More free time coming up soon means that hopefully, you guys will be getting more reviews. I’ve had a decent run of reading novels that I’ve quite enjoyed recently, and hoping this will continue! I thought I would return to one of the series that I first started reading when I began this page; Green Lantern. I have always really loved the Green Lantern lore and I was pretty excited to read this novel for a reason that will become quite apparent soon enough!
‘The End’ starts with the story of Simon Baz, a young Muslim man who we see growing up in America at the time of 9/11. He and his sister find themselves being discriminated against, and the novel then cuts to present day with Simon attempting to steal a truck. However, the truck he’s hijacked is loaded with explosives and he has no choice but to drive it into the factory where he works. He’s immediately apprehended and questioned on terror charges. At the last moment, a Green Lantern ring chooses him and he escapes. Attempting to clear his name he finds the real terrorist, after a pretty epic issue with him being approached by the Justice League. Now in the clear, Simon sees the messages recorded on his ring by both Sinestro and Hal Jordan. He flies into space with the help of another Lantern, B’Dg, in order to locate Jordan. Meanwhile, on Oa, the Guardians who have now gone a little rogue, are harnessing the power of the First Lantern, Volthoom to power their new army to take down all the corps. But Volthoom uses this as a means to escape the prison that he was kept in and wishes to rewrite reality as he pleases. As Simon reaches his location, he finds that Black Hand has sent Sinestro and Jordan to the land of the living and he attempts to rescue Jordan to help him and the rest of the Corps fights Volthoom. He manages to release Sinestro but not Jordan and the two fly to Oa where every single Corps of the Emotional spectrum is fighting Volthoom. But what of Jordan? Locked away in the realm of the dead, can he escape and help his brethren battle this ancient enemy?
Straight off the bat, this novel was something special for me because as a young Muslim, I’ve been waiting for a long time to see a hero that I can relate to. Simon is the first Muslim character in a long time for DC and I appreciated his backstory. I also liked that they threw him straight into the action and into a massive plot, although I would really like to see some buildup of the character in future novels. In terms of the larger plot, I thought it was good, but the ending did seem a little rushed and I certainly hope that is not the last we see of Volthoom because he was way too quickly beaten. I wonder if there is more to the story in the other Green Lantern novels. In terms of character development, the novel did an excellent job of not only introducing Simon but also building up Hal in a way we’ve not seen before.
The artwork was good and in the last few issues, there were some massive panels that I always think are fantastically drawn. But the highlight in terms of the artwork was the covers, some of which were truly phenomenal. It was hard to pick one for this review. Overall, a milestone novel in terms of character introduction and I’m excited to see the impact of the end of this novel!
Powerful stuff. ‘Nuff said.
I can’t like when I say it has to be Simon. Representation is important and I can’t remember the last time we had a mainstream Muslim superhero!
Story Arc: 13/20
Character Development: 16/20