Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Brooks on Books: Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years

This book is PURTY. Is it worth $40 MSRP (significantly less at Amazon)? Well, it's PURTY. It's a sturdy hardcover with 400  pages of DC Comics Green Lantern stories from all throughout the hero's career. Actually, it's HEROES' CAREERS, but more on that in a minute. I got this book from my friendly neighborhood liberry and therefore paid $0 RPP (Rick's Preferred Price) and found it an enjoyable read well worth the investment.

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air--no, that's a different costumed hero. Believe it or not, there are many incarnations of Green Lantern besides Ryan Reynolds, and this book gets the big ones. In fact, there is a whole CORPS of GLs, some with fish heads, some who are whole planets, and some who just look totally precious. This volume focuses on the Earth Green Lanterns, though--namely Alan Scott of Earth-2 (the first), Hal Jordan of Earth-1 (the most iconic), Guy Gardner (the most jerk-ish), John Stewart (the most black-ish), and Kyle Rayner (the most I-wasn't-really-reading-comics-then-ish).

There is a wide assortment of eras, stories, and styles in here. You get the origin stories and first appearances, some memorable one-shots, and a few stories that are in the middle of the now-standard multi-issue arcs. Creators like John Broome, Geoff Johns, and Gil Kane are well represented, and you get a sample of the famous "socially relevant" era that teamed GL with buddy Green Arrow for some 1970s-style! I don't know enough GL history to argue about the lack of particular stories, but I do question the inclusion of Geffen and Maguire's Justice League #1 only because it's a team book and a solo Gardner story could have taken its place.

The collection is heavy on first appearances, and I wonder if maybe someone should have just focused on memorable stories, period, but I don't have any true complaints considering this isn't titled Green Lantern: The Greatest Stories Ever. I suppose diehard Lantern fans will have plenty of suggestions and may have seen all of these stories already. But do they own them all in one nifty (and purty) hardcover package? If not, this might be the ticket even for the serious collector. For the casual fan, if the price doesn't intimidate you, or if you aren't a cheapskate like me willing to once again sponge off the library, this is an attractive addition to your own bookshelf, loaded with fun stories.

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