Monday, May 6, 2013

Green Lantern #13

"Actions and Reactions"


Geoff Johns Writer
Doug Mahnke Penciller
Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Tom Nguyen, Keith Champagne and Marc Deering Inkers
Alex Sinclair with Tony Avina Colorists
Steve Wanos Letterer
Wil Moss Associate Editor
Matt Idelson Editor

Before I begin this review, I need to make a full disclaimer: I have never read Green Lantern. I tried to read some of Blackest Night way back when, but it really confused me, so I basically just left the character alone. But just because I don't know what's going on doesn't mean that it's a bad comic — it just means that in order to fully enjoy it, I'd need to do a lot of back reading, which I am unfortunately unable to do at the moment. (Maybe one day I'll have enough time and money to read everything I'd like. If only ...) So basically, what I'm saying is that I'm coming into this story much like the Flash is — with little to no clue of what's going on.

The cover is by Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert and Rod Reis. It's actually just a part of a much larger image with all the Green Lantern titles, which looks pretty good altogether. But individually, it feels really crowded and empty at the same time. The black-and-white version doesn't work for me here, mainly because one of the Guardians looks too much like a baby for me to take seriously. Surprisingly, there is no variant cover.

The story begins in Washington, D.C., at 4:33 a.m., where Amanda Waller is briefing President Obama on the status of the Green Lanterns. Apparently all four known Earth Lanterns have been missing for a while and a suspected terrorist named Simon Baz has recently come into possession of a Green Lantern ring. Apparently this Baz, who is an Arab and a Muslim, stole a car that happened to have a bomb in it. He was taken to Guantanamo Bay and interrogated until the ring broke him out. Obama orders Waller to call in the Justice League to investigate.

We then cut to Baz in the Florida Keys, who is trying to figure out his new ring. It plays a message from Hal Jordan and Sinestro, who both tell him to stay away from Oa and to not trust the Guardians. Baz then flies to Dearborn, Michigan, to talk to his sister, who has been asked to take a leave of absence from her work because everyone is scared of her brother.

Meanwhile, a trucker is attacked by a member of the Third Army — a zombie-like entity that turns people into other zombies just like it.

Later that night, Baz is knocked off a roof by a red-and-blue blur. A voice says, "You're in a lot of trouble, Mr. Baz." He looks up to see the Justice League.

The Good:

Solid comic book. The story was good, the art was good, overall this is well-done comic book. Although I only know the basics of Green Lantern, I didn't feel completely lost here. I also found Simon Baz to be an interesting character, and I commend Geoff Johns for introducing him without it feeling like a desperate ploy to demonstrate diversity. Baz's inclusion in this story felt natural and logical. I really would like to read Johns' full Green Lantern run, but the constraints of time and money have required me to stick with just one character, and I chose the Flash.

The Bad:

Little to no Flash. The only page you see him on is the last page, and as you can see, he's just kinda standing there. Because he is physically present, I consider this an active appearance, but just barely. Flash fans can easily skip this issue and not miss the Flash really doing anything. But if Flash fans do pick up this issue, they might find some enjoyment in the story of Simon Baz.

Final score: 5 out of 10

Next time: Find out what the League has in store for Baz in Green Lantern #14.

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