I cannot say that I have ever been a big Green Lantern fan. Sure, Hal Jordan has had his moments, and all the other GLs from Earth have been interesting from time to time, but the Lantern Corps as a whole has never been more than an endless alien cantina scene to me. However, since I’ve been touring the New 52 universe and had heard good things about this new GL, I decided to give this book a try. After finishing it however, all I can say is “Meh.”
The story itself starts with our testosterone infused and seemingly oblivious Hal Jordan somehow becoming the head of the Green Lantern Corps. Of course, Hal always thinks through the repercussions of monumental decisions (Yeah, right!), which is why he immediately ignores all his fellow GL’s protests and releases hundreds of Green Lantern rings out into the cosmos to find loads of new Lantern recruits when he has no apparatus in place to actual train any of them.
Naturally at the same time the snot nosed kids are coming in for training, all hell breaks loose on Oa. The Orange Lantern Larfreeze attacks while constantly repeating his desire to get some epic loot, and a powerful prisoner (Prixiam Nol-Anj) uses the confusion to attempt an escape. And of course, all these untrained new recruits stand around getting themselves killed because their new rings have delivered them into a war zone and none of them know how to actually use their power! But things only get worse for Hal from there.
Soon after getting things under control on Oa, our fearless GL leader discovers that Carol has given up on him ever growing up and actually acting as if he is in a relationship, and so she is calling it quits. (Okay, did it take her this long to figure Hal out? I mean, when has this New 52 Hal not acted with the maturity level of an eighteen year old frat boy.) And once Hal throws himself into his work, he discovers that an unexplained lose of power to Lantern rings is wrecking havoc to the Corps and, even worse, its cause is absolutely unknown.
At this junction of our tale, the only interesting character in this whole mess shows up. From the depths of time and out of space itself comes a giant scientist from a long dead universe, determined to save everyone from destruction at the hands of the Lanterns!
Relic, as the gigantic brainiac is called, has a wonderful mixture of evil righteous, where he basically is determined to kill everyone but only for the very best of reasons – reasons that even his victims can’t really disagree with. However, the only problem with Relic’s justification for extinguishing all Lantern users in the universe is that it is so persuasive that I wonder how any writer is going to fix this issue with the Lantern’s continued existence, because Venditti has now made all Lanterns the “bad guys.”
The story of Relic has many interesting twists and turns, but like many of these New 52 books, I discovered that it had huge “gaps” or “leaps” in the narrative. Too many times, I would be happily following along with the story of the Lanterns fight against Relic and then I would flip to the next chapter and Bam! a whole world would have been destroyed or a main character has died, but I never saw how any of it happened. While I have since learned that these “gaps” were due to Dark Days being part of a DC Green Lantern crossover story and these other comic issues not being included in this collection, it does not excuse DC’s decision to give a reader a story that is so obviously missing key sections of its narrative.
The only thing in this graphic novel that I have absolutely no complaints with is the art. Billy Tan (Illustrator) does a phenomenal job of capturing the epic nature of the Green Lantern Corps. Every alien is unique and beautifully rendered, while the action explodes off the page. So no blame for any shortcomings of this graphic novel can be laid at the feet of the artists.
All in all, Green Lantern: Dark Days is a ho-hum book. The story of Hal’s leadership of the GL Corps is pretty weak until Relic shows up, and while the Relic storyline is interesting, it is spread over several comics, which are not included in this collection, so there are big “gaps” or “leaps” in the story that are really confusing and leave out important events. Also, this story makes an epic reveal about where the power for the Lanterns comes from, but in doing so, it turns every Lantern into a “bad guy” every time he/she uses a ring. So potential readers, consider yourself forewarned.
The publisher provided this book to me for free in return for an honest review. The review above was not paid for or influenced in any way by any person, entity or organization, but is my own personal opinions.