GREEN LANTERN: SECTOR 2814 VOL. 1 (DC, First Printing, 2012; Softcover)
Collects Green Lantern #172-176, 178-181 (cover dates January- October, 1984)
Writer: Len Wein
Artists: Dave Gibbons with Inking by Dick Giordano and Mike Decarlo
Sometimes you discover a run of comic books that are so good that you feel stupid for not having known that it even existed before. This is one such run of comics. The thing that I have come to terms with is that even after decades of reading comics and consuming them at an unhealthy rate that there remains untold treasures in the wings. I perceive this as a good thing, as the sky is the limit for the greatness out there just waiting to be discovered.
Len Wein is a writing powerhouse, able to juggle multiple plotlines at once while moving the main story forward. His insistence on using the term “ring-slinger” annoys me in the same manner as when he used the term “web-slinger” when he wrote Spider-Man. I don't know why, but the phrase annoys me and sticks out like a sore thumb among his otherwise superb writing. It's like a stellar musician who intentionally hits one bum note over and over and over. Dave Gibbons is a great artist who would soon go on to draw some series that no one remembers. I think that it was called Watchmen.
Len Wein wraps up a lengthy arc where Green Lantern was assigned to outer space to protect the rest of the sector assigned to him by the Guardians Of The Universe, Sector 2814. Hal Jordan (aka Green Lantern) returns home after a year away to resume his life, particularly his love life with Carol Ferris, his boss at Ferris Aircraft. There are all sorts of things wrong with the scenario of dating your boss here in 2016, but for the sake of suspension of disbelief let us journey to the simpler days of 1983 and 1984 when these comics were originally published and enjoy them for what they are.
I really enjoyed Green Lantern's battle with the Javelin (#173 and 174), who uses yellow weapons against which our hero has no defense for. You see, due to an imperfection in the manufacturing process of his power ring, Green Lantern has no control over anything yellow. Yes, I realize that this makes no sense, but use your suspension of disbelief and dig it anyways, okay? His battle with The Shark (#175 and 176) was cooler still. I was a Marvelite in 1984 and wouldn't touch anything from the Distinguished Competition as an 11 year old kid. I am glad that I have gotten over that. My son, on the other hand, seems to have the recessive DC gene, preferring Batman and The Flash to anything in Marvel's stable of heroes.
One of the plotlines that Len Wein slowly unraveled here was Congressman Bloch's personal vendetta against Ferris Aircraft. Bloch goes as far as to hire a team of garishly costumed and ridiculously powered villains called the Demolition Team, who show up to destroy the financially beleaguered company. As Green Lantern gets set to spring into action, the Guardians call him to save an entire planet from exploding. He must then decide on keeping his vow to the Guardians and the entire Sector of space that he has sworn to protect or save the factory of the woman he loves. He chooses duty over love, saving the entire planet. When he returns he finds that a mysterious new hero(?), the Predator, has dealt with the Demolition Team, although not before they could destroy nearly everything. Carol Ferris reads Hal Jordan the riot act, forcing him into a corner. The result is him going back to the Guardians and quitting the Green Lantern Corps.
This was an incredibly satisfying read and I give it my highest recommendation.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The Green Lantern Corps back-up stories from #172 and 173 are omitted, which is a shame because they have Dave Gibbons artwork. The back-up stories from #179, 180, and 181 are also omitted. It would have been nice if they added them in the back of the book as a bonus.
Issue #177 was omitted from this collection because it was a reprint of #128, likely done due to a missed deadline at the time.
Linework and Color restoration: As with most DC collected editions, things are a mixed bag. DC's film was properly stored and archived, as evidenced by how clean all of the linework is in this book. If there are any linework dropouts I didn't catch them on the handful of issues which I did a comparison with.
|The version found in this book.|
Take for example #175, page 24, panel 4. While DC has made great efforts to faithfully maintain the original color palette, they miss things like this. The shadows from Green Lantern's body are completely gone from the reprinted version. #175 is rife with mistakes like this, and they are peppered throughout the entire book. This is a great read, and if you did not compare it to the original comics you wouldn't care less. I view collected editions as Blu-Rays. I want to see the material as it originally was, only on better paper and with better printing, so these errors bother me.
The film for Page 4 of #173 must have been lost, as there is a noticeable drop in the quality of the linework from the rest of the book. It looks like it was scanned from a printed comic. Think of what IDW did when they were butchering the Marvel G.I. Joe series, only no one can butcher restoration as bad as IDW did for that series. I am just using it as a point of reference.
Paper stock: Glossy coated stock. While glossy stock isn't optimal for flat coloring, I will gladly take this over the cheap paper DC usually passes off on folks in their collected editions of vintage material.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.