Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Rare Flop By Peter J. Tomasi: Green Lantern Corps: Fearless Is Uninspired New 52 Lore!

The Good: Decent artwork, Moments of character
The Bad: Banal story
The Basics: In a painfully formulaic Green Lantern story, Green Lantern Corps: Volume 1 - Fearless utilizes Guy Gardner and John Stewart in an unfortunately uninteresting way.

When it comes to graphic novels, I have found there are several authors whose works I am beginning to have a preference for. In terms of the Green Lantern Saga, I have generally enjoyed the works of Peter J. Tomasi, Tony Bedard, and Geoff Johns. Peter J. Tomasi has written quite a few decent volumes in the Green Lantern Saga, but with The New 52, Tomasi seems to not have as firm a direction as some of the other books. At least, that is the case with Green Lantern Corps: Fearless. Green Lantern Corps: Volume 1 - Fearless is the first of the New 52 Green Lantern Corps books and it follows up on War Of The Green Lanterns: Aftermath (reviewed here!). Unfortunately, following that seemingly climactic event in the DC Universe, the Green Lantern Corps has no clear direction.

In addition to issues with the rebooting of the DC Universe following Flashpoint - in the case of Green Lantern Corps: Volume 1 - Fearless the fact that Guy Gardener has no former knowledge of the Martian Manhunter, though the Green Lantern story arc largely survived the New 52 reboot – the story in Fearless is not gripping. It is also worth noting that Green Lantern Corps: Volume 1 - Fearless has a much more graphic sensibility than many other DC Comics. For those who can’t handle graphic, Green Lantern Corps: Volume 1 - Fearless is a bad choice; there are multiple graphic deaths, as well as a dismemberment that is illustrated more in effect than in actualization.

When the Green Lantern Sector House in 3599 is decimated, the dead Lanterns have their ring fingers severed and their rings captured. After realizing the jobs on Earth are nowhere near what they want any longer, Green Lanterns Guy Gardner and John Stewart return to Oa. Learning of the attack on Sector 3599, they investigate the carnage. Disgusted by more dead Green Lanterns – all of whom are missing their ring fingers and rings – the Green Lantern Corps learns of a pattern of planets being attacked for their resources. They converge on Xabas where the Green Lanterns are attacked by a new group of villains who are immune to the constructs the Green Lanterns create.

John Stewart is captured by the aliens, known as the Keepers, and tortured. The Keepers want information on the Green Lantern Vibrational Matrix Signature for the Central Power Battery. While Stewart an the other captured Lanterns struggle to hold out from the torments, Guy Gardner hires the four roughest Green Lanterns to fight the Keepers. After robbing a ship stockpiled with weapons, Gardner and the other Lanterns engage the Keepers in a direct assault to save Stewart and the other captives.

John Stewart, being former military, is able to hold out against the Keepers’ tortures, though not all of the Green Lanterns who are captured can. That leads to John Stewart’s big character moment and the recurring DC Universe neck snap. Artist Fernando Pasarin renders the big moment with a beautiful full-page splash, though the moment lacks the full resonance of something like Wonder Woman killing Max Lord in The OMAC Project (reviewed here!).

Outside that big character moment, Green Lantern Corps: Volume 1 - Fearless is devoid of significant character moments. Peter J. Tomasi makes a passing effort with Isamot Kol, who is dismembered by the Keepers and wrestles with that while growing his limbs back. As well, Guy Gardner’s discovery that he cannot live on Earth as something as mundane as a coach or teacher plays well for the character.

While the story is a painfully straightforward military exercise, the artwork in Green Lantern Corps: Volume 1 - Fearless is good. The Keepers look badass, the known characters are recognizable as well. The colors are vivid and the book looks good.

But the main pretense of Fearsome - that beyond the Honor Guards and the normal Green Lanterns there are super badass military commando Green Lanterns – is pretty ridiculous and the stereotypical “old soldiers” that Tomasi creates for Fearsome are silly. The net result is a book that is easy to pass by, despite the new information it contains about the Green Lantern Universe.

For other New 52 books set in the Green Lantern corner of the universe, please check out my reviews of:
Revenge Of The Black Hand
New Guardians: The Ring Bearer
Red Lanterns: Blood And Rage


For other graphic novel reviews, please visit my Graphic Novel Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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