Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Green Lantern #17
Johns, Mahnke, Jurgens, Jimenez, Nguyen & Irwin
Wrath of the First Lantern is here with Green Lantern #17 as Geoff Johns begins his Swan Song on the book that he will surely always be associated. The opening is amongst the most confusing and least engaging of arc openers Johns has penned in his nearly ten year run. I found the book to set up things poorly, reference portions that seem important but never gel and involve some of the worst character work to date with regard to the new Green Lantern. It’s not all doom and gloom though as Johns continues to turn some magic where there doesn’t seem to be anything of substance at all.
The basic plot is good one. Johns takes the idea of the Guardians forming up and discovering what would become their first Green Lantern. The set up is really very well thought out as it has an eerie 2001 vibe to it that I felt was very appropriate. As Johns unfolds the comic book when he deals with these elements (Guardians and first Green Lantern) the book excels.
However, the rest of the book feels like Johns is simply juggling too many plates. He’s got this subplot with the “other” guardians, a brand new Earth Green Lantern, the newbie trying to learn how to use his ring, the Black Hand shows up, there’s Hal and Sinestro, plus the Black Lantern book. It’s simply too much. Johns can’t weave them together in this issue and frankly the story would be so much better leaving some of them out, specifically the new Green Lantern.
The lack of depth to the new characters in the reboot of the DCU is all too evident. Whether its top guns, such as Superman, or new guys like this new Green Lantern, it seems the DCU is overrun with paper thin characters. The problem with this new Green Lantern is he’s a novice with his powers and he’s a wrongly accused terrorist and he’s stereotyped because of his race and trying to clear his name for a crime he didn’t commit and he’s….it’s just too many clichés rolled into one. Throw a mask on his head and he could literally be any character from the last forty years that is created for the sake of being killing off. I expect so much more from the creator who gave us the Orange Lanterns and the rich depth of the Sinestro Corps.
The army of artists now numbers up to ten and it actually makes for a consistent issue. There is only one panel that looks totally out of place in the book and it occurs in the prologue. Beyond that the book is a seamless ride that tells a nice and consistent artistic story.
Johns has a great idea for his final Green Lantern arc with the first Green Lantern concept. The issue is packed with non-essential subplots but that doesn’t take away from the solid overall plot. This is a very average comic book. Hopefully the story threads will dovetail in future issues.
2 out of 5 Geek Goggles