Green Lantern #21 Review

Green Lantern #21

Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Billy Tan

And so begins the post-Geoff Johns era of Green Lantern. With Green Lantern #21, Robert Venditti and Billy Tan offer a different take on the character, but deliver a lot of sheer fun with their debut issue. Though Johns left the series with an expanded mythos, Venditti was also left with a clean slate for where Hal and the Corps could go. Instead of treading on aspects of Johns’ work, Venditti covers much more of Hal’s personal life and relationship with those in the Corps, and so far is met with success.

It’s a bit of an adjustment to read Green Lantern #21 if you’ve just finished Johns’ work. For new readers, it’s super-accessible, but as a longtime Green Lantern fan I expected plenty of teases and looming threats that will be sure to haunt the Corps over the next several years. Save a quick flash forward at the beginning of the issue and a one-page tease at the end, this instalment points to Venditti first few issues as being an examination on how Hal Jordan handles his newfound leadership role.

Hal’s interaction with Carol reminds me of how little the two spoke in relation to Johns’ run, despite the development of their relationship. Venditti’s dialogue doesn’t feel excessive, as he cakes it with humour, and gets that even though Hal has unbelievable willpower, he’s still a loveable romantic idiot at heart.

Despite the series no longer feeling like a space opera, there is much cosmic goodness to be had. Tan draws striking visuals of space. His perspective of the central battery on Oa is stunning, and teases just enough of Relic, to establish the character as a threat but not give away his full features right away. The vibrant panel of the Orange Lanterns stands out as well, as each member is so definable by Tan’s interpretation, that I could piece together a personality for each member in my head. It’s the not-so grand visuals, such as the earth scene with Carol, and the indoor scene with Kyle that Tan lacks. The jarring shift from exciting panels to bland blocking is noticeable. Luckily the funny dialogue spices up the page.

This issue is an exciting new chapter in the Green Lantern mythos. While Venditti is approaching the Corps and Hal from another direction, he respects all the groundwork that has been laid by Johns up to this point. From humour, to romance to cosmic adventure, Green Lantern #21 show signs of it being the start of a very fun run.

Score: 8.6/10