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Greetings. I am the Illusive One. For many years now I have been a huge video game player, movie viewer, and book reader. For almost as long, I have been a critic of these things and many people respect my opinions of these things and have often said I belong on G4 doing reviews on X-Play or a similar show. Sadly that is not likely to happen. So instead I shall do reviews for you, uninfluenced by other reviewers, of video games books, movies, and, occasionally, music and political actions. I hope you find this informative and helpful. Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The New 52 Part 4: The Justice League Comics

            Welcome back to my look at The New 52 and after my….setbacks with the Red Lanterns, I figured I may as well take a look at the next set of comics, The Justice League comics.  Now, to be honest I found it a little odd that D.C. would group all of these comics together like this, as many of these characters have nothing to do with The Justice League and they could have easily categorized it as The D.C. Universe or something.  But I have to say, out of all the groups of comics that I’ve read so far, this one has proven to be the least satisfying.  Not to say that all of them are bad mind you, but most of them are just ok and I can see how someone may like or hate these comics.  So I’m not really going into this post whole heartedly.  It’ll contain reviews of The Justice League, Justice League International, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Captain Atom, The Fury of Firestorm, Green Arrow, The Savage Hawkman, Mr. Terrific and D.C. Universe Presents.  We’ve got a lot of comics to go through so let’s not delay any further.  This is The Illusive One’s Review of The New 52 Part 4: The Justice League Comics.

The Justice League

As you may or may not know, this was the line of comics that launched the reboot and set the stage for how future comics in it would be written, but we’ll get to that in a minute.  The story mainly focuses on how The Justice League first comes together in this new universe as Darkseid invades the Earth.  And I have to say, I have mixed feeling on this line.
But before we get into what my problems with it are, let’s start with the good.  The drawing style is really good, for the most part, and most of the stuff looks the way it should.  I think Cyborg is really cool in this and like the way his becoming a partial robot was directly caused by the invasion, (although the story did seem rushed at times).  I also love the way they characterize Wonder Woman.  It clearly indicates that she is new to our society, and it’s just hilarious how ignorant she is of our traditions and willing to kill anything she thinks is evil and I think it’s a great way to portray her.
The last thing I love is how superheroes are viewed in this world.  It really makes perfect sense that superheroes would be viewed with suspicion and hatred rather than revered.  Like Action Comics, it’s a tone that I actually really like because it gives a fresh and realistic feel to the whole thing.  But then we come into the area where I have mixed opinions on.
For starters is the action.  On one hand, it is well depicted and intense, for the most part.  On the other hand most of the fights came off as being pointless.  It just seemed like they could have spent the pages where the characters were fighting on much better things.  It’s not at all unlike the action in The Expendables, where it was good, but really had little to nothing to do with advancing the plot. 
The main issue for me, however, and the thing that I have the most mixed feeling on is the characterization and interaction.  Most of the interaction consists of childish bickering as most of the characters have pissing contests with one another.  As a result, Superman, Aquaman and Green Lantern are extremely annoying, immature and unlikable.  It’s just something that I found really irritating and when you make the Teen Titans look mature in comparison, you’ve done something wrong.  But at the same time, somehow it’s still really enjoyable and you’ll probably get a few kicks out of it.
Then we have Batman and, I hate to say it, but he seems really awkward and out of place here.  It’s a problem that The Justice League animated series had before they went into Unlimited and anyone who has read these comics or seen the show will see what I mean.  It’s just really odd to see him standing beside some of these characters with powers that are borderline dietic and you question what use he has there.  But at the same time, it does offer the writers a chance to poke fun at him because of this and it’s something that very few authors have the guts to do.    
Finally, we have our main villain Darkseid.  On one hand it’s really cool to see him in The New 52 and what better villain to bring the world’s greatest superheroes together to battle against?  On the other hand, I feel like they’re breaking out the big guns to soon.  It just seems a little odd to me that they would bring out one of the most powerful enemies in the entire universe as the series is just starting.  My last problem with him is that the character design doesn’t seem right to me.  For starters, he’s too tall.  Darkseid was big in the other series but here I swear he’s ten feet tall.  The rest doesn’t look right either.  His armor is blue for some God unknown reason, (seriously what the fuck is up with that?), it doesn’t look like Darkseid’s armor and his skin tone doesn’t seem right.  I mean just look at the image below.  Am I wrong or am I right?

But despite all my issues with it, it’s still one that I recommend you take a look at.  I can see how someone could love it or hate it and more issues will have to come out before I can make my final decision on it.  I just hope to God The Avengers movie doesn’t follow this formula or I’m gonna be pissed!


Justice League: International

After such mixed feeling on the first comic, you would think that JLI would have been dead on arrival.  But, like the last one, I have mixed thoughts on it.  The story follows a group of superheroes formed by the UN to combat threats and to get an edge on the Justice League.  This story arc follows them as they try to stop an alien from harvesting the Earth of all of its resources, destroying it in the process.
So what works about this comic?  Well, like Justice League, the drawing style is really good with everything looking the way it should.  The action scenes are well depicted and the story arc is pretty good.  The characters are kind of a mixed bag, with a few like Russian Rocket Red and Chinese August-General-in-Irons came off as stereotypes.  Booster Gold, however I think is a good character, Guy Gardner is great in it and Batman doesn’t seem as out of place among them and actually seems like he has a purpose in the group.
However, it does have a few problems that I can’t get past.  For starters, I had a hard time getting past the fact that most of these characters are C List superheroes and ones that I don’t really give a crap about.  I also can’t help but feel that the government B.S. they have to put up with is more than a little stereotypical.  Finally, it raises a lot of continuity questions for me.  Like, if an alien is destroying the planet, then why the hell isn’t the actual Justice League doing anything about it?  Why isn’t Superman knocking this alien on his ass or destroying his ship?  It just raises too many questions for me to look past.
With this one, again I would recommend getting you own opinion as I can see how someone may like or hate it.  Is it better then Justice League?  I don’t know but I recommend you take a look and decide for yourself.




Of all the superheroes out there I think Aquaman is the most ridiculed and in recent decades has become something of a pun for anyone who isn’t familiar with comic books.  And this is a story that takes every opportunity to make fun of the people that make fun of the character and brings it to the point to where you almost feel bad for thinking about him that way in the first place.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.  What’s the plot?  Well, the story is kind of hard to talk about.  On the surface, (no pun intended), it’s about Aquaman and his wife, Mira fighting off these monster fish things that come to the surface trying to eat everything that they can find.  Underneath that, it’s really about how the two of then interact with society and deal with the ridicule that comes from…well…being the king of fish I guess.  And I have to say, this one is pretty damn good.
For starters the art work is nothing short of fantastic with everything looking amazing with action panels that are well depicted and help move the story along at a good pace.  The story involving the fish things was actually pretty interesting, and it kept me interested as to what these things were, where did they come from, and why were they doing this.  The characterization, particularity with Aquaman is really good as it show the annoyances he goes through dealing with all the ridicule he gets.  It also really focuses on his personal dilemmas, most notably deciding whether or not to return to Atlantis to rule. 
Finally, this comic is just hilarious.  Yes, you heard that right.  It is fall on your ass funny.  Most of it revolves around the misconceptions people seem to have about the character.  Like he can “talk” to fish even though it’s more like mind control or that he can only fight in water even though he’s just as strong outside of it.  It pokes fun at all these things but also takes the time to set them straight and just seeing Aquaman’s reaction to people’s thoughts on this almost makes you feel bad that you thought that way to.  It’s just brilliant. 
The only downside to this line so far is that the main story is kind of underwhelming.  The whole story involving the all devouring fish is something that they cut short and the final resolution was underwhelming.  It made me mad mainly because they could have easily drawn it out a few more issues and could have built on it a lot more. 
But with that gripe aside, this comic is easily one of the best of The Justice League section and is one that I highly recommend you give a read.  If you aren’t sold by the first issue…well I honestly don’t know what to tell ya.


Wonder Woman

            Next we have Wonder Woman, another superhero who is something of a walking punch line because of her “lasso of truth” and skimpy outfit, although not nearly to the same extent as Aquaman.  Anyway, for the re-launch they decided to center the story around Greek Mythology in modern times.  Throughout the line, Wonder Woman is protecting a woman whom is carrying Zeus’s child, learns more of her own origins, and gets involved in a power struggle among the Gods.  And I really can’t say much more beyond that so let’s get into the pros and cons.
            On the positive side, I think that the story really worked.  It got you involved in the power struggles of the Gods and will keep you involved the whole time.  I also love how they portrayed the Gods in this, most of which were very accurate to their mythical counter parts which is a lot harder to find then you would think.  Hera for example is a jealous nut job, (a way she was in the myths as well), Aries is an unpredictable psychopath, and Poseidon is an unpredictable force to be reckoned with.  It’s this kind of characterization of them that very few adaptations, even the good ones, get right.  The action depiction is pretty good, but there is very little of it and it makes it a tad annoying.
            As you may expect, there are downsides to this line.  For one thing, the art work just looks horrible.  I mean, there just isn’t anything appealing about it whatsoever and it continues to be a distraction to me.  While the action is good there is very little of it, which puts it behind some of the other series out there.  Finally, I can see why some people would hate the way they’ve taken Wonder Woman’s story.  Not meaning to give everything away, but they re-canonize a big chunk of her origin story in a way that will probably piss people off.  And her actual reaction to it was a little…odd.  I don’t know why, but it just didn’t seem right to me.
            All around, this one was ok.  There were things that I loved about it but on the whole, it was just ok.  While I do love the way they portray the Greek Gods and the plot, it’s brought down my mediocre art and characterization that I can’t help but scratch my head at.  Go ahead and take a look I say, but don’t expect the best of The Justice League books. 


The Flash

Ah, The Flash.  How I’ll always remember you as that annoying yet entertaining douchebag from The Justice League Animated Series.  And yet, this is a completely different Flash.  Yea.  For the re-launch they decided to go with Barry Allan instead of Wally West.  Why?  I don’t know and I really don’t care because this line is awesome!  It focuses Allen as he combats what appears to be an army of clones of his former best friend, known as Mob Rule while discovering the extent of his super speed abilities.
There were a number of things that made this line work.  For starters, it had great concepts concerning The Flash’s powers and how he uses them.  The sheer number of things he can do in this series is just insane and it’s fascinating to see what he can do and unlike other stories, they manage to tell this in a way that makes it interesting.  The characters are also really good.  Barry Allan is a compelling protagonist and the conflicts he goes through are interesting.  It’s interesting to see just how he reacts to an old friend and it is something that I think anyone can relate to.  It also helped that the villain and his/their motivation was an interesting and compelling one.  I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that Mob Rule is one of those villains that you can’t help but sympathize with.
The only complaints I have is that sometimes the general art direction could be a little weird, but other than that this one was really good.  The characters were compelling, the villain was great, and the concepts were fantastic and out of The Justice League Comics, this one is probably the best and one that I highly recommend you take a look at.


Captain Atom

GOOD GOD!! This one is dull.  It focuses on Captain Atom as he plays God and gives exposition on his life, abilities, and….you know what?  I really don’t care.  While some of the ideas could be good it suffered from poor execution and was just boring.  Every issue is just him thinking about what he is and talking to people about it.  There is little to no action, no real story arc and nothing to keep the reader involved and the characters are just as dull and uninteresting.  To sum it up in a single sentence, it’s like they took every boring part of Dr. Manhattan’s story from Watchmen and decided to make an entire comic line for it. 
Only redeeming quality is that the villain is kind of interesting but it’s not nearly enough to save this line.  I’ve already said all I can say or need to say on this one and I can only recommend that you avoid it with anything short of flamethrowers.


The Fury of Firestorm

This is one of those lines/concepts/characters/ I went into knowing next to nothing about.  I mean, I had heard of Firestorm and was slightly familiar with whom/what it was but I didn’t know a whole lot.  So any comparison with previous lines or characters will be non-existent in this review.  Anyway, the story focuses on two teenagers as they are turned into Firestorm creatures, (I honestly don’t know what else to call them), after government agents try to kill them for…well knowing the wrong people at the wrong time.  The rest of the comic focuses on the two trying to avoid various government agencies trying to kill/capture them. 
One thing that I think anyone would agree on is that the art direction is fantastic.  The coloring and the drawing style both work really well together and it’s something the artist deserves praise for.  Right alongside this is the action as it is incredibly well depicted and helps move the story along at a fast pace.  I also really like the concepts.  The actual powers of the “Firestorms” are really cool and make me interesting in how they will use their abilities.  I also like the way that there are multiple “Firestorms” working on different sides of the board and it makes for good fights and great suspense.
One thing that I’m a bit divided on is the villains.  On one hand they’re pretty badass and leave their actual motivations and goals a bit ambiguous, (I love ambiguity in my stories).  On the other hand, they often come off as over the top 24 villains.  More time will have to pass before I can make a final decision concerning these so take them for what they are for now.
But then we come to our biggest problem of this series, our two protagonists.  They just suck!  I mean they suck!  Our first protagonist Jason is a stereotypical nerd who thinks he knows everything about everything and for some God unknown reason has a hatred for jocks.  Our second protagonist, Raymond is a stereotypical jock who thinks he’s better then everyone, has a hatred for nerds and is…slower than a lot of the other characters.  And trust me when I say, these aren’t real people!  I’ve known both nerds and jocks so trust me when I say that they do not act like this at all.  It just seems reinforce stereotypes that you really shouldn’t see outside of kid shows.  The interactions don’t help either.  They both come off as complete jackasses and it makes them completely unlikeable.  The last complaint I have is against the dialog and inner monologues as about a third of it is just bad.  That’s all I can say.  It’s just bad.
All around, this one wasn’t that bad.  The artwork, plot, concepts and action make it readable but dialog and protagonist are extremely annoying and drag it down.  But they don’t drag it down enough to where I say burn but keep that in mind if you decide to give this one a read.


Green Arrow

          Hmm.  This is another line that I have mixed feelings on.  As you may expect the story revolves around Green Arrow/Oliver Queen, as he fights crime and tries to help run his family company with the two frequently colliding.  The first three issues revolved around his hunt a group of super criminals who are posting their exploits on the internet, gaining tons of views and subscribers.  The next two issues involve his fights against an assassin known as Blood Rose and her…. “pet?”  “Lover?”, (it’s not really made clear), Midas who have a vendetta against Oliver Queen, (not Green Arrow).
            This is another that is a bit of a mixed bag and the quality seems to change from issue to issue.  Before we get into that, however, let’s look at what’s good of all the issues.  Like Firestorm, the art work is great with well depicted action.  The supporting characters are also pretty good as well.  Nomia and Jax both make good supporting tech characters and I like the way they interact with Queen.  But the supporting character I really like is C.E.O. Emerson who, in my opinion, went past being a stereotypical corporate dick head.  He thinks Queen is throwing his life away, eluding responsibilities, and throwing away everything his father built for him.  This makes him sympathetic because it is obvious that he cares about Queen and almost makes us wish he knew what Queen was up to.
            But then we get into what doesn’t work with this line.  I found the first three issues utterly intolerable, mainly because of the villains.  Now for anyone who defends the first three issues because of the premise, let me tell you right now that it’s not original at all and the execution was just terrible.  It didn’t work in Death Race or The Condemned or Untraceable and it isn’t any better here.  The end result was a line that kind of came off as anti-internet/pro-S.O.P.A., (at least that’s the way I saw it) and it just annoyed the crap out of me.  None of these villains were memorable and the way Green Arrow reacted to them was just ridiculous.  It also didn’t help that he had the dialog of 80 year old conservative calling everyone punks and losers.  Had they continued on this route I would have burned this series with a passion. 
Luckily the next two issues saved it.  The annoying viral plot is gone and Green Arrow’s dialog is a lot better.  This time around, he’s a much more likeable and sympathetic character, whereas in the first three issues he was just an annoying bore.  We also have memorable villains that we don’t know much about and it adds a mystery to it that will keep readers coming back for more, (something that the other books failed to do).
My final recommendation is to skip the first three issues and go straight to Issue Four.  But even then I can still see how someone may not like it.  After all it is Green Arrow and some people will probably think that he really lame.  All I can say is make your own choice about it.



The Savage Hawkman

Oh boy.  Now we’re digging into the worst of The New 52.  In terms of story, there really isn’t much to say.  It centers around Hawkman as battles an alien, then later fighting some wizard or someone and that’s about it.  The only good thing that I can say about this series is that the concepts involving the aliens and wizard are interesting.  But then it goes straight down the shitter real fast.
Let’s start with the basics.  The art work is really unappealing.  The coloring and drawing style just looks ugly and I don’t find it appealing in the least bit.  The action is horribly done and doesn’t consist of more than “Hawkman Smash!” type fights where he just cleaves single blows against his enemies.  The ways the panels are ordered are just messy as well and makes the whole thing really confusing and half the time you can’t tell what is going on.  But for me, the worst part about it is that the comic is just boring and the actual story progression squanders the interesting concepts and utterly fails to live up to any potential it may have had.  I think a big part of this has to do with the characters, which, like the plot, are incredibly boring and as wooden as a tree.  They have zero personality, no real characterization, and nothing remarkable or memorable about them in the least bit.
In the end, I have nothing good to say about this line as it doesn’t leave an impression at all.  I don’t hate it the way I hate Red Lanterns because it actually has a story but that isn’t enough.  There is nothing interesting or engaging about this story whatsoever and deserve a place in my fire pit.  It’s not good enough for my flamethrower.


Mr. Terrific

And now for our second to last comic for the day, Mr. Terrific.  This one revolves around Michael Holt, aka Mr. Terrific as he fights Brainstorm, a mutant, or something that increases people’s I.Q. rapidly over a short period of time causing them to go homicidal.  Then he’s captured by extra dimensional aliens and has to escape.  And I’m just going to be blunt about this.  This series is completely useless and unoriginal.  Yea.  Not necessarily bad but useless.
It seems like it contains every single concept, idea, or characterization that I’ve heard a million times before.  The most notable is this: Billionheir using his wealth to fight crime with a high I.Q. and technology because of a personal tragedy.  When it was used in other series it came off as fresh because they were the first to do it.  With this series, it just seems clichéd.  In the first three issues, nothing is really that interesting.  The villain reminds me of a cross between Brainiac and this one thing from the cartoon series The Big Guy and Rusty and the way he actually became this thing seems to indicate much “inspiration” from the latter.  It doesn’t help that I don’t find the art work appealing and the action is really underwhelming.  Not to mention the story involving Brainstorm isn’t that interesting.  It has its moments but he just comes off as a throwaway villain.
Things start to look up at Issue Four when Mr. Terrific is captured by extra dimensional aliens and has to break out with the help of other aliens and has to help one find its place in the universe.  But sadly this is ruined by him in two ways.  First, he’s being whiney because he almost beat a man to death.  A man who just so happened to be responsible for his wife’s death which is a completely human response.  Yet he thinks he is an animal just because he lost his temper on the guy who killed his wife.  Dude, you do not have anger issues!  You are just human!  What you did was a completely natural response!  You didn’t kill him so you’re in the clear!  Stop being a bitch about it and get on with your day.
It also openly compares his and the aliens’ capture to the enslavement of Africans in America.  This just annoys me on so many levels.  For one thing, this isn’t something that needs to be in a comic.  Everyone learned in grade school the horrible things that were done to Africans and we don’t need this comic retelling us some of those stories.  If you want to make this an analogy for slavery, that’s fine.  But don’t spell it out like that.  Keep it subtle; let the reader draw his or her on conclusion from this without telling what you’re actually alluding to.  The way they have it set up just makes it sound preachy.
There is also really irritating stereotyping, although I’m not sure everyone else will see it.  For one thing, you have the aforementioned thing above.  Just assuming that he would make that connection doesn’t seem right to me at all.  I’m Scottish/Irish and I don’t immediately think of the British oppressive rule over Ireland and Scotland whenever I think the government is being a little too strict, (may be a bad analogy but you get my point). 
That and there are these little lines of dialog that had me shaking my head in disapproval and thinking “what the hell were the writers thinking?”  For example, there is this line of dialog: “And I’m a black woman which means I’m built to handle things you can’t even imagine or never had to.”  I mean what the fuck?!?  Does that sound right to anyone?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m overanalyzing this a bit but it still bugs me. 
In the end, this series was utterly pointless and boring.  It had a bunch of things that just didn’t seem right, underwhelming action and just seemed like an all-around useless series without much original to add to the D.C. Universe and I’m not surprised in the least bit that D.C. putting the axe this line.  It’s a very passable series and one that I’ll be taking my flame thrower to and suggest you all do the same.


D.C. Universe Presents

            And now for our final comic of the day, D.C. Universe Presents.  For those of you who aren’t aware, this is an anthology series who’s protagonist changes about every five issues or so.  This one focuses on Boston Brand/Deadman as he tries to help a disabled war vet as well as figure out just what his purpose is in what he’s doing.  So has this anthology series gotten off to a good start?  Let’s find out.
            On the positive side it had a good art direction and I really like the philosophy aspect of it.  It’s very rare that anything in the mainstream media would address the kind of questions they ask in this series.  Other than that it’s kind of difficult to actually say what makes it so good without spoiling it but it is a comic that touches on redemption, and the meaning of life.  I wouldn’t say that it’s Alan Moore level but it really went in depth on these things and is what makes the book reading.
            There are some things that may keep people away from the book.  For starters, it’s not a traditional comic by any means.  There is very little action, it can drag on a bit and the protagonist is more than a little unlikeable.  And I’m not entirely convinced that this is what people reading comics will want.  From what I gather people who read comics really aren’t in general looking for things like this and that’s why I have reservations about recommending it, as I can see why someone wouldn’t like it.  This is another that I say take a look at and get your own opinions.


            And that’s it for Part 4 of my look at The New 52 and I have to say, this one was the most disappointing for me thus far.  The Flash and Aquaman were both great, but Captain Atom, Mr. Terrific and The Savage Hawkman just disgusted me and I wish I had never read them.  The rest were mixed bags and I suggest you get your own opinions on them.  And that’s if for The Justice League.  Next time I’ll be looking at The Dark and hopefully-

Illusive One:  What the hell?!? 


Illusive One:  Oh….Hi Darkseid!  Um…this isn’t about the crack I made about you armor is it?  Because you still look badass in it!  Sort of…

Illusive One:  Oh shit….I’ve got a problem….

To Be Continued….

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The New 52 Part 3: The Green Lantern Comics

            Welcome back to my look at The New 52 and today we are going to be taking a look at my favorite branch of superheroes, The Green Lanterns.  Todays post will include review of Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians, and Red Lanterns.  Now as anyone who knows me will tell you, Batman is my favorite superhero but I feel that The Green Lantern concept is the best one out there.  Having a ring that turns your very thoughts into solid objects and you get to use it as a space cop?  That’s frikkin awesome!  I also like the fact that, unlike other superheroes, they aren’t bound to a single planet.  They’re patrol different solar systems throughout the Galaxy and this makes way for a lot of great stories concerning the creatures they can fight and what challenges they will face.  So as you can imagine, I had a few expectations in these stories.  So were they as good, better, or worse then what we’ve seen so far?  Let’s find out.  This is The Illusive One’s Review of The New 52 Part 3:  The Green Lantern Comics.

Green Lantern

            Like Batman, our first story seems to be a continuation of the stories that were released before the re-launch.  In it, Green Lantern Hal Jordan has been stripped of his ring and forced into civilian life which he is having a hard time adjusting to.  For some reason, the ring went to Sinestro who is now once again a Green Lantern, (for more info on these events read the crossover storylines In Blackest Night and War of the Green Lanterns).  Upon realizing that his home world has been enslaved by his former corps, Sinestro vows to liberate his world from his former soldiers and recruits Jordan to aid him in this task.
            So how has if fared thus far?  Well, there is a lot to like about these books.  For starters the general art style is good and the action is incredibly well depicted and the artists take full advantage of the battles between the Lanterns.  While there are relatively few major characters in this series, the few that they have they really get right.  In this story Hal isn’t a perfect person and can barely stand the loss of his ring, possibly out of more selfish reasons than anything else.  We also get to see, (although briefly), how he adjusts to civilian life and you discover why he wants it back so badly. 
The way they characterize Sinestro is really good as well as it gives a great deal of depth to the character.  They explore him in three major ways, which ultimately add to the quality of the story.  The first is how he reacts to the fact that he is fighting his old corps and it shows just how unforgiving he is of his enemies.  The second is in the way he and Hal work together and talk to one another.  It shows that Sinestro doesn’t necessarily regret anything that he’s done and may not be doing this for redemption but to fix his mistakes.  The last is how he and the population react to the fact that he has returned to his home world as it leaves his true motives a bit ambiguous.  And that’s what ultimately works about this character.  You just don’t know what motivates him.  You really don’t know if he’s looking for redemption, just to fix his mistakes, to truly become a Green Lantern again, or if he has some other plan for the future and I am curious as to how they will develop him in the future.
The final thing to note is the plan of The Guardians.  I won’t spoil it for you but it should suffice to say that in this story and the other Green Lantern stories they are quickly establishing themselves as the true villains that everyone should be fighting against rather than for.
The only downside to this whole thing is that anyone unfamiliar with anything Green Lantern will have a hard time getting into this.  But that aside, everything else is great.  The characterization is great, the story is great and the action is great.  It’s an all-around great story and one I highly recommend, so long as you’re willing to do a little research into these characters and stories.


Green Lantern Corps

Of all the superhero comic lines out there, The Green Lanterns probably have the most justification for having three separate story lines.  Why?  Well, because there are four different Lanterns from Earth.  Now most people know about Hal Jordan and John Stewart, (if only from The Justice League Animated Series), but there is another that most non-comic book readers probably know nothing about.  This Lantern is Guy Gardner and to be perfectly honest I know next to nothing about him other then he was a former football player and was appointed as Hal’s backup Lantern before John Stewart came into the picture.  If you want to know more about him I set up a link for you.
Anyway, I only brought it up because our second story features John Steward and Guy Gardner as our respective protagonists.  It follows them as they investigate a race of creatures that are stripping entire planets of resources vital to said planets life, causing total genocide of the planet’s entire population.  This, in-turn, leads them to the culprits: a race of creatures who have a natural resistance to the Lantern Rings and have a vendetta against the entire corps.  And like our last story, this one is fantastic.
Like the last book, the art style is great with action that is really well put together.  The fact that these enemies have a natural resistance to the Rings just raises the stakes and makes the fights all the more intense.  You feel the desperation the characters go through as they battle and watch every action with anticipation because you never know who is going to win the next fight.  It also helps that it has two great protagonists in Stewart and Gardner as they really come off as human in this story.  Unlike Jordan and Rayner, they don’t have secret identities so it makes interactions outside of the Corps difficult.  Gardner, for example, can’t even get a job coaching a kid’s football team because of his other occupation and it just shows the kind of stuff they go through.
Finally we have our villains.  The mystery involving them is one that keeps you interested and their motivation is actually quite shocking and interesting and almost makes you sympathize with them.  On another note, if our last story failed to establish that The Guardians are villains this one confirms it and it really makes me interested in what the protagonists do in the future.
The only downside to it is that like our last story it may be a little hard to get into it if you aren’t familiar with the characters or setting.  But like our last story, this one is fantastic.  It had great characters, great villains with great motivations, a great story, and great action.  It all around a great read and I highly recommend you take a look.


Green Lantern: New Guardians

           And now for our last story with an actual Green Lantern as our protagonist, Green Lantern: New Guardians.  Now this story is probably the worst of the three Green Lantern stories but it’s still pretty damn good.  The story’s protagonist is Green Lantern Kyle Rayner who, for some reason, has a single ring from each of each of the Lantern Corps, (Rage, Avarice, Fear, Hope, Compassion and Love), come to him and claim that he is the owner of said rings.  This immediately draws the attention of every Lantern Corps in the universe and members go after Rayner to retrieve the rings and get revenge as several of Corps members were killed as a result of losing their rings.  This in turn, leads the Guardians to betray Rayner out of mistrust and misunderstanding and this, in turn, leads Rayner and all the Lanterns who attacked him on a journey to find the source of this strange occurrence. 
            So, before I get into the flaws of this series, what actually works about it?  Well, like the other two, it has a good art direction and decent action to help move the story along.  As far as concepts and plots go, this one had a really good one.  The idea of a member of each of The Lantern Corps uniting against a common threat is a great one and I’m honestly surprised that they hadn’t tried this route before.  It also has a good mystery that revolves around just why it is Rayner got all of these rings at once and as the story progresses I found myself more and more intrigued by what was going on and how it was related. 
I also really enjoyed the way the characters interacted with one another.  While bickering team mates has become an annoying cliché in fiction in general, (and one that I’m getting sick of and hope to God they keep that they keep it to a minimum in The Avengers film), here it really worked mainly because most of these Corps hate each other’s guts.  It really makes sense that they would threaten and insult one another here as there is apparent animosity between them.
That said, unlike the other two, there were things that bugged me about this line.  The main problem with it is that it isn’t as good as the others.  The storyline, as of right now isn’t as good as the other two.  Kyle Rayner isn’t as good of a protagonist and the action isn’t as good as the other two.  But even when you take that out of the equation, there are still some things that don’t see right to me.  For example, in the middle of the series, The Guardians attack Rayner because the rings’ “attraction” to him.  It was something that just seemed illogical and I just don’t get why they would attack first and ask questions later.  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s a bit of a nitpick but it still bothers me. 
The only problem I have with it is that the story has progressed too slowly.  I mean, I’m on the fifth issue and The Lanterns have only just started working together as a team.  That just seemed a bit of a stretch to me.
All around, despite being the worst of The Green Lantern stories it was still really good.  The concepts and storyline is still really good with great interaction and good action and I’m really curious to see where this story is going.  So give it a read.  I highly recommend it.


Red Lanterns

Had Green Lantern: New Guardians been the last on this list we could have gotten out of this with all perfect Reads.  BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  D.C. thought it would be a good idea to make a comic line out of the Red Lanterns!  As you can probably already tell, I don’t care for this line of comics.  Why is this exactly?  Well, let’s start with the story or, to be more specific, the lack of one.  The whole story is just the Red Lanterns being emo about their past wrongs and giving exposition on the characters.  Other than that, there really isn’t much else to say on it.  But what else is wrong with this story?  Well a lot.  
For starters, is it just me or does it seem like a really stupid idea to give the Red Lanterns their own comic line?  To me, it seemed like it was better to have these people as supporting characters for Green Lantern stories, either as unstable allies or enemies.  Having them as protagonists just doesn’t seem right to me.  Not to mention, their powers really seem stupid to me.  I mean, I’m five issues in and their powers don’t seem to amount to much more then puking lava or something on their victims.  I’m sorry.  That’s just gross and lame. 
Then we have the content of the books themselves.  I think ninety percent of the books contains the characters giving exposition on their past stories and nothing at all really happens in terms of story, action, or character development.  Oh, some of them gain their sanity again but that really doesn’t count.
There are one or two good things I’ve found in this story.  For one thing, the art style is pretty good and some of the back stories are interesting.  But sadly this isn’t enough to save the line.  It’s ultimately a very boring line that suffered from poor execution and belongs back in the unholy pit it spawned from.


And that’s it for part three of my look at The New 52.  As I’ve stated, the first three are all really good and I recommend that you take a look at them.  The first two are fantastic and while New Guardians may have its faults and is wired moments, it’s still pretty good.  Red Lanterns, on the other hand is a boring turd of a book that I wish I never had the displeasure of reading.  And that’s all I have to say on the matter.  Next time well be looking at The Justice League comics and, boy let me tell you there are quite a few of them.  In the meantime, you’ll have to excuse me as I have to gather the Green Lantern Corps to destroy the abomination that is Red Lanterns.  

In Brightest Day
In Blackest Night
No Evil Shall Escape Our Sight
Let Those Who Worship Evil’s Might
Beware Our Power

OH GOD!!!