Review: Flashpoint – Abin Sur: The Green Lantern #1

Abin Sur: The Green Lantern
Written by Adam Schlagman
Art by Felipe Massafera

In the world of Flashpoint Abin Sur is still the Green Lantern of Sector 2814; there was no crash landing with Atrocitus that cost Abin his life, there was no Hal Jordan to receive the ring, and….Sinestro still wears a green ring. At first it seems like a simple change, after all, how much different can things really be? Abin Sur was a great Green Lantern, one of the best of all time; he died in his first appearance almost fifty-two years ago, and he’s still been immortalized in the legacy and lore of the Green Lantern Corps. And hey, without Hal we never would have seen the fall of the Corps in the first place, Coast City would not have fallen and he wouldn’t have freed Parallax. Would Abin have fared better? Would the Corps have been better? We know that Earth in the Flashpoint timeline has gone all to hell, but how do the rest of the cosmos fare?

The issue itself feels like an info dump at times as Schlagman goes ahead and gives us all the setup we need in the first half of the issue. The book opens with a scene featuring Abin with his older sister Arin, who was revealed during Blackest Night to have been the love of Sinestro’s life, which establishes his creed that “all life matters” as opposed to Hal’s “no fear”. This defines him, as does the fact that he has a life and career as a Green Lantern marked with death of those around him. As does his apparent war against the Manhunters, who look like a far evolved version of the ones we’ve grown familiar with. It’s hinted at that their massacre of sentient life wasn’t stopped after their massacre of Sector 666, and that Abin’s own homeworld of Ungara was one of the victims. All life matters, but he can’t save those that matter the most to him. He keeps fighting, protecting, giving the universe his all despite this. The Green Lantern Corps itself is stretched thin, in shambles, and fighting a war across the universe. A war they don’t seem able to win.

A big piece of the Green Lantern mythos where Abin has been concerned over the years is prophecy, and how he sought it out to know both his destiny, and that of the Corps. The prophecies we knew of involved Abin’s death bringing forth Hal Jordan, told to him by Atrocitus, that was the biggie. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and all the things to come out of that haven’t. Schlagman paints a picture of a ravaged Corps that is without true leadership, the Guardians putting more focus into protecting what they have left than stopping the oncoming threat. That is where Abin’s mission comes in, and his reason for being on Earth; it’s all a mission from the Guardians. I won’t spoil just what it is exactly, but regular readers can probably figure out what he’s been sent for.

I’m going to come out and say it, Felipe Massafera’s art looks like he was drawing a movie tie in. The suits are lifted directly from the movie designs, hell, Abin’s face looks more like the movie design than I’ve ever seen any version of Abin look in the comics. This isn’t a complaint, but it is a really weird thing to get used to…unless there’s something about Earth born Lantern’s that makes the entire Corps look like they are wearing the classic look. Now, what is a complaint is how lifeless the book comes across as the characters struggle to show emotion and while the design work is nice, the book feels relatively static. Another complaint would be the usage of the movie look for the GL’s while not updating the looks of other characters who appear in this issue, not to spoil, but ones that you would expect to have a similar upgrade.

In one issue Schlagman has assembled the pieces on the board so that we not only know just how different the galaxy is for the Green Lantern Corps, but we also know just what exactly Abin’s purpose is for these three issues. The moments in the issue with Sinestro lead me to believe that we will be seeing much, much more of him before this mini is up, and that while he and Abin don’t share their familiar best friends relationship, that by the end of the story they could either have that back or be the most hated of enemies. Ah, to be friends with Sinestro, there is never any good that comes from that. Adam Schlagman is an assistant editor at DC Comics, and to my knowledge, this is his first full length job as a writer. I believe he does a fine job both with the universe building as well as with the characters. By no means is it perfect, but it is definitely enjoyable…far more so than I anticipated. If you’re a fan of the Green Lantern Corps, or a fan of What If?! stories, or, like me, a fan of both; then this book is for you.

Overall?
6.5/10

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