Adam Graham's Blog: Christians and Superheroes - Posts Tagged "green-lantern"

Book Review: Showcase Presents Green Lantern, Volume 1

Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1 Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1 by John Broome

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book collects the first two twenty comics starring Hal Jordan as the Silver Age Green Lantern (Showcase #22-#24 and Green Lantern #1-#17).

Green Lantern Abin Sur's spaceship crashed on Earth and his power ring chose test pilot Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern. During the course of the book, the modern Green Lantern mythology begins to take hold. As it begins, the Guardians of the Galaxy are aloof even from regular Lanterns. By the end of the book, they're at least known. We're also told that the Green Lantern oath was created by Jordan as a result of some specific battles he fought rather than something organic to the Lantern or required by the battery to provide power.

The book doesn't introduce near the number of villains that the Flash did with only two of his most popular rogues (Sinestro and Star Sapphire) but Sinestro was a great villain and made four appearances between issues 7 and 15.

Star Sapphire's first appearance in Issue 16 was intended as more of a one shot deal as Carol Ferris became possessed by an alien being to prove that Carol was queen of a race of super powerful aliens.

Another highlight is the first crossover between Green Lantern and Flash in an excellent story, "Duel of the Superheroes" (Green Lantern #13)

Overall, what makes this book stand out is how different Hal Jordan was from many other superheroes. The lack of a teenage sidekick or stories of Hal Jordan as a boy was striking. Plus Hal has an adult confidant who knows his secret identity. Plus, Jordan has a solid supporting cast with not only his mechanic Pieface and his girl Carol but also two brothers. Overall, there's more a sense of reality about Hal Jordan compared to other DC characters.

Still, the character maintains a great sense of fun with some solid science fiction stories making this a must-read for fans of science fiction and the Green Lantern.

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Published on June 18, 2014 18:14 Tags: green-lantern

Book Review: DC/Marvel: Crossover Classics, Volume 4

DC/Marvel: Crossover Classics 4 DC/Marvel: Crossover Classics 4 by Ron Marz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After a disappointing Third Volume in the Crossover Classics, this Fourth Volume sees a return to Premier team ups of some of the most memorable characters in the DC Universe:

Green Lantern/Silver Surfer; Unholy Alliances: Silver Surfer finds himself fighting DC Universe Villain Cyborg and runs into Parallax (aka. Hal Jordan, the former DC Universe Green Lantern, now a current prominent Green Lantern, who had turned evil.) and the two are drawn into an alliance. Meanwhile Thanos goes to Earth and gets Kyle Rainer, the then-Incumbent Green Lantern to battle Paralax.

This idea, which to fully appreciate, you have to have some basic idea of what was going on in the DC Universe back in the 1990s. The Parallelism between Paralax and the Silver Surfer is interesting and it makes perfect sense that they'll come together. The art has some amazing panels. It's very imaginative and holds together dramatically. A bit continuity heavy, but still a winning story. Grade: B+

Darkseid/Galactus: The Hunger: Written by John Byrne, whose best known for his work on Superman, Fantastic Four, and Silver Surfer among others this features Galactus trying to feed on Apokolips with a Silver Surfer who has not yet encountered the Fantastic Four and is still Galactus' loyal herald. It's an epic that's mostly enjoyable. I've got mixed feelings on Byrne's artwork, but if you love it, than you'll love this story. You have the New Gods, Silver Surfer, and Galactus. Unfortunately, the ending doesn't make much sense other than showing how evil Darkseid can truly be. It makes the exercise kind of pointless. Still, I'll go with a Grade: B

Batman and Spider-man: New Age Dawning: This is the second Batman, Spider-man team up and features two classic foes: Ra's Al-Ghul and the Kingpin. Kingpin's wife is dying of Cancer and Al-Ghul has a cure but wants the Kingpin's cooperation in his latest quest to save the world by destroying it. The Kingpin wouldn't normally sign on but he's really hard pressed. This is a very clever tale with Batman and Spider-man being the only White Hats in a story that's, in effect, populated by morally ambiguous villains. I didn't like how the story played Al-Ghul as Quasi-religious as an explanation of his actions and had mixed feelings on the art for Mary Jane, didn't quite capture her vitality. Still, this is perhaps one of the most cleverly written crossover and I loved the ending. Grade: A-

Superman/Fantastic Four: The Infinite Destruction: Superman finds a message from Jor-el that implicates Galactus in the destruction of Krypton, so he flies to the Marvel Universe. When he's captured by Galactus and made the new herald, it's up to the Fantastic Four to rescue Superman and stop Galactus with the Cyborg Superman playing a key role. There's a lot to like about this. I love the visual of Franklin Richards watching Superman on TV in the Baxter Building. You see a more modern version of the FF in action which has good and bad points to it. I'm somewhat non-plussed on Cyborg Superman as a villain in this epic struggle. He really plays too big of a role. Still, the interaction between the FF and Superman is quite enjoyable. The art is superb. Overall, I'll give this story a Grade: B+

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Published on May 25, 2015 20:27 Tags: batman, darkseid, fantastic-four, galactus, green-lantern, silver-surfer, spider-man, superman

Book Review: "Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps, Volume 2: Bottled Light

Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps, Volume 2: Bottled Light Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps, Volume 2: Bottled Light by Robert Venditti

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After the epic events of the first Green Lanterns Rebirth story arc, Sinestro's Law, the Green Lanterns have returned to Space Sector Zero thanks to the efforts of Hal Jordan. What happened to Hal Jordan and what will happen to what remains of the Sinestro Corps.

The book has two big plots that move together. Sinestro's daughter (and former Green Lantern) Soranik wants the Sinestro Corps to have a role in maintaining order. Her team were Yellow Lanterns who brought order to the galaxy after the Green Lanterns Corps disappeared but wanted no part in Sinestro's insane fear engine plan. Solanik's role in this fascinating. When John Stewart asks her why she's trying to clean up Sinestro's mess, she response, "Because he was my father." When Stewart suggests she just accept he was a psychopathic dictator, she responds, "He was my father." She's a fascinating character throughout this entire storyline.

This plot does really come to a head when the two corps run into Brainiac and an Orange Lantern and have to make a decision about the future. It's an interesting book and it challenges a long-held idea. Do the Yellow and Green Lanterns have to be at war or was Sinestro really th'e main reason for it? It's fascinating idea to explore. Though they have to work much of this out in battle as they face off against Brainiac and Agent Orange.

The other big plot idea is what happened to Hal Jordan. Without giving too much away, this is actually dealt with in a classic comic book way that manages to pay tribute to Green Lantern history with a trip to a Green Lantern afterlife and the return of an old friend.

The five part Bottled Light story is just a delight to read. It weaves in some good character moments with a great galaxy spanning comic book space opera.

This trade wraps up with the one shot story, "Heroes," which is set sixty years in the future and has a Xudarian telling a story of the Green Lanterns to kids. There are a few previews of coming attractions (including a hint on how the Sinestro Corps thing might work out but I didn't enjoy this as much as the rest of the book. In a book like this, I'd rather have a one shot focus on one of the characters in the book. Still, the art's nice. The issue's not bad. It's just not as good as the rest of the book.

Overall, this is just as strong as the first book. It manages to capture the epic nature of what the Green Lantern history while having some solid character moments as well. The art remains solid from start to finish. Highly recommended.

****I received a free digital copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review."***

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Published on June 06, 2017 04:21 Tags: green-lantern, hal-jordan

Book Review: Green Lantern: Earth One, Volume 1

Green Lantern: Earth One, Volume 1 Green Lantern: Earth One, Volume 1 by Gabriel Hardman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Green Lantern, Earth One, Vol. 1 marks an interesting new beginning for the Green Lanterns Corps as Hal Jordan discovers a power ring while mining an asteroid on the finger of a dead Abin Sur (though he's never identified by name.). He's carried away by the ring on an adventure. Joining forces with Kilowag, who has a ring but doesn't know what it's about, they search the galaxy for other bearers of the ring.

The book features solid art. It's dark, but not grimdark. It's appropriate for beautifully rendering a search through dingy backwater planets that are not pleasant. Jordan's heroism and determination make him a likable protagonist. In many ways, he's more likable than the main DC universe Jordan as he doesn't have that edge of arrogance about him. Rather he has a past and some things to atone for.

While this volume works well, there are some directions, I'm questionable about. For example, the rings don't seem to choose the user. It appears to be a bit of a crapshoot as to whether the person who gets them will use it responsibly or be fit to wear it. Also, the lack of experienced Lanterns is a problem. Will they just make up their own traditions if they reconstitute the Corps? That could be good or awful.

Still, while I'm dubious about the direction of future books, this book has enough working for it to make it an enjoyable read.

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Published on March 26, 2018 17:03 Tags: earth-one-novel, green-lantern

Book Review: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 6: Zod's Will

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Vol. 6: Zod's Will (Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps (2016-)) Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Vol. 6: Zod's Will (Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps by Robert Venditti

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While on a routine investigation, Hal and Kyle are captured by General Zod. Will the Corps be able to come to rescue while they're trying to adjust to the return of the Guardians.

There's a lot to love about this story. Zod is totally arrogant and full of himself, so pretty much everything Hal says or does feels more or less justified and not especially arrogant. Hal has some amazing moments. While other Lanterns shine and do their thing with Kyle being particularly heroic,there's no doubt while Hal's name's on the masthead.

The return of the Guardians is more of a mixed thing. I didn't like the method of bringing them back in the final volume, but they do serve a purpose by making the Green Lanterns accountable. I thought John Stewart's handling them was a bit off times as he seemed passive aggressive.

Overall, it was a solid volume and a good outing all around.

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Published on January 18, 2019 21:55 Tags: green-lantern, hal-jordan

Book Review: Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Vol. 1

Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Vol. 1 Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner Vol. 1 by Ron Marz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kyle Rayner's 1990s run as Green Lantern begins here...eventually, but first, we get the three-issue story of Hal Jordan's fall from grace in the wake of Coast City's fall. It's weird to have a book centered on a specific hero and that hero not to show up until the third issue in, but I give it a pass because Jordan's fall is important in setting up Kyle's run plus the story is tragic, but also well-written.

As for Kyle Rayner's early run, it's a mixed bag. As a result of Hal did, things are different, the corps is no more and he's feeling his way in the dark. In a way, the early issues of the book give off a youthful sort of Spider-man feel to them. However, the book takes an infamous dark turn with the original "woman in the refrigerator" story. Whatever, you think about "the woman in the refrigerator" critique of comics in general, in its original context, it comes the heck out of nowhere in what had been a fairly light series. It's an embarrassing bit of 1990s excess.

The storyline is decent, though very episodic, with the big focus being that Kyle's a bit out of his depth even though deep down, he does have what it takes to be a Green Lantern. He starts on Earth and then is taken into space because of the Zero Hour event, and then makes he way home through space and arrives home in time to get a crossover with the New Titans book.

Character work is probably the big highlight. The book does do a good job establishing Kyle and he's also portrayed as a very creative user of the ring.

Overall, even though the book had some missteps, I find myself interested in Kyle and curious at what happens next. So I'd call the book a win. It's about 3.5 star book, which is a decent beginning.

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Published on September 18, 2020 22:12 Tags: green-lantern, kyle-rayner

Christians and Superheroes

Adam Graham
I'm a Christian who writes superhero fiction (some parody and some serious.)

On this blog, we'll take a look at:

1) Superhero stories
2) Issues of faith in relation to Superhero stories
3) Writing Superhe
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