“Take us to your leader”
What does set this story apart is the underlying story told in this special issue. It’d be easy to simply have Hal and Thaddeus Bach (or Ghostal) team up to do nothing more than foil a plot by Larfleeze and Zorak, but the writers go a bit further and make the obligatory tag team match little more than a precursor to a more philosophical story about ignorance that makes the issue more than a light weight tale designed to exploit fans of either franchise. I really have to give them credit for finding a nice way to do the obvious thing that fans expected when they bought the issue while still telling an interesting story.
That’s not to say that Tynion and Sebela get it all right however. There’s a few bumps in the road when it comes to understanding how the lantern rings work, such as reverting Hal’s wardrobe when the ring comes off. There’s also the nagging trope of having a ring which is on the brink of losing its charge which has been done to death. Perhaps minor things in the bigger picture but it’s paying attention to those kinds of details which makes a great story only a good one at the end of the day.
Artistically Ariel Olivetti’s work was something I wasn’t sure I’d like after seeing the preview for the issue. I’m not a big fan of the watercolor style to be honest, but Olivetti almost makes me a fan here. The space sequences stood out as positive to me, which I found far more appealing than those panels that took place planetside. Olivetti forgets a power ring here or there which always bugs me, but he gets more right than wrong to be certain.
My biggest complaint about the issue comes from the price point, a steep $4.99. Sure the story has extra pages, but the Howard Chaykin “Ruff N’ Reddy” backup feature was of absolutely no interest to me so I feel like I’m paying a dollar more than I should have. While I think the main feature is a good story that fans of either franchise will enjoy I can’t say that it’s a value for what you have to pay to read it. If you’re a fan of “Ruff N’ Reddy” then you’ll likely feel differently but for me I’d rather have gotten more pages of the main story.
Green Lantern / Space Ghost Special #1 is the fun mashup that I’d hoped it would be while also being a thought provoking tale. While the special is a good read the team up of Hal Jordan and Space Ghost is one which could have more legs if given the opportunity. For the cost of the issue I’d rather have had more of this team up than the “Ruff N’ Reddy” backup story that I really didn’t care about or enjoy. Eight out of ten lanterns.