And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERN 0, GL NEW GUARDIANS 0

Images © DC Comics, Inc.

Here we go with some of the Zero issues that DC put out across the “New 52” for November cover dates. The theme of the Zeros is “New characters introduced, secret origins unveiled, mysteries revealed.” So let’s see how they did.

GREEN LANTERN 0 features a new Lantern. As you might guess from the cover, he’s ethnic, and if you look closely at his arm, with its glowing Arabic inscription, that ethnicity is at least partly Middle Eastern. Writer Geoff Johns does a nice job of telling the character’s story briefly: raised in poverty under the shadow of 9-11, taking up crime out of desperation, being essentially framed as a terrorist. In the police station, in the midst of his interrogation, something Green Lanternish happens, but it’s more complicated than that. We DON’T see the character in costume as on the cover, but things are clearly headed that way.

The art is by the usual penciller, Doug Mahnke with three inkers, and looks great, as always. The end of the issue is a bit confusing visually, but overall it’s fine work.

GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS also strays far from the usual team. They’re on the cover, but only Kyle Rayner and a Star Sapphire are inside. Kind of a cheat, but in fact, I really enjoyed this issue. Tony Bedard has taken a breather from the epic space stories to tell what’s been going on in Coast City with GL associates Carol Ferris and Thomas Kamalku, both worried about Hal Jordan, who they haven’t seen in a long time. Kyle shows up to enlist the help of Carol in her Star Sapphire persona, and then the story takes on some elements from the GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL, namely the zombies created by Black Hand. Much as I like some of the epic space stories, this down-to-Earth one is a refreshing change. And at the end we see the Guardians in a surprising teaser scene. I guess this would kind of qualify as an origin explored and a few secrets revealed.

Several artists I don’t recall seeing on any GL book have done the art, and done it well: Aaron Kuder and Andrei Bressan, each on separate sections. There are some discrepancies in the character faces and physiques between the two, which is a little distracting, but in general I liked the result, but didn’t love it.

Both books are recommended.

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