Green Lantern: Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, Tony Avina, Alex Sinclair
This was a typical Geoff Johns “what’s-to-come” comic issue. It gives us a story and a new character that intrigues us and makes us want more, and then ends up dropping all sorts of crazy hints at some outrageous and truly confusing stuff.
What does that mean for you? Well, if you like that kind of thing…like the Free Comic Book Day issue…and the first issue of Shazam!…then you’re gonna like this issue a lot. To me, sometimes, I like answers more than more questions. Especially with these Zero Issues. We’ve been getting a lot of answers from the other issues, but this one raised a ton of questions.
For me, this started out really strong with a Muslim family watching the September 11th attacks, then having to grow up in a culture that now fears all Muslims. Simon Baz, a young man coming from that family, goes through hard times and is stealing cars to help pay his sister to raise her son. Alright, I’m starting to like this character.
Turns out the van he stole has a huge bomb in it that’s counting down. …Oh, perfect. A Arab man driving a van, fleeing from police, with a huge bomb. This won’t turn out badly at all. Well, apparently Simon didn’t know about the bomb when he stole the van. First rule of car thieving, folks: ALWAYS CHECK THE VEHICLE. For weapons, drug paraphernalia, PEOPLE. C’mon here, it’s common sense!
So Simon’s arrested and accused of terrorism, even though he tells a convincing story. I love the Agent Fed here, that’s very funny. Johns has a way of coming up with some great character names. So the Feds attempt to beat a confession out of Simon when the ring comes. Yep, that’s right, Earth’s newest Green Lantern is an Arab man accused of terrorism. An interesting deviation from the normal GL Corps candidates.
That’s when things get weird. Geoff Johns weird. As the ring goes on Baz’s finger, it states “Error” in the middle of its “You have the ability to overcome great fear” announcement. Then it electrocutes him or something. Following this, we see a strange alien creature out in what looks like a country road. The alien DOES look familiar, but I can’t place it. Cyborg realizes the government is looking for a Green Lantern, and thinks Hal’s involved somehow, “since he quit the League.” And, finally, that trippy-ass Epilogue where we see Hal, in civvies, and Sinestro, in his old “I’m evil” costume that makes him look like a goblin or something, wandering through blackness with streams of white energy/light.
….WHAT IN THE WORLD?! This left me so confused that I’m beyond the point of being excited for the next issue. I’ve actually reached that plateau of being frustrated that I now have to wait a long time to get any answers! But that’s what Johns does, and we might as well accept it.
The ONE thing that really got on my nerves about this issue was Simon’s comment about not being in America, and that’s why he hasn’t seen a lawyer or the sky. I wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic or literal, and I spent - honestly - a good ten minutes flipping through all the previous pages for a hint that this was taking place in another country.
Couldn’t find a damn thing. They’re in Dearborn, Michigan, and so I thought…did part of that state inexplicably join Canada? I tried to see if they were driving on the wrong side of the road, since Agent Fed said he, or his name, was British. Nope. Maybe he was taken to an out-of-country prison…but there’s no location change notification at the top of the page with the prison exterior panel. I was truly confused at this, and had to move on without any definitive answer.
Green Lantern #0, the verdict: So, even though it’s typical of the writer’s style with all those hints dropped, I found myself enjoying the book and this character. A part of me was upset at the treatment of Simon by his captors, but I guess that’s the reality of it, right? Even if a white man or something had stolen the van with a bomb in it, they wouldn’t believe he hadn’t meant to do what happened. I hope these Agents continue to show up in future issues with Simon as recurring characters. I like Agent Fed. The art style is a more heavy Doug Mahnke, and that’s typically when I don’t like it as much. Like with the lines all over the face, and the super-defined, line-covered lips. So, for me, this one’s a mixed bag.
(Photo Source: IGN)