Review: Green Lanterns #1

Green Lanterns does pretty much what the other Green Lantern books have done. It’s the Green Lanterns, juggling their human lives while dealing with an alien threat. What has always turned me off about the Green Lanterns is the lack of compelling characters. I’m afraid this new Rebirth arc is setting up to be more of the same. The story follows the new Lanterns of Earth, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, as they tackle a mysterious threat in Pima County, Arizona tied to an alien menace. I haven’t followed the New 52 arc previously so I was unaware of which things were relevant and which weren’t. My perspective is that DC hasn’t decided how much it wants continuity to matter. I went into this book expecting to enjoy it without prior knowledge.

It was a struggle.

GLS_Cv1_dsThe whole point of this issue seemed to introduce these two Green Lantern officers as leads who will continue to the story. Unfortunately they both fall into the classic science fiction trap. The superhero elements are more interesting than their boring lives. Jessica Cruz seems to be you’re average female character with wit and strength. These things are great but there’s not much more too her. Her predictable conflict of trying to adjust to living a normal life is on par with the Supergirl TV show. Lightweight problems with not a whole lot of conflict. The other main character, Simon Baz, has an okay background history, but it gets weighed down by exposition that you would’ve had to have known previously to care about. As a superhero fan, I need more than just flashy action scenes and heroic epics to get me invested in the story. I need to care about the characters.

A couple of narrative decisions were really confusing. One of them was the choice to have both characters narrate separate thoughts. Normally it would be easy to follow but the only difference was the color in the lettering. The way inner dialogue was written didn’t make sense. Rather than build character, it felt like each character was battling for my attention on the page.

I understand that this is just a taste of what we’re getting from the new Green Lanterns series. What I don’t understand is why DC recycles old plots and has a lack of creativity when it comes to this series. If I pick up a Green Lantern book called Rebirth, it should be doing something different from what I’ve seen before. I’d love to see a brand new origin story for a brand new Green Lantern. Say what you want about Marvel, but it takes more chances when it reinvents its characters. If DC is betting on a new set of characters to carry this title than they should go back to the drawing board.

[su_box title="Score: 2/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Green Lanterns #1
Writer: Sam Humphries
Penciler: Robson Rocha
Inker: Jay Leisten
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99
Release Date: 6/15/16
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital