The idea behind the current “Green Lantern” storyline — Hal Jordan is powerless and Sinestro has Hal’s old Green Lantern ring as an official member of the Corps again — is a fun one. In theory, this should be a thoroughly entertaining comic. So why, then, is “Green Lantern” #2 feeling like such a lethargic and unimaginative comic?
It probably doesn’t help that the confrontation between Hal and Sinestro feels remarkably familiar. You might be thinking, “Well, this is a re-launch, it’s probably going to cover some ground we’ve seen before.” That’s a fair enough assumption. But this isn’t just feeling like a retread of previous “Green Lantern” issues; the Hal/Sinestro scenes feel like they’re rehashing the same point over and over again from this single issue. That’s not a good sign.
The thing is, the ideas behind “Green Lantern” #2 aren’t a bad one, even if they aren’t quite fitting into place. Even with the re-launch, Hal Jordan is supposed to be a fairly experienced Green Lantern, so having Sinestro lecture him on the proper way to use a Green Lantern ring feels a bit hollow. This isn’t a flashback story, so why has Hal apparently regressed in the space of a single issue to someone who would be impressed by Sinestro repairing a bridge? It’s also a comic that moves at a snail’s pace (perhaps because of the overly stretched out and repeating scene between Hal and Sinestro mentioned earlier); there’s little pep or attention-grabbing going on here. When we get to the issue’s cliffhanger, it’s hard to keep from feeling like this is something we should have seen much earlier.
Doug Mahnke’s pencils this issue also feel a tiny bit off. Hal Jordan doesn’t look quite on-model, with his long delicate eyelashes, pursed face, or dimpled chin. I’m not sure what happened, but it’s slightly off-putting. Sinestro likewise comes across strange looking; his eyes look sunken and dead, and even slightly off-focus at times. A pouting Sinestro is hardly a fearsome foe, and if it wasn’t for the gruesome alien toward the end of the comic I’d start to wonder if this was really drawn by Mahnke at all.
I enjoyed the first issue of the new “Green Lantern” series last month, but this issue already feels like Johns and Mahnke are stalling. What they’re waiting for, your guess is as good as mine. But for whatever reason, this came across as not up to their normal standards. Hopefully the cliffhanger for next month’s installment is correctly promising a little more energy in the comic, because this feels slow as molasses.