GL ANNUAL/DAMIAN [Review]: Is it ‘Lights Out’ for the ‘Son of the Bat’??!!?
Venditti has turned, flipped and screwed the Green Lantern right down to its last dying light.
Now, if that’s a good or bad thing with this week’s Green Lantern Annual #1, that’s entirely up to you. But one thing you can’t argue is, this definitely ain’t Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern anymore! Oa’s destroyed (strangely not to the fault of reknown Planet-Killer John Stewart), the entities are dead (except Paralax!), and the biggest bombshell of the series? Carol Ferris is in love with Kyle Rayner.
Cue David Bowie’s “Changes.”
…and then watch Miss Ferris witness Kyle’s “death,” seem to almost forget about him completely, and then proceed to look longingly at Hal. Sounds like the Star Sapphire ring’s love-tether has a low standard for “love.” Regardless, it was quite an ambitious first story arc for the new creative team, and, for the most part, the Minister approves. With Lights Out, Robert Venditti introduced some great new concepts like the edge of the universe wall, and the idea that the light the rings uses is finite and can potentially run out. The way they got rid of Relic was a little weak, though. Kinda like the outer space equivalent of setting an epic fight scene at the edge of a giant cliff– you KNOW the bad guy’s gonna fall off. The only other thing I have to say about the writing is, Hal Jordan still seems waaayy off. Venditti writes him like he’s petty, insecure, and quick to give up. For the second time I can remember in this story arc, Hal is like “Oh well! I guess we’re going to die!” without even considering any other options. The Indigo tribe was a pretty obvious resource, but Hal is ready to dramatically remove his ring, and float off lifelessly into space like Sandra Bullock.
If nothing else, Ditti did innovate the Green Lantern mythos with some nice new additions, and an awesome new villain; but the weak villain death, the inconsistent characterizations, and the “we have to keep Kyle’s return a secret” for absolutely no reason led to some mixed results. Thankfully, the GL comic books have been stirred with a steady hand.
Onto the Son of Batman #1… I’m a little lost on this one. Damian’s alive!? And Batman’s dead!? But then not dead at the end!? Andy Kubert is still using comic book paper from the early 90’s!? …seriously, why is this printed on old school comic book sandpaper? Andy Kubert both writes and illustrates this book, and if it weren’t for the contemporary ads, I could swear this was published in 1992.
Batman literally yells things like “Stay sharp!” and “Focus on the mission, young man!” Don’t get me wrong, Kubert’s art is nostalgic, but the writing makes it hard to take the story seriously.
Damian Wayne comes off as more of a cliche, whiny teen-angst character than the badass little demon we fell in love with. Wasn’t it that same bitchy attitude that got Jason Todd killed? And my favorite dramatic-but-not-really line in the entire book is Grandpa al Ghul saying “You must take your place… as the next Batman!” Thanks for clearing that up, Ra’s! Last time Batsy died there was this huge fight over who would replace him! It was called the “Battle for the Cowl” even! The concept has potential, and even DC’s ads for the series are full of the same questions of “How/when/why does this story even exist?” which tells me there might be a pay-off if you follow it till the end. If you’re a fan of old school comic art, writing, and rough paper, Damian: Son of Batman may just be the series for you. But for those regular Bat-fans, you might want to save your bat-cash and just read about how the series ends on Wikipedia in a few months.