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Written By: Geoff Johns, Sam Humphries Art By: Ethan Van Sciver, Ed Benes, Travis Lanham Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: June 1, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Out of all the titles announced with the Rebirth moniker, I have to say that this one was the stand out in my mind that I couldn't wait to read........ Well, this and Blue Beetle, but we'll get to that one down the road a bit. Anyway, the reason that I was so on board with this book right from the get go was because I've loved the Green Lanterns since I was a kid and it blew my mind when Geoff Johns introduced Simon Baz back during the #0 issue of the New 52 and the reason it blew my mind is because I initially blew it off like any asshole fanboy does before checking something out, but when I finally picked up the book and the subsequent issues that followed, I have to say that I immediately became a fan of Simon Baz and have been begging for him to get his own book ever since......... Yeah, you can't really say he has his own book here because he's sharing it with Jessica Cruz, but after she was introduced in the aftermath of Forever Evil, the idea of a rookie female Lantern peaked my interest as well and I've probably hit the jackpot by these two having a series together. These aren't exactly young heroes like I enjoy seeing getting accustomed to their new role, but they are rookies and that's close enough for me to smile when I see this book. Let's jump into this issue and see if the paring of these two are a match made in heaven.......... or if one of them starts reciting "I'm getting too old for this shit". Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with a little narrative from a mysterious source, but the gist of all this is that there's another Guardian out in the Universe, who's been hiding out and creating a new power that the Universe has never seen. After being hunted by the people of the sector the Guardian was hiding out in, well fear of dying and probably being eaten..... because that's what I'm usually worried about, got the better of this ancient being and he unleashed the energy and........ well, it's kind of odd. Inside the box that this energy was stored in came the entire spectrum of colors that I assume took care of the Guardian's pursuers and then formed into a symbol we've never seen before. Even with this new power, that our mysterious narrator seems hellbent on getting, it comes off really odd because all it just seems to be is every spectrum and we've already seen Kyle tame all the emotions so that he could become a White Lantern and the Indigo Tribe can summon up the individual emotions...... so really, this revelation about this brand spankin' new power just doesn't have the impact that I think it should.
After that display we head on down to Earth to check in on our characters of this comic....... and I'll tell ya, it's strange as hell seeing Simon Baz going back pretty much where we left him in his personal story line during the Third Army arc. He's still being called a terrorist by a bigoted neighborhood and he's still checking in with the FBI....... Hell, later on Hal Jordan shows up and says that he only has seniority on Jessica by a couple of weeks and my continuity/time line brain melted thinking about how it's only been a couple of weeks between the Third Army and everything that we've done recently in the Green Lantern stories. I'll go with it though because you can't nitpick everything....... I just have to keep reminding myself of that like a montra because...... a couple of damn weeks?! So yeah, Simon's getting back to being treated like shit from the people he's sworn to protect and Jessica Cruz is questioning her ring's decision to induct her into the Green Lantern Corps....... since she's terrified of leaving the house. I really dig this part with Jessica because as she's trying to figure out why she was chosen, what with all the fear she has, she actually is overcoming fear during this whole section because she's recently been kicked out of her apartment, which was her safe haven and is now looking for her sister in a crowded place. Jessica is overcoming fear left and right here and while it may not be a staring down Mongul kind of overcoming fear, it's overcoming fear nonetheless and I like it. Both our Lanterns have to stop what they're doing though when their rings inform them that an alien ship has crash landed on Earth and this leads to our heroes meeting for the first time......... and like you could have figured with Simon spouting off about seniority like I talked about earlier....... it could have gone better.
In the end, our two Lanterns have to take on a Manhunter frome the crashed ship, but after getting their asses whooped pretty quick, we find out that this was just a training exercise that Hal Jordan put together to see how our rookie Lanterns would fair before he would have to go back out into deep space to help the Corps with some sort of Sinestro problem they've got going on...... and seeing that they failed...... well, it's a good thing we have a Justice League on the planet. Yeah, our heroes of this book don't exactly get along and for how much I wanted to see both of these characters together, I have to say that their bickering got a little on my nerves, but there's still hope that they'll be able to work as a team and to help insure this, Hal takes both of their power batteries and fuses them together so that it can only work if they're both around and since they can't get the proper training that a Lantern usually gets, he saddles the Justice League to be the ones to get them up to snuff so that sector 2814 is protected....... but even with that whole sector thing, it looks like they'll just be protecting Earth. As our issue closes though we find out that our mysterious narrator from the beginning was actually Atrocitus and this rage-aholic seems to have plans for Earth himself and something that he's calling, "The Red Dawn".
That's it for this Rebirth issue of Green Lanterns and even though I found the bickering between Simon and Jessica a tad annoying at times, I have to say that I can't wait to see where this series goes and how our rookies will become some of Earth's greatest heroes. For as little as we've gotten to play with Simon or Jessica in the DCU, they really feel like they belong in this book and the concept of heroes in training is something that I can completely get on board with, especially since the Corps isn't involved and it's coming at us in a way we haven't seen since Kyle Rayner first put on the ring...... with some added twists of course. Sink or swim feels like the motto of this book as our heroes are thrown out into the deep end and the stories that can come from that seem endless....... and not to mention, fun. Yeah, I had an issue with the amount of time that Simon has supposedly been a Green Lantern, but this could just be Hal making a joke and I still can't stand that Bleez is coo-coo for Atrocitus puffs, but all in all this is a really good introduction to these characters and what they're about to come up against that I think can be enjoyed by new readers, but it doesn't hurt if you know a thing or two either. With all that, we get some really stellar art in this book and colors that are bright and shiny.... just the way they ought to be in a Green Lantern book.
Bits and Pieces:
While I've been wishing that Simon Baz would get a book all his own, it's even cooler that he's paired up with Jessica Cruz in this title and while they might not have hit it off that great in this issue.......that led to some annoying bickering at times,overall we've got ourselves a series to look out for. Big bad things are about to take these rookies for a ride and with the teamwork/sink or swim tone of this book, I can't wait to see how our heroes overcome it. We've got great art and a whole bunch of things laid out in front of us that will set the stage for this series for awhile to come...... and I can't wait.