All you need in life is the will to succeed. And maybe a bit of free time. Even so, when I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock this morning, actually eager to wake up so that I could start my brick, I didn’t think that I’d finish it in a single day. That possibility first crept into my mind at work, not too long before I punched in. And since this was the last day of summer hours this year, enabling me to leave early on Fridays, I decided to take full advantage of it.
The brick in question is Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus: Volume 1. You may recall that I started taking note of how often the name Geoff Johns was showing up on comic books that interested me. With a bit of digging, I discovered that his entire run on Green Lantern had been collected into three massive omnibi. And I decided to start investigating and investing further. The first volume was the logical starting point, not just because of being first but because I knew already that it would have the most new material for me.
When Johns’ began writing Green Lantern, Hal Jordan was dead. Not gone though, still lingering around as the Spectre. He’s kind of like…an avenging angel. Except he’s no angel, though he does have immense power. Jordan was killed because, in his possession by Parallax, he slaughtered almost all of the Green Lantern Corps. And I guess Kyle Rayner was the only Green Lantern in the universe for a while. Not sure how John Stewart still had his ring but, whatever. If I really want to know I can figure out what book would’ve happened just before this.
So, Hal’s dead but still hanging around and wandering down memory lane. Obviously he comes back to life or we wouldn’t actually have a story. There’s a series of stories that read more like one shots after that – think episodes of a TV series that have to happen after a major plot point but could take place in any order between that plot point and the next. There’s an arc where he’s got a bounty on his head, he meets a new love interest, rejoins the air force, etc. The Green Lantern Corps gets rebuilt and things develop and we get into the Sinestro Corps War, which I have read before. Meaning that the next volume of the omnibus is going to contain all of Blackest Night.
I may have summarized this brick fairly quickly, but make no mistake. This is not a book, it is most definitely a brick. With a total of twelve hundred thirty-two pages weighing about the same as my two annotated Dragonlance books combined, it’s no small feat to read it in a single day. Though I can’t say I read it cover-to-cover. The last section is that informational bit from the back of Tales of the Sinestro Corps. I did read through it once before this month, and I really don’t feel the need to go through and reread factoids about every living Green and Yellow Lantern known at this time. Plus all the rest of the miscellany. Good stuff to have in general, but not something that I see a need to reread very often. If at all.
I gotta say though, this book is gorgeous. I like it better without the dust jacket, and not just because it’s so massive I’m afraid I’ll damage said covering just carrying it around. True, the inner pages are no different from any graphic novel, but the whole just…makes it so much better for me. I don’t know that I’d choose to invest in these massive omnibi all the time, but I already know that I thoroughly enjoy most of Johns’ work on Green Lantern.
For the record, this is a bottom view of the brick, so you can appreciate just how massive this thing is. With a penny for size comparison. The height and width are the same as any comic book and graphic novel of course, so it’s not small in any way, though it’s also not oversized in either of those dimensions. Just the fact that they decided to compress years of comics into only three omnibi. When I took this to work today, I ended up sticking it in a reusable bag just so that I had handles I could use to carry it more easily, with less fear of dropping it. You bet I care that much about my new brick that I’ve been super careful in transporting it, even in how I read it. I want this to last a lifetime.
Of course, the downside is that this is much less transportable than a normal graphic novel, but I think it’s a fair tradeoff. Generally speaking, graphic novels tend to start at $16 on the low end, and most are around $25. This is specifically paperbacks that I’m talking about, since I tend to go for the cheaper edition. Needless to say, I’m pretty sure that this thing, with its $125 price tag, is still a better deal. In my case, it’s definitely a better deal because I was able to get it on sale through my local comic shop. Maybe a little pricier than amazon for this volume, but I can support a local business. For this volume at least. The other two are significantly cheaper on amazon. So we’ll see how soon I get around to acquiring them. “Cheaper” is far from “cheap.” But I haven’t bought any board games lately, which helps.
Obviously I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading this brick. There were some parts I didn’t care for as much, some artwork that grated on my nerves for an issue or two, but overall I’m pleased. It helps to fill in some of the gaps in my understanding of Hal Jordan’s history, but I may still need to do some poking around about how he became the Spectre at some point.
I don’t need to see how Jordan became a Green Lantern in the first place though. I do believe it was shown no less than three times in this book, and summarized at the start of too many issues of the comic. I fully understand that any single issue might be someone’s first, but I really, really think we could’ve taken out the summary of Hal’s backstory out of a few more books. It gets repetitive in a way that is more noticeable in collections like this, but even so I have to imagine that avid readers don’t need a monthly refresher.
Oh well, into every sunny day, a little rain must fall. At least the majority of the brick is good. Now for the hard part – moving things around to find the best place to shelve it. I’m starting to think I may want to move all my graphic novels around for various reasons…the question is what do I move first.