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Review: Green Lantern: Dragon Lord #2

The world is in love with the “reluctant” hero figure. Men and women who can and should save people. But those heroes always have some boiler plate excuse like “I don’t do that no more.” Of course the worse excuse being “I’m no hero.” This is exactly why Alan Ladd’s seminal classic Shane is a favorite among middle aged men, even those who don’t like Westerns. The story revolves around a high plains drifter who wanders into a small town and accepts a family’s hospitality. This peace of course doesn’t last. He eventually gets caught in the war for the Wyoming rang as a land baron looks to take over the family’s land. This leaves Shane in a precarious position as his honor leaves him no choice but to get involved.

There have been some pale imitations of this hero archetype over the years and many have come close but very few can truly compare. One of my favorite characters that fall into this type is D from the anime film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. He fits the type perfectly. Add to the fact he is also half vampire, and hunt vampires and you got one of the more badass characters ever written. In comics the legendary Wolverine fits this type in many ways as his stature causes most to underestimate him but his “lone wolf” posture is what makes him both enigmatic and magnetic to his fellow X-Men and readers alike. In the second book of Green Lantern: Dragon Lord, Jong Li is another occupant of this archetype but he engages only when the lives of Jade Moon and her son are in danger.

We catch up with Jong Li, as he tries to get closer to Emperor, as his heart leads him to find Jade, as he disguises himself as a magician, so no one knows who he is.  This is where he gets close enough to find and rescue Jade from General Shan and hundreds of soldiers surrounding the royal palace, where he runs away with her. While in the woods, he reveals the very thing Shan is looking for and, which attracts assassins, but the ring’s power proves to be too much for any adversary, as Jong Li finally embraces its might. By issue’s end, Jong Li’s honor renders him powerless but sends him on a quest to restore it and the legacy of the Dragon Lords.

Overall, an excellent installment in a rather epic story which purports Green Lantern lore to legendary proportions. The story by Doug Moench is exciting and multilayered. The art by the creative team is extraordinary. Altogether, this story only gets better with each issue and this is more than the standard bearer for the quality of this series.

Story: Doug Moench Art: Paul Gulacy, Dave Stewart, James Sinclair, and Joe Rubinstein
Story: 10 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

General Marvel