Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Green Lantern #1 is a part of a series of one-shots published by DC Comics, written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, art by Fernando Blanco, colours by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Troy Peteri. There is a second story titled “Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Hawkgirl,” written by Jeremy Adams, art by Jack Herbert, colours by Alex Guimarães, and letters by Peteri. In one alternate world, John Stewart is a retired Guardian of the Green Lanterns Corps, enjoying a peaceful life. But an incoming threat means he is drawn back into the action. In the other, Hawkgirl searches for a way to stop dying. This book is a tie-in to the Dark Crisis event.
These are two very different stories, both showing different variations of a Justice League hero. The premise is explained well in the opening page, revealing that the Pariah is the one that created these worlds and imprisoned the heroes in them. The first of these is John’s, which has a huge history that has already played out before this comic takes place. A long monologue details the role this version of John Stewart has had on the Green Lantern Corps and has since retired, but at the same time, a chaotic battle being shown out in space highlights a need for urgency, so this storytelling isn’t boring. There is a lot of exposition but it is all necessary to understand what the threat is and what it wants. When that is understood, there is a sense of dread that kicks in as John heads out into space. The space battle is big, creepy, and epic, although it concludes quicker than expected. That peril never cements itself beyond mild concern due to how rapidly it wraps up. But what Johnson achieves brilliantly is creating a world that we want to see more of.
The Hawkgirl story is much different, though still very enjoyable. It is smaller in its scale and has a massive Tomb Raider feel to the setting as a jungle temple contains Kendra’s goal. The adventurous aspect of the plot is very fun, connecting a familiar history to the current Earth, but with slight alterations. But perhaps these alterations could be more apparent or drastic, as this is a story that could have taken place on Earth-Prime. The ending is disconcerting as it suggests a sinister meaning to this story and every single one in the Worlds With a Justice League series.
The characters remain similar in attributes to their main counterparts, making them incredibly endearing. John’s stature as a hero being celebrated is really great to see, as it hints at a huge potential the Green Lantern can reach. He is deeply caring for those around him, with a truly heartfelt twist to his life story. As for Hawkgirl, her defiance and determination is remarkable to read and drives the story forwards. Johnson clearly has fun playing with some Green Lanterns new to this part of the Multiverse.
The art styles are unique, which is very helpful for creating two entirely separate worlds. The Green Lantern story features a brilliant understanding of scale. For the battles, the characters are small yet still detailed, helping to present them in the vastness of space. There is a full Corps being shown and the designs are superb. Not just for Stewart, who is given a very different presentation than his usual form, but remaking classic characters into Green Lanterns allows for tremendous creations by Blanco. But when the comic calls for intimacy, that is matched with closeness. Here, the facial expressions are clean and effective. In Hawkgirl’s tale, the majesty of Kendra’s surroundings is also a sight to behold. This version of Hawkgirl is stunning, with perhaps the greatest armour she has ever worn. The mystical parts of the comic are given a realistic touch that grounds this half of the book. The Nth Metal Mace is shown to have weight to it, which is a difficult point to get across on a comic book page.
The colours are tremendous in both stories. The green light of the Lanterns matches the art style perfectly. Bellaire gives that light a vicious luminescence that is almost overpowering, which may be done on purpose. The style is close to pastels in turns of style and the constructs shine in a way that makes them stand out wonderfully. The colours in Hawkgirl’s story are just are exceptional but vastly different. The relationship between tones is fascinating here. Most of the panels are bathed in gold, from parts of Hawkgirl’s armour to the location she is in. But the light from the flashlight is blue, leading to a peculiar blend. The lettering is fantastic throughout the comic, although Peteri does change fonts for the separate stories.
Dark Crisis: Worlds without a Justice League – Green Lantern #1 has two amazing character stories. What makes the Green Lantern and the Hawkgirl story stand out is both of them are succinctly focused on their main figures, whereas the previous one-shot was happy to explore the supporting cast too. The other Green Lanterns and John’s family are pivotal to his motivation, but both are such forces of nature that they can’t help but be the centrepiece. What is annoying, however, is the concept of the first story being the title of the book completely, burying the second to the back. It means that fans of Aquaman or Hawkgirl may not be aware of the tales in the second half of these issues.
Dark Crisis: Worlds with a Justice League – Green Lantern #1 is available where comics are sold.
Dark Crisis: Worlds without a Justice League - Green Lantern #1
Dark Crisis: Worlds without a Justice League – Green Lantern #1 has two amazing character stories. What makes the Green Lantern and the Hawkgirl story stand out is both of them are succinctly focused on their main figures, whereas the previous one-shot was happy to explore the supporting cast too.