It’s a slippery slope, comic books. I had quit them cold turkey, but then, I started picking up little things here and there. The random Batman trade paperback, a few hardcover collections at my local store to catch up a little bit…the next thing you know, you’re back every Wednesday standing at the counter with a stack of books. This past week is the third week in a row that I’ve gone to the comic book store and spent money. At this point, I figure I might as well embrace it. I snatched Green Lantern Vol. 1 – Sinestro up without a second thought and vowed to read the crap out of it as soon as I found the time.
Sinestro, one of my favorite villains, graces the front cover on the dust jacket. His status of ‘villain’ is questionable, though, as he is just a man with a different ideology than that clown Hal Jordan. But I digress. Underneath the dust jacket is the same handsome black hardcover that is standard of The New 52 collections. These black covers are so classy looking that I am considering removing the dust covers when I stand them up on my bookshelf. Blasphemy, I know, but aesthetics are important when it comes to bookcases. Only pretty books are allowed on mine and I know when I’m done collecting this series, they will line my bookshelf like the uniform black spellbooks of a wise and powerful magician.
Volume 1 collects issues 1-6 of Green Lantern in The New 52 line and Geoff Johns once again takes up the mantle of writing the Green Lantern story. Doug Mahnke handles the art for issues 1-5 and issue 6 is done by guest artist, Mike Choi. The Green Lantern run is an exception to The New 52 reset because it was allowed to carry almost all of the storyline and elements from the previous series.. This is a good thing and it does makes sense. The move to retain the old story line is widely considered a perk as the story isn’t a space opera without all of that history and DC would be foolish to change all of it. However, I’m sorry if you’re feeling a little lost, newbie reader, but DC left something for us long-timers to act all Comic-Book-Shop-Guy towards you with. You’ll have to do some reading to catch up to this one.
Johns and Mahnke really do make a great team for this series. Johns’ style of storytelling fits well into the GL universe where everything and anything can and will happen. He paints Sinestro as a good guy, finally giving some depth to an interesting character. Before, Sinestro was just a massive egomaniac and control freak. This collection shows you why and how it’s agreeable. He isn’t a villain that just wakes up in the morning and puts together a checklist of evil things to do. There’s motivation behind the seemingly malevolent actions he’s taken. The way this story unfolded allows the reader to see that, and Doug Mahnke illustrated it very well in the panels that he drew for this book. One of my favorite things about GL books are the sharp lines and stark colors. They’re strong and vivid and it makes me wish I could draw like him.
Sinestro being a total badass with working plans isn’t even the best part of this book: It’s Hal Jordan being a complete loser. Unsurprisingly, the goddamn Batman has words to sum all of this up about Hal:
I’ve seen more intelligent HOCKEY PUCKS. The clown makes oversized EGGBEATERS and MOUSE TRAPS and VACUUM CLEANERS — when he could set the whole WORLD straight with that RING.
What a damn IDIOT.
The THINGS I’d do with POWER like that…
–All Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder Vol. 1
It’s telling, because the things he’d do are the things Sinestro has done with Korugar. So, Sinestro is essentially Bruce Wayne with a power ring. And Bruce is right, Hal Jordan is a clown.
If you’re a long-time Green Lantern fan, definitely pick this one up. It’s a fun read and it’s nice to cheer for Sinestro and laugh at Jordan for a change. If you haven’t been keeping up with GL, you better break that wallet out. There’s a lot that’s happened to build up to this and there will be more to come. The GL team of writers and artists are good at making this space opera something ridiculous, outrageous and fun.