Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: Green Lantern Corps - Ring Quest

With an upcoming movie, Green Lantern is about to make a big splash – but did you know that it’s a very sci-fi oriented superhero story? The Green Lantern Corps are a galactic police force, endowed with superpowers and tasked with the job of maintaining peace and order. One day for the purposes of these reviews, I may go back and re-read/review the Green Lantern stories which have come before this point. Depending on your point of view, it begins with the destruction of Coast City in the Reign of the Supermen/Return of Superman story, after which Hal Jordan is infected by Parallax (a fear creature of the “yellow” - which any fan of Green Lantern knows is a Lantern’s biggest weakness) goes nuts, destroys the Corps, and falls from grace. A new Lantern takes over (Kyle Rayner) for awhile, but eventually Hal gets a Rebirth, which leads to a return of the Corps – just in time to face off against the Sinestro Corps (or Yellow Lanterns). It is in the aftermath of that war in which Ring Quest begins. Green Lantern Corps stars the “other” Green Lanterns like Kyle, who’s now had his own brush with Parallax during the Sinestro Corps War. There’s also Guy Gardner, the rough around the edges hero whose girlfriend has just returned to life but wants some time away. And there are a bunch of other characters, too, from the very odd (bugs and robots) to various alternate takes on humanoid. They’re all brought together by the little blue aliens who run the Green Lantern Corps for a very special mission; track down the yellow rings before they find new owners and ensure they do not resurrect the Sinestro Corps. Meanwhile, Mongul (yellow-skinned, sometime enemy of Superman) becomes the host to one of those rings – decides that he alone should hold ALL of the yellow rings – and sets out on a quest to retrieve them as well. The inevitable clash between Mongul and the Green Lantern Corps has been set up. It’s just a matter of time before we get there. For fans of the character Mongul and his homeworld, this story is a treat because it reveals additional details of both this current incarnation of the character (as son of the original) and also of the Black Mercy flowers he most often uses as his weapon of choice. But it Ring Quest isn’t what I’d call a necessary book either. It wasn’t as compelling as some of the Green Lantern stories I’ve read leading up to this point, and it doesn’t seem all that important in the grand scheme of things beyond this story. (Even if Mongul returns as a Yellow Lantern in the future, I don’t expect to have needed to read this story to understand his presence in the Sinestro Corps). Yet it was an enjoyable diversion, a good story where you’re actually given some insight into these Corps characters who’ve maybe been getting a little less screen time (due to the big Sinestro Corps War crossover event just prior to this). The comic ramps into the action fairly quickly and becomes a big blowout cosmic battle by the end with an entire world at stake. If you’re a Green Lantern fan (and willing to move beyond Hal Jordan) this is actually a pretty decent place to “get on board” as it provides a nice introduction to this cast of characters and stands alone well as a story of its own right. Though it’s really much better to back up a little further and start with Green Lantern: Rebirth (which is a highly entertaining story and the reason I’ve been reading these Green Lantern stories since.) Still, there’s nothing about Ring Quest that kept me from wanting to continue to read this series. It’s another solid volume in probably the best corner of the DC Universe being written today.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I always liked the Green Lantern but really only read a very few of the comics. They weren't readily available in my area when I was a kid.