Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SPOILERS: Green Lantern Corps #25

This is the story of John Stewart, but he's not a member of the Corps. we know him to be in, at this point in time, he's still a member of the Marine Corps. who has been sent into Gotham to help evacuate the city, mainly a football stadium, as they don't want another Katrina scenario. The only problem is, the person who has taken charge in the football stadium is none other than Anarky.

Safe to say, Anarky gives his whole... deal, and his forces don't take kindly to the Marines, and attack them in mass, eventually locking them up with others Anarky has decided to blame. You see, the stadium, like many in big cities, was meant to "revitalize" the neighborhood, but it had to be built over an old neighborhood, so Anarky sees this as the people taking back their land, so to speak.

Through out the whole ordeal, John is the one Marine who is able to keep his head, and not go overboard. He uses his knowledge as an architect to help all the captured people to escape, and fight back against Anarky. He's also the one Marine to not immediately decide to attack civilians, even though they're being lead by Anarky. After they manage to defeat Anarky, despite not being the leader of the squad, John takes control of the situation to help organize the evacuation, leading to a confrontation with his superior officer who threatens a court martial, which John doesn't give a damn about.

When all is said and done, John questions himself for just a second, but decides he did what was right, and the Marines may not be for him anymore. Batman looks on from the shadows, and approves.


The Good:

This issue, like most of the Van Jensen and Robert Venditti issues, does a really good job of illustrating who John Stewart is as a character. The dichotomy of his being a Marine (an honorable one, at that) and architect is front and center, all contextualized by a story set in the past with his mom, who is an activist and explaining to a young John why she does what she does. I haven't read a lot of John Stewart lead books in the past, but from what I gathered, he seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick in character department, so it's good to see him being fleshed out so well.

The Bad:

I thought the Katrina stuff was a little too on the nose, but at least they acknowledged it from the start. I also didn't find Anarky that interesting or unique. It seems to be a new version of him, but just as some kid, spouting off the same stuff we've heard before, especially if you just finished playing Arkham Origins this week, like I did.

The Bottom Line:

What we have here is a great characterization issue for John Stewart, all set with the Zero Year story as a back drop. Is the issue necessary to those following the Zero Year storyline in Batman? No, but neither are any of the other tie-ins. The Zero Year setting is just a convenient setting to allow this team to essentially tell an origin story for John, that could have fit in with the #0 issues last year. The problem with the setting is, unlike characters such as James Gordon, Dick Grayson, or Barbara Gordon, it's hard to say if the Zero Year setting will draw any Gotham fans into this character, who outside of this issue, has nothing to do with Gotham. I do think the general audience knows who John Stewart is, and even if you don't read Green Lantern Corps regularly, even a slight knowledge of who John is will allow some enjoyment to be had in this issue. 


1 comment :

  1. If you're interested in good John Stewart books that build on his character, read Green Lantern: Mosaic. It's not only one of the best John stories I've read, but also one of the best Green Lantern stories I've ever read. There are no trades for it, sadly, but you can either get the series digitally on Comixology, or you could probably find the original print copies for cheap if you back-issue dive at some LCSs or cons.