Green Lantern Corps 25
Van Jensen, Robert Venditti, Victor Drujiniu, Ivan Fernandez, Allan Jefferson
Zero Year Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
I’ll be completely honest. I dropped all of the Green Lantern books when Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi left writing duties. It just seemed like the perfect jumping off point, which comics should never provide. I wasn’t familiar with the creators taking over the various titles, and adding a fifth book was the final nail in the G. L. franchise coffin for me as a casual reader. But you all know me. I can’t refuse a good gimmick. Especially a Batman crossover issue one. So I decided to give this one a chance. I’ve always thought John Stewart was an okay character. Not a great one, but certainly not a bad one. And I was relatively unfamiliar with the creative team’s various works. So I gave it a shot. And Van Jensen’s script was definitely the highlight. And artists Victor Drujiniu, Ivan Fernandez, and Allan Jefferson on the art team did a good job telling a complex story as well. Robert Venditti’s story should also not go unnoticed.
The plot, part flashback and even further flashback, was probably hard to fit into one issue. Part of the story shows a young John Stewart hearing about riots in Detroit and wanting to know why his mom has to rock the boat and embarrass him with her social outreach and public speaking. And the other part (which is the more interesting of the two) involves an older John Stewart as a marine corpsman sent in to evacuate an arena in Gotham City. Enter: the new 52 Anarky. Now, I know I’m in the minority here, but he was always one of my favorite Batman characters because, even though I didn’t agree with hardly anything he ever did or said, he was so charismatic and truly believed in his mission. So seeing him changed so drastically was at first shocking, but when it came right down to it, even though they changed his race (which is another issue entirely and a can of worms, especially in the comic book world and the internet age) and his costume a bit, he was still, when you get right down to it, the same old Anarky. And, after all, this wasn’t his story. It was John’s. So when John’s story and his mother’s intertwine and send the message of racial tension and abuse of power from those with guns and badges, the rule of Anarky is put to an end and Stewart’s insubordination of his commanding officer shows that he truly is a hero. There is a scene where he is thinking aloud (which was totally unrealistic and actually took me out of the scene), but I suppose it works to tell a bigger story. After all, how else would Batman (making his obligatory cameo, since it is his storyline) hear him and know that the arena is in good hands? Naturally, Anarky escapes (although I have absolutely no idea how, because the sequential art sort of dropped the ball on that one). And, naturally, we wrap up with little John Stewart being handed the bullhorn from his mother, as a kid, to suddenly do the right thing and inspire people to listen and act.
So, all in all, it was a decent issue. Average, if you will. The biggest complaint I have is not the black-washing of a favorite character of mine, just for the sake of diversity. Nor is it the unrealistic dialogue or the inconsistent storytelling of the various artists. Though those things play a role in the downfall of this issue, it was really the increased price tag and the utter lack of space for such a story. This could (and probably should) have been an entire storyline. Not just a one-shot issue. Not enough space. Not enough time. And really, when it comes down to it, a terrible jumping on point. Consider this book not re-added to my pull list. A noble effort, but when it comes down to it, they sort of dropped the ball. Better luck next time. I’m sure there will be another gimmick in the future that brings me back.
My Rating: 3/5