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Green Lantern #15 - Innocent Lives Review

5

Hal and Sinestro are gone, Baz is wanted by the feds and the Third Army continues to grow. Things are getting pretty bleak but the story and art will keep you hooked.

The Good

I haven't heard what the general consensus on Simon Baz is but Geoff Johns has managed to immediately make me care about this new character. After seeing so many different Green Lanterns, including four others from Earth, Baz has a different story. By not being chosen through the regular conventional means, he is at a disadvantage and we get to see a new take on someone becoming a Lantern. Baz has been thrown into the fire. Not only has he been accused of being a terrorist, he'll also have the Guardians' Third Army to deal with. Not knowing how exactly the power ring works reminds me a little of the old TV show, The Greatest American Hero. Baz has an incredibly powerful weapon but doesn't know the full knowledge or instructions in how to use it.

Doug Mahnke's art is stellar as usual. He can convey so much even in scenes where Simon Baz isn't powered up. There is the potential for big action in these pages but Johns and Mahnke are also telling an important story. Seeing the fate of Baz unfold will keep you in suspense and each panel reminds you that this is not Hal Jordan. Simon Baz is well underway in being a completely separate character with his own identity. It's remarkable how each Earth Green Lantern can all have their own identities despite having the same abilities. The challenge is in making them each feel like an individual and Johns is clearly showing writing Baz's persona will not be a problem. I also really dig the cover. The close up shot is simple but it's such a great image.

There are other aspects to the issue as well. We do get more on the fate of Hal and Sinestro. They are both 'dead' and are now confronting a mysterious person with a connection to Sinestro. The Guardians of the Universe are still assembling their Third Army. This is actually an issue where I actually care about what's happening with them. For example, in last week's GREEN LANTERN CORPS, the parts with the Third Army felt forced. It might be a combination of their direct actions or perhaps Mahnke's art but they looked really creepy and left me wanting more.

Another great thing is the colors. Alex Sinclair always impresses. He has a distinct way of making the greens pop off the page as well as helps give Baz's costume a more unique look. As long as Johns, Mahnke and Sinclair are on an issue, we know it's going to be a treat.

The Bad

Without a doubt, GREEN LANTERN remains my favorite Lantern title. I may be getting burnt out waiting for the Rise of the Third Army story to fully hit but this issue was great all around.

The Verdict

Simon Baz is quickly moving up in the ranks as being a great new addition to the Green Lantern universe. Geoff Johns has given us a new Lantern unlike the ones we've seen before. Seeing his story unfold is captivating enough that even the biggest Hal Jordan fans won't mind his taking over the spotlight. Hal and Sinestro haven't been forgotten and their fate is touched on here as well. Doug Mahnke and Alex Sinclair bring the pages to life with their art and colors. GREEN LANTERN remains at the top of my reading list each month.

27 Comments
Posted by doordoor123

This was interesting. Was it good? I'm not so sure.

I like this Baz character, but this still feels like the calm before the storm. Its interesting, but nothing too exciting.

Posted by chasereis

I'm trying to like Baz, he just feels forced upon me though. Maybe in a few years he will be a better character but for now he is completely...meh.

Posted by SmashBrawler
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Posted by Superguy1591

I thought it was good, but it was too short.

P.S... I love the way people talk about Superman in the New 52. Like a man in charge.

Posted by Iron_Turtle

I started buying green lantern for a Sinestro led book. I feel like I've been duped.

Posted by JLDoom

I agree with the review, this issue was a lot of fun but...

@Superguy1591 said:

it was too short

This! Wish we had gotten a little bit more!

Edited by nappystr8

This issue was great. Baz is such an interesting character that I've been keeping with the book even though the story is only mediocre, but I feel like the ball has finally started rolling. The solution to the car-bomb mystery seemed a little anti-climactic at first, but when I really thought about it, it felt true to life.

But now that the Third Army aren't just lurking around in the background, they actually seem like a somewhat interesting threat. And the character who joins Baz and Fed at the end..very excited to see where that goes!

@JLDoom said:

I agree with the review, this issue was a lot of fun but...

@Superguy1591 said:

it was too short

This! Wish we had gotten a little bit more!

Yeah, I don't know why, but every single issue of Green Lantern I read, I'm caught offguard by how quickly it ends. I'm not sure why that is, because I assume it has the same page count as all other 2.99 DC books, but it always feels too short for some reason.

Edited by Raw_Material

Nice review G-Man. Definitely gonna be picking up this issue today. Green Lantern is my most favorite of the Green Lantern titles, as well. Probably gonna be doing a review on this issue later on in the day. This story is taking a slow pace into plotting the Third Army, but I believe this is sort of a prologue to the main crossover of the story, "Wrath of the First Lantern". Can't wait for the "Wrath of The First Lantern" to begin, as to see who actually is the First Lantern and the amount of power he holds. Will he try to break out of the imprisionment, team up with everyone else and try to take on the Third Army all at once?

Posted by Superbat420

Wait did that dude say the first lantern is who I thought he said?! That doesn't even make sense...

Edited by Raw_Material

@Superguy1591 said:

I thought it was good, but it was too short.

I agree with you guys, as well. I believe the Lantern issues have been cut off couple pages from the last series page count. Looking back at the 2005- Hal era, the issues seem lot thicker than the ones of Blackest Night and The New 52 issues.

Posted by SmashBrawler

@Superbat420 said:

Wait did that dude say the first lantern is who I thought he said?! That doesn't even make sense...

I know, right? And with Thomas Wayne Jr. in Batman... are they trying to retcon the Crime Syndicate into the main Earth? I honestly hope not.

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Posted by evensteve11

just finished reading this issue. it was a great story. totally agree with the review. Simon Baz is someone i really care about.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@SmashBrawler said:

@Superbat420 said:

Wait did that dude say the first lantern is who I thought he said?! That doesn't even make sense...

I know, right? And with Thomas Wayne Jr. in Batman... are they trying to retcon the Crime Syndicate into the main Earth? I honestly hope not.

I actually think that'd be pretty damn awesome. But only if its done right.

Watch.Next we'll have H'el turn out to be Ultra-Man, the new Reverse-Flash is gonna be Johnny Quick, and Superwoman will eventually appear in Wonder Woman

Posted by SmashBrawler

@Zeeguy91 said:

@SmashBrawler said:

I know, right? And with Thomas Wayne Jr. in Batman... are they trying to retcon the Crime Syndicate into the main Earth? I honestly hope not.

I actually think that'd be pretty damn awesome. But only if its done right.

Watch.Next we'll have H'el turn out to be Ultra-Man, the new Reverse-Flash is gonna be Johnny Quick, and Superwoman will eventually appear in Wonder Woman

Your theories make too much sense, which has only made me even more worried.

And no, it wouldn't be awesome. The Crime Syndicate belongs in Earth 3. Simple as that.

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Posted by OutlawRenegade

I want Hal Jordan to go back to headlining this title instead of being a side character. And I want the Green Lantern Corps to do space cop stuff instead of doing wars or light, in-fighting, or cleaning up after the guardians. I like Geoff Johns's writing, but I want to get back to basics. I miss stories like "Secret Origin", "Mogo Doesn't Socialize", "Tygers", and "In Blackest Night."

Posted by neiliusprime

Just finished reading it. Loved it, but like what everyone else said it felt too damn short!

Posted by bookerman20

I feel like the story is dragging a bit. However, I am liking Baz as part of the Green Lantern family.

Posted by longbowhunter

Baz is a breath of fresh air. I hope him and B'dg become permanent partners. Oh and did every bit of evidence that Baz wasn't the bomber get blown up in that house? Thought so.

Posted by bladewolf

I thought this issue was just OK. Honestly, it was just filler. Nothing much of note happened (Baz still can't really use the ring, he got his answers to who put bombs in the van but...honestly that wasn't a huge deal, and the Third Army now FINALLY attacked Earth for real). Basically, I think this issue could've been told in half as many panels and included more useful plot points (i.e. Baz actually figuring out how to use and charge the ring).

Posted by Lamenoire

@SmashBrawler: you do realise that there could be another being called that way in the matter universe ?

The fist lantern was first mentionned in the old continuity... where the CSA existed on another earth.

And we don't know if the New52 Owlman is Bruce brother ...

Edited by SmashBrawler

@Lamenoire: Doesn't change the fact that it was random. OK, I was in kind of a hurry when I first wrote this so here's my real answer:

you do realise that there could be another being called that way in the matter universe ?

Still, the original character had nothing to do with being the First Lantern.

The fist lantern was first mentionned in the old continuity... where the CSA existed on another earth.

The previous First Lantern was a different character entirely. And Volthoom was introduced with Morrison's JLA: Earth 2 the concept didn't exist before that. So it's not like Johns is using some kind of old, obscure Silver Age character.

And we don't know if the New52 Owlman is Bruce brother ...

He already called himself Thomas Wayne Jr. Whether he's telling the truth or not, he's already taken that identity.

Plus, I'm not complaining, I'm just commenting on how random it is.

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Posted by Juandicimo_Magnifico45

I actually did enjoy this issue. We finally got to see what was happening to Hal and Sinestro (though it was brief). As for Simin, I really hate the character. There is no reason for him whatsoever. After this whole event ends, Simon better end up ring-less.

Edited by Lamenoire

@SmashBrawler:

you mean the original character on an alternate universe where good is evil (where Flash is Johnny Quick, where WonderWoman is Lois Lane and where Joe Chill raised Thomas Wayne Jr (who saw his mother and brother being gunned downed because Thomas Waynes Sr was commissioner) ?

the original character was named Voolthom and was a mad god. Volthoom is the threat that caused the formation of the Guardians.

I am not thinking you are complaining. I am just saying your conclusion are maybe a little hastyPS : what isnt random in a comics, moreover in a GL comics...

Posted by Lamenoire

My only complaint about GL is that this comics is too damn short. Come on. start to do a 32 page or add a backup (BAZ for the main story and Hal and his BFF for the backup)

I love Simon BAZ.I can see how/why he was chosen. But his introduction during an event is really a bad move (lost momentum).

to the ones who read this issue :

IS it me or this hooded guy is gonna be Abin Sur ?

Posted by SmashBrawler

@Lamenoire: Never heard of that last part about the Guardians.

I was wrong though, Volthoom has been part of the CSA's mythology since the beginning. But he's only been the monk who gave Power Ring his, um, ring, or the entity that powers the ring (in Morrison's CSA), which is the reason I thought it was so random since Volthoom has never had any kind of connection to the Guardians.

Still, it doesn't look like this Volthoom is interested in the same activities his previous incarnation was (judging by the solicits for Wrath of the First Lantern), so I may be (thankfully) wrong when it comes to any connections to the Crime Syndicate.

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Posted by Lamenoire

@SmashBrawler: I was talking about the first lantern,aka Volthoom, (february solicit), not Voolthom

I think it is just an easter egg to the CSA mythology (showing something similar happened on this side too). after all ther are always been a few similarities between both world

Posted by LordRequiem

5 star, seriously? Never have I been so bored with a lantern issue until these past few months. I'm not interested in seeing someone go through the ring-learning process again. Nor the clunky dialogue that has risen up of late. The only decent pages here were the two non-earthbound lanterns' rather brief discussion. And perhaps a small glimpse at the first lantern. Other than that this story is becoming laboured and pointless.