Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Comic Day

Had I known there'd only be one book worth me picking up, I might have waited until next week. But at least it was Green Lantern.

Green Lantern is good.

It hasn't been this consistently good in a long time, I mark the last couple of years as a high point in the series' lifetime. I maintain a love/hate relationship with Geoff Johns, there are choices he makes as a writer that I deplore. However, as a storyteller I cannot deny his prowess to tap into the good stuff (yes the two disciplines are separate). I know he has legions of followers on other books and may hold the definitive take on the modern Justice Society, but I think with Green Lantern he has hit a stride that Green Lantern fans and newcomers to the title alike are really digging. At least I haven't come across many detractors of GL in recent memory.

The last arc, Secret Origin, I mentioned it wasn't as strong under the notion that it wasn't anything I haven't read multiple times, as I'm sure long time GL readers would agree. But there was the fantastic re-telling of art by Ivan Reiss so still worth it. There were some new story elements added (somewhat) retroactively in order to tie into some new plots, not always necessary but understood. Anyways it all leads up to the current arc "Rage of the Red Lanterns" and the upcoming "Blackest Night." This is the shit I'm talking about.

There has been a gradual crescendo of the Lantern Spectrum storyline that's coming to a head, and it is exciting stuff. The focus of late has been the introduction of the Zamaron Lanterns aka aka Love Lanterns aka Star Sapphires (Pink? Purple? Indigo... I forgot the official spectral designation) and Red Lanterns aka Rage Lanterns. The Red Lanterns are great, I love them. There is quite a violent streak about it all but at least it's not violence for violence's sake. With the Red Lanterns' motivations kicking into full gear, we're given the introduction of the Blue Lanterns. The Blue Lanterns are intorduced in earnest with the latest issue, and have quickly staked themselves into the heart of the Spectrum mythology with several unique concepts that I hope will be expanded upon in coming stories. And there's still more coming! Not much data on the Orange Lanterns yet, and of course Blackest Night will introduce the Black Lanterns in due haste.

Doesn't it all sound kind of silly? A Crayola box of Lanterns? Yet it is not, I am utterly fascinated with how it's all been playing out. It has neither been rushed nor drawn out, there is alot going on and much to keep track of, and damn I am liking it. The base concept is something I'm sure many have wondered about ever since Sinestro donned his yellow ring. I bet GL readers all have had different imaginings of the Spectrum, and as varied as they may be, Johns is culling from something that seems like a natural extension and expanding the once stagnant GL universe into something grander.

On a side note of New Comics Day, this week there is a new printing of Brian Wood and Kristian's Supermarket. A great pickup if you haven't already.

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