The post-Johns era of Green Lantern begins… and it feels a lot like the Johns era. But that’s not really a problem, the concepts and characters and tone that Johns created are a huge reason why the franchise is as popular as it is (heck, why it’s even a franchise at all) and for Robert Venditti to jettison that would be stupid on his part. You can tell that this is a different writer though, Venditti’s dialogue is a lot stronger than Johns’ for me, and things move at a brisker pace. Even the long talking segment between Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris is more enjoyable, and both of them felt more real.
The actual plot here is full of cool developments, especially the idea of Hal becoming the leader of the Green Lantern Corps, a job that he is woefully unprepared for. I liked seeing Kyle make fun of him, and as I said in my review of #20, Hal’s carefree attitude no longer annoys me. Seeing him realise that maybe he shouldn’t call for new recruits straight away… then immediately do it anyway was a great encapsulation of his character. Of course, it’s not all good, as bloody fucking Larfleeze shows up. You all know I hate Larfleeze, so it pissed me off no end to see him again. Hopefully this will be the last we see of him, and now that he’s got his own ongoing, he’ll be off in his own corner being read by easily pleased morons and ignored by right-thinking people.
But yeah, other than that, this was a good start for Venditti. We get a little tease about this new ‘Relic’ villain, the opening scene is a flash-forward, and some of the Lanterns have trouble charging up, so my interest is appropriately piqued. I like Venditti’s work on X-O Manowar a lot, especially his action sequences, so I’m excited to see him cut loose in future issues and show some epic ring-slinging. Billy Tan is an artist I run hot and cold on, sometimes I think his stuff is great, at others I hate it. In this case, I think it’s pretty good, he draws good aliens and he gives Hal just the right cocky smile.
It certainly is strange reading a Hal Jordan adventure without Geoff Johns, but so far, Venditti seems to be taking the best (and also fucking Larfleeze) of what Johns did, and putting his own spin on things, I reckon this run will only get better and better.