Comic Review: Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth Vol. 1

What’s interesting about the DC reboots is some of them don’t even try to “start over” but launch with the assumption that you know everyone and everything going on. For Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps and all that with the yellow/green war for who’s policing the galaxy – it pretty much assumes you’ve read a lot of Geoff Johns’ now classic work on the characters, and is probably slightly more rewarding when you do.

I picked this up mainly because I like Robert Venditti and wanted to support him. It’s the first Marvel/DC title I’ve read in a couple of years, having stopped after Marvel got so crazy and when the new-52 was having problems. And when I read this it validated my decision.

Don’t get me wrong, this is actually an excellent book by Marvel/DC standards. There’s tons of of action, a nice arc, its’ cleanly written, the characters are all in classic form. Robert Venditti did a great job, and the art is epic too – great work with the green lantern powers on that front producing stunning visuals, my only complaint is it suffers from “modern movie-ism” on the art front where a lot of the pages are so cluttered and dense that it’s distracting.

The problem is the old comic book characters and brands. There’s really nothing at stake so even these high powered cosmic action stories like this, mean nothing. Hal Jordan will always come back, even if he dies. Sinestro too. The corps were “dead/disappeared” for like 3 issues of this comic, but they just poofed back into existence. When there literally are no stakes for a character, it just makes things impossible to care about.

That’s not the creative team’s fault, but Marvel/DC’s. No matter what, it’s going to reset in a couple years. No matter what, there will be no real development. And it shows in the book, as it seems like the writer is almost ordered not to do anything that will have any lasting impact to the character.

Content wise: you get a lot of fights. It’s a very decompressed story that reads a full volume of 7 issues in like 20 minutes, you get some Sinestro vs. Jordan action as well as yellow corps vs. green corps. The most interesting thing is the bit with Sinestro’s daughter where she seems to care for Hal despite following the yellow corps Sinestro put together. The moments there with that character were about the only time I cared.

I compare this to Venditti’s XO Manowar, which I’ve been reading in trade and spurred me to pick this up. Same writer. Same action. The difference is in XO, the character can grow, suffer real loss, change. There’s tension there because of that. It wasn’t always like this with Marvel/DC. They actively tried to progress characters up through the 90s. Then they panicked with sales slumps (due to crowding the market and variant covers killing collecting) and pushed everything back to “classic”. I like seeing classic characters, but the thing that makes them classic is that they’re actual characters – and that requires development.

While this is a fine story, fine art, everything’s just fine about it. At the same time, it doesn’t offer me anything to care about. I’m going back to reading Valiant Comics now.

2 thoughts on “Comic Review: Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth Vol. 1

  1. I hope your next Valiant review is on the upcoming X-O Manowar and Rapture comic coming up next week. I’m looking forward to those since they’re both authored by Matt Kindt who is quickly becoming my favorite author.

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