Green Lantern: Earth One Volume 2 is written by Corrina Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, illustrated by Hardman, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Simon Bowland, and published by DC Comics. Three years after the events of Green Lantern: Earth One, Hal Jordan helps protect the Earth from various interstellar threats. When war threatens to break out between Earth and the Llarian race, Jordan and his fellow Green Lanterns discover that there is another group of Lanterns using yellow power. Jordan enters in a race against time to stop the universe from plummeting into chaos.
The Earth One line of graphic novels often takes great lengths to distinguish itself from the mainstream continuity. Green Lantern: Earth One Volume 2 is no different as it continues the hard sci-fi angle of the first volume. Concepts such as faster-than-light travel and parallel dimensions are peppered through Bechko and Hardman’s script and backed up by actual science. At times it feels less like a superhero comic and more like a sci-fi film in the vein of Interstellar.
The new continuity also gives Bechko and Hardman freedom to reinterpret certain characters and elements of the Green Lantern mythos. Here they take a bold approach with the fan-favorite character John Stewart and give him a Yellow Lantern ring. Stewart is also a physicist in this universe instead of a Marine or an architect. However, he is presented as a genuinely curious man who wants to do good. Stewart is one of my favorite characters in the DC Universe; I’m glad the writers found a way to incorporate him into the universe.
Bechko and Hardman’s take on Jordan remains one of my favorites of the character. Instead of being a flawless paragon, he struggles. He makes mistakes. That makes him more relatable and helps to ground the more outlandish elements of the story. Other characters, especially Sinestro, are given the same treatment. Character drives story and the engine of this story has some great characters behind it.
In addition to co-writing the script, Hardman serves as an artist. Having served as a storyboard artist for several films, there’s a cinematic flair to Hardman’s work. The energy wrapping around the Green and Yellow Lanterns fractures and splinters space. Space feels like an actual void. And the aliens in the script range in variety, from the reptilian Llarians to the massive Kilowog. Hardman also plays with panel structure; often panels will be slanted, which adds a feeling of movement to the story.
Boyd’s colors help sell the grounded, sci-fi tone of the story. In contrast to the bright colors that populate other Green Lantern stories, here the Lantern energies feel muted. There’s also a bluish tint to scenes taking place inside space stations and spaceships; it makes the environment feel as sterile and uniform as an actual spacecraft.
Green Lantern, Earth One, Volume 2 expands on the universe set up in the first volume and adds its own twist to fan-favorite characters. The story ends with a splash page that makes me eager for Volume 3. I hope that Bechko, Hardman, and Boyd continue to revamp more Green Lantern characters.
Green Lantern: Earth One Volume 2
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.