The three stories in Future State: Green Lantern #1 feel distinct, but there’s a clear standout in Jessica Cruz’s Die Hard-style middle chapter.
The Green Lantern mythos has always seemed particularly well-suited to anthological storytelling to me, and since this is a strategy being employed by a number of books in the Future State line, including The Next Batman and Dark Detective, it isn’t much of a surprise that Future State: Green Lantern #1 employs the same format. As ever with this kind of thing, it’s a mixed bag, but a standout middle chapter earns a lot of goodwill.
The lead story has enjoyably dense art from Tom Raney and Mike Atiyeh, meant to evoke a sense of overwhelming odds as John Stewart and his team attempt to defend a planet and its people during an evacuation. An opposing force is brutally taking over, most of the society’s higher-ups have of course fled already, and those who remain are either desperate to run and go on living any way they can or fight and die for the cause. At least, these are the details I was able to glean – Geoffrey Thorne’s writing lacks a lot of important context. There’s a reason why these kinds of moments make better finales than standalone tales.
Also of little note is a light-hearted closer by Ernie Altbacker about Guy Gardner marooned on a far-flung planet sans his ring. While waiting for its repair, he becomes a minor deity to the local people, and various miscommunication errors cause him a slew of problems just as it seems as if he’s getting things squared away. It’s funny for a few panels, but once the overall direction becomes clear, you realize pretty swiftly that there’s only one joke being told and retold to the same result.
It’s Jessica Cruz who impresses the most in Future State: Green Lantern #1. Also without a ring, she’s left alone on a space station she has been maintaining which is being besieged by the Sinestro Corps. It’s clearly inspired by Die Hard, and makes for a better send-up of that classic than a recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery did. It’s over before you know it, but it leaves a lasting impression with a big cliffhanger. A clear highlight, then, but whether or not it’s worth the price of admission on its own is your decision to make.