Green Lantern 23.2
Special “Villains Month” Title: Mongul 1
Jim Starlin, Howard Porter
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The new Green Lantern tie-in was fun. Say what you will about Jim Starlin as a writer, but the guy’s still got it. Yes, Stormwatch is currently a very boring title, but I don’t think that’s his fault. I think it’s the fact that those characters are so inconsistently written (always have been, unfortunately probably always will be). It was nice to see him back in his prime here, focusing on what I feel he does best: Writing from the villain’s point-of-view. This time around, he’s joined by Howard Porter, one of my personal favorite artists (and the only artist I actually own original art by). And the focus of this tale is the intergalactic despot Mongul.
This one and done tale of evil is just as violent and ruthless as the title character. And it’s very well done. Not a whole lot happens, but really, when you think about it, when your entire life is just one battle after another, seeking only to cause pain and suffering for your own sick benefit, there’s not a whole lot to tell that will actually impress. This makes the character difficult to write well. So it was nice to see this approach actually acknowledged by the writer/artist team this go around. Warworld is an interesting concept, but the fact that we only really get to see it talked about, not actually focused on, was a nice change of pace. Usually, Mongul stories are simply him attacking a group of superheroes and getting overpowered by their sheer numbers or Mongul sitting upon his throne watching various heroes and villains fight to the death. So seeing him actually seeking a fight worth his time was kind of interesting. And the fact that the end of the issue suggests that he’ll be attacking the Green Lantern Corps simply because it will amuse him and he’s bored shows just how evil he really is. I’ve always liked the completely unredeemable characters in the DC Universe, and Mongul has remained no exception to that like.
It’s probably not worth the extra dollar for the fancy cover, so go ahead and save the buck. But definitely get this issue if you’re a Green Lantern (or Superman) fan. It’s also a nice way to familiarize yourself with a great villain if you’ve never read anything with him in it before. And, to be quite honest, it’s a good way to get yourself back into the mindset of “Oh, yeah… Jim Starlin CAN still write!” instead of having your hopes crushed monthly in the pages of Stormwatch.
My Rating: 4/5