Green Lantern: In Brightest Day by Alan MooreThere’s a lot to be enjoyed here, but it is imperative that you go into this collection with the right attitude. I remember purchasing this graphic novel some years ago and being disappointed. Why? I hadn’t done my homework, and I thought it was a current Green Lantern Corps series. This belief was obviously enforced by the fact that Geoff Johns’ name appears on the cover (he was writing Green Lantern at the time, after reviving the series with Green Lantern: Rebirth).
In fact, Johns didn’t write any of the stories here. He just selected them. This collection is similar to Green Lantern: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, but each issue is accompanied by an introduction where Johns explains the inclusion of the specific story. It’s probably fair to say that the emphasis is on historical or iconic value. For example: The first Sinestro appearance, the first Guy Gardner appearance, the secret origin of the Guardians of the Universe, Mogo’s first appearance, the issue where John Stewart’s identity is revealed to the world… and so forth.
The early work here by Gil Kane was groundbreaking. If people are rating this poorly because of the retro art, then they just don’t get comics. And let’s face it; comics were different in the 60s, not quite as edgy and perhaps just a bit hokey. But this is the Green Lantern Corps we’re talking about… a science (space opera) based series that was never known for restraint.
The two Alan Moore stories included here are also collected in DC Universe by Alan Moore. It’s no surprise that they’re printed as part of this collection because they’re great, but I’m not sure why John’s chose “Tygers” to close his collection with. It’s totally out of sequence (the rest of the book seems to follow an internal chronology) and it’s also a somewhat uneasy story that will have you coming away from this collection a bit unsettled. For my money, it would have been better to include it earlier in this book.
Some of the early works collected here will also be available in the Showcase Presents series (Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1), but they’re printed in colour here. If you’re a follower of the Green Lantern Corps, you need this collection. Johns’ notes on each story are fascinating, and give some insight into the direction the series has taken in recent years. It also shows how the early Green Lantern stories influenced Crisis on Infinite Earths.
I’m going to give this two ratings. For non Green Lantern Fans – 3.5 stars. For Green Lantern fans who know a bit of the history – 5 stars. It left me wanting more.
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