Review – Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #1 (DC Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: DC Comics
Script: Robert Venditti
Art: Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona
Release Date: 27th July, 2016

One of the best things about this whole Rebirth malarkey is how DC are bringing everything back to basics.

While Marvel seem to be obsessed with making huge, but ultimately ineffectual, changes to their main characters (does anybody really care when they kill someone anymore?), DC are focusing on giving the fans what they want, but with enough new ideas in there to justify it not being seen as a cheap rehash.

In this case, Hal Jordan is back as Green Lantern. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kyle, I like Guy, John, Simon and all the rest, but you need at least one title with Hal doing what he does best and that’s what we have here. The new angle though is that the Oa and the Green Lantern Corps are gone. In their place is Warworld and the Sinestro Corps, the galaxy’s new self-appointed protectors with a plan to rule through nothing but fear.

Initially old and decrepit, Sinestro himself doesn’t stay that way for long, re-establishing himself in some very familiar armour as the messianic leader of the Corps and one of the DCU’s ultimate villains.  Hal’s going to have his work cut out for him, but this issue ends with a punchline that, while telegraphed by the title of the comic, still hits like a bullet and should have GL fans punching the air.

Writer Robert Venditti is an old hand in the Green Lantern universe now, but he’s absolutely firing on all cylinders here. His Hal Jordan is perfect, all cocky fighter pilot attitude and sheer joy in his work. The man that “doesn’t do fear” is the greatest Lantern and Venditti writes him as just that. The Sinestro Corps might be chosen by their ability to incite great fear, but there’s a great joy in seeing them brick it themselves when Hal appears.

This is exactly how you set up a new series. It feels like the opening chapter in a new epic, all the pieces are set up on the board and there’s an almighty war coming. Only difference this time is the odds are heavily stacked in the bad guys’ favour. Great stuff.

Venditti’s got the perfect art team in place to bring it all to life, too. Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona’ clean, bright art suits this down to a tee. It feels like a Summer blockbuster waiting to happen so there’s no grit here, just dynamic action and perfectly realised characters, while Tomeu Morey’s vibrant colour palette finishes it off wonderfully. The hard light constructs made by the Lantern’s rings have never looked so otherworldly yet solid at the same time.

The Green Lantern books have been consistent heavy hitters since Geoff Johns took the reins in 2004, so it’s reassuring to see that that’s not going to change anytime soon. Get in on the ground floor, because this one looks like another winner.

Rating: 5/5.

[Click to Enlarge]

JULESAV The Writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle
Jules tweets from @Captain_Howdy

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