Green Lantern: War Journal #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, art by Montos, colors by Adriano Lucas, and letters by Dave Sharpe, spinning out of the pages of Green Lantern. John Stewart’s retirement is about to end due to threats from other Earths and universes.
Not exactly a fresh start, but the plot of this extensive space saga now has room to stretch its legs. And what it turns into is an insidious cosmic horror. After being vanquished by the John Stewart of one universe, the Revenant Queen has simply made her way into this one. The opening is frightening, displaying how the Queen’s power takes hold and what it can do after that. From there, the story returns to this universe’s John Stewart, at home with his aging mother and generally enjoying being at home. Concurrently, Guy Gardner has also entered the universe with the mission to find John. And with every passing page comes a growing sense of urgency,
With the introduction of each character comes a different element of fear, manipulating the current unknown quantity of the Green Lantern Corps to sow confusion. This issue balances its emotions beautifully. Really sad scenes have a poignant happiness to them that the issue can then turn into a frenzied horrific onslaught. Everything that comes from space in Green Lantern: War Journal #1 is sinister. The pacing for almost all of the book is exceptional, but the ending appeared just too soon. From the flow of the plot, it felt like there was going to be another scene, but instead, Johnson chose to end at the fastest and most frantic moment.
This issue may involve Earth, the same as the other Green Lantern issue, but it contains much more of the Green Lantern lore than just Hal Jordan. And what is amazing is how John Stewart is presented as even more powerful and important in this fight than Hal. It is John who is identified as the saviour against what the Revenant Queen is planning. By the end of the issue, the reasons become clear.
John’s humanity and kindness towards his mother is witnessed frequently, showing a softness to the old soldier. But he will also defend his family and his home to the hilt when it is encroached upon. And that is where those glimpses of his true, unmatched power are shown. The dialogue is purposefully repetitive at multiple moments in this issue, which makes the story even more tragic. The Radiant Dead are terrifying, ruled by an intensely chilling queen.
The art is sensational, able to beautifully blend normality with cosmic horror. The first scene is a frantic explosion of energy and chaos, and the panic of the moment is alarming. The effects of the Revenant Queen are phenomenally designed, ripping the flesh of those who make contact with her ring. What is left behind is haunting. Then, instantly, Earth is illustrated perfectly. John is living in almost complete isolation, a cabin out of the way of everything else, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. This serves as the baseline before anyone arrives, bringing the wonders and weirdness of space with them. The detail on every single panel, whether a kitchen or a space station, helps the book’s relationship with both life and death.
The colors are awesome. The vibrancy of the green that appears from Green Lantern rings and elsewhere is exceptionally striking, as is the purple of the Revenant Queen’s first examples of power. It presents the horror with as much detail and clarity as possible. The green actually has a brighter centre that darkens around the edges, adding dimension to constructs that can often lack depth. The lettering is flawless and easy to read from start to finish.
Green Lantern: War Journal #1 expands the story into something much bigger. With this tale starting as a backup story, it was compressed and unable to make strides. But now Johnson and the amazing art team have a whole book to try and pull John Stewart out of his hiatus. The book is intensely creepy and atmospheric, with the overriding feeling that something awful is about to happen. The respect given to John cements him as not just one of the greatest Green Lanterns ever but one of the greatest heroes in general. The book feels like the last moments of peace for John before bringing him into the action, and with that comes a somber tone.
Green Lantern: War Journal #1 is available where comics are sold.
Green Lantern: War Journal #1
Green Lantern: War Journal #1 expands the story into something much bigger. The book is intensely creepy and atmospheric, with the overriding feeling that something awful is about to happen. This feels like the last moments of peace for John before bringing him into the action.