthinkable by the issue's conclusion (I won't spoil it), which apparently was impossible for any Green Lantern to achieve. The details are very debatable as it seems Johns is changing history here but the mechanism is very familiar because Kyle was the first Green Lantern to overcome the yellow weakness. Again, Johns is taken from another Green Lantern and dusting it off for this new character.
The clichés come in to play along the way as characters that previously thought Baz was a villain now trust him and characters that are innocent in the story witness him doing something that they misperceive as evil. The book is loaded with these types of misunderstood hero clichés.
What works for this comic book is that it's paced well and is entertaining. Even the parts that I feel are totally retread ideas are executed well and there is something to be said for storytelling. Johns clearly knows how to do that with these characters.
The art also works really well in this comic. This is a miracle when you review the army of art credits in the book. I simply can't recall this large of an art cast pulling this consistent of an effort. The book tells a fluid and near perfect visual story.
Why DC pasted the Rise of the Third Army banner on this book is beyond me. This issue barely mentions it and this arc has been an origin for a new character. Be that as it may the new character is a copy of several others characters rolled into one. It remains to be seen if he has any sticking power. This issue concludes his origin and Johns delivers an entertaining but average story.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles