REVIEW: ‘Green Lantern: Black Stars’ #1

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Green Lantern: Black Stars #1

Green Lantern: Black Stars #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Grant Morrison, art by Xermanico, colors by Steve Oliff, and letters by Steve Wands. Hal Jordan is a Black Star and the Green Lantern Corp never was. With the Black Stars governing the cosmos with a fierce iron will, they spread “peace” throughout the universe.  While the long-awaited arrival of their leader Controller Mu closes in, the Black Stars prepare for his appearance. No one will deny their master’s wishes when he returns.

Spinning out of the events of the ongoing Green Lantern series, Green Lantern: Black Stars #1 picks up after Green Lantern #12 with Hal Jordan apparently succumbing to Controller Mu’s influence. As a result, he has wished the Green Lantern Corp out of existence. They haven’t just been destroyed. They simply never were. Furthermore, the Guardians of the Universe are long dead and the Black Stars police the cosmos. In contrast to the Lanterns that we know, the Black Stars enforce a peace that harkens back to Sinestro. Peace is maintained through total control. It begs the question of whether or not peace is merely the absence of conflict or if it requires something more to truly be peace.

At its center, Green Lantern: Black Stars #1 is purely a setup for things to come. There is little in the way of character moments and the story feels absent of real depth. However, if a story requires a setup issue to get readers up to speed, this is a good way to do it. There is a minimal amount of exposition and what is there feels like a natural occurrence. The reader doesn’t have to slog through long-winded speeches explaining situations to characters who should already know all the information it provides. As a result, the story flows smoothly from its first page to its last.

The art in Green Lantern: Black Stars #1 gives a solid showing as well. Xermanico shows flexibility in their approach to the interior art. I especially appreciated some intriguing creature designs that appear in this book. Several characters are introduced that have some truly otherworldly looks to them. These characters take on the sorts of forms that balance on the precipice between bizarre and mind-breaking, but in a good “mysterious horror from beyond” way. In contrast to these unique creatures, we spend much of the book awash in the deep reds of the Black Star uniforms that permeate the panels of Green Lantern: Black Stars #1. The near omnipresent uniforms help convey the sense of all-encompassing control the Black Stars exude through their world.

While the book sports a solid visual presentation and good world-building, that is mostly all it has to offer. Luckily, comics are continuous media. This issue sets some solid building blocks with its world-building that will hopefully bear a great story as this three-issue mini-series continues to unfold.

Green Lantern: Black Stars#1 is available on November 6.

Green Lantern: Black Stars #1
3.5

TL;DR

While the book sports a solid visual presentation and good world-building, that is mostly all it has to offer.