Green Lantern #21 has a ton of pressure on it. This is the first time in almost a decade that someone other than Geoff Johns has penned the book, which alone makes for an intimidating follow up performance. But when you take into account the Whatever Happened to the Emerald Warrior? ending Johns gave us, it would seem near impossible to follow-up on the story book endings of the main characters fates the following month.
However life goes on, and Green Lantern is continuing to be published by DC under a new writer and new direction. So how is it?
Before this issue I had never heard of Robert Venditti and was cautious to see what he would bring to the table. Venditti opens the book mid-action sequence during (what appears to be) the climax of the first arc in order to give you a sense of the scope of the story he is writing, which at first glance is intriguing. Venditti spends his first issue tying up lose ends from the last issue and set up his own sub-plots.
Venditti does not take the easy route and reinstate the new guardians as the leaders of the Green Lantern Corps but instead gives that responsibility to Hal Jordan. Knowing the type of character Hal is and how things looked in the opening pages, it will be fun to see how badly Hal screws up and how he somehow manages to save the day. The last page of the book really gives you a sense of how “in-over-his-head” Hal Jordan is as the leader of the entire Green Lantern Corps.
Billy Tan’s artwork has never looked better. It’s a nice cross between Ed Benes and Ivan Reis’s pencils while distinctly being its’ own style. Tan’s Larfleeze looks amazing and makes me excited to see Tan draw other characters from the GL mythos.
I know a lot of people were planning on dropping Green Lantern once Johns left the book, but they should at least give Venditti and Tan’s first issue a try. It does not try to be Johns’ book, nor should it. Green Lantern #21 shows that the book is in capable hands and promises a bright future for the Green Lantern franchise.