“Green Lantern Corps” over the past couple of years blossomed as a surprisingly fun ensemble comic, courtesy Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. Both of them have since moved on, and Tony Bedard and Adrian Syaf have the distinctly thankless task of trying to follow their time on the title. And while Bedard and Syaf don’t do a bad job, there’s very little to make their first issue stand out for good or bad.
Bedard is wisely keeping Kyle Rayner and John Stewart around in the pages of “Green Lantern Corps,” while introducing some new characters as well. Bedard remembers Stewart’s history as both a Marine and an architect, referencing them in rebuilding Oa after “Blackest Night” as well as giving Stewart a new assignment. It’s a nice feeling that Bedard’s done his research, and it helps his time as the new writer not feel like the past is being pushed under the metaphorical rug.
On the other hand, Bedard’s using the Alpha Lanterns, one of the less interesting new concepts to enter the “Green Lantern” books as of late. Teaming one of them up with Stewart is an interesting idea that could help flesh them out a bit more, but having new characters tangle with the Alpha Lanterns is akin to watching cannon fodder getting shot into a wall. These new characters don’t jump out at the reader; there’s nothing interesting presented at this early stage to make us particularly care about them, and the Alpha Lanterns themselves are dull in their own right. It’s a lackluster opening to this part of his first issue, and I think Bedard is playing things a little too slow. As an attention grabber, this isn’t it.
Syaf and Vincente Cifuentes provide art that is all over the map. It’s a strange mixture of stringy (apparently Ganthet and the rest of the Guardians don’t have hair conditioner on Oa) and puffy (the Green Lantern mess hall must use a lot of salt in their dishes), and the two clash a bit when you compare and contrast one page to the next. It’s not a bad overall look, but scenes with too much on the page end up looking a bit jumbled, and the torturous looks on everyone’s faces are slightly painful to see. If Syaf could find a happy medium between stringy and puffy, I think “Green Lantern Corps” would be a much better looking book. Aside from John Stewart, everyone seems to be zooming a little too much in one direction or the other.
“Green Lantern Corps” #48 isn’t a bad book, but it’s slightly forgettable. Nothing jumps out as a particularly great or awful moment, positioning the book exactly in the middle of the road. In comparison to the previous creative team on the title, that’s a shame because it was so much fun in their hands. Still, it’s just Bedard and Syaf’s first issue. I don’t want to write them off immediately out of the gate (especially since Bedard’s written some fun outer space super-hero books in the past), but so far there’s little to make me dying to see what happens next.