Saturday, December 17, 2011

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge Is A Mediocre Exploration Of The Rebuilding Of The Green Lantern Corps.

The Good: Moments of character, Decent starting point
The Bad: Light on character work, Plot meanders, Often mediocre artwork.
The Basics: The graphic novel Green Lantern Corps: Recharge introduces some of the fundamental characters of the new Green Lantern Corps to new readers.

As the year winds down, I have been stealing a little more time to actually enjoy books I want to read. I’ve managed to get in some of the Wonder Woman books I missed last year and I have been reading more of the Green Lantern books. Even though this is my Daredevil Year, I am finding I am pretty much done with Matt Murdock and his adventures. Despite getting much of the serialized story out of order, I am finding I enjoy the Green Lantern books quite a bit. The latest one to reach me is Green Lantern Corps: Recharge.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge takes place shortly after the rebirth of the Green Lantern Corps. Oa has been restored, Parallax is in retreat and the Corps is looking to rebuild. This makes for a story that is very accessible to new readers, as it is the beginning of the current (well, pre-New 52 reboot) Green Lantern volume. And while Green Lantern Corps: Recharge does that fairly well, it is far from a flawless volume.

Struggling to find their place in the new Corps, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner are recalled to Oa. As black holes sprout up in various space sectors, Gardner and Rayner are given the assignment of training the new recruits. One of those new recruits is Soranik Natu, of Korugar. She is a doctor who wants nothing more than to return to her medical work when she is called by the Corps. Also among the new recruits are Isamot Koland Vath, of Thanagar and Rann, two planets currently involved in a bitter and bloody war. When the issue with the black holes takes precedence, Gardner and Rayner take a team to investigate the cause of the mysterious celestial phenomenon.

As Kilowog struggles to train the new recruits, Guy and Kyle fall into the lair of space spiders who are weaving a very dangerous web. After evading ridiculous bounty hunters, they come face to face with the Spider Guild and must work to protect Oa from an all-out attack.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge has its moments, but it underwhelms because it is so straightforward. There are no great conspiracies here, this is not an epic story. It is a new beginning for the Corps and that is all it truly tries to be. As a result, a lot of time in the book is spent with simply illustrating how several of the characters are called by the Corps. That is hardly an extraordinary process.

What is neat, as one who has seen where the Saga goes, is the introduction of characters who become absolutely vital. Soranik Natu is a conflicted character from the beginning and her introduction in Green Lantern Corps: Recharge reflects that very well. Vath and Kol have a surprisingly short run in the Green Lantern storyline and their introduction in Green Lantern Corps: Recharge seems actually to foreshadow that. Because the two are from planets that are mortal enemies, there is surprisingly little for the writers to work with beyond that conflict. In other words, all that really makes either character interesting is their sense of conflict with the other, so there is not much to do with them once that conflict is solved.

That said, Green Lantern Corps: Recharge uses Guy Gardner very well. In fact, this might be one of the better Gardner stories and it reinvents him as both a fairly serious character and a real leader. It also establishes the problem Bolphunga has with him, so that was pretty cool.

The artwork in Green Lantern Corps: Recharge is wildly erratic, though. There are amazing panels, like Patrick Gleason’s representation of Soranik bound and near death. But then there are panels where Guy, Soranik and Salaak look like cartoon renderings of the characters.

In short, this book is a good start, but too erratic for most readers to consider truly indispensable.

For other Green Lantern-related books, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Green Lantern: Rebirth
To Be A Lantern
The Sinestro Corps War - Volume One
Tales Of The Sinestro Corps
The Sinestro Corps War - Volume Two
Ring Quest
Sins Of The Star Sapphire
Rage Of The Red Lanterns
Agent Orange
Emerald Eclipse
Blackest Night
Blackest Night: Green Lantern
Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps
Blackest Night: Tales Of The Corps
Brightest Day: Green Lantern
Brightest Day: Green Lantern Corps - Revolt Of The Alpha-Lanterns


For other book reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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