GREEN LANTERN MOVIE REVIEW AND COMIC REVIEW

With Ryan Reynolds soon to pull on his green spandex, charge up his power ring and take on the collected expectations of a legion of Green Lantern fans, it was only a matter of time before we started to see tie-in material appearing on shelves up and down the lands. First up is this re-release of Geoff John and Ivan Reis‘ Green Lantern: Secret Origin, which was originally released in 2008, and which has just arrived to buy this month with the addition of a brand spanking new cover.
Thanks to Titan Books, I was sent a copy of the Hardback graphic novel for review, which also features a foreword by the man charged with bringing the DC character to screen later this year, Mr Reynolds.

When it was originally released the DC universe hadn’t yet entered into the Blackest Night story, and had just come out of another huge story arc in the shape of the Sinestro Corps Wars, and so Secret Origin was something of a gentle rest bite. Geoff Johns had already gone some way to appeasing Green Lantern fans by releasing Green Lantern: Rebirth, and Secret Origins cements that strong start, fleshing out Johns version of the Emerald Knight’s origin, simultaneously adding credence to his and Reis’ ongoing Green Lantern Vol 4 story arcs and setting up important information for the upcoming Blackest Night event (including a slightly sinister new development to Black Hand’s origin with an inexplicit suggestion of necrophilia!)
Reboots are a strange thing- when faced with a cinematic franchise reboot, I will most likely grit my teeth and grumble at the very notion, especially in terms of comic book adaptations because it always seem at odds with the traditionally linear nature of cinematic progression, despite the fact that that sort of progression being part and parcel of the comic world. And, I have no problem with it happening to comics, because I have convinced myself over time that the idiosyncratic flair of comic artists and writers are more inherently expressed through their art than a film-maker’s. Which is of course rubbish, but that’s the justification I’ve accepted into my head to deal with the many branching arms of comic properties (and the amount of money it takes to keep up with them).
We didn’t really need this reboot story, but with the impact that Geoff Johns has had on the Green Lantern universe and the manner in which he set about reintroducing essential elements of the property (Sinestro and the Guardians of the Universe for instance), it is worthwhile to see how he handles the very beginning of Hal Jordan’s ascent to superhero status. More importantly for me, Johns and Reiss’ story makes Hal Jordan human again- which was my personal favourite development of the Green Lantern: Rebirth story arc. I like Green Lantern to be a superhero, with explicit and emotional links to Earth, rather than it merely being his home world and part of his assigned sector, and him being some kind of broader intergalactic hero, and for me Hal Jordan IS the Green Lantern. So to see Jordan gradually becoming less and less human (thanks to the Parallax storyline), and alienated from his traditional origin was beginning to grate a little.
Johns also takes the opportunity to further embellish his rebooted Green Lantern story, adding levels of characterisation not previously dealt with- like the question of why Hal Jordan’s predecessor Abin Sur travelled to Earth in a spaceship when every other Green Lantern’s preferred mode of transport is merely their ring and their will power. Never really made sense when you look back, and yet it was never really in question. And that is the greatest success of Secret Origin, in its attention to backstory details- which have the double impact of both fleshing out Hal Jordan’s character by proximity, and also enriching his backstory by offering fully rounded characters, and reintroducing versions of those characters that may have been forgotten.
The art- pencilled by genius Ivan Reis and coloured by Randy Mayor- is simply great, and you have to hope that since Geoff Johns is working in a consultancy capacity on the movie, some of this visual aesthetic, which in itself is quite cinematic, will transfer onto the big screen. The character designs are excellent- I love Reis’ Kilowog particularly- and backgrounds are as intricately envisaged as the stars of the show, whose emotions are visually perfect and easy to read, which may seem like a simple achievement, but is often the biggest problem for non-human characters in comics. The new cover is also a vast improvement on the original, and showcases the art-team’s abilities impressively.
Importantly for the upcoming movie adaptation, Green Lantern: Secret Origins represents an excellent in-point for movie goers who, like Reynolds himself (as he states in his introduction), may not be entirely aware of the mythology of the character and are looking for an easy introduction. But more than that, it is a visually impressive, wonderfully characterised new take on a story that is almost as familiar as Superman and Batman’s origins, thus representing a double-threat, appealing to both new fans and long time readers.

Daily Dose of Everything

free counters

Daily Dose of Everything