This week: Celebrate 80 years of various Green Lanterns with Green Lantern: The 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular
Note: the reviews below contain spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
Green Lantern: The 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular
Cover Artists: Nicola Scott and Annette Kwok; Matt Taylor; Doug Mahnke and David Baron; Neal Adams; David Finch and Steve Firchow; Philip Tan and Elmer Santos; Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert and Alex Sinclair; Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair; Liam Sharp
While this special doesn’t quite do for me what the Robin one did, it was still a delightful read, and much more put together than either of the other two specials that came out this month. Part of that is that unlike either the one focusing on Joker or the one focusing on Catwoman, this one actually did a good job of focusing on the different eras of Green Lantern. I’ll admit that that’s easier with Green Lantern, since you have multiple Lanterns to choose from. All the main Earth Lanterns got at least one story to strut their stuff, with the big four getting a second one all together. Hal being the big name (but worst of the big four, fight me) gets three stories.
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Darryl Banks
Letterer: Josh Reed
While Robin might have been the first character I followed regularly after getting into comics with Superman, Kyle Rayner was my first favorite character outside of the Man of Steel. See, right after Kyle picked up his ring, he had a team-up with freshly returned from the grave Superman. Ten-year-old me saw that cover with Superman and promptly picked it up, instantly falling in love with the floppy-haired doofus. It’d be several years before I’d actually follow his comic on the regular, thanks to how newsstands worked, but whenever I’d see an issue I’d pick it up.
It was very nice to see Ron Marz and Darryl Banks back together, as their names were synonymous with Kyle Rayner in the 1990s. Marz wrote 75 issues, and Banks drew 52 issues. They created brand new parts of the Green Lantern mythos and breathed fresh life into a character that had grown stale and complacent.
Legacy taps into the things that made that initial run great, while also not ignoring the things that came after it. As the title suggests, it focuses on what it’s like for Kyle to go from being the torchbearer to being one of the thousands of Corps members across the galaxy. Although he’s no longer the last of his kind, his role in keeping the flame alive still makes him one of the most important Lanterns.
Importantly, what made the Kyle run different than things that came before and after it, is that since Kyle was alone, he wasn’t really part of an intergalactic police force. It could focus on things like grappling with legacy and having to learn as you go, without having to be just another cop procedural. That’s something I miss from the Green Lantern books, and something I hope we can go back to after Grant Morrison‘s done with his run.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Oclair Albert
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Rob Leigh
The only person that’s ever made me care about Hal Jordan is Geoff Johns, and even then only barely. His love for the character is always evident, but Kyle will always be my Green Lantern. I am very glad that he teamed up with Ivan Reis on this and not with the other big artist that worked with him on his Green Lantern run.
This was a fun little story showing how complete a dumbass Hal is. But sometimes he’s one with a little bit of heart. He lands on an unidentified planet, his ring out of juice, just enough energy to fire off three messages. He sends a distress call, an apology letter, and a love letter, and the ring dies. Turns out though that he has egg on his face because he was just outside of Vegas the whole time.
Reis’s art is always great, and it was nice to see him come back to the character that made him a household name in the industry.
Writer: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Rafa Sandoval
Inks: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Of course, you couldn’t have a special like this without having a story that focused on the four main Earth Lanterns. These are the guys that have all been ring slinging for decades, who are the names everyone recognizes. Venditti weaves us a story set in the not so distant future, where they’re all older and retired but where they all meet up once a year to reminisce. I won’t spoil this one, because it’s a very heartfelt story, but it was absolutely one of my favorites of the bunch.
No matter who your favorite Lantern is there’s something in here for everyone. Mariko Tamaki tells a wonderful Jessica Cruz story, while Sina Grace gives us a look at Simon Baz. There’s also one last Denny O’Neil Green Lantern and Green Arrow story, with art by the legendary Mike Grell.
- Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #11 really did a great job of tying together lots of threads from throughout the series. Nearly everyone who’s appeared so far made an appearance in this issue, and we’re all set up for a finale.
- It absolutely astonishes me how DC can drop the ball so incredibly hard in tying in with its multimedia properties? Supergirl didn’t have a solo series for the first season of her show and is about to not have one again. Batwoman likewise. Legends of Tomorrow has never had a proper comic tie-in, despite being the show that most embraces it’s comic book roots. DC has two different Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey books going right now, with Azzarello‘s one-shot and Palmiotti and Conner‘s mini-series. Both hit months after the movie (partly the pandemic’s fault but also not really at all?) and both are absolutely terrible. Be better about capturing the audiences of your big properties DC, please, they’re there waiting to be found.
Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!