Review: ‘Future State: Green Lantern’ #1 Delivers Ringless Sci-Fi Adventure
by James Ferguson
If you take away a Green Lantern’s ring, you still have a hero. With the power battery going dark, Lanterns are stranded around the universe, doing what they can to not only get out alive, but save some others as well. Get ready for some big sci-fi adventure.
What’s a Green Lantern without a ring? John Stewart, Salaak, and G’nort find themselves deep behind enemy lines when the power battery goes dark. Without the most powerful weapons in the universe at their disposal, they’ll have to rely on their wits (and some laser guns) to get out alive. Meanwhile, Jessica Cruz is stuck on a a Green Lantern outpost and Guy Gardner becomes a human savior for an alien race in this triple feature of a comic.
“Last Lanterns” the opening tale in Future State: Green Lantern #1, shows this very different status quo for John Stewart and the others. They can’t just makes some constructs and call it a day. They’re essentially space adventurers here. This can be a bit generic, but writer Geoffrey Thorne uses the familiar characters make it stand out.
My favorite part of this segment was G’nort, a character that has always been treated like a joke. Here he’s a hulking warrior with great strength and sharp claws. Artist Tam Raney makes G’nort look like a total badass and I’m here for it. Raney has a handle on this sci-fi action with some great shots that will have you imagining a booming blockbuster soundtrack as you’re reading this. Colorist Mike Atiyeh drives home the alien nature of this story with a bright palette.
A cult following the God in Red descends upon this area, taking the fight to the Lanterns. This definitely filled me with questions as to who these folks are and what the God in Red is. Could it have anything to do with Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns? Letterer AdWorld Design uses a larger font for the cult leader, giving him a powerful voice that strikes fear into all around him. It’s a good thing he’s facing those who have the ability to overcome great fear.
The Jessica Cruz story, penned by Ryan Cady, illustrated by Sami Basri, colored by Hi-Fi, and lettered by Dave Sharpe takes a quieter approach. A few Yellow Lanterns descend upon this outpost where Jessica has been trapped since the power battery went dark. This leads to a spy thriller of sorts as Jessica has to take these fearsome foes out without her ring. More questions arise here, like why is the yellow battery still lit.
Basri’s artwork is superb, showing how the hunters become the hunted. Jessica is rarely seen during her attacks, slowing raising the tensions as the Yellow Lanterns search for her. This leads to a great showdown between her and Lyssa Drak in a gorgeous double page spread. Hi-Fi’s colors make this come alive with bright bursts of yellow energy.
The Guy Gardner tale from writer Ernie Altbacker, artist Clayton Henry, colorist Marcelo Maiolo, and letterer Steve Wands wraps up this issue. What struck me most about this is how long Guy is without his ring. He’s stuck on this planet for years, eventually learning the language and helping out with some peace talks. To this alien race, he’s a god-like being that descended from the sky.
Henry ages Gardner up over the course of the story, showing how the time has taken its toll. He’s a little rounder, at times looking like someone you’d run into at your kid’s soccer game instead of the former high-flying super hero. Maiolo uses a flatter set of colors that still showcase the alien world well.
Future State: Green Lantern takes these characters into new and interesting places by removing the one thing that ties them all together and put them into super heroics in the first place. It’s a return to form for Green Lantern with big, bold sci-fi adventures. There’s still quite a lot to unpack, but I am in 100%.
Future State: Green Lantern #1 from DC Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.