We’ve known for a few weeks now who would be taking over the Green Lantern family of books after Geoff Johns and crew’s exodus in May, but all other information was cloaked in secrecy. Today, with the release of the June 2013 solicitations, we get our first glimpse of what is to come, and I’m ready to weigh in on the future of Green Lantern.
Green Lantern #21
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Billy Tan
Hal Jordan becomes the leader of the most feared and hated group in the universe: The Green Lantern Corps! New faces, new threats and a new beginning for the GREEN LANTERN monthlies!
Even with all this Black Lantern business, it looks like Hal will be alive and green at the end of Johns’ run. The solicit hints that the Guardians of the Universe will finally be out of the picture, with Hal taking the lead of the entire GLC. That’s a pretty tall order, but one with exciting story possibilities. It also sounds like the Green Lanterns aren’t too popular with the rest of the universe, which is an interesting change of pace. Robert Venditti has proven that he can do sci-fi well in “X-O Manowar,” and Billy Tan’s early art work shows a lot of promise. I’m not nearly as interested in this book without Johns at the helm, but I’m cautiously optimistic. A lower profile will hopefully let the other Green Lantern books share in the spotlight.
Verdict: Surprisingly, this is the GL book I’m the least interested in at this point. I’ll at least give the first issue a shot.
Green Lantern Corps #21
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
It’s nonstop action as the Green Lantern Corps faces attacks on Oa and Earth…and Guy Gardner is presented with a choice that could change the balance of power between the different Lantern Corps forever!
There’s not a lot to glean from this cover or solicit, other than the fact that Guy will be in the book. However, Fialkov has talked a lot about his plans for GLC and Red Lanterns, and I am very excited for both. Fialkov plans on casting GLC and Red Lanterns as opposing forces of justice in the universe, one that is reactive and one that is proactive. Fialkov has a big crime background, and I believe his refreshing take on the Green Lantern mythos might just be what the franchise needs. If I were to predict which of the Green Lantern writers had the best chance of rising to Geoff Johns’ level of success with the franchise, it would definitely be Fialkov.
Verdict: GLC is my second most anticipated book in the new Green Lantern line. Which leads me to…
Red Lanterns #21
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
It’s recruitment time for the Red Lanterns, and no one in the universe is safe…especially with the most volatile Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, suddenly in their corner! But why has Guy turned his back on his own Corps?
Yes! Red Lantern Guy Gardner! Insta-buy! But in all seriousness, I absolutely cannot wait to see what Fialkov brings to this struggling book. If Fialkov can make a book like “I, Vampire” one of the best books in the New 52, I can only imagine what amazing things he’ll do with a group of cosmic powered, napalm vomiting monsters. One thing though, if you’re going to pull the Red Lantern Guy card, make it permanent. This is the third time in as many years that he’s donned the ring. Oh, and more Dex-Star, less Bleeze and Rankorr, thanks.
Verdict: I can’t believe it, but my current least favorite Green Lantern book is my most anticipated one coming this June.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #21
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Brad Walker and Drew Hennessy
The Templar Guardians have been locked away for millennia, but they have a VERY clear idea of what they need to do next — and of all the Lanterns in the universe, they need Kyle Rayner’s help. So it’s a shame he wants nothing to do with them! But once he sees the strange anomaly lurking at the edge of the universe, he may have no choice but to get on board with their mission…
Calling this book “New Guardians” finally makes sense! I’m really excited to see Kyle sticking around as the White Lantern, and I’m really excited to learn more about these “Templar” Guardians. I’m not familiar with Justin Jordan’s work, but he gets massive praise for “Luther Strode.” However, I do know that Brad Walker is a fantastic artist. Depending on the direction this book goes, it could be the perfect continuation of the awesome massive cosmic shenanigans that Johns was known for. I fully expect it to be an improvement on Bedard’s so-so run. Oh, and that Albuquerque cover is fantastic.
Verdict: After Fialkov’s books, this is my “New Guardians” is most anticipated Green Lantern title.
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis
Illustrated by Scott Kolins
Larfleeze, the breakout character from BLACKEST NIGHT, last seen in the pages of THRESHOLD, is back in his own solo, ongoing series—and he’s not sharing it with anyone! In his debut solo adventure, Larfleeze meets Laord of the Hunt, a pan-dimensional cosmic entity that believes all living things are prey—and he’s out to turn the universe into his own private hunting reserve! And the only thing worse than Laord is the deadly beings he can summon!
I really don’t know what to make of “Larfleeze.” Coming from the writing team behind the cult classic “Justice League International,” I expect this book to have a completely different tone from the rest of the line. Giffen has said that he plans to keep this book separated from the rest of the Green Lantern books, which makes it perfect for those who are tired of the relentless Green Lantern crossovers. While I expect his book to be witty and hilarious, I don’t really know if it’s a strong enough concept to make me want to read it on a monthly basis. That said, I loved Giffen’s “O.M.A.C.” and “Doom Patrol,” so if “Larfleeze” can capture the magic of either of those books, then I’ll be absolutely smitten.
Verdict: ??? Too soon to tell, ask again later.
It saddened me to learn of Johns’ departure, I think this is the exact kind of shake-up the Green Lantern line needed to stay interesting. While “Green Lantern” proper is probably going to take a hit without Johns, the other books seem more interesting than they have in years. It looks like each of the four Earth Lanterns will have a book to call their own (Hal in GL, Guy in RL, John in GLC, Kyle in NG, oh, and Baz in JLA), something fans have clammored for since the line began to expand. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, a bright new day is dawning for the Green Lantern books, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I only hope that the franchise will continue to get the same level of attention and recognition as it has received under Johns’ tenure.