GREEN LANTERN CORPS: EDGE OF OBLIVION #1
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: January 13, 2016
Trapped in the past, in the dying universe before ours, the Green Lantern Corps are scattered and alone. Or so they think. With the arrival of a last great city and its protectors, the Corps has a decision to make: do they bring these refugees back to the universe they know or leave them to die, stranded, millennia before the Corps’ time. That is, IF they get back…
Right out of the gate, it must be said: it’s great to have Ethan Van Sciver back on a monthly comic book. The man who resurrected Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, who took the DC Universe and blew it out into a rainbow of Lantern Corps — this is an artist we need to be seeing on a regular basis. Back home, in the heart of the Green Lantern mythology.
And out of the gate, Van Sciver brings his trademark precision and detail to the Lanterns — leading most happily, to my mind, with B’dg. I LOVE B’dg. I loved Ch’p. Basically, if you can put a ring on a cute animal (even dear sweet Dex-Starr), I’m there to party.
But it’s clear that Van Sciver’s passions run to all the Lanterns, as there are few artists who can render the non-humanoid heroes as well as he. Kilowog is particularly massive, although maintaining his trademark endearment. B’dg is furry and cute, but his body language makes it clear he’ll fuck you up. Salakk is regal. Quite truthfully, ALL the Lanterns are drawn in exquisite detail, with no line spared. While it leaves some of the more human protectors (most notably John Stewart and Arisia) feeling a little pinched and pulled, the look on Guy Gardner probably ranks at the top. Very few artists are able to capture this balance of snark and true bravery in a post-asshole period in Guy’s life like Van Sciver, and seeing that again is truly worth the price of admission.
So, it’s the multiplicity of the Corps members, above all else, that defines some of the issue’s strongest moments, but it also leaves the issue without much of a narrative point of view. Tom Taylor does a fantastic job of establishing the Corps’ dilemma, focusing less on how they got there and almost entirely on mobilizing the return to home. But with dialogue shifting from Guy to Kilowog to Salakk to John and back again, spreading attention across 20 pages with so many characters begins to take its toll.
It’s a fascinating dilemma presented, however. This refugee world the Lanterns debate briefly about saving, and the two super-humans that rise to advocate for it. And putting Kilowog at the forefront of the debate, he who is sole survivor of his own lost and forgotten universe, is smart of Taylor. It’s something I want to see more of as the issues carry on, even if it means sacrificing space for some of the more prominent members of the Corps.
Is it political allegory? Well, I’m not sure. It’s tempting to look at any story about people on the verge of extinction without relating to modern times, although it’s not as clearly cut from that cloth as some books have been in recent days. What is certain, however, is that we’re in for a visually exceptional tale. Taylor and Van Sciver are clearly executing a widescreen approach here, and whether that takes a parabolic turn, or simply is a grand adventure, is yet to be seen.
Nevertheless, Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion is certainly one thing: a return to the kind of movie-style storytelling that has made the Green Lantern mythology as beloved and thoroughly rich as it is today. Van Sciver and Taylor transitioning the Corps to their next station in the DC Universe is certainly something worth getting excited about. And along the way, we’re getting a damn beautiful comic book too.
The Verdict: 8.0/10