Green Lantern is being given a new Dawn Of DC refresh after the direction during Infinite Frontier did not connect as well as DC Comics likely hoped. With this Dawn Of DC relaunch the Green Lantern franchise is going back to basics by starting things off with Hal Jordan leading the solo series. Along with Hal’s solo Green Lantern adventures we are getting a back-up story that will set the foundation for a future John Stewart-led Green Lantern title. How will Green Lantern’s Dawn Of DC direction begin? Let’s find out with Green Lantern #1.
Writers: Jeremy Adams (Hal Jordan: Back On Earth); Phillip Kennedy Johnson (John Stewart: Rise Of The Revenant Queen)
Artists: Xermanico (Hal Jordan: Back On Earth); Montos (John Stewart: Rise Of The Revenant Queen)
Colorists: Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Hal Jordan: Back On Earth); Adriano Lucas (John Stewart: Rise Of The Revenant Queen)
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Hal Jordan gets grounded on Earth after the United Planets decided to quarantine Earth. When Steel Fury attacks Coast City, Hal uses his Green Lantern ring to absorb the energy from the Manhunter armor that Steel Fury was using.
One month later, after saving some people and bringing attention to the return of Green Lantern to Coast City, Hal convinces a hesitant Carol Ferris to give him a job. Hal’s first day as a drone pilot goes poorly and causes an even bigger rift between him and Carol.
Meanwhile John Stewart returns home to spend time with his mom while taking a break from the Green Lantern Corps.
In another universe at some unknown point in time, an older Guy Gardner and other Lanterns are completely overwhelmed by the Revenant Queen, who demands John Stewart to be brought to her so she can kill him. End of issue.
When it comes to the Hal Jordan main story of Green Lantern #1 Jeremy Adams and Xermanico succeeded in creating a fresh start vibe. While there are obvious continuity aspects to the place where Hal begins in this issue Adams and Xermanico are careful about not letting that be the entire narrative. That is not done as well as with the John Stewart back-up that is much closer tying itself to the previous Green Lantern run, which leads to mixed results.
On the Hal Jordan side of things, Adams makes sure to give us enough details on why Hal is taking a direction that has him going back to basics. Hal has lived the majority of his life since returning in Green Lantern: Rebirth up in space. Even when he has spent time on Earth it was always for a short period, and that’s been mostly when he is on the Justice League roster. Because of that Hal being in a spot where he has to completely start over in every aspect of his life gives added layers to how he has been grounded.
Adams also gives us just enough detail about why Hal is grounded. Being on the outs with the United Planets after they decided to quarantine Earth was enough to get why Hal is back in Coast City. It is not done in a completely clean way since the United Planets haven’t been established as a big deal across the DC Universe. The United Planets concept has only been developed recently in the Green Lantern title. Hopefully as Adams digs into Hal’s standing as a Green Lantern this is developed so new readers are brought into the bigger things going on with the DCU cosmic side.
Back on the positive side, coming off Top Gunn: Maverick, portraying Hal similar to Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was a smart call. That is who Hal is within the DC Universe. Taking that Maverick-like personality and showing how Hal has been left behind as a pilot due to progression with drone technology while he was away as a Green Lantern. This added to the narrative of how time has passed Hal by. He can’t just rely on the charming smile that got him through a lot during his younger days. If Hal honestly wants to progress as a person will need to open himself up to embracing how the world has moved forward while he was off in his Green Lantern adventures.
Because of this Adams is hopefully going to resist getting Hal and Carol back together. Both Hal and Carol will be stronger if their character arcs are what professional and personal relationship, they can have without being romantically involved. Carol is a much better character when standing on her own and its clear here that she has built a life for herself without Hal around. Xermanico did a good job at showing how Carol is even aware of how Hal being back would be a step back for her through her reactions. How self-aware of this Hal will be and not living in the past would be a massive positive step forward from Hal’s previous portrayal.
The cameo appearance of Sinestro being at some bar in Coast City was a good tease. Hal and Sinestro will forever be tied together. Sinestro also being grounded on Earth brings up a lot of questions for what will be going on with the former Yellow Lantern Corps leader. Those questions are needed to start building up long-term plots for this series.
The John Stewart back-up story by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Montos was more of a mixed bag. We don’t get much of John in this story. John’s appearance is just to set-up the direction he is going after also being grounded on Earth like Hal. Like Hal, John’s entire identity for decades now has been being a Green Lantern. Seeing John coming back home has potential as long as that is the main focus of the back-up.
Though that does not seem like it will be the case. We see that with what’s going on with an older Guy Gardner and other Green Lanterns taking on the Revenant Queen in some unknown universe. As soon as we see this the continuity around the last Green Lantern run weight is felt. There is just no connection here when coming into this story not knowing what happened with the Green Lantern Corps recently. The way it was done it did come across as there little confidence to have the focus of the back-up story to be about John getting some time to refocus himself before becoming a Green Lantern or the Emerald Knight again. It’s a big disappointment as, like with Hal, we haven’t seen this side of John for a long time.
Green Lantern #1 gets the job done with bringing a much-needed back-to-basics direction for Hal Jordan’s character. Jeremy Adams lays the groundwork for a refreshing take on Hal as we see where he fits in a world that has seemingly passed him by. Xermanico solid artwork solidified this as a good start to the new Green Lantern ongoing series.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10