Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 5/13/23

It’s gonna be a short week for reviews because not much came out that I read and I had a really busy week. Geez louise, my week! But it’s probably because I’m on vacation this coming week, so work had to really dig it out of me. And this upcoming week is gonna feature a bajillion comic reviews! Everything is coming out in the same week! But this week we’ve got Green Lantern and Saga.

Comic Book of the Week goes to Green Lantern #1 for a nice character focused relaunch. It doesn’t have as much oomph as I would have liked, but it’s nonetheless a solid read.

I feel this panel is very apt for a first issue

Meanwhile, I just finished up BEEF on Netflix and it was really good. Definitely recommended. And I’ve already started playing Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Bought that right away. Breath of the Wild was the entire reason I bought the Nintendo Switch a few years ago, and I’m very pleased to be here at launch for the sequel! Gonna be a fun vacation!

Comic Reviews: Green Lantern #1 and Saga #64.

Green Lantern #1

Green Lantern #1
Writers: Jeremy Adams and Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artists: Xermanico and Montos
Colorists: Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Dave Sharpe

I like the Green Lantern Corps as a whole, as a concept, more than I like any individual Green Lantern. This comic is the latter.

Hal Jordan has decided to return to Earth after the United Planets took over the Green Lantern Corps and quarantined Sector 2814. He’s still a Green Lantern, but he’s got no other plan, so he falls back to old routines. He goes to Carol Ferris looking for a job, but then shows off during a test flight the next day and destroys a very expensive drone plane. Hal thinks his charm can just patch things up, but he’s way behind the times when it comes to Earth and fighter pilots. We then see that, one month earlier, he fought a bad guy who had found some old Manhunter armor and Hal seems to have manifested a new ring out of Manhunter energy.

Meanwhile, in some back-up stories, John Stewart also returns to his mama, and somewhere in time and space, the Revenant Queen is looking for John.

Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

This is a very well-written, character-focused comic that just doesn’t accomplish very much in its first issue. I like character-focused comics, and this issue does a great job setting up Hal Jordan and his current situation. I really liked how Hal was portrayed as a goober who is no longer in touch with life on Earth. He thinks he can just slot himself back into his old life, but he just doesn’t get it. That’s a solid place to start the protagonist at the beginning of a story. And Adams does a great job portraying Hal, with fantastic art throughout the issue. Xermanico is fantastic, with very detailed art. The problem is that nothing all that interesting happens in the issue, storywise or plotwise. Hal makes an ass of himself at Ferris Air, then goes up against a knock-off new super-villain sporting some Manhunter armor in a flashbck. The end of the issue is really fun, as he makes a proud superhero moment…but it’s not really a surprise or a cliffhanger that Hal Jordan is Green Lantern.

And the weird nature of the issue, with the flashback in the second half, makes things just a little confusing. Since the issue opens with him as GL again, I didn’t realize until a second or third time looking the issue over that he didn’t have a ring in the flashback until he made one himself.

Hal Jordan is a tool

The back-ups are nice, though I’m not sure if they’re both written by Johnson or if Adams wrote the one with John Stewart. It’s a nice little bit where John visits his mom. That’s a good set-up for his “exile” to Earth. And then the one with Revenant Queen is fine. I think it takes place in an alternate reality? It wasn’t very clear. Either way, it’s a spooky new villain, and I’m sure they’ll be neat going forward. But for now, it’s just a tease, and one written by a different writer for some reason? Not sure what’s going on there. But the potential is there, and the character writing and art are really strong, so I’ve got hope.

TL;DR: This first issue is a very strong start in character and art, but doesn’t have any strong hooks for the story or plot.

Saga #64

Saga #64
Writer: Brian K. Vaughn
Artist: Fiona Staples
Lettering: Fonografiks

I think I need to stop reviewing Saga. I keep saying that, and it keeps being true.

Hazel and Squire are stopped in their efforts to steal “wormfood” by a local law enforcement officer who tells them he also fell for Vitch’s scam. He explains she used his grief over a dead child to do all sorts of illegal stuff, so she’s got him fit to tied, and he wants to help them before they get caught up in it. Squire, who talks now, aims his gun arm at the guy and says he doesn’t believe a word.

Meanwhile, Alana manages to find passage for the three of them on a circus ship, but they blast off in 30 minutes.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

It’s not that I don’t like Saga. This comic is an amazing work of art and a stupendous achievement in comics. But individual issues are sort of just muddying through the story at this point, at least in my opinion. Vaughn is still an amazing writer, and Staples is an amazing artist, and these are really fun characters in a really interesting world. But…I dunno. Nothing really happens in this issue that can’t be construed as filler. We get a long story from the lawman about Vitch, but this world and these characters are so weird that there is no basis to ground his story. Is he telling the truth or is Squire right to doubt him? Either one is completely legitimate, and neither really matters anyway. And then Alana finds passage on yet another ship with yet another crew of wacky characters? Alright, fine. There’s a brief scene where Petrichor reunites with her mother, but it’s all in a different language, so I couldn’t connect as much to it as I would have liked. And, again, none of these stories are particularly compelling.

TL;DR: Things happen, characters do some stuff, and it’s all generally in that same level of Saga quality. I just think the past few issues have been heavy on the filler material.

The comics I review in my Hench-Sized reviews are just the usual comics I grab from Comixology any given week, along with a few impulse buys I might try on a whim. So if there are any comics or series you’d like me to review each week, let me know in the comments.



About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on May 13, 2023, in Reviews, Comics, DC and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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