Bruce Castle Presents: Need A Lantern To Read Your War Journal?

Green Lantern #34 (****)

Awesomeness aside, do you really need seven issues to retell an origin? Apparently Geoff Johns does. That’s my main complaint about this arc and since this is the sixth part, I’m starting to feel the length (six months is a long time!). However, we still get a lot of sweet action sequences beautifully drawn by Ivan Reis. Some cool gimmicks, like Hal overcoming the yellow impurity and a Kilowog construct (How can you not love that?), are also provided. The Carol Ferris stuff feels a bit like a superhero soap opera, but I mean that in the best possible way. I hope Hal and Carol do get together soon, like Johns seems to be building to, but then what about Cowgirl?! Sinestro and Hal’s rapport is written brilliantly and there are a few humorous moments in here. An observation: It seems that throughout this series, this issue and I’m sure next included, the Guardians are almost villainous. It seems that almost every action they take has negative consequences. We can understand and are almost sympathetic with Sinestro during the war. The Guardians’ rules seem extreme, which is again demonstrated in this issue. Is it possible that either A) the Guardians will become villains B) things will change a bit, like new Guardians or new rules or C) the Guardians will die (Johns already killed one right?). Anyway, this arc is starting to wear out its welcome, but it’s still a well-written, well-drawn, and entertaining origin story.

Large Cover of Punisher War Journal #23 (Monkey Variant)

Punisher War Journal #23 (*)

This rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve already mentioned several times about my disdain towards Chaykin’s art. Poor art does detract from my enjoyment, but you can still have a great comic with bad art. Sadly, the writing is poor too. This was supposed to be the ultimate Jigsaw story, but it reads like just another Jigsaw story. There’s some decent action in here, but I dislike the art so it’s not much of a plus. The finale was surprisingly poor. The characters seem extremely out of character, and not in a good way. The epilogue felt stale and idiotic, and is almost a set-up for Remender’s solo run I guess? This book has been sour for almost a year now. I’m going to stay until Fraction leaves. I thought he was off after this issue, but apparently I still have two SI tie-ins to deal with. On a positive note, this series shined during its previous tie-in issues. So, Fraction could still depart with a well-written bang. I have hope.

8 thoughts on “Bruce Castle Presents: Need A Lantern To Read Your War Journal?

  1. @DC: You raise some good points, but I guess Johns has made me more forgiving than he has you. I don’t mean to sound cliché and bring up the whole “suspension of disbelief” thing, but that’s kind of what it is. It seems that way with a lot of Johns’ writing.

    SeventhSoldier wrote in a review that Johns writes as if no comic were written in the last ten years. I can kind of agree with that. In this post Crisis (on Infinite Earths) DCU of ours, comics need to be more self contained. Also, the movies don’t help either. There’s supposed to even be a GL film coming out soon. In addition to that, Johns also has a long contract with DC, so he is free to create the Johns continuity. And so, for the most part, the continuity you’ll get in Johns’ books are references to other books written by Geoff Johns. Even with that, they’re still usually self-contained.

    Where the suspension of disbelief comes in is how much you want to accept Johns’ writing. Is Hal overcoming the yellow impurity early in his career ok? Or does it violate 30 years of continuity? Or I suppose another kind of cop out possibility is a mind wipe kind of thing. I believe Billy suggested that earlier and that further supports the villainous Guardians theme. As I said, something big is going to happen to those Smurfs.

    @Billy: “Why doesn’t the Red Lantern dude have genitals?”

    Just wait until you read the issue Billy. 😉

    “Also, that Monkey variant is the best thing to happen to PWJ since Civil War.”

    I don’t know about that, but it is pretty sweet and I’m glad I could feature it in my review. I wish I liked the actual issue as much. 😦

  2. Yeah I can totally understand. I was going to say most (because I never use absolutes 😉 ), but really, all of Johns’ writing is about you loving the characters he loves. I’m a big fan of this because it usually works, but I can totally see how it’s off-putting, especially if it’s about the James Bond characters (You know, the heroes who have been played by multiple people and everyone has their personal favorite).

    However, I still think GL is a great series even if you aren’t a Hal fan. During the first 19 issues the villains were a lot of fun, Sinestro Corps was Sinestro Corps, and Secret Origin is not only one of the best retellings of a heroes beginnings, but it’s probably the only retelling that leaves you extremely curious about the next issue because Johns is also writing about one of the most interesting GL concepts in years, the color rings.

    So please, don’t leave the series!

  3. Yeah, I’m so looking forward to Rebirth. I’m a big Flash fan and I’ve always loved Barry. I’m hoping Johns will do for Barry what he did for Hal. I can’t wait!

  4. Yes, you youngins love that Kyle and Wally. It’s not Hal and Barry’s fault they don’t have personalities. They didn’t need them back in the day. Everybody acted the same. Batman made jokes. Don’t worry, Barry will get interesting. C’mon, he’s cool in FC.

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