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Hal looking cocky in Green Lantern #1
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Green Lantern’ #1 simply brings the Lanterns back to their roots

In brightest day, in blackest night, DC has truly got it right.

The Green Lanterns are back to usher in a new era for DC. With the rest of the Green Lantern Corps off in space, Hal Jordan is the Earth’s chief Lantern-powered protector. What he lacks in romantic guile, he brings in willpower and the sheer confidence to accomplish anything he sets his mind to. That, of course, includes ringing in the Dawn of DC with Green Lantern #1 by Jeremy Adams, Xermanico, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, and Montos.

SPOILERS AHEAD for Green Lantern #1!

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Hal starts the story in costume, saving some miners who excitedly proclaim that their hero is back. While Hal bursts with pride, Carol Ferris isn’t exactly excited about his return. The two meet outside of Carol’s business, where Hal begs for a job. Carol relents, which is never a good decision.

Meanwhile, Sinestro catches sight of Hal’s exploits with the miners. It’s an easy-to-forget moment that comes and goes quickly, but it spells out bad news for Hal in future issues of Green Lantern.

In a quick flashback sequence, Hal ponders his decision to leave the Corps behind him. All it takes to rally him, though, is a single crisis in the city. He charges in blindly, where he meets the villainous Steel Fury, who is intent to destroy everything.

Back in the present, Hal is given the chance to try his skills as a test pilot. Two other planes join him, and Hal decides to show off his skills. As Carol begs him to slow down to avoid destroying millions of dollars worth of property, Hal can’t help but show off. He tries to take a sharp turn to the sky, and the plane doesn’t respond. Whoops, there’s a plane crash!

Miners trapped in Green Lantern #1

DC Comics

It’s a lucky thing that Hal was piloting a drone, rather than an actual jet. Carol tells him off and makes it clear that manned planes are no longer being used in the field. It’s a major problem for Hal, but things go a little better for him back in the past.

There, Hal runs a truck into Steel Fury. It doesn’t really harm the Manhunter armor-powered villain, but a quick blast of energy right into Hal. That turns out to be a mistake. After all, Manhunter armor is powered by willpower, and no one in the world has the sheer strength of will of Hal Jordan. The Green Lantern finally powers up.

Hal isn’t the only Lantern to enjoy a story though. In the B-story of Green Lantern #1, John Stewart’s mom finds him laying out wooden planks in the backyard. Ecstatic, she runs out to embrace him, and John assures her that he isn’t leaving again.

John isn’t exactly right. After all, in another universe, the Lanterns are being decimated by the Revenant Queen. She wants nothing more than John Stewart’s head, and she’s intent on getting it — whether his mom’s there or not.

The art on both the backup and the main story remains a highlight. In flight, there’s even an element of motion blur that makes the events of Hal’s crash downright cinematic. Everything feels in motion throughout the issue, and it helps keep everything fresh and alive.

Really, Green Lantern #1 accomplishes everything that DC wanted from their new launch. With so many of Hal’s contemporaries away from Earth, the planet no longer feels unnecessarily diluted. The universe feels simplified, as Hal gets back to being everything that anyone could possibly want from him — save for Carol.

DC Preview: Green Lantern #1

DC Comics

His relationship problems help to keep him relatable in the same way that John’s love for his mother does. Both reunions are profoundly emotional, even if they have very different results.

Hal’s exploits in the drone also offer a genuinely tense moment. With his entire career riding on the line, his failure to accomplish the mission would have been devastating even without the life-or-death stakes. Yet, since nothing even slightly indicates that he isn’t on the plane, it’s a breathless moment for everyone involved.

The debacle with the plane also adds to the underlying theme of the story — and the entire era. Can DC’s superheroes fit into the modern landscape? Shazam! #1 proves that it’s possible, but Green Lantern #1 is also wrestling with the question. Hal’s entire backstory as a test pilot is brought into a more modern lens, and it’s made apparent that something will have to give. Either Hal gets with the times or the times will move on.

Yet, even as the book works to bring Hal forward, it’s also not afraid to cling to his roots. Sinestro is getting ready to make his move, and it’s clear that the people of Earth remember their hero. Hal may no longer have the Guardians at his side, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still beloved. It’s a fun meta-commentary, especially given how heavily anticipated this book has been.

John’s backup story is also a fun adventure, though it is somewhat disappointing that John didn’t have the chance to feature much. That’s sure to come in later issues as he faces off against the Revenant Queen. He remains charming all the same even in the two-page span he’s given. Unfortunately, while Dawn of DC is trying to bring in new readers, John’s story won’t be the most welcoming to anyone who doesn’t know about DC’s many world jumping exploits.

All-in-all, Green Lantern #1 is an incredible adventure that brings a breath of fresh air to Dawn of DC. Hal and John alike both bring in an infectious energy that proves why they’ve both been so beloved through the decades. If the rest of the book keeps this up, this run will be an instant classic.

Hal looking cocky in Green Lantern #1
‘Green Lantern’ #1 simply brings the Lanterns back to their roots
Green Lantern #1
All-in-all, Green Lantern #1 is an incredible adventure that brings a breath of fresh air to Dawn of DC. Hal and John alike both bring in an infectious energy that proves why they've both been so beloved through the decades. If the rest of the book keeps this up, this run will be an instant classic.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.7
Both lead characters are truly better than ever.
The art makes even the slower moments engaging.
A return to form for Green Lanterh and DC as a whole.
John's story is somewhat lacking and isn't comprehensible for newcomers.
9.5
Great
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