In the wake of the “Wrath of the First Lantern”, John Stewart is conflicted. The Green Lantern Corps is in disarray and new evil is lurking in the darkness of space. That is where we find Lantern Stewart in Green Lantern Corps #21 and where Peter J. Tomasi’s creative team left us. Green Lantern Corps #21 is the first issue in the series after the epilogue to “Wrath of the First Lantern” and the exit of Tomasi’s team. We are introduced to a new creative team led by Robert Venditti, Van Jensen and Bernard Chang. Venditti is also working on the Green Lantern flagship series so there will hopefully be a lot of continuity to look forward to. For those of you who haven’t read the previous 20 issues or so, especially the “Wrath of the First Lantern” story, you might want to stop reading because I will reference a few events throughout this article. But don’t fear, I won’t be spoiling anything from #21.
Oa is in desperate need of new Green Lantern members after issue #20. Many died in the final battle against the First Lantern and the Guardians were murdered by Sinestro and his Corps. The New Guardians are left to pick up the pieces with the remaining Lanterns. The Corps absolutely needs help from its veteran Lanterns like Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner. Last week’s Green Lantern #21 showed us what Hal Jordan is up to in the post-First Lantern universe but this issue, Green Lantern Corps #21, focuses on John Stewart. There is some overlap between the two issues but you see things from different perspectives which is pretty cool, though it appears that Green Lantern Corps #21 depicts some events prior to Green Lantern #21 but nothing overly significant that it’s a spoiler. I just want to point this out since Green Lantern #21 was released a week prior to Green Lantern Corps #21. Lantern John Stewart is rushing to the rescue with the help of Yrra, their relationship in jeopardy. While on this mission we discover a new enemy that hasn’t been faced in known story lines. They are violent, powerful and deceitful. The issue focuses primarily on this event as well as some restructuring that is occurring on Oa, away from Lantern Stewart.
The story is exciting and compelling. I definitely am left with wanting more. There is a piece of the story where you are taken to several new locations quickly. This “scene”, if you will, feels out of place and a little confusing but it is cleared up toward the end of the issue, which is nice. I also like how the issue ties in with the flagship Green Lantern series. It really makes me feel like there is already an overarching plan in place, a journey we are just beginning. The illustrations are bright and detailed but I am noticing some subtle differences with the new creative team. Stewart and Yrra, at times, look just a bit off. Now, I’m not saying I expect complete consistency here (we are talking about comic books) but I just thought it was worth noting. It is by far not a negative since everything looks spectacular, just an observation.
Overall, I think this is a solid first issue for Venditti and his creative team. It will be difficult to hit the level we found ourselves at during the climaxes found in the “Wrath of the First Lantern” story but I don’t think they have to. Venditti is left with a wide open Green Lantern universe and I think he and his team will have fun taking us to new places within it. I will say that this issue isn’t quite as compelling as Green Lantern #21 but it isn’t far behind. I’m definitely excited to see where things go and what the future of the Green Lantern Corps holds.[quote]In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power – Green Lantern’s light![/quote]