Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth

 

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth

I have to tip my hat to DC Comics because they have definitely pulled in a lapsed reader (me) with yet another Rebirth issue. It’s not easy to get me to buy into something – mostly because I’m a skeptical kind of person, and…well…because I’m cheap. That being said, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth issue got me interested in Ol’ Greenie again. I’ll be honest; I haven’t read a Green Lantern comic since the early ‘90s, but I was looking for a space adventure book and I thought, “What the hell, I’ll give it a try.” I’m glad I did because this issue was impressive, most impressive.

This issue did a great job of bringing me up to speed as to what’s been going on with Hal Jordan as of recent. So here is what I (and maybe you) missed. OA has been totally destroyed and replaced by a Death Star looking thing called Warworld.

Warworld

Warworld is powered by a jailed Parallax under the control of an aged Sinestro who now looks like Vincent Price. Sinestro is of the belief that Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps are no more and ponders what life will bring now that he is victorious.

Vincent Price

Old Sinestro

While Sinestro has been ruling the universe (or parts of it), Green Lantern took the fall for every wrong the Green Lantern Corps has ever been blamed for, which resulted in Hal being labeled a criminal. Hal had to give up his ring because of all that, but he stole Krona’s Gauntlet so that he could have a similar power that the ring provided him.

The gauntlet somehow messed with Hal causing him to forget his humanity and wanting to wear a trenchcoat. Why a trenchcoat and not a raincoat is never explained. Regardless, Hal knows the gauntlet is trouble because it’s causing his body is fade away resulting in Hal becoming the emotion of will, and nothing more. Hal decides to forge himself his own ring by willing it, and as he does, his human form returns.

Hal Jordan Forging Ring

The issue then ends with Hal returning to his classic costume. Whoo Hoo!

Green Lantern

This issue not only told us what is currently going on in Hal’s life but what came before. Several panels of the issue were dedicated to explaining Hal’s origin story and important aspects of the Green Lantern Corps. These quick explanations were helpful to get me up to speed on the character and the corps (who are mysteriously missing).

A big, big, BIG thumbs up to all involved in this issue. Robert Venditti (writer) put together a story that combined Hal’s past and present in a way that flowed naturally and was understandable. Ethan Van Sciver (artist) knocked it out of the park – just breathtaking art. Jason Wright (colorist) absolutely nailed it by making the art leap off the page and come to life. Dave Sharpe (letterer) did an amazing job of delivering emotion through the letters in ways that didn’t distract from the story and actually added to it.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps…drum roll…4 1/2 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Aquaman Rebirth Review

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I’ll be honest, the Aquaman title is a tough sale for me to read. I’ve never been a big fan of the yellow-and-green clad superhero. I don’t mind him so much when he’s with the rest of the Justice League battling bad guys, but solo stories about “Big Tuna” don’t do it for me. That being said, I decided to give the King of the Seven Seas a read.

Initially, the book intrigued me – to be specific – the first three pages intrigued me. Not so much because of the story, but because of the art. Oscar Jimenez is the man who drew those first three pages, as well as, the last two pages of the book – the guy is an absolute talent. The detail he put into those pages was amazing. Prior to reading this issue I was not familiar with Oscar’s work, and for that, I should be punished. His art style kind of reminds me of the covers (not interiors) that David Finch is capable of.

Scot Eaton drew the remaining pages of the book, and although a valiant effort by Scot to put out quality work, it didn’t fit with Oscar’s style. Immediately, you recognize the difference in art styles, and because the difference is so striking, it’s distracting.

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Oscar Jimenez’s bad ass Black Manta
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Scot Eaton’s Aquaman and Mera

The story, written by Dan Abnett, did a good job of explaining who Aquaman is and what’s his role. I didn’t realize that the gill-less-one was half-human and half-Atlantean royalty. I also found out that Aquaman can’t “talk” to fish – he can telepathically “compel” marine life to do his bidding without actually conversing with them. A much-needed clarification, but the way the clarification occurred, it reminded you of those Robot Chicken sketches or Family Guy segments that poked fun at Aquaman’s abilities. I don’t think you want to remind your readers of those portrayls of A-Man if you’re trying to get them to buy into the character.

 

The story in this issue was a one-and-done like most of the Rebirth issues. The story was ok, but it didn’t do anything to really sell me on the character. Four pages were dedicated to him talking to Mera in a diner while eating clam chowder…a bit boring if you ask me. This story may appeal to die-hard fans, but not enough intrigue or classic call-backs (that I could tell) occurred in this book to hook new readers. To me, it seems like the Rebirth issues that are compelling are those that have a good amount of mystery, tie-up loose ends from the New 52 storylines, and remind you of classic moments of the character’s past. I found it interesting that Aquaman’s suit or overall look didn’t have any similarities to the Aquaman we are going to seen in the Justice League movie. If you remember, the Wonder Woman Rebirth issue showed us Diana’s new look and it resembled her look in Batman v Superman.

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ROTTING BRAINS gives Aquaman Rebirth…drum roll…2 1/2 rotten brains out of 5.

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Justice League Rebirth

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I really, really like the Justice League. In fact, it was the first superhero team to get me into comics. There are some truly great stories out there that showcase the talent of the team members. There are also some not so good stories out there.

In my opinion, DC Comics should be throwing their top talents behind the league for three reasons 1) the league is the face of the company just as much as Batman or Superman 2) there is a movie on the way and fans are excited about the league and 3) a good Justice League story makes readers interested in the solo series of the heroes.

Bryan Hitch,the writer and artist of Justice League Rebirth, didn’t do anything in this issue to get me interested in the series, and that’s a shame. So much has been going on with the league since the Darkseid War storyline and the death of Superman that I felt like more of a story-bridge was needed regarding what happened prior to Rebirth. Instead, the storyline was very general and flat. Additionally, the interior art felt very plain.

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I’m going to still give Justice League a try when it comes out because a different creative team will be on it. Unfortunately, this issue was a stumble out of the gate. Here’s hoping for better things from the Justice League series.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Justice League Rebirth…drum roll…2 1/2 rotten brains out of 5.

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Superman Rebirth Reviewed

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Superman Rebirth  was written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, penciled by Doug Mahnke, inked by Jaime Mendoza, and colored by Rob Quintana. This issue is the perfect homage to the 90s Death of Superman storyline, and the pre-flashpoint Superman. In my opinion, it brought you up to speed as to what had been going on with Superman in the New 52 Universe without being too preachy, subtlety laid the groundwork regarding what was to come in Action Comics, and tied up some loose ends.

The story picks up after the ashes of the New 52 Superman have been laid to rest underneath a giant S-shield monument. Above the monument is pre-Flashpoint Superman contemplating how to resurrect New 52 Superman. Below the monument is Lana Lang who is trying to break into the crypt to take Superman’s ashes to be buried next to Ma and Pa Kent.

For the first time, Lana and pre-Flashpoint Superman meet while at the monument. Pre-Flashpoint Superman is able to convince Lana that he’s the real deal by explaining to her how he came back from the dead after he was killed by Doomsday. Lana and pre-Flashpoint Superman end up going to New 52 Superman’s Fortress of Solitude to see if the same Kryptonian equipment that brought pre-Flashpoint Superman back to life is there. Unfortunately for Lana it’s not, and she ends up burying New 52 Superman’s ashes by Ma and Pa Kent as she promised. 

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A big thumbs up to everyone involved in this issue because it felt like it contained what should be in a Rebirth issue – a sense of legacy. It also got me fired up to pick up Action Comics and Superman. It’s been many moons since I’ve been this excited about Superman.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Superman Rebirth…drum roll…4 out of 5 rotten brains.

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Wonder Woman Rebirth Reviewed

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I haven’t read a lot of Wonder Woman comics in my lifetime. In fact, I have only read two prior to reading Wonder Woman Rebirth. I think my lack of reading about the Amazon was due to my under appreciation of the character. As a young lad, I gravitated toward stories about strong, male characters; such as, Batman or Superman. Wonder Woman flew around in an invisible jet and used a lasso to make people tell the truth – not the most entertaining aspects of the character – but those were the prominent aspects of the character featured to me when I watched Super Friends, the cartoon that sparked my interest to read DC comics.

I wanted to get the know the character before the stand-alone movie comes out, and because  I heard a lot of positive vibes about Greg Rucka’s prior penning of the Themyscira native, and that artist Liam Sharp can drawn pretty damn good, I decided to add the series to my pull list.

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This issue mainly addressed the fact that Diana’s origin is a convoluted one due to it being altered over the years. I was surprised by the fact that Diana’s origin changed so much. I would have thought that it was set in stone much like the origins of other DC characters, but that’s not the case. If you’re interested in all of the different iterations of Wonder Woman’s origin check them here.

In this issue Diana has a realization that who she is has changed over the years, and that in order for her to have a better understanding of who she is and what her purpose is, she needs to return to Olympus. From what I gathered, Olympus has been hidden from Diana – by who or what we don’t know. I like the fact that Diana comes to find out that she has been deceived/living a lie by using the lasso on herself.

Rucka did an excellent job of explaining what the major differences are regarding Diana’s origin while making it a part of the ongoing storyline that will continue in future Wonder Woman issues. Interestingly, odd numbered issue will be set in the present following Diana on her quest to find out who she is, and the even numbered issues will be a reflection on her past (issue #2 starts a Year One story). I think this is a uniquely smart way to tell a compelling story that has many layers to it.

Pages 1 through 14 were drawn by Matthew Clark, inked by Sean Parsons, and colored by Jeremy Colwell. Pages 15 through 20 were drawn (and I’m assuming inked) by Liam Sharp and colored by Laura Martin. Having a distinction of artists and colorists complemented the story and drives the point home that by page 15 of the story Diana has decided that she needs to get back to her roots to find out who she is.

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A panel from Wonder Woman Rebirth drawn by Liam Sharp & colored by Laura Martin

This issue was a perfect introduction to all of the variations of Wonder Woman’s origins , and the way that they were woven into the current storyline makes me wanting to know more about the Amazon – It’s the right mix of fantasy and mystery. Sharp’s art mixed with Laura’s colors is gripping and full of fantasy. I don’t have a problem with the new costum resembling the movie version like some do.

ROTTING BRAINS gives Wonder Woman Rebirth a…drum roll…3 1/2 out of 5 rotten brains.

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