Friday, September 23, 2011

Green Lantern Corps #1

This was a tough comic to review. Positives: good character work, solid art, an attempt at social relevance, and a clever way to get new readers up to speed. Writer Pete Tomasi and artist Fernando Pasarin should be proud of all that. I don't want to minimize that. These guys crafted a good comic that they should be pretty proud of. But...

The title of this story is "Triumph of the Will", for those of you who don't know (and that includes whatever ignorant turds were in charge of editing this comic), the name comes from a documentary. Said documentary was a piece of the Nazi propaganda effort back in 1930s Germany. It stars Hitler and his right-hand man, Heinrich Himmler. I'm gonna assume you know about Hitler, but his buddy Himmler was the man most directly involved in the mechanics of the Holocaust. This guy drove around to concentration camps and made sure they were running as smoothly as possible. And when I say smoothly, I mean, this guy was pleased when Jews/gays/Gypsies/Eastern Europeans/the mentally retarded/etc. were BURNED OR GASSED TO DEATH. To think that making use of the title of a film glorifying sick pieces of shit like Hitler and Himmler is okay is just mind boggling. I'm honestly a little surprised this didn't become a one-day story on some in at least one major news outlet.

But hey, what's a little Nazi-glorification among friends, right? Everything else is smooth sailing? Not so much. The first four pages of this comic feature three violent deaths. We see an evil alien get bisected, a heroic Green Lantern get decapitated and then another bisection, this time a different GL. By the end of the comic, we have two more dead GLs, this time left to rot on pikes, and the genocide of a whole planet. And we see the corpses left over from said genocide being picked at by alien vultures. I've seen less pointless violence at WWE cage matches. I've been to orgies at Dan Didio's house that featured less gore to feed his murder boner. This is really over the top savagery that doesn't enhance the storytelling in the slightest.

Tomasi did himself no favors, because the gore distracts from a good story. He's a writer with a good command of how to use character to jump start a story. Lanterns Guy Gardner and John Stewart return to Earth to try and reconnect with normal life, only to realize that duty calls and you can't always go home again. The art really works, especially the coloring. Even the cover, which wasn't drawn by the guy that did the interiors, really looks great.

Buy again: Despite some reservations with the blood/guts/idiocy, yes.

New reader friendly: Yeah, a scene where Guy Gardner is mobbed by groupies and has to explain what the rings can and can't do, how many GLs there are, etc., was a clever-as-fuck way to bring new readers up to speed.

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