Thursday, January 12, 2012

Paul's Picks! - January 11, 2012

Well, it's that time again folks: Wednesday! And you know what Wednesday is?... Well, of course you do, you're reading a blog about comics, so you obviously know it's New Comics Day, a.k.a. Paul's favorite weekly holiday! And in celebration of this weekly, well, celebration, Paul is here to give you his favorite book of the week.

Green Lantern #5 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke

Hey guys and gals! So the time has come for my weekly pick/review, sorry that it didn't get up until Thursday, but I've discovered that since I don't typically get my pulls until late on Wednesday, it's tough to get them all read and evaluated in time to have my article up by a decent hour... But either way, I know you've all been dying for some more of my comic blogging alongside my irresistible charm, so here I am with your weekly fix!

Ok, so maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but I like to thing we've got something kinda special started here at AC. Hopefully many of you are making our little fan site a regular destination. As for the week of January 11th, I'd be lying if I said I was overly impressed with any of my pulls. Don't get my wrong, Demon Knights was good as usual, as was Batgirl which has surprisingly become one of my favorite books out of the relaunch, but all of my books were only good, not spectacular. This left me with kind of a tough decision, as I'm apprehensive about giving my weekly award to just any book; I prefer them to be exceptional.

What has this world come to...
That's why I decided to go with Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke's Green Lantern #5. As I said before, none of these issues blew my mine (including this one), but I gave GL the win because of what this issue, and more importantly this arc, has accomplished in the DCnU. This series has been one of the better ones since the beginning, even though none of the first five found their way on my blog. I have personally been on the GL train unwaveringly since Johns' revived Hal in Rebirth. During that run, Geoff has told some truly incredible stories. This intergalactic saga reached its pinnacle in 2009's Blackest Night, although many prefer its predecessor, the Sinestro Corp War. As a matter of fact, it could be said that Johns and his GL Epic were solely responsible for making me a weekly reader of comics in the first place. While there have certainly been some ups and downs, no one could argue that Geoff hasn't done something incredible with a character that was not only "dead," but pretty much forgotten. However, this epic has not only re-established and revived Hal Jordan as Earth's primary GL, but it brought Sinestro back into the forefront as a force to be reckoned with. Back when Blackest Night was coming out weekly, I remember one conversation where Seth fervently expressed to me that he believed Johns was working his way up to Sinestro's redemption. I was skeptical at best.

And yet, that's exactly where we are, isn't it? I mean don't get me wrong, Sinestro is still the deluded narcissist he always was, but that's a green ring on his finger, and the whole focus of issue #5 was on him trying to save his planet, Korugar. Many negative things can be said about the villain, but there is no doubting that he is loyal to his people. While Johns began his reign as the GL king by reviving the most beloved character and building him up, he has totally flipped that around in the DCnU; Sinestro has become a fully fledged Green Lantern, and our typical protagonist Hal Jordan has arrived at the bottom of the intergalactic chain of command, with a relatively powerless ring, and total dependence on his mortal enemy.

No denying, that's one bad man.
And so, the question is, what makes this issue pick-worthy? Standing on its own, perhaps it isn't. But where Geoff created some truly epic tales through the Sinestro Corp War and Blackest Night, this arc (aptly titled "Sinestro") has made all the action an afterthought, spending more time on some pretty revealing characterization. One of my favorite moments in these issues came in issue #4 when Hal used his last bit of juice in his ring to create the image of the last thing he wants to see before he dies. Wanna know what that was? Go check it out.

As for the other half of the creator combo, Mahnke has been working around the GL universe for some time now. To be honest, I've never been a major fan of him on the whole. However, the man has definitely proven that he's worth his salt. There were some great panels in these issues, but this particular image on the right captures Sinestro perfectly. That looks like a man who is both determined and unstoppable. "Remember. NO FEAR." Booyah. Whether Mahnke is your favorite or not, there's no denying that the man understands Sinestro. He depicts the man in a way that is equally revealing of the character as Johns' writing.

So in the end, Green Lantern wins the week on the basis of character development. Perhaps that seems strange to some, but in the New 52, there were very few changes made to the GL universe in result of the reboot itself. However, the direction that the book has taken is completely new. Bad guys go good, the good guys lose everything, and action takes a back seat to some interesting character development. The moral of the story is, sometimes being consistently good is just as rewarding as occasionally great.

1 comment:

  1. I find it funny you still refer to it as the DCnU, Paul. You hipster!

    In other news my guy forgot to give me this comic so I haven't managed to read it yet...