The Green Lanterns confront the Red Dawn
After setting the stage with Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 it’s time to see if the title will sink or swim. Sam Humphries handles the full writing responsibilities going forward following an assist from Green Lantern universe-expander Geoff Johns. The initial results are encouraging even with some room to grow.
Lanterns Baz and Cruz are left to defend Earth and their first mission leads them to a shocking discovery about the Red Lanterns. Humphries has a fun take on the partners’ dynamic and their debut outing captures a slight X-Files tone that should be interesting to see play out.
For two thrown together Lanterns, Baz and Cruz exhibit smoother teamwork than I was expecting for their first mission. I envision occasional construct interference as the two can’t manage to get out of the others’ way, but they were almost too smooth a team. Baz and Cruz’s significant personality flaws — he’s a hothead and she’s overly fearful — are not what you’d commonly associate with Green Lanterns providing a welcome fresh take. It’s also very encouraging to see a title with two minority characters.
Humphries introduces two very interesting concepts one on both the Green and Red Lanterns side. Both feel like natural extensions in the Johns’ Lantern-verse and should lead to some exciting developments.
Robson Rocha’s artwork is a mixed bag and varies in consistency from page to page. The panel arrangement is largely clean, but the art looks more like an extreme 90s Image Comics flashback. Rocha poses the characters more for dramatic flair too often so their movements don’t naturally flow with the dialogue. Hair flies all over, expressions are occasionally soft and the lantern constructs are at times unclear. Getting the lantern constructs down is going to be one of the more important tasks Rocha will need to improve on going forward.
Despite these issues, Rocha’s upside is clearly apparent. Rocha doesn’t take any shortcuts with the details and when he gets it, the character expressions really help further the story. I’m curious how Rocha’s art compliments Ardian Syaf, the other GL artist who will handle every other issue.
Red Dawn starts off promising and I’m definitely curious to see how it plays out. Humphries has some good ideas that should ensure this era of Green Lantern proudly carries on the series tradition of high-stakes, bombastic action.
Rating: 7 out of 10