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“Take us to your leader”

When I first read about the team up of Space Ghost and Green Lantern I admittedly geeked out over hearing that these two franchises would meet up.  Space Ghost summons up all kinds of warm and fuzzy nostalgic feelings and his pairing with Hal Jordan is one of those logical pairings that makes sense on so many levels.  The question for me is whether or not Green Lantern / Space Ghost Special #1 would live up its potential or not.

In some ways the story by James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela falls into the common trap of these kinds of meetings.  The heroes meet, fight each other until the realize they are on the same side and then try out each others toys on their way to fighting a common enemy before parting as friends.  It’s pretty paint by numbers in that regard but it’s a tried and true formula no matter how predictable it is.  However Tynion and Sebela provide enough feel good fan service that I don’t mind the fact that this is just like every other mash up that’s ever been written when it comes to creating the dynamic between both franchises.  It’s just a great deal of fun to see these two galactic guardians standing at first toe to toe and then side by side.

Not surprisingly Hal and Space Ghost don’t start out shaking hands

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.

Once our heroes get past their perceived differences, the story becomes a much more meaningful tale.

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.

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