Review: Is “War Of The Green Lanterns” Overkill Or A Winning Trifecta?

Review: Is “War Of The Green Lanterns” Overkill Or A Winning Trifecta?

In a tight economy, it's not always clear what you should spend your hard-earned money on, and with comic books getting more and more expensive, your dollar doesn’t go as far inside comic shops as it did in the past. We here at Complex feel your pain, so we're providing you with a rundown of the best comics coming out today, May 25, 2011.

Green Lantern #66, Green Lantern Corps #60, And Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #10

What it’s about: Geoff Johns has spearheaded a complete Green Lantern overhaul for the better part of a decade now. He brought the character back from the brink of obscurity, and now GL is primed for both his big screen debut (in theaters June 17) and a starring role in one of the biggest comic events of the year, War Of The Green Lanterns.

With three separate Green Lantern books being published at once, Hal Jordan’s world now rivals Batman’s as the most detailed and complex in all of the DC Universe.

What to expect this month: John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and Hal Jordan are still busy fighting off the brainwashed members of the Green Lantern Corps as they also attempt to defeat Parallax and Krona. And things get worse when Green Lantern member Mogo, the living planet, attempts to wipe the heroes out while under the influence of Parallax.

With the conclusion of War of The Green Lanterns drawing near, DC decided to release these three issues all in the same week in preparation for the finale in next month’s Green Lantern #67. And while these simultaneous releases may be a bit hard on the wallet, it’s completely worth it because this story will have major ramifications on not only Green Lantern’s world but also the entire DC Universe.

Detective Comics #877

What it’s about: For most fans of the Caped Crusader, Scott Snyder’s Detective Comics is a saving grace. It doesn’t follow the same head-scratching plots that Grant Morrison sometimes includes on Batman Incorporated,  and it’s also a good deal darker than Tony Daniel’s more heroic Batman stories. Snyder has crafted a sprawling, yet intimate, mystery that delves deep into the psyche of Dick Grayson, the Batman of Gotham.

For new fans, there isn’t a mountain of continuity to decipher, and the characters are portrayed in a timeless way that almost everyone will be able to recognize. Detective Comics follows the tried-and-true formula that has been working for decades, yet it also adds layers Batman with some much-needed character flaws. Not to mention, there's a heaping splash of atmospheric art by Jock.

What to expect this month: With Batman still searching for clues to the murder of a young woman who was found in the stomach of a killer whale, he must also deal with his mounting suspicions of Sonia Zucco, the daughter of the man who killed his parents. And with a new cadre of organized criminals gunning for the Dark Knight, distractions are the last thing he needs.

With Scott Snyder’s run coming to an end soon, any self-respecting Bat fan should pick these issues up. Detective Comics combines the real world elements that have made the Christopher Nolan movies so successful with stylized visuals that only the comic medium can provide.

The Walking Dead #85

What it’s about: Whenever you walk into a comic shop, there are usually very few surprises. Spider-Man always battles the Green Goblin, Batman always has a mystery to solve, and the Hulk somehow finds new ways to keep his pants from completely ripping off. But what Robert Kirkman has done with The Walking Dead is unprecedented.

Kirkman has crafted a long-running independent comic completely free of superheroes and turned it into a pop culture phenomenon. This book doesn’t depend on name recognition or brightly colored spandex to be successful; it’s merely the author's carefully crafted and emotionally charged writing that keeps The Walking Dead flying off shelves every month.

What to expect this month: After the events of No Way Out, Rick must deal with his severely wounded son, Carl, all while trying to lead to his group towards survival as hope continues to dwindle. As Rick’s journey seems to be entering a new phase, Kirkman leaves this issue wide open for new fans to hop on without feeling too lost. 

It’s amazing to think that this series is still as thrilling, adrenaline-pumping, and emotional as it was when it was first launched back in 2003.

Captain America #618

What it’s about: Need proof that Ed Brubaker is a crazed sorcerer? In the middle of his highly acclaimed run on Captain America, he killed off the main character and the book somehow got even better—that just doesn’t happen. During the real Cap’s absence, Bucky Barnes, his former sidekick, took over the role of the Star Spangled hero and added new layers of depth and uncertainty to the character.

Since then, Brubaker has crafted an intricate storyline filled with so much espionage, mystery, and ass-kicking that it makes The Bourne Identity look like On Golden Pond. And now that the real Cap is back, Brubaker’s run has never been more intriguing. It’s only a matter of time before Steve Rogers decides to wield the shield again.

What to expect this month: With Bucky currently locked up in a Russian Gulag, Rogers must unravel the mystery behind his friend’s incarceration. Even though he doesn’t seem ready to reclaim the mantle of Captain America just yet, the rest of the world eagerly awaits his return. Fans probably don’t have to wait too long, though, because, in July, Captain America will be re-launched starting with Captain America #1. It’s pretty much accepted that by the time that issues hits, Rogers will once again be Cap.

But even though the cat is out of the proverbial bag, fans of Brubaker’s long run should definitely scoop up every issue and devour every detail of Cap’s return.

FF #4

What it’s about: Jonathan Hickman has completely deconstructed the classic Fantastic Four that longtime fans have known for years. Following the death of founding member Johnny Storm, Hickman has re-launched the team as a global problem-solving unit known as FF, aka the Future Foundation.

Built on the ideal that the group can use its massive intellect to solve the world's larger problems rather than simply pounding on bad guys, FF has entered rarified air for a superhero comic; it actually adds some intelligent sci-fi writing to go along with the typical hero shenanigans.

What to expect this month: The storyline that Hickman has been building towards since his work on the book started with The War Of Four Cities truly begins here. With the Negative Zone, Subterranea, the Inhuman Citadel, and Atlantis all on the brink of war, it’s up to the FF to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

But diplomacy is never any fun, so fans should, naturally, expect copious amounts of explosions and death. And with Doctor Doom always looming around in the shadows, Reed Richards will certainly have his hands full.

Mighty Thor #2

What it’s about: Despite the fancy new re-launch and shiny new covers, The Mighty Thor continues the story that Matt Fraction has been telling for the past six months. Fraction presents Thor's conflicts in a much more grounded way that brings the characters back to the family struggles that made them so memorable in the first place. And with Olivier Coipel back on art duties, The Mighty Thor is currently under the direction of one of the best creative teams in all of comics.

What to expect this month: As the Silver Surfer bears down on Earth to warn its citizens of Galactus' coming, it is up to Thor to try and stop the World Eater. But, unfortunately, Thor has been severely weakened due to his travels into the World Tree and won’t stand a chance against the Devourer of Worlds.

The burden soon falls upon Sif and Loki to protect Earth, but even they might not be enough. The prospect of a Glactus/Thor throwdown is pure geek heaven, and, under the ultra-talented storytelling of Fraction, this is easily one of the hottest books to watch.

Mystique By Brian K. Vaughan Ultimate Collection (Collects: Mystique #1-13)

What it’s about: In order to be kept safe from the authorities who are hunting her down, Mystique agrees to become a special agent for Professor Xavier in exchange for protection. Using her shape-shifting abilities to perform clandestine missions that fly way under the public radar, Mystique must rely on her wits and intelligence to complete her task and, most importantly, stay alive. Meanwhile, Xavier still finds the blue heroine to be too much of a threat to formally introduce her into the X-Men, so her work must be kept secret from pretty much everyone.

While this series didn’t exactly sell well, it was a critical hit and offered a much welcome change of pace from the typical Marvel fare. Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) crafted an addictive read filled with spy action and espionage, all while adding layers of depth to the one-time X-villain. This book has since joined the ranks of Gotham Central and New Gods as comics that were sadly canceled way too soon.

Tags: marvel-comics, dc-comics, walking-dead, green-lantern, batman, captain-america, thor
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