Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead #1 – Friday Flash Review
Bane of Kings and Shadowhawk take a look at the primer for the new Green Lanterns crossover even, starring the New Gods as they set out to take on Darkseid once and for all.
“A flawed but promising start to the latest Green Lantern epic.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields
“Often quite confusing and even a bit muddled at times, this is an interesting lead-in for the next big Green Lanterns crossover, and also quite ambitious.” ~Shadowhawk, The Founding Fields
Bane of Kings:
Godhead is the latest line-wide event to hit DC Comics’s Green Lantern titles, which since the departure of Geoff Johns from the creative team of the core GL title, has gone under many crossovers encompassing all the titles that the Corps have to offer. For example, we’ve already had Light’s Out & Uprising, and Godhead felt like a little too much, too quickly for my liking. Whilst DC are attempting to branch out with their Green Lantern line with books like Sinestro and the long-standing Red Lanterns title, it doesn’t do justice for both independent books if they’re dragged into crossovers such as this one.
It seems that much like Superman: Doomed, DC are telling a story that spans the entire line for multiple months, starting and ending in a $4.99 bumper sized issue. Whilst I’m yet to read the final issue of Doomed, I’m not sure that this is the best direction to go in for DC especially when you consider that there are extra books involved in Godhead then there were in Doomed – Sinestro and Infinity Man & The Forever People join the ranks of Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians & Red Lanterns. There’s a lot of commitment over multiple months required here, especially with two titles hitting in one day (Godhead is best read before Green Lantern #35). Whilst I’m following all but Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, for someone who’s only following one or two of these titles, it might be a bit of a stretch for them to stay committed. But then, that’s nothing new if you’ve been following the line for a while now as I’ve already mentioned, crossovers seem to be the Green Lantern titles specialty.
There’s a lot of high concept stuff going on here with the multiple writing talents on board this issue. Every creator from the entirety of the Green Lantern line (I believe Sinestro is actually the “Dark” line, but I might be wrong) adds their contributions to this issue. Van Jensen, Justin Jordan, Robert Venditti and Charles Soule are all writers who I’ve had a generally positive experience with, and it’ll be interesting to see how they continue to develop the crossover in their own books because this was actually pretty promising. Whilst not especially great, it’s an interesting new direction for the Green Lantern line to follow.
New Gods fans will love this issue. This book sees them return to the New 52, and if you’ve read any crossover event featuring first encounters between multiple superheroes then you’ll know it never goes exactly to plan, and if you wanted to see a battle between the Green Lantern Corps and the New Gods then you’re in for a treat. Whilst I’m not especially familiar with the New Gods, it was interesting to see how they were handled here by the creative team, and I wasn’t lost at all with the way that they introduced them. New and old readers should find this easy to understand, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they handle the New Gods going forward.
For the most part, the artistic talent works but given the amount of talent on the book, sometimes it doesn’t quite fit as well as it should. Ethan Van Sciver, Martin Coccolo, Goran Suozuka, Chriscross & Pete Woods all lend a hand to this issue and with Marcelo Maialo involved as well, it can sometimes feel like that there’s a little too much creative talent involved for one book. However, expect that to be removed when we move into the individual titles.
In conclusion therefore, Godhead is a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst it may not be the strongest first issue to an event that I’ve read, it does handle the concept well and ends on an interesting note. As I’ve already mentioned you’ll want to pick up Green Lantern #35 on the same day that you pick this one because both read pretty well together. I’ll certainly be checking out at least the first month of this event and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes in the future.
To be perfectly honest, I really wasn’t at all sure what to expect from this comic. The idea of a crossover between the Green Lantern books and the New Gods sounded great, and I thought I’d pick up and see what was happening here. And the truth is, the comic does deliver on the premise, but it does so in a very roundabout way that is also very confusing.
The story here spans a great many years and begins at the birth of the universe and then goes on to tell the tale of the split between the Highfather and Darkseid, and their quests for the Equation of Life and the Anti-Life Equation respectively. And then, while investigating a mysterious breach of energy at the Source Wall, Metron and the Highfather determine that the various Lantern Corps are somehow behind it and that they have inadvertently discovered the Equation of Life. So, Highfather sends out his attack dogs to bring him a ring from each of the Corps, to unite them in a powerful weapon to put down Darkseid once and for all.
Story-wise, this comic was passable at best. A lot of the dialogue here is really incomprehensible since the characters have either a strange way of speaking, or because there are some really high concept ideas being bounced around and they don’t make all that much sense. And the story itself is too disunited, what with the glut of characters and all the different ways that they interact. In fact, I’d say that the crossover itself doesn’t make much sense, and that there is too strong a feeling that the event entire is far too contrived for just the cool factor.
Sure, there are some great scenes here, especially those between Hal Jordan and Kilowogg on Mogo, but they are far too few and in between. That is something I kind of regret, since with a better focus this comic could have been much, much better. The writers are going all-out on this event and that shows through repeatedly, in a way that you get hit over the head with it again and again.
The combination of Van Jensen, Justin Jordan, Robert Venditti, Charles Soule and Cullen Bunn should have created something much better, but this is what we get unfortunately and it doesn’t inspire much confidence in me to continue on with the Green Lantern books after this.
Artists on this issue include Ethan Van Sciver, Martin Coccolo, Goran Suozuka, Chriscross and Peter Woods. Marcelo Maiolo is on the colours and Dave Sharpe is on the letters. The cover itself is done by Francis Portela and Tomeu Morey. Where the art is concerned, thing start to look up and the art has to be the best thing about this issue. The splash page at the Source Wall, the birth of the universe, the various fights between the Highfather’s agents and the Lanterns, they are all great scenes really brought to life by these artists, all of them. Can’t really point to any bad page here and that’s surprising in itself, but I’ll take what I can get.
Right now, I’m really not sure if I will continue on after this, but we shall see I guess.