Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1

I've tried to avoid reviewing these DC Rebirth books that I don't have a long history with the title. Batman? I can review that till the Batcows come home (Batman, not Batman. Asa's got dibs on that. Also, it's terrible). But Teen Titans? Flash? Reading those titles I felt like I was definitely missing some important context to what might make those books work. We've got Bastards who specialize in DC, they would probably lend more meaningful expertise to letting you fine folks know how good their latest gamble for money and relevance was paying off. In the same breath, it kind of rubbed me the wrong way to level this self-imposed restriction. Rebirth is very much an event born from publisher need. DC has slipped in every way that counts, unable to counter Marvel's social media friendly, controversy courting, Tumblr spree that has paid off in great short term goals. Rebirth might not fully scrap the 52's continuity, but the Rebirth #1's are designed to be jumping off points for the most recent direction for these hero's stories. That is to say, they are also jumping on points for new readers, to which I say, "Hey! That's me!" I Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 1haven't read Green Lantern since Brightest Day, but I enjoyed the character then and regretted not keeping up with Hal's Pals. This book should be designed with me in mind, right? Aren't I the audience they've been trying to court with Rebirth? Not new-new readers, but comic fans that got tired of reading the same old cape-and-cowl bullshit from them? Behold. My ignorance is my expertise. Indoctrinate me to the new Green Lantern. I await you.

*closes page 19 *

Well that didn't do much for me.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps is mostly Hal Jordan narrating a very vague unhelpful pick-me-up on the questionable recent events in the Lantern publishing line. As a 'new' reader, all the book did was make me wonder what the hell has been going on with the editorial on this title since I last read regularly. Sinestro is for some reason an old prune man and flying a Death Star around, taking potshots at the remains of a destroyed Oa like a douchebag. Hal is on a dead world, wondering where his friends are (while his friends seem to be where you'd expect them to be). Hal's been using an Infinity Gauntlet attached to a Super-Soaker backpack in place of his ring. The Guardians are dressed like they're from Hobbiton. Spending a whole issue on recap, but leaving me feel uncapped seems like a waste of time doesn't it? Like the Teen Titans comic, these Rebirth single-issues won't pick between giving readers contextual backstory and playing nostalgia footsie with their most stubbornly unshakable standbys. The book ends on a big triumphant 'return-to-form', but having missed the past handful of years this moment means nothing. At least 'Batman' told a story and established something resembling tone. This is just formless.

The art is hit or miss. When on Warworld with Retirement Home Sinestro, the art looks pretty great, Van Sciver predictably ornate. For a majority of the book however, things look less confident, Hal having a pinched Leifeld expression most of the time and the lines being unhelpfully smothered in some distracting texture overlays on the color layers. It's Van Sciver, so it does it's job, but it doesn't quite sweep me up like the first time I saw his art on The Flash: Rebirth 2009.

So indoctrination attempted. How much more Rebirth can there really be left to change my mind on DC? With the utter devastating of my interest in the seemingly decent Aquaman this last week, I don't have any more reason to hang around, hoping for something to happen. Now that Capullo and Snyder have left Batman, I can once again shutter my interest in everything DC puts on the shelf, until Young Animal gets its crack at me. While some people seem to be cheering their lack of complete disappointment in Rebirth, I sit on the sidelines and wonder what it was all for. I could have cheerfully read Green Lantern on a monthly basis. I could be convinced to read Flash. But while Marvel is going wild building up and burning down titles every six to eight months with experimental kinds of writers and artists, DC somehow rebooted everything to business as usual. Having not read the seemingly convoluted awful last few years of Green Lantern stories, my ignorance should have been a boon to storytellers wanting to take my shekels with a fresh take and nothing to prove. Instead, all they did was remind me that it was probably for the best that I already wasn't a reader.

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

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99
Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital