Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 Review


Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1
Writer: Geoff Johns & Sam Humphries
Pencils: Ethan Van Sciver & Ed Benes
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Travis Lanham
Publisher: DC Comics

DC Rebirth is in full swing this month and the first wave of issues has just come out this week.  One of the more anticipated titles is Green Lanterns which will follow the two newest members of the corps, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.  As someone who isn’t as familiar to the Green Lantern mythos as he’d like to be but is looking for a good jumping on point  for the current monthly’s, I was hoping that Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 would be a nice place to start.  As is one of the primary purposes of Rebirth.  Does it succeed?

Well, if you have a fundamental understanding of the Green Lantern universe, you’ll be happy to know that this comic accomplishes in getting you up to speed.  Even if you don’t know about the Corps, there’s enough in here that’ll not feel to daunting to new comers.  Enough is provided of the power rings to intrigue them, keep some mystery to grab their investment, and introduce some engaging characters.

The strength of this issue really comes down to the writing of Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries and their introduction to Baz and Cruz, the two new Green Lanterns of Earth.  Right away we learn a great deal of Simon through both inner-monologue, dialogue, and visuals.  He’s a rookie in the corps and was chosen because, like all Green Lanterns, has the ability to overcome great fear.  We are told both visual and narratively that he’s dealt with the threat of fear for a while.  Not wanting to make this too political so let’s just say that there’s a particular group of individuals in the US that unfortunately have been targeted since the terrorists attacks of 9/11.  Due to Simon Baz’ background, he has to deal with the hatred, prejudice, and most importantly, fear that was come about from these events.  It’s a powerful image, message, and great reason as to why his ring chose him.

Jessica Cruz is an interesting character in that she’s a complete raw recruit.  She just recently received her power ring in Justice League #50, also written by Geoff Johns.  With a chip on her shoulder she’s eager to prove herself a worthy member of the corps.  This series will obviously be delve into how someone who’s just become a Green Lantern adapts to their new role.

Hal Jordan makes an appearance and gives a logical explanation as to why he’s unable to train them and an excuse for their to be two Green Lantern books, aside the fact that there are so many members.  Jordan’s assistance is needed by the corps at the far end of the universe.  Therefore, Simon and Jessica will have to learn from each other and also seek the guidance of the Justice League.  While this issue is heavy on exposition, during it we get to see our new Lanterns of Earth engage one another.  The two of them go on a back and forth banter setting up an engaging dynamic that hopefully will develop now that the premise has been established.

If there is one gripe with this issue it’s one that deals with Hal’s idea to get the two to learn to work together.  He decides to fuse their power batteries together and neither one of them is able to use it without the other.  I understand wanting to create a team building exercise but this isn’t very bright.  Say one of them is unconscious or captured and the one left standing is low on juice.  They’d be unable to both power up their ring and individually help rescue the other.  It’s really flimsy and you’d expect better from a writer of Geoff John’s caliber.

Ethan Van Sciver is one of the best pencilers in the business and it’s always a joy to see his work within the cosmic.  Unfortunately there’s little of that element in here as the book is probably going to be very Earth based, while Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps series will probably deal with the cosmic.  However he does provide some well in detailed visuals with assistance by Ed Benes and colors by Jason Wright.  There isn’t much else to comment on the art as this is primarily a set up issue with little action that’s set in dialogue exchanges.  That being said it’s all well done and fits the tone of the one shot.

Final Verdict

Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 is a strong start to this promising synopsis.  It’s going to buddy-cop series but our leads have powers from the cosmic.  Johns and Humphries create an engaging dynamic between Simon and Jessica and there’s instant chemistry there to hold readers investment.  How the two of them will deal with one another while trying to gain a grasp on their new powers should be enjoyable to see play out.

Score: 4 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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