Green Lantern: No Fear, 2005
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencillers: Simone Bianchi, Darwyn Cooke, Carlos Pacheco, Ethan Van Sciver
Inkers: Simone Bianchi, Darwyn Cooke, Jesus Merino, Prentis Rollins, Ethan Van Sciver
Colorists: W. Moose Baumann, Nathan Eyring, Dave Stewart
Letterers: Jared K. Fletcher, Rob Leigh
Cover Art: Alex Ross
What's It About?
Green Lantern: No Fear marked the start of a new ongoing Green Lantern series, and it collects issues 1-6 of the new title, plus a special issue, Green Lantern: Secret Files and Origins.
Prior to this new Green Lantern series, Hal Jordan, Earth's most prominent Green Lantern, had become a villian, died, and was brought back to life as The Spectre. But you don't need to worry about any of that to enjoy this book.
The basic premise of the Green Lanterns are that they are space cops with each one being assigned a sector of space to watch over. Green Lantern: No Fear sees Hal Jordan returning to life, both superheroic and everyday. The story kicks off with a flashback to Hal Jordan's childhood as he looks up to his jet pilot father. Next, we join Hal back in the present, yearning to rejoin the Air Force, and spending some time with John Stewart, Earth's current Green Lantern whom, upon his return, Hal Jordan now shares Earth's Sector 2814 with. Everything is going well until a mysterious being shows up, and leaves several bodies in its wake.
Who's It For?
The story is heavy on the sci-fi. You'll find space aliens, robots, giant-headed telepathic villains, a mutated semi-intelligent shark, forays to other planets, and even an alien "grey." There's also plenty of action and fight scenes on a grand scale. If any of these things sound interesting to you, you might like Green Lantern: No Fear. If you tend to like space operas like Star Wars or space exploration stories like Star Trek, you might find yourself enjoying the Green Lantern mythos.
Whats' the Art Like?
Besides a short chapter in the beginning about Hal's childhood which uses a retro style, the art is pretty typical of contemporary mainstream comics. There is some difference between the artists, especially with the last two chapters, but it shouldn't be jarring enough to detract from enjoying the book. The action scenes and splash pages are spectacular.
Geoff Johns's work on the ongoing Green Lantern series is very well-regarded. While having this many characters in a book may be intimidating to new readers, it is well-written and entertaining, and Johns really understands all the characters who make up the Green Lantern universe. It's a light, entertaining read that is well-written and well-drawn.
There's a bit of a disconnect in the last few chapters of the book, as the story goes into a bit of a different direction. It's nothing major, but might be a bit jarring.
The sheer amount of characters, both heroes, and villains, can be a little daunting for new readers. If you're new to Green Lantern, you probably won't know that Hector Hammond (the large-headed telepathic) and Black Hand (the man on the plane missing a hand) are both Green Lantern villains, as there isn't much backstory provided for either of them in the story. It is also worth noting that Kilowog, the gigantic bulldog-like alien, is the Green Lantern drill sargeant who trains all new Green Lantern recruits. He might look like a bad guy, but he is definitely not.
If you want to know how the current incarnation of the Green Lantern Corps, and Hal Jordan got their start, then this is the book to start out with. The same writer, Geoff Johns, is currently writing the continuing Green Lantern series. If you like comics and science fiction, you'll enjoy Green Lantern: No Fear.
What to Read Next (In publishing order):
Vol. 2 Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns
Vol. 3 Green Lantern: Wanted: Hal Jordan
Vol. 4 Green Lantern: Secret Origin. Not a continuation of the series, but a look back at how Hal Jordan became a Green Lantern)
Vol. 5 Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns
Vol. 6 Green Lantern: Agent Orange
Green Lantern Corps: Sinestro Corps War, Volumes 1 and 2
You could also read Green Lantern: Rebirth which takes you through the events that led to Hal Jordan finishing his time as The Spectre and becoming a Green Lantern again. Rebirth takes place prior to No Fear and a review of Rebirth is in the pipeline. Lastly, don't forget the other Green Lantern books we've featured.