Monday, 17 November 2014

Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Fearsome

Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Fearsome
Featuring Guy Gardner pooping!

Writer: Peter J Tomasi

Artists: Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna

Collects: Green Lantern Corps #1-7

Background Information:

New readers need to be aware of two things, really.

Firstly, there is more than just one Green Lantern out there, even when you just restrict yourself to human ones. Alongside showrunner Hal Jordan are youngster Kyle Rayner, and the second and third GLs Guy Gardner and John Stewart. The latter two are the focuses of this book.

Secondly, even though DC claimed to reboot everything with the New 52, the Green Lantern franchise was really overlooked in the process. It picked up right where the old DCU left off, so don’t expect this series to be new reader friendly in the sense that it offers origins for these characters.

Review:

I’ve gotta admit, I hate Guy Gardner. The dude’s a little full of himself and I don’t see it being deserved. I also don’t really like John Stewart. I know, he was in the Justice League cartoon and IGN keep pushing for him to be the DC cinematic universe’s new GL because Hal Jordan is “tarnished” by a bad movie, but I haven’t ever been particularly interested in the guy.

So it’s significant that a book staring my two least favourite lanterns ended up so entertaining. I still prefer Hal and Kyle, and this collection is far from perfect, but it’s a pleasant surprise.

I hope you like green, you'll see a lot of it.
So Guy and John, after failing to fit into normal society, are called to investigate an alien threat obsessed with stealing natural resources, killing GLs and ultimately getting revenge on the Guardians. There’s more to it than that, but I like my reviews to be as spoiler-free as possible.

First thing I have to say about this book is that it’s green. I mean, it’s really, really, REALLY green. That shouldn’t come as a surprised, I mean, it’s a Green Lantern book, but the core Green Lantern title was at least able to tone it down a little bit. Aside from that, the art is serviceable, but not great. I’m not a fan of the way the artist in this volume draws human faces, it comes across as grotesque, and characters that are meant to look angry look violently constipated instead.

Art aside, though, there’s plenty to enjoy in the story. Writer Peter J. Tomasi delves pretty deep into GL mythology to give us a side to the Guardians’ history that I, for one, never really considered. I won’t ruin it, as it’s probably the best part of the book, but it’s one you’ll definitely want to know more about.

By far, the best part about Fearsome, though, is that it makes me respect Guy Gardner. He’s still not my favourite Lantern, but at least I don’t find him as annoying any more. We get to see some real resourcefulness in Gardner’s character, and his habit of breaking rules and his cocky attitude is more charming here than it was in Green Lantern: Rebirth. I’m glad that Tomasi was able to do this for Guy, even though John is left somewhat on the wayside for this volume (thankfully, it looks like he’ll get some more spotlight in Volume 2).

The gangs all here.
My real problem with Fearsome, though, is that I’m not really sure that it knows what it is. The book starts as a buddy-cop story and would have worked great as such. Not far in, however, it becomes a war story- centred around Guy and John taking platoons on special operations behind enemy lines (at one point, even with machine guns). The book then changes again into a character drama. None of these styles are bad on their own, but you just end up wanting Tomasi to pick one style and stick with it.

Overall, though, there’s no reason new readers can’t enjoy in Fearsome. It gets a three and a half out of five constipated faces.

*** ½

+ Adds to mythology.

+ Makes you like Guy Gardner.

- Art is average.

- Book doesn’t quite know what it is.

Alternate Option: Green Lantern: Sinestro
If you read one Green Lantern book, you suddenly find yourself having to read them all. Proceed with caution, but they're all a blast to read.