As far as prequels go, this one pushes the clock back quite a bit. Set “twenty years ago,” the story opens with Abin Sur on patrol of his little slice of the universe: Sector 2814. Sur happens across a smuggler who is making a shortcut through this sector, specifically through the Sol system. Early on, the story indicates that Earth may have some importance, but as the issue wears on, we find that it is important in its glaring unimportance.
We all know how the story goes from there, right? Sort of. The remainder of this issue’s twenty years ago tale focuses on Sur’s first interaction with the inhabitants of Earth. One resident is of particular importance to this story and to setting this story into the continuity of the movie: Amanda Waller.
For what could have very easily been a bland story, Michael Green – one of the writers of the screenplay for the film – makes the non-encounter between Waller and Sur a story worth reading. This issue seems to play up the importance of both characters to the Green Lantern mythos without bashing the reader over the head with scads of movie minutiae.
When I opened the issue and turned the first page, I was pleased as punch to see Patrick Gleason’s art gracing the book. Unfortunately, Gleason only handled a handful of pages in this issue. Tony Shasteen, however, does a very good job of drawing the remainder of this issue up to Gleason’s standards. The two are by no means interchangeable, but the switch between artists is a little more like a switch between different kinds of cola as opposed to a change up from milk to orange juice. Gleason on this issue would have been all kinds of awesome. Instead, it’s just good.
This issue isn’t necessary reading before viewing the movie, but it certainly seems like a nice piece of prep work. Taken out of the context of the movie, it still holds up as an enjoyable story with a Green Lantern who certainly has his share of untold tales waiting to be told.