John Stewart is stepping up in a big way as the future of the spaceborne police force, which is at an unexpected crossroads. The one consistent thing you will see in Green Lantern #1 is Stewart in a role of leadership, rallying forces and making decisions as a delightful tableau is set for new adventures.
There's a lot going on in this issue, but the careful script from Geoff Thorne balances all these elements with grace. The nascent United Planets has come to hold a conclave on Oa, where the assembled species will determine whether or not Oa will take a place in their governance or be excluded based on the self-imposed mandate to police the universe. Of course, everybody has shown up with their own agenda, and that has to lead to challenges, or the delightful creative tension here would not happen.
We should stop and talk about the visual presentation from Dexter Soy, Marco Santucci, Alex Sinclair, and Rob Leigh. There are a LOT of alien species here and very complex combat scenes. Each background character looks like they are living their own story. When we are introduced to the likes of Thanagarian Ameyra Khalan or the conclave itself (which makes some nod to the Republic Senate of the Star Wars prequels), it's a visual spectacle that drives the narrative forward. There's likewise an integration of things going on elsewhere (Hal Jordan serves as a window into things outside of Oa, Teen Lantern has a "I've been to Gemworld, I've got this" vibe, and so on) that shows a level of coordination and pre-planning that's rare outside of crossovers. All of this is hard to do, but the team here is firing on all cylinders.
There's a clever bit of metaphor here as well. The Green Lanterns are a policing force, and they are facing the possible displeasure of the populaces they police. Stewart, in particular, makes decisions here that work to gain confidence instead of garnering opposition. Given the specific challenges of our times and how law enforcement tactics are literally on trial, this is an enormously savvy choice to reinforce the titular character's position.
With new ideas and fresh takes, this is an enormously accessible new direction that seems well-coordinated and well-considered, given a touch of poignancy if you read Future State and learn what's on the horizon. RATING: BUY.
Green Lantern #1
By Geoffrey Thorne, Dexter Soy
As this new Green Lantern series begins, the newly formed United Planets and the Guardians of the Universe hold an intergalactic summit to decide who can best serve and protect the cosmos from danger. With the majority of Green Lanterns called back to Oa, John Stewart arrives alongside Teen Lantern Keli Quintela, whose powerful gauntlet could be one of the most powerful and unstable weapons in the universe. With the entire landscape of the universe in flux, is this the end of the Green Lantern Corps…or a new beginning?