Green Lantern is a character that I’ve never been into. The Green Lantern Corps is a really great idea—a galactic police force that protects the universe from evil—but I couldn’t get around to the whole we have rings and lanterns full of magic green energy and powered by will idea.
It’s not a feeling specific to Green Lantern, as I had trouble with all magic or un-explainable tech-based stories such as Harry Potter, Doctor Strange, and even Thor at the beginning, but something like Star Wars was fine for some reason. Let’s just say I was a picky little kid who read Isaac Asimov and who’s favorite superhero was (and still is) a science-based character like Spider-Man, but now I can appreciate worlds that revolve around magic users.
The rings in Green Lantern might not be traditional magic, but I dare someone to explain to me how the green energy is controlled by a person’s will, and how fear, which is the opposite, represents a villainous sect of the Corps that is orange. I’ve come to like things such as Doctor Strange and Thor now, some stories even very much so, but that’s not to say that they don’t require a greater suspension of disbelief than something like Iron Man, just a rich engineer in a metal suit.
But alas, just like Jason Aaron’s Thor, and Doctor Strange (I just realized while writing this than both of my examples happen to be written by Aaron, which wasn’t my intention but it just proves how great of a writer he is, anyway), I recently came around to Green Lantern. Not the older stories, although I may go back and read some more of the Geoff Johns run now, and certainly not the awful Green Lantern film starring Ryan Reynolds, but the newest iteration of the hero, Green Lantern: Earth One by Gabriel Hardman, Corina Bechko, and Jordan Boyd.
Rewritten as an astronaut, Hal Jordan and his crew are checking out a deceased alien’s ship when his partner takes the ring and glowing green lantern back to their base. At the beginning, it feels a lot like Alien, with the foreign findings returning to the ship to wreak havoc, and when the ring sets off the manhunter robot, the action takes off from there.
There’s a lot of great, simple changes to the story, such as the rings being complicated alien tech no longer controlled by different emotions, and that the Lantern’s are no longer “chosen,” but come upon the rings and then have to make the choice about what to do with their new abilities. After all, with great power, comes great responsibility.
Even though all of the changes to the story are nice, I would be lying if I said that the bulk of what is so amazing about Green Lantern: Earth One wasn’t the art. Drawn by Gabriel Hardman and colored by Jordan Boyd, the splashes are insanely cinematic and simply breathtaking. The thick darkness of endless black space meets the vibrant, shining green that really gives the book a feeling of importance just from the art alone.
It’s nice that the story has a real buddy cop feel to it as well, as Hal and his partner Kilowog learn what it means to be Green Lantern’s together, really humanizing something that used to seem so impossible and so alien. Green Lantern: Earth One is definitely one of my favorite comic books this year so far, with amazing art and the first writing team to really draw me into the Green Lantern universe. There’s still a ton of reality to suspend when it comes to Green Lantern, but the reward has never been greater.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.