It is finally here: the 80th anniversary special of Green Lantern! In this special, DC Comics is celebrating all things Green Lantern, but this really marks the 80th year for the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, who was created by Martin Nodell.
Scott’s first adventure dates back to 1940 in All-American Comics #16 drawn by Martin with some writing help from Bill Finger. From that, a hero’s legacy began to grow. In this special, you will see lots of reunions of creators with characters, but also some reunions with artists with writers, which is a beautiful treat.
The first story stars Alan Scott in “Dark Things Cannot Stand The Light” by James Tynion IV and Gary Frank. Frank’s art is just amazing, and Tynion’s story is very touching as Alan goes to visit the mother of a friend of his who died when Alan got the ring. The conversation between to the two is inter-cut with scenes from Alan’s first case. It will be interesting to see how it works in with Alan’s pre-Flashpoint history and his New 52 history as well. It was great to see him in action again.
Next we get Hal Jordan in “Last Will” by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, and this was a treat! I loved what Geoff did with Green Lantern during his time there and Ivan is just such an amazing artist. Now, if you read the The Flash 750th special issue, you know that Geoff re-teamed up with artist Scott Kolins, and they gave quite a fun, lighthearted story.
In this GL version, we see that Hal is trapped with a malfunctioning GL ring and is low on power. He has enough to send three messages: now, from previews and interviews, we know that he sends out to the GLC and Batman, which was a perfect excuse to have Ivan draw those characters. The third message is still a secret and I want to keep it that way, but it was a great quick conversation that leads to quite the ending. The Batman message was the deepest and had some interesting insights.
Then we go to Sinestro in “The Meaning Of Fear” by Cullen Bunn and Doug Mahnke. In this story, Cullen gives a great perspective of what fear can mean and how Sinestro views it. I like this story, as it was quite the refresher for a lot of fans in some of the modern elements in Sinestro’s life as Sin recounts everything to a GL from sector 1961, which just happens to be the year Sinestro was created.
The next tale stars Green Lantern and Green Arrow in “Time Alone” by Dennis O’Neil and Mike Grell. This story hits a little harder than I think it was planned to, since Denny O’Neil passed away before this publication. Mike Grell does an amazing with his art, depicting a classic Green Arrow in these pages. I might be one of the fans who wasn’t wild about Denny’s classic GL/GA run, which I recognize was good but wasn’t for me, yet this story was just amazing. The story after its opener turns into one of recognizing how far a person can go and then trying to get back to a better place as Hal shares his copy of Walden by Thoreau (I love that it was Black Canary who recommended it, too!). The exchange between the two men was great and I think I know what book I’m reading next.
Thank you, Denny O’Neil, for all the wonderful stories, R.I.P.
This story starring Kyle Rayner in “Legacy” by Ron Marz and Darryl Banks was another fantastic reunion of Kyle’s two creators. This really took me back to Kyle’s days as the lone Green Lantern, and I have to say that I think DC should capitalize on this reunion and get these two creators on a series ASAP. It was great to see Darryl draw all the GLs, Simon and Jessica — the man still is a legend and innovator!
Next up, you better get your tissues ready as Guy Gardner and Kilowog star in “Heart Of The Corps” by Peter J. Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin. This is a beautiful story that does a great job of misdirection and leads to a fantastic conclusion, showing just how much heart Tomasi puts into his stories. We are treated to a great team-up with ‘Wog and Guy with some beautiful action art by Fernando. This was a fun read.
We get John Stewart in “Reverse The Polarity” by Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie and ChrisCross, and this was a great story about not having to be headstrong and do it alone. The issue is dedicated to Dwayne McDuffie (Charlotte’s husband) and she created quite a story with John and Hawkgirl, which is a nice tribute to Justice League Unlimited. ChrisCross brings in the action as the two have a face off with Polaris. I like the use of the Meilstonium (Milestone Easter Egg?) element. It packs quite the punch, and the heroes have the tall task of keeping it away from Polaris.
Next up is a somber tale with Hal, John, Guy, and Kyle in “Four” by Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval. This story serves as a nice ending to Venditti’s run on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps series he did a couple years back. We get to see an aging group of GLs keep the reunions alive as they talk about the glory days. A nice tribute to fallen friends.
We get Jessica Cruz in “The Voice” by Mariko Tamaki and Mirka Andolfo, and this one really explores Jessica’s mindset. Jessica has a major case of anxiety and she deals with it often, and on top of that she has a tragic origin. This story is a great character piece and does a fantastic job serving as a “Secret Origins” for Jessica. Mirka’s art was very clean and gave off a sincere vibe that worked well with the story.
The last story has Simon Baz in “Homegrown Hero” by Sina Grace and Ramon Villalobos, which touches on the troubles that some Middle Eastern-American and Muslim people go through. I like the message it shares about not just about fear, but that a lot of good can come from people seeing heroes in their own community rising to do good. It was great to get a solo Simon story, as when he first made his appearance in the GL books he was in event after event and didn’t get much page time.
In addition to these stories, we are treated to pin-ups of Green Lanterns new and old throughout the issue including:
- Jo Mullein (Far Sector) by Jamal Campbell
- Hal Jordan by Bruce Timm and Dave Stewart
- Hal Jordan by Rafael Grampa
- Jessica Cruz by Joelle Jones and Jordie Bellaire,
- Keli Quintela (Teen Lantern, Young Justice) by David LaFuente and Anderson Cabral
- Tai Pham (GL Legacy) by Andie Tong and Alejandro Sanchez
- Kyle Rayner by Sarah Stone
- Guy Gardner by Joe Staton and Hi-Fi
This is a fantastic journey across 80 years of Green Lantern. Fans will be treated to amazing moments with their favorite Lantern, and there is plenty to learn from all the Earth-based GLs in these stories. Make sure your Lantern is charged up as you read across these 100 pages packed with creators galore.