Hello, my friends. As we strive & survive within the brightest of days and the blackest of nights, we sometimes come across those individual periods of time that provides us with a reason to celebrate & commemorate. Although the subject of this review is tied-in with something that’s not fondly remembered, I still believe that it’s worth taking a look in order to see what else happened within the main cinematic series of events. With our combined willpower, it’s time that our familiar Emerald Knight makes his long-overdue solo return alongside his fellow corpsmen as we delve into a small gathering of reading material collectively called…
Before we delve into our featured subject, let’s briefly talk about the movie that they’re based upon. Released in the U.S. on June 17, 2011, this Martin Campbell-directed effort sees Parallax breaking free from Ryut and attacking the one Green Lantern who imprisoned him in the first place: Abin Sur. Mortally wounded after the attack, Abin Sur retreats towards Earth in order to find his replacement. Ultimately, his ring chooses Hal Jordan, a test pilot who has a cocky attitude, yet is also carrying some emotional baggage throughout his life ever since the tragic death of his father. Ultimately, he must overcome his own hang-ups in order to stop this towering entity from unleashing its destructive might. While my brief description for the film’s setup does occur, Hal does have a decently-sized supporting cast throughout this venture, ranging from his Earthbound friends in Carol Ferris & Thomas Kalmaku to familiar corpsmen in Tomar-Re, Kilowog and Sinestro. Not to mention, Parallax does have his own pawn on Earth in the form of Hector Hammond, who ends up infected by him during his autopsy on Abin Sur. Made on a $200 million budget, it only managed to gather over $219 million worldwide and was mainly met with negative reviews. As a result, this intended starting point to DC’s own cinematic universe was deemed a box office failure and thus, any-and-all plans for sequels were ultimately scrapped. Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s get into the featured comics themselves. For some reason, only four out of the five overall tie-in comics came out in the same month as the movie (June 2011). Hal’s prequel book sold the most out of the entire bunch with 29,245 copies being bought, followed by Kilowog (25,496), then Abin Sur (24,890) and finally Tomar-Re (24,811). Sinestro’s prequel book wouldn’t be released until August where it ended up selling 18,918 copies. Finally, all five issues were collected into a trade paperback and would be released together in October, ultimately selling 1,032 copies. As for how these entries relate to the film that they’re based on, let’s charge up our rings and fly right on in.
As we begin our critical journey through this series, we start off with Abin Sur having a personal venture that’ll see him somewhat cross paths with a familiar human as Michael Green (who co-wrote the movie’s story & screenplay) pens a particular tale alongside co-penciler Patrick Gleason and co-inker Mick Gray. Not only that, but Tony Shasteen also got to contribute his penciling and inking efforts for this venture upon “A Small, Unremarkable Planet”.
We begin twenty years ago (1991, to be exact) within Space Sector 2814 as our titular Green Lantern narrates while chasing a smuggler through an asteroid field. During the chase, he talks about how he’s been doing his noble duty long enough to firmly respect the notion of life and that he seeks to protect the lives of both innocent beings & the reckless fiends that he comes across. Ultimately, the smuggler (who’s named Obba) becomes careless enough with his evasive maneuvers that he ends up crashing his spaceship into an asteroid. After being captured, he claims that he was trying to deliver nourishment and medical supplies to the orphans over on Centauri, yet Abin Sur still warns him that trans-sector traveling within the Sol System is forbidden. Unbeknownst to them however, a mechanical device that survived the destruction of Obba’s spaceship has begun to enter Earth’s atmosphere.
Over in Burning Rock, New Mexico, a small body of Army soldiers are being trained upon the proving grounds. Following a long trek across the wasteland, the group leader named Carpenter decides to let his squad rest up for the evening as he assigns a young recruit named Amanda Waller to serve as their initial watch. After a while, she notices something falling from the sky before it lands on the ground in the distance. As such, she decides to head over and investigate. Meanwhile, Abin Sur gets contacted by Sinestro and is informed that certain parts from Obba’s spaceship have landed on Earth. From there, he’s told to discreetly retrieve “any evidence of non-terran life” and make sure that it doesn’t fall into human hands. Afterwards, Abin Sur heads out towards Earth. Meanwhile, Amanda manages to reach the impact site as she discovers that it’s in the middle of a field filled with decommissioned and inactive military vehicles, codenamed “The Graveyard”. After entering the impact zone, she discovers that whatever caused this crater is missing before she suddenly hears a mysterious noise. She then proceeds to investigate before she’s met upon by a bizarre apparition that’s made up of several discarded jeeps & tanks and also armed with several machine guns. As such, she’s forced to take cover shortly after it opens fire upon her.
Meanwhile, Abin Sur is able to easily evade Earth’s worldwide detection satellites before ultimately arriving upon the designated area. As he sees a Mechivore in action, he realizes that Obba had “a techno-organic virus” on board his spaceship. Not only that, but it’s capable of feeding off of whatever kind of metal it’s able to reach and grow.
As he watches her from afar, Waller attempts to fight back against this mechanized monstrosity. After she evades an incoming missile, Abin Sur is puzzled as to why she’s staying put to fight back, despite lacking the same kind of firepower that the Mechivore has. Meanwhile, Amanda notices that one of the trucks is carrying several live ordnances. As such, she lures the towering fiend towards it before tossing a live grenade at the adjacent vehicle. Thankfully, the explosion is powerful enough to defeat this overwhelming monster. Afterwards, Abin Sur comes in to check up on her, since she was knocked out by the blast. As he admires her courageous tactic, he scans her vitals and sees that she’s still alive. After he notes that she risked herself in order to stop a being that was far-more powerful than her, he starts to believe that there is hope for the human race.
Later, Waller wakes up within the company of her fellow troops. Carpenter chastises her for going “into a weapons test” as she discovers that the whole area has suddenly become one large crater. Up in space, Abin Sur has contained the whole land mass within his ring’s energy. From there, he destroys the techno-virus by tossing it and the discarded military vehicles into the sun. He then narrates how he worried about making contact with the human race, since in a similar way to Sinestro, he also saw them as “a primitive, stubborn, violent species”. However, his encounter with Amanda Waller has shown him that there can be more individuals like her who can prove to those across outer space that their planet has the potential for good things. Back with Amanda, she’s being questioned by her superiors for her actions within the Graveyard. She says that it was nothing more than “a weapons test” before a high-ranking official tells her that she’s wasting her skills out in the desert. As such, he offers Waller the chance to join a newly-started organization called the Department of Extranormal Operations.
From there, the comic ends on a epilogue years later as a mortally-wounded Abin Sur has just escaped from his encounter with Parallax. He tells his onboard computer to search for the nearest planet with sentient life, to which he discovers that it’s Earth. With a smirk, he begins his entry onto the planet.
Next up, we have Tomar-Re engaging in a dangerous rescue mission that potentially sets up the initial event of the film. For this tale, Marc Guggenheim (who also co-wrote the story & screenplay) brings us a tale that’s drawn by Cliff Richards and colored by Nathan Eyring as this Emerald Knight finds himself taking part in a venture upon a “Forbidden Planet”.
We open within Sector 0, specifically on the Green Lanterns Corps’ home planet of Oa, as Tomar-Re asks Abin Sur about his venture upon Earth. Unfortunately, he’s not able to hear about it before getting summoned by Salaak. As such, he heads out while Abin Sur takes his leave towards Fentara. Later, Tomar-Re is informed by Salaak about an anarchistic terrorist named Purd’n (known as “Darkfire” by the Gordanians), who’s been causing massive death and destruction upon the Tamaranian moon of X’Hal.
With a dangerous fiend to stop, Tomar-Re proceeds to fly towards the ravaged moon and is shocked by the horrific site. He manages to save whatever lifeforms that were sparred from the terrifying devastation before a civilian informs him that Purd’n has escaped via an Intraxian vessel that he stole from the nearby shipyards. As such, Tomar-Re proceeds to chase after the murderous fiend. Despite the anger building within him, he manages to remain calm long enough to locate the terrorist’s stolen spaceship with his ring. Once he locks onto the location however, he proceeds to speed towards his target within a blind rage. By the time that he arrives, he realizes that he’s in the Lost Sector. Even though the Guardians of the Universe have deemed this part of outer space forbidden to all Green Lanterns, they haven’t informed their corpsmen about the reasoning behind their ruling. However, he still pushes on since his title still requires him to protect the innocent lifeforms and fight injustice.
He ultimately approaches the spaceship, only for it to swiftly turn around and engage him. Tomar-Re manages to disable the opposing Intraxian Cannons before he’s approached by Purd’n himself. Tomar-Re does manage to deliver a few shots from his ring, but the fiend is able to recover and blasts the Green Lantern into the spaceship, causing them to crash-land upon a nearby planet. Purd’n then proceeds to approach him and deliver a severe beatdown.
He even blasts through Tomar-Re’s projected shield and causes the Green Lantern to smash onto the ground. Afterwards, Purd’n heads over to finally finish off his adversary.
Suddenly, Tomar-Re uses his ring to blast the fiend within a massive green light of will-powered energy as he finally captures his target. However, his ring is low on power and it only has enough energy to help him out of the lost sector with his convict in tow. Just then, Purd’n has Tomar-Re look towards the destroyed spaceship as it turns out that he had a trio of Intraxian hostages. Purd’n then taunts him about his dwindling amount of ring power, especially since there’s only enough for him to transport one single individual. He even tries to tempt our hero into killing him, but Tomar-Re is ultimately forced to make the hard call and simply leave the hostages behind while he takes Purd’n away in order to imprison him. As such, the tale ends with the Intraxian hostages calling out for help as it turns out that they’re on the planet Ryut.
Continuing with our main men of the Green Lantern Corps, we have Peter J. Tomasi weaving Kilowog’s tale. With the help of Carlos Ferreira on penciling duties, Silvio Spotti handling the ink and Andrew Dalhouse taking care of the colors, it’s time for our tough-as-nails drill sergeant to show how it’s possible “To Build A Better Lantern”.
As the story starts off on Oa, our featured Green Lantern has a group of new recruits under his watch. He gives them an opening speech where he essentially tells them that they have to survive his training if they’re actually going to make it onto the Green Lantern Corps.
Afterwards, the recruits begin their flight towards the main training compound. A female trainee named Iolande is amazed that they’re going to be trained by a legendary corpsman, while a fellow newbie named Isamot Kol says that he sees both Tomar-Re and Abin Sur in a highly respectful light more than Kilowog. From there, Iolande talks with a pair of fellow rookies named Norchavius and G’Hu about certain mythical tales about their drill sergeant. Suddenly, a fellow Green Lantern named Atey flies through the group with the intent of speaking with the Guardians of the Universe. Later, she reaches the main chamber as Salaak tells her that they’ve seen her enough already over the past few days. However, she keeps having horrific visions that she desperately wants to share, even though he keeps doubting her precognitive ability.
Thankfully for her, the Guardians of the Universe are willing to see her again. After admitting that she has constantly confronted them over a small period of time and that not all of her visions played out exactly as she saw them, she tells them that she senses a great “darkness” that threatens both the whole corps and the universe. However, her warning doesn’t prove to be definitive and finite enough to be taken seriously as she’s ultimately dismissed. From there, Salaak gets summoned as they want him to inform Kilowog to get his recruits prepped for their respective sectors as soon as possible.
Following a rough series of training sessions where our featured Green Lantern puts his trainees through their paces, we then shift over to their resting bunker as they’re mainly exhausted from their exercises. A brief fight starts to break out as Norchavius tries to get G’Hu to take a shower, before Isamot Kol restrains them and says that he’s not going to get in trouble for their antics. Suddenly, Kilowog bursts in and tells his trainees that they’re under attack by the Spider Guild. As the group heads out to engage the vile beings, he tells the newbies that they should focus on taking out the hive ships.
With her teammates starting to get overwhelmed, Iolande decides to forgo her orders and heads back to save her comrades. Isamot Kol does start to attack the enemy spaceships, but he soon sees his fellow Green Lanterns starting to get surrounded by the massive spider armada and ultimately chooses to rejoin his trainees. With no one to go after the Hive Ships, Kilowog and company ultimately get encased within the webbing before they start to get placed on board the enemy spaceships. Suddenly, Kilowog breaks out and terminates the surprise exercise as the opposing spiders and their Hive Ships were revealed to be simply holograms. The recruits are shocked by how real their fake enemies were before they learn that the rookies who were being attacked were actually veteran Green Lanterns playing convincing parts. From there, Kilowog chastises the group for not following his orders. He then turns the symbols on their uniforms into a simple circle and says that they represent their own worlds, reminding them that they not only fight to protect their loved ones back home, but their fellow teammates’ planets as well. Just then, Kilowog gets contacted by Abin Sur and is told to meet up with him for some urgent news. As such, he restarts the holographic battle sequence for his trainees before heading out.
Later, he meets up with Tomar-Re and gets informed of some recent bad news. Sadly, Abin Sur has passed away. With his former mentor now deceased, he blasts a nearby canyon in anger before asking how it happened. Tomar-Re says that it’s not known yet, since Salaak is trying to learn about it from his ring. Not only that, but it’s chosen a new host. With the new recruit set to arrive on Oa very soon, the comic ends with them heading out as Kilowog learns that the newest member is from a planet that’s never produced a prior member: Earth.
Now, we’ve reached the movie’s main Green Lantern. Instead of taking an active role within this issue, Hal Jordan will have more of his backstory fleshed out by Greg Berlanti (who was originally going to direct, but ultimately ended up cowriting the story and screenplay instead) and longtime DC Comics writer Geoff Johns. With Jerry Ordway handling the artwork and Gabe Eltaeb taking care of colors, we’ll see his eventual teammates learn what it’s like “Being Human”.
We open at a particular point within the film where Hal has gotten his ring from the newly-deceased Abin Sur and has finally been transported to Oa. As he lays unconscious while his body gets scanned, Tomar-Re shows Sinestro their newest member. Surprised by the fact that a human being was chosen, Sinestro expresses his disdain for the species, calling them “a primitive race” who constantly wage war against each other and are “self-consumed by their own uncultivated world”. As such, he thinks that the ring was damaged when it made its selection. However, Tomar-Re thinks that it chose Hal for a reason.
As such, he scans Jordan’s mind as various events from his past get put on display. From the life & death of his father Martin and his rocky relationship with Carol Ferris to becoming a pilot where his reckless behavior manifested (clashing with a superior, sleeping around with a beautiful woman and even the demonstrative dog fight against advanced-A.I. drones), culminating with him meeting Abin Sur, Sinestro is immediately unimpressed by all of this. He criticizes Hal for needing a “rudimentary” craft to fly, lashing out against those who hold higher official rankings and especially for bailing out of situations when the going gets too rough. Fortunately, Tomar-Re recognizes why Jordan attacked one of his superiors. While they were hanging out at a bar, it turns out that the man (most likely in a drunken state) was trying to force himself upon a young woman before Hal stepped in and attacked the guy in self-defense, which ultimately led to him quitting the Air Force.
Despite Hal’s noble act, Sinestro still looks down on him and continues to call him out for walking away when a situation gets too hairy. Not only that, but he even resumes his ignorant disdain for the human race. Like before, Tomar-Re is able to look past the surface as he shows several noble achievements that mankind was able to accomplish. Despite all of that, Sinestro still isn’t convinced as he asks Jordan’s ring if there was another human that it considered choosing. However, there was only one other candidate that it nearly picked: a college football player named Guy Gardner. Tomar-Re tells his comrade to give the ring more time to complete its worldwide scan in the case that other possible candidates could be found, but Sinestro says that this must be a mistake. Tomar-Re then asks him how many other individuals from his home world of Korugar could handle the grand task of wearing the ring and perform the same duties as him, to which Sinestro says that no one else could. However, he says that his people are fully united and are capable of being fearless, which he says that the human race is unable to be.
As such, he decides to investigate the source of Hal’s own fear. He soon discovers that it comes from the fateful day when as a kid, Jordan saw his father Martin flying a plane in front of him and a crowd of people. Unfortunately, the aircraft malfunctions and he ends up crash landing onto the ground. Hal attempts to run towards his dad, but Martin ends up losing his life when his plane ultimately blows up. With this knowledge, Sinestro says that Jordan is gripped by his fear. From there, this tale ends with him saying that they have to become “impervious” to their own fears, or else they won’t stand a chance against Parallax before flying off. Afterwards, Tomar-Re still believes in Hal as his uniform begins to form around him.
We’re not yet done with this comic, so let’s quickly take a look at a back-up story written by Donald DeLine and Adam Schlagman. With Tyler Kirkham handling the pencils, Batt in inking duties and Randy Mayor dealing with the colors, it’s time for a female Green Lantern to get some attention as she takes her place within the “Emerald City”. We begin within Sector 542 on the war-ravaged planet of Inguanzo as a female native named Ngila G’rnt has just built a magnificent art piece out of the war-torn scrap. She then narrates how beautiful things exist if one knows where to look before pondering if there’s another planet with individuals who’re just as unique as her. Suddenly, a simple-minded warrior smashes her creation and scoffs at her for spending her time “on this garbage”. When she tells him that she finds no joy within war and that she would rather create things instead of destroying them, the brute then raises his mace at her and orders her to “fight or die”. Suddenly, a Green Lantern ring appears and tells Ngila that she’s been chosen before it places itself on her finger and creates a uniform on her body. Shortly after this scares the muscle-bound grunt away, she’s immediately flown off to Oa for her training. Just as she arrives, Ngila is instantly admired by the landscape of the Corps’ home base before she’s met upon by a fellow Green Lantern named Medphyll. She tells him that her arrival upon this planet was a mistake, but he assures her that the ring doesn’t make such blunders. However, he does offer her the chance to check that notion by confronting the “Emerald Warrior”. As such, she starts to fly off with ease.
Suddenly, she accidentally flies into an oncoming spaceship and causes it to plummet towards a fellow corpsman. Fortunately, she uses her ring to create a flower construct and catch the damaged spacecraft as the Green Lantern inside the vehicle named Stel thanks her for saving his life. However, she still blames herself for causing this incident and says that she doesn’t deserve to have her ring. From there, another Green Lantern named Voz says that they’re not the ones who decide that before telling her to follow the trail of emerald light in order find the “Emerald Warrior”. Eventually, Ngila reaches the main gathering center as she sees several other members of the Green Lantern Corps. From there, the comic ends as Medphyll tells her that she has the “brains”, “heart” and “courage” needed to become an “Emerald Warrior”.
Finally, we have Sinestro himself in a tale written by Michael Goldenberg (who’s the fourth and final guy who helped out with the screenplay). He won’t be weaving this tale by himself though, as he gets to have Johns by his side for this project. Handling the art work here is Harvey Tolibad, Cliff Richards & Jerry Ordway, while Romulo Fajardo and Nathan Eyring handle the coloring duties. For this comic, it’s time that the featured Green Lantern has his past delved into while he and the rest of the Corps mourn the loss of one of their own in a singular yarn called “The Chosen One”.
We begin as the entire Green Lantern Corps has gathered at Oa’s memorial monuments that honor their fallen corpsmen. Tomar-Re informs his fellow teammates that Abin Sur has just died, while Sinestro silently stands in front of the honorable slab. As Tomar-Re tells Kilowog that their comrade hasn’t spoken a single word, we then flashback to thirty years ago (1981, to be exact) upon the planet Korugar.
Its citizens are caught up in a chaotic clash as they’re being violently opposed by several governmental agents. With this confrontation threatening to tear the populace apart, Sinestro steps in to break up the fighting. He also says that their “selfish and manipulative government leaders” are the ones fueling the lower classes to butt heads with each other via vicious propaganda. Suddenly, he’s approached by a group of official agents who tell him that it’s against their law to speak out towards the populace in this kind of forum.
Sinestro tries to fight back, but is immediately subdued before he tempts one of them to execute him. Suddenly, a Green Lantern ring flies onto his finger. With his new uniform now upon him, a force of green light sends the opposing agents off of him before he suddenly flies off.
Later, he finds himself on Oa where he’s met by Abin Sur. However, Sinestro isn’t thrilled as he angrily demands to be sent back to his home world. He even explains that he’s heard about them when he was a child, but he’s mad at the Corps for never stepping in to break up the countless years of destructive bloodshed. Abin Sur tells him that his world wasn’t the only planet within his space sector that was under some kind of travesty and turmoil. Sinestro is then held back as he asks why he can’t return to Korugar, now that he has enough power for him to wipe his enemies out of existence. Thankfully, Abin Sur finally makes a connection to him by saying that he’ll only continue a vicious revenge cycle if he does go back home to retaliate against his oppressors. Specifically, he tells Sinestro that every Green Lantern should fight for justice, not vengeance. We then shift back to the present as Tomar-Re tells him that he understands how important Abin Sur was to him and that the entire Corps will always be with him, ready for whatever action he wants to take. From there, the story ends with Sinestro looking at his fellow teammates. With a renewed energy, he tells his fellow corpsmen that they’ll continue to “seek justice for those who need it”.
For our final featured tale, we have a back-up feature that explains how the Emerald Knights within the world of this movie came to be. This time around, Johns gets to team up with Adam Schlagman in the writer’s chairs, while Fernando Dagino handles the penciling duties, Raul Fernandez has full inking control and Peter Pantazis works on the colors. As such, let us venture into the Sacred Book of Oa and learn about the “Secret Origins Of The Green Latern Corps”. Billions of years ago, the universe was entangled within a seemingly endless conflict against itself. Thankfully, a group of immortal beings decided that they would take it upon themselves to restore order amongst the stars. To do so, they became of the Guardians of the Universe and harnessed a powerful force known as the Emerald Energy of Willpower as their weapon. With this newfound might, they created the home planet of Oa, stored this massive energy into a Central Power Battery and forged rings that would be capable of harnessing it. From there, all 3,600 rings were sent out to each space sector and chose a representative from each area. Specifically, these members were chosen due to them keeping their own fears in check. With their rings, they could create constructs based on whatever their imagination was able to come up with. They were also given their own power batteries, so that they could recharge their rings after “every planetary cycle”. And so, all 3,600 members became united as an “intergalactic police force” throughout the cosmos known as the Green Lantern Corps. From there, the unit would spend several millennia combating various threats across the universe. From there, the comic ends on one such being: a former Guardian who ultimately became the “Entity of Fear” known as Parallax. He would be imprisoned upon Ryut by the Guardians of the Universe and Abin Sur, where they would never speak of this monstrous being. However, this being ended up biding his time until the events of the film came along.
Overall, these five comics are something of a mixed bag between what could’ve been included and what’s ultimately pointless (given the ultimate fate of this film). With Abin Sur’s story, it’s interesting that he’s made to have a similar disdain for the human race at the beginning. Maybe that comes from Sinestro’s influence, especially since they’ve been teammates for a while at this point in their history. If that’s the case, then it’s interesting that his worldview upon said species dramatically changed following his observation of Amanda Waller engaging a being that came to be as a result of a simple oversight during his capture of an intergalactic smuggler. It would’ve been nice if this book had given some kind of time gauge in terms of how long his initial aversion of Earthlings has been prior to this incident. That way, his sudden appreciation towards mankind can feel more powerful as a result. Either way, it’s still nice that he gained some gratitude towards Earth’s citizens through a noble act, long before his ring ultimately chooses Hal as his successor. Staying within this book, it’s also neat that Amanda Waller got something to do before she joined the D.E.O. as a result of her unexpected encounter. In the movie, there are memory flashes that the infected Hector Hammond managed to get from her during one moment in the present, but it mainly displayed a tragedy that befell her family. I’m sure that it would’ve gotten fleshed out had this movie been more successful, but at least this comic got to show some quick-thinking skills that she would’ve probably built upon growing up and within her far-more official position. While I would’ve liked the writing within this book to have been a bit more tighter in areas, it’s still paced fairly well and is backed by some good artwork. Ultimately, that was a good start to this small batch, even if it doesn’t stand out and shine too much. Moving on to Tomar-Re’s tale, it’s nice to see this key supporting character within the greater Green Lantern Corps get involved in a major adventure. He gets to show off some emotional range en route to his foe and his fight against Purd’n is very fierce. Not only that, but it ultimately provides an explanation for how Parallax acquired the means to escape his imprisonment, as well as why Tomar-Re couldn’t take the Intraxian hostages with him. It moves at a fast clip, yet the story is simple enough for that swift pacing to work with this tale. Additionally, it does provide some form of mystery from Tomar-Re’s perspective when he enters the lost sector. Because he’s as much in the dark about why his fellow Green Lanterns aren’t allowed here as his fellow corpsmen are, it’s ultimately a genuinely good shock when his action leads him to Ryat and he unintentionally has an existentially grand consequence with his confrontation. In the end, this tale gets coupled with some really good artwork. While the color balance is well-handled throughout, the pencil-esque shadows and shades helps to present the drawings with a somewhat sketchiness that still blends itself with modern techniques. As such, all present elements come together to present this entry as one of the best of this batch. With Kilowog’s book, he gets to shine as a drill sergeant for a longer amount of time. That’s especially true if you’ve ever seen the movie where he roughly trains Hal for only a minute or two of screen time before Sinestro comes along to vent his anger on Jordan for inheriting his former friend’s ring. Sure, Kilowog isn’t entirely the main focus here, since it also has several other Green Lanterns who’re just starting out within the corps. Not to mention, they essentially become background characters for the main movie, especially the clairvoyant Atey who actually warns the Guardians of the Universe of Parallax’s slow resurgence (despite not mentioning him by name). At least the new recruits gave us a taste of what boot camp on Oa would’ve been like has it been realized on screen with Kilowog at the helm. Also, their interactions amongst each other is brief, yet makes use of its downtime. In terms of the featured Green Lantern for this comic, he does get to flaunt his tough guy status while looking over his trainees. Thankfully, it was a genuine surprise when the fake alien spider invasion ultimately served as a valuable lesson that he teaches to his trainees, especially given the vast responsibility that comes with being a Green Lantern. As for the last scene where he learns about Abin Sur’s demise, his reaction to that news does feel like it came from someone who’s spent a good deal of time with said Green Lantern. I’m sure that because he’s a longtime corpsman, it would’ve been fully justified in a future entry had this movie been far more successful. Sadly, Tomar-Re has spent more panel & screen time with Abin Sur than him. After all, those two talked with each other for a bit at the beginning of that comic. Despite that, that last scene is still justified for what it is. In the end, Kilowog’s comic serves itself pretty well and it brings some satisfying qualities in terms of nice humor & some narrative importance towards the film that it’s tied in. The book itself does ping-pong our attention around to various Green Lanterns, though it doesn’t affect the pacing too severely. In terms of its artwork, it nicely serves itself for this story. It’s presented really well throughout and has enough energy exerting from our present characters. Like Tomar-Re’s tale, it also does a really good job at tying itself really close to the movie. While it didn’t entirely felt like a complete package for me, it’s still mostly solid and worth checking out. Now, we have Hal’s comic. Because he’s already the main focus of the film, this mainly expands upon a singular point in time within the movie. In it, it does attempt to delve into what Jordan’s past was like. Thanks to Tomar-Re, he teaches Sinestro and the reader to look past the surface level in order to fully know the context behind a situation. However, that’s mainly for one incident and this doesn’t really explore other parts of Hal’s past that fueled his somewhat-misguided, irresponsible and self-destructive way of living that he’s developed for himself. Ultimately, that’s more of a shared fault that it has with the movie, since it’s part of the reason why it flopped with critics & audiences. Thankfully, this comic does expand on Sinestro’s hatred towards the human race. No matter how much Tomar-Re tries to convince him, he only sees Earthlings as simple-minded, primal and conflictive beings that would gladly go to war against each other. Despite that, it still fits within the progression of scenes, so it makes sense that he would have that attitude by the time he confronts Jordan and wipes the floor with him in training. Not only that, but it explains why Tomar-Re is the most kind to Hal once he wakes up. In that vein, Jordan may take a back seat for this issue, but it succeeds with filling in a narrative gap during some cinematic downtime. Not to mention, it’s also backed by some really good artwork that provides some nice detail and helps to pace this narrative, especially since it’s not full-length. While I’m on this, the back-up story is a short, but sweet tale for a supporting emerald fighter. Even though Ngila G’rnt is ultimately more prominent as a background character and as one of the several Green Lanterns who’s featured more within the movie’s posters, she’s ultimately a combination of Hal and Tomar-Re in terms of her character arc for this tale. For this peaceful creator, she’s like Jordan in that she has to go on a self-discovery journey that ultimately sees her earning her place among the corps. Like Tomar-Re, she’s a caring entity who ultimately looks past the troubling surface and comes across the beautiful truth that hides within. In the end, her journey allows her to have a decent amount of spotlight-sized attention here, fueled by neat artwork, good pacing and a charming outcome. Ultimately, both stories provide some substantial material for Jordan’s book and should make for an interesting read for those who’re familiar with the film. Finally, we have Sinestro’s solitary issue. For the most part, it excels in exploring his backstory. His home world of Korugar was wrought with corrupt and power-hungry leaders that forced its civilians to tear each other apart, thus planting a need within him to do some form of good. When he became a Green Lantern and met Abin Sur, it gave him a friend and comrade to rely upon, stand beside and guide him towards being a proper protector. When this benevolent figure was around, Sinestro was taught to put aside his own personal hang-ups and need for vengeance. By the time the main events of the movie roll around, it seems like they’ve been on enough intergalactic ventures together to the point where Sinestro has undergone some changes while serving as a Green Lantern. When he initially meets Hal within the film, he immediately doesn’t approve of him not just due to the mini-event that was seen within Jordan’s prequel comic, but that fact that a lowly human was ultimately chosen to wear the same ring that once belonged to someone whom he admired, respected and helped him become something better than what he could ever imagine must be a personal insult to Sinestro. While I do admire the comic for delving into where he came from and how far he’s come since then, the development could’ve been explored a bit more, especially with how he came to dislike Earthlings in the first place. It’s possible that this particular detail would’ve been fleshed out in a cinematic sequel had this movie been far-more successful, but what’s present is still decent and continues to show why Abin Sur meant a lot to him, even within the one scene that’s present for this comic. Not to mention, the art work presents this tale in a proper and coherent manner for all to look over. As for the back-up tale that also came within it, it does an efficient job of explaining how the Green Lantern Corps was formed, as well as showing (in some form, at least) Abin Sur and the Guardians of the Universe’s temporary imprisonment of Parallax. The formation of this squad of intergalactic space cops could’ve been incorporated into the film in some kind of organic way, as could have Parallax’s initial defeat. Even still, it’s a decent set-up comic for its audience and what it is, it does the job in a quick manner. In conclusion, the movie was ultimately a disappointingly bad experience, especially given the behind-the-scenes rockiness that went down. Meanwhile, the tie-in comics do make a valiant effort to flesh out certain moments of the film while serving as their own individual adventures. While I would’ve liked for some of them to have explored certain aspects a bit more in detail, they still ultimately added some much-needed flavor to a cinematic outing that was lackluster overall. Not to mention, each entry is backed by good artwork, nice narrative pacing and allowing the movie’s supporting characters to take bigger roles within their own story as opposed to how they were hardly used in the film. While these five issues are forever connected to a project whose initial cinematic potential was ultimately abandoned, they’re still worth checking out if you’re a Green Lantern fan, a cult fan of the movie or if this idea ordeal in general peaks your interest. Even though its movie fell into the blackest night of DC’s cinematic efforts, I still encourage you to find these issues and check them out within the brightest of days.
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan created by John Broome and Gil Kane) is owned by DC Comics.