September's Green Lantern #1 was the third best selling book in a month where DC Comics dominated the sales charts with the relaunch of their entire line. That's a good showing for a title where the main character is decidedly not the one you'd expect from a book that's been one of DC's flagship titles. With issue number two writer Geoff Johns continues to explore the complex relationship between Hal Jordan and Sinestro and puts the pieces in place to put these two allies turned enemies side by side for a common goal, whether Hal Jordan wants to help or not.
The Story -
We left Hal Jordan outside his former apartment last month facing Sinestro, who has come to offer Hal another chance to wear a power ring. Issue two picks up moments later with Sinestro busting Hal's chops for using his ring as a superhero rather than making the universe better, and of course take every opportunity to get under Jordan's skin. Hal's characteristic response of defiance is big on bravado but lacks teeth due to his diminished status, and when Sinestro constructs a ring for Jordan he learns that the ring comes with the limitation that Sinestro can turn it on or off at will.
|Sinestro temps Hal with his drug of choice|
Their conversation is cut short when Hal leaves to deal with a disaster on a bridge in Coast City, ticking off Sinestro for what he sees as a lack of focus. Hal's dealings with the people in need of help underscores the notion of Green Lantern as superhero that Sinestro alluded to earlier, so Hal's ring is de-powered putting everyone in harms way. Hal lunges at Sinestro but he is stopped cold as forced to watch as horrific events are about to unfold.
It's at this moment that Sinestro proves his point by dealing with the larger problem of the bridge rather than the individual people, saving everyone in one set of actions as Hal watches on shocked by the turn of events. Attention turns to the cause of the bridge's near collapse, an attack by a Sinestro Corps member, Gorgor, who's goal is to kill Sinestro so that he will be named the new leader of the Corps. Sinestro makes short work of Gorgor and the issue closes with Sinestro telling Hal Jordan why he came to offer him a ring - to take out the Sinestro Corps for what they've done to Korugar.
|The first of many threats our duo are bound to encounter|
The Writing -
Geoff Johns gets Hal Jordan and Sinestro and it's the continued development of their relationship that makes this issue a great read. The tension between these two is tangible on every panel they share, and that drives this book forward. We see two men who are so similar yet so different that they can't help but hate each other yet you know deep down they are each the guy the other would want on his team when the poop hits the fan. In this situation they need each other to get what they want and as a reader you have to know that this is going to be a great pairing as the rest of this arc unfolds.
The notion that the Sinestro Corps would put a bounty on Sinestro's head is perfectly logical and the bounty being the leadership of the Corps makes for the perfect storm for Sinestro who will be under constant pursuit while trying to take revenge on his former followers with only his greatest enemy by his side. I particularly liked how Sinestro dealt with the bridge attack and I thought that he was about to teach Hal a harsh lesson and found myself as surprised as Hal was when Sinestro did the right thing. The way Sinestro responded to the gratitude of the people was priceless as well!
The Art -
I've found myself undecided about Doug Mahnke's art and I think I finally know why. I think he does a great job overall and there are times when his work really, really shines. But what I've discovered is that while I like the way he draws Hal Jordan, it's only when he's wearing the Green Lantern uniform. There's something about the way he draws Hal's face when there's no mask on that just hasn't set right with me. I know art is subjective for the most part and many readers may disagree, but there's something I can't quite put my finger on that doesn't look right.
Other than that the art in this issue is great and I love how smug and confident Mahnke makes Sinestro look.
What Do I Think?
Another great issue from the creative team of Johns and Mahnke and well worth picking up. Green Lantern is still firing on all cylinders in the new DCU as the creative team continues to use the fallout of the War of the Green Lanterns to explore these iconic characters. Four out of five lanterns.