THE GREEN LANTERN #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Border Town #3 CoverBORDER TOWN #3/ Written by ERIC M. ESQUIVEL/ Art by RAMON VILLALOBOS/ Colors by TAMRA BONVILLAIN/ Letters by DERON BENNETT/ Published by VERTIGO COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Border Town #3 opens with a lesson on Mesoamerican mythology and the traditions that continue into the modern day. Eric M. Esquivel’s exposition would not be out of place in a Neil Gaiman story, such is the level of craft that has gone into developing the world of Border Town. Thankfully, the action is as engaging as the history and the artwork by Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain continues to astound. The lettering by Deron Bennett is also worthy of praise. Far more than just a “Southwestern Stranger Things” expect this series to clean up at The Eisners in 2019.

5-5

 

Green Arrow #46 CoverGREEN ARROW #46/ Written by JULIE & SHAWNA BENSON/ Art by GERMAN PERALTA/ Colors by JOHN KALISZ/ Letters by DERON BENNETT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

With Roy Harper’s funeral over, Green Arrow and Black Canary return to the hunt for The Citizen – the violent vigilante who is out for the blood of The One-Percent. His latest attacks have turned the public against both Oliver Queen and Green Arrow, but is there a chance Ollie is guilty of the crimes of which he’s been accused?

There is a bittersweet edge to this issue, as it was announced that DC Comics has fired the Bensons off of this book due to low sales. The fact that these low sales were due to the lackluster fill-in creators who ran the book before The Bensons took over has been completely ignored. And ironically, one of those fill-in creators (who wrote the single worst Green Arrow story in recent memory, for what this critic’s money is worth) has been placed in charge of the series.

Given that, it matters little that Green Arrow #46 is The Bensons’ finest work to date on this series. Freed from the need to force a tie-in to Heroes In Crisis, they present a truly epic Green Arrow and Black Canary team-up story that delivers high-action and a complex mystery. The artwork, by German Peralta and John Kalisz, is also a marked improvement from the sketchy style of Javier Fernandez.

Enjoy this series while you can, kids. We won’t have it for much longer and I won’t stick around for what follows.

5-5

 

The Green Lantern #1 CoverTHE GREEN LANTERN #1/ Written by GRANT MORRISON/ Art by LIAM SHARP/ Colors by STEVE OLIFF/ Letters by TOM ORZECHOWSKI/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Grant Morrison’s and Liam Sharp’s much ballyhooed revival of Green Lantern as a police procedural set in space is here and it’s… well, a revival of Green Lantern as a police procedural set in space. As advertised.

Those hoping for Grant Morrison’s usual off-the-wall weirdness will be sorely disappointed. There are strange ideas aplenty in this issue, but all of them come from the established Green Lantern mythology. This includes the idea of a sentient virus being employed by The Corps to tackle evil doers from the inside, as well as the concept of Radio Lanterns, Microwave Lanterns and a plethora of Lanterns who employ electromagnetic energies other than visible light. (Scott Snyder just introduced this concept in the last year in Justice League, with his Ultraviolet Lanterns, for those keeping score.)

Perhaps it was too much to hope that the master of weirdness could spice up that most static of concepts – the police procedural. Or perhaps Morrison is merely establishing the concept in this issue so he can start deconstructing it next month? Either way, the script serves well enough as an introduction to the Green Lantern concept and Sharp’s artwork, backed by the colors of Steve Oliff and Tom Orzechowski’s letters, is as impressive as we could have hoped for. Sharp manages a unique trick of crafting artwork that is vividly detailed yet subtly streamlined. For all the intricacy of Sharp’s pencils, however, they never feel cluttered no matter how much he depicts in a single panel.

Is The Green Lantern #1 the game-changer we were promised? Not quite. Yet it is a solid introduction to the concept of The Green Lantern Corps and it has some of the best art you’ll see in a comic book this year and that is no bad thing.

 

X-Men Red #10 CoverX-MEN RED #10/ Written by TOM TAYLOR/ Art by ROGE ANTONIO/ Colors by RAIN BEREDO/ Letters by VC’S CORY PETIT/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Cassandra Nova continues to try and provoke a war with mutant-kind, taking hostages on the island of Genosha and trying to frame Jean Grey for the crime. Her attempts at fake news are easily countered, but how can the X-Men save the day without giving Nova the race war she wants?

If you had told me a year ago that one of my favorite monthly series in 2018 would be an X-Men book, I’d have said you were crazy. Yet Tom Taylor’s writing has dragged me into a universe I usually avoided due to its unfriendly continuity and static characterization.

Taylor’s scripts have none of that. There is comedy to balance the drama and social commentary that, while not exactly subtle, neatly updates the concept of X-Men for the 21st century. Roge Antonio’s artwork has never looked better with Rain Beredo’s colors finishing it and Cory Petit’s letters managing to avoid obscuring the excellent artwork.

There is little else I can say about X-Men Red #10 without giving the game away. Suffice it to say, if you’re a fan of Marvel Comics in general, you need to check out this issue, even if you don’t normally read X-Men Red. It is that good!

5-5

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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