Book of Doom: Green Lantern #21

Green Lantern 21Okay, yeah, so Green Lantern #21 wasn’t quite as wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am as our last Book of Doom, The Sinestro Corps Special, but then again the second part of a mulit-part storyline rarely packs the same punch as the first one did. The Special had a lot of work to do, setting up all the story and introducing the villains, and it had twice as many pages to do it in. Green Lantern #21 probably wouldn’t be a good read by itself, but as part two of the Sinestro Corps War, it worked.

The book did a good job of establishing everything a new reader would need to know to understand the story: the history of Hal Jordan and Parallax, the “Lost” Lanterns, the Guardians and the Book of Oa. Thankfully the Geoff Johns writing this issue was the one that wrote the easily understandable Green Lantern: Rebirth and not the one that wrote the incoherent Lightning Saga. Ivan Reis is a welcome return to the title. Reis’ style is very reminiscent of Carlos Pacheco, which is a goodthing in my book. Daniel Acuna’s art works well at times, but his fill-in on GL was not one of those. Aside from the fact that it was well-written and well-drawn, there’s really not much to say about the issue. It was solid, but not really spectacular in any way.

One thing I’ll say is that I really enjoyed how Johns is getting around the “we don’t want to pay Siegel and Schuster to use the name ‘Superboy'” thing. Sinestro simply calls Superboy-Prime “my boy.” Guy Gardner cals him “Super-Psycho Junior.” Neither time does is sound like the character is trying to get around calling him Superboy, it just seems like what they would say in that instance. Unlike Countdown, where they’ve taken to calling him “the last survivor of Earth-Prime,” or simply “Prime.” Give it up DC…just pay the cash and call him Superboy.

Now let’s see what the rest of the Legion had to say…

What’s that? No one else in the Legion bothered to send in a review? Only our very special guest Paperghost sent me a review? Well, then I guess we’ll see what Paperghost had to say…

“It’s…endless crossovers, it’s digs at the fans, it’s a poor woman’s Supergirl, it’s showing how the men deal with a rape rather than the victim, it’s an endless procession of deaths till there’s nobody left to kill, it’s lipstick lesbians, it’s NAMTAB POTS, it’s punching the original Superman to a bloodied mess, it’s Dr Lights Rape-a-rama colouring book, it’s the cover to JLA #10, it’s beating a young boy in a young mans body to death, it’s a crossover after an event leading to a countdown to another event, it’s dreadful mischaracterisation, it’s THE SECRET OF 52 IS THAT THE MULTIVERSE STILL EXISTS, it’s Jean Loring bringing a loaded flamethrower to Sue Dibney’s apartment, it’s Maxwell Lord, it’s Infinite Crossover Crisis, it’s threatening a multiverse (then taking it away) then bringing it back (then threatening to destroy or change it again), it’s KILLER FREAKING BEES……in a nutshell, it’s DC Comics in 2007.

I have raged hard, and have raged often at the utterly baffling decisions DC have made over the past few years. The Sinestro Corps special issue thing was decent enough until I realised for full enjoyment of the issue I should be listening to Oasis, crying over the breakup of Take That and proclaiming the joys of Cool Britannia.

That’s right kids, welcome back to the 90s. Not only were some of that eras worst creative misfires dredged up from beyond the grave, but we even had The Anti-Monitor return in one final, glorious shark-jumping leap from DC who basically announced to the world that they had run out of anything new to say with their intellectual properties. The history and legacy of Crisis on Infinite Earths has now officially been undone. Original Superman? Dead, bloodied, smashy-faced mess. Superboy Prime? Raging crybaby lunatic. Alexander Luthor? Yeah, character assassination coming through. The Monitor? Brought back in 52 flavours in the worst comic in history, AKA Countdown. And now, the big bad of the piece, The Anti-Monitor, returns. All the effort and sacrifice and struggle spent taking him down, rendered pretty much pointless because BAM, just like that, he’s back with a lame “well the multiverse is back so he is too” excuse. I love comic book logic, there’s no stretch too great that you can’t apply to dump all over a previously awesome piece of execution. Just because the multiverse returns DOES. NOT. MEAN. That the anti-monitor HAS to come back, nor does it HAVE to mean that the Monitor returns 52 times, either. Why can’t they alter current continuity without immediately feeling the need to bring back all this old stuff too? Don’t they realise that the whole point of updating continuity is that you’re drawing a line in the sand, sticking the old stuff in a compartment and filing it under ‘previously awesome, now not needed’?

Ten points to the first person in the DC office that realises by inserting older, out of continuity stuff into current continuity stuff, you end up with…a big fat mess of about twenty different continuities.

Anyway, those are my thoughts going into Green Lantern #21, and they’re actually a lot more comprehensive than my thoughts on the issue itself which can be summed up thusly:


Any comic with a lead villain sporting a big, pink comedy head is always going to be a long haul. Even more so when they have to recite a hilariously lame variation on the Green Lantern oath. I won’t reproduce it here because it might make my brain bleed again, but wow, is it poor. Ditch the stupid Bizarro oath already.

What happens here? Well, not much. You see the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps issue, a bunch of Lanterns stand around saying they need to get to Qward, then bam — a lame Deus Ex Machina is whipped out so you don’t actually have to see Hal Jordan traveling there. All of a sudden, you’re in a poorly executed dream / flashback sequence and we find out Hal Jordan’s brand new fear is that he didn’t hear his fathers last words as it crashed.


Next minute, bammo, you’re on Qward and –yawn– we find out Hal Jordan and Parallax are going to go head to head. Next issue. Making any sort of exciting resolution for this issue entirely redundant.

To sum up – the continuation of a bad idea, an issue where nothing happens, confusing flashback and utterly telegraphed “big fight” for the next issue. Oh, and 90s villains galore. I’m just waiting for Monarch to stick his big, useless head into the picture at any moment.


Wow, good job picking up the slack for the Legion, Paperghost!