There was quite a bit to love for DC Comics' "Future State," an event that introduced new concepts and changed up the status quo for all of their heroes. Some of the most significant changes took place around the Green Lanterns, who were left without the Central Power Battery and their powers, giving the Corps a sense of grit that it has lacked recently. Things are back to normal in Green Lantern #1 where, despite having the Central Power Battery back, some of that edge is retained and then combined with this issue's fresh vision of the Lanterns, leading the potential for this series off the charts.
Let's start with the series' lead. Writer Geoffrey Thorne is an avid fan of John Stewart, and it shows here. Also apparent is how well suited Stewart is for this role, displaying compassion, authority, and reason all in equal measure. Stewart has always been portrayed as a military vet with a handle on tactics and a more pragmatic way of thinking, but here he is allowed to spread his wings further than ever as both an individual character and a Green Lantern.
This is a version of Stewart I've wanted for some time, though the first page or two don't read like his voice is solidified quite yet. That said, by the issue's end, Stewart is one of the best things in it, as each of his interactions with the vast cast of Lanterns brings a new layer of his personality into view. He's a calming presence for Keli but also carries the confidence needed to stand alongside the Guardians, all the while carrying the self-doubt and worries which make him human.
Amidst all of this is Keli Quintela, the Teen Lantern, who brings a welcome burst of frenetic energy to the Corps that it's been lacking for a bit. Every scene between her and Simon Baz or Stewart is delightful, and I honestly could have used more of her in this issue. It should be a joy to watch her interact with characters like Kilowog, Guy Gardner, and Soranik Natu, and that can't happen soon enough.
Before moving on to the Lanterns' new place in the universe, it needs to be mentioned how impressive that universe looks. Dexter Soy, Marco Santucci, and Alex Sinclair again bring some of that edge back to the Lanterns, especially Stewart, who looks like the imposing and commanding Lantern he is. Soy knocks the smaller moments out of the park too, like the delightful smirk Stewart expresses after Keli threatens to give the Guardians a beat down.
Soy and Sinclair also combine to create a gorgeous shot of the Corps that reaches a whole new level thanks to letterer Rob Leigh, and the Oath has rarely looked so slick. There is a jump from Soy to Santucci's artistic styles, and it is noticeable. The good news is that despite the jump Santucci's style is well suited to those segments of the issue, but I'm always partial to a consistent look throughout one comic.
As mentioned before, the Lanterns are not just assumed to be the universe's protectors but have to convince a new alliance in which they are worthy of being included. This is a very different place for the Guardians and the Lanterns, who regularly take that sort of trust and leeway for granted. Seeing how they adapt to the changing landscape of the universe and the people in it is part of the fun, and could end up being one of the most intriguing parts of the series over the long haul.
Green Lantern #1 pulls the spotlight from Hal Jordan and places the franchise in John Stewart's ever-capable hands, and the supporting cast Thorne is building out is truly stellar. The Corps' new role in the universe and the changes in how they operate are both welcome additions to the mix, as is the lightning bolt named Teen Lantern. None of it works without Stewart though, and thankfully he's never been better, making for a debut that is already soaring towards tremendous potential.
Published by DC Comics
On April 6, 2021
Written by Geoffrey Thorne
Art by Dexter Soy and Marco Santucci
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Letters by Rob Leigh
Cover by Bernard Chang and Alex Sinclair