Green Lantern #13… no Hal Jordan, no Sinestro, no John, no Guy and no Kyle. So who do we have instead? Simon Baz, the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps. Simon Baz is in a lot of trouble. So much trouble in fact, I doubt even Simon himself knows just how much trouble he’s in at the moment.
I will admit that when I first heard that there would be yet another Green Lantern from Earth, I was a little annoyed. My initial thoughts were that we would be introduced to this new Green Lantern for one of two reasons. First it would be to replace a Lantern who would ultimately die at some point during the story arc. Or two, for him to be a source of conflict and would ultimately sacrifice himself for the Corps. So now we have Mr. Baz wielding a power ring, supposedly to replace Sinestro who for all intents and purposes is dead…or so everyone thinks.
But it appears that Simon is around for a unique purpose and I have a feeling that most Green Lantern fans aren’t going to like it. We know that his role as a GL will come into conflict with the Justice League, who by the way…SPOILER ALERT…make an appearance at the end of the issue. As I read through the issue, I became more and more tolerant of Simon as he was made interesting enough to me to warrant giving him the benefit of the doubt. So okay, he can stay for now. But five Earth-bound Lanterns is more than enough…hint, hint to you Geoff Johns.
The Guardians are setting their plans in motion to destroy the Green Lanterns and replace them with their “Third Army,” led by the First Lantern which will most likely involve Simon at some point. His introduction in Green Lantern #0 was enough to get this story moving along at a gratifying pace. He’s being hunted by the police, the government, his family, and we soon find out by the Justice League.
Geoff Johns is weaving another intricate storyline that is bound to shake up the status quo in the New 52. But the beginnings of it reminds me of Blackest Night a bit and I am hoping that even though it promises to be epic, it’s not on too large a scale.
What I found enjoyable about this issue was in the beginning we see Amanda Waller briefing the President of the United States, who resembles Barack Obama quite a bit, about what she knows of the current Green Lanterns on Earth. To me this gives the story a real world point of reference that most comics seem to lack these days. The resemblance to Obama I thought was an especially nice touch rather than making him some random guy who happens to be President. It is quite clear that the government fears what a Green Lantern is capable of… and that there are four currently operating on the planet. Now that Simon Baz, as suspected terrorist has a power ring, the situation becomes even more unstable.
Simon doesn’t know what to make of his situation or even how and why the ring chose him. Add to that, the ring isn’t functioning properly and now you know why Simon is in a lot of trouble. He is going up against my beloved Justice League and you already know where my allegiance lies with that. I am however sympathetic with his situation and the fact he is going to be forced to take sides in a conflict he has no business being involved with.
Geoff Johns again leaves us with some lingering questions, like where are Hal Jordan and Sinestro? They aren’t quite dead but they aren’t quite alive either. How are John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner going to fit into all this? And finally, how is the Justice League going to react?
I have to say that in spite of my initial objections and preconceived notion that I was going to dislike this issue, I now stand corrected. I enjoyed the hell out of this issue. It definitely moved the overall arc along thanks to Geoff Johns and coupled with the art of Doug Mahnke. There are some really great pages in this issue that not only show off Mahnke’s superb talent, they even make Baz’s costume a little less corny looking. The image of Baz after the ring constructs his mask is so completely amazing. Top it ALL off with the amazing cover by Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert and Rod Reis and you could almost call this issue perfect.
Green Lantern #13 was a great read and extraordinarily fun, another element that has been missing from this series for a few months. But this issue has me excited about what’s to come in this story arc and a hope that Simon Baz sticks around a little while longer.