Tag Archives: green lantern: dragon lord

Review: Green Lantern: Dragon Lord #3

For us fans of Bruce Lee, in his limited filmography lies a treasure trove of life lessons. Ones that pushes people beyond what they accept for themselves and ones in which infinite potential is the ceiling. His book, the Tao Of Jeet Kune Do, impresses on its readers to“Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.” As these words would confuse most, but to see the forest through the trees per say, is what his philosophies demanded for comprehension.

These philosophies were embedded in every role he played, as these backstories for each character, he had something to do with it. Enter The Dragon carried many of his philosophies about martial arts and life in general. His most personal film was his last, Game Of Death, very action packed and one which intertwines his philosophies all throughout. In the last book of Green Lantern: Dragon Lord, our hero must go on his ow quest to find the woman who holds his heart and to purge evil throughout the kingdom.

We find Jong Li, about to enter the fabled Lung Mountain, where a series of trials and marauders await his arrival, each one he must conquer and save Jade Moon. General Shan plots to have the power of the Green Lantern to himself as well as overthrow the emperor, both are at his grasp, if he defeats Jong Li. As Jong Li, fights his way to the top of the mountain, he brings back the Dragon Lords, is finally able to confront Shan. By book’s end, not everything goes as planned, as he saves Jade Moon, but she still suffers a fatality, her son becomes the new emperor and Jong Li enters history a legend.

Overall, a heart rendering end to a great story, one which gets to the core of what makes Jonng Li, one of the greatest Green Lanterns of all time. The story by Doug Moench is whimsical, thriving with lore and gives the reader a nice slice of history. The art by the creative team more than complements the story, it  illuminates these great characters. Altogether, an almost perfect ending to a such a momentous story.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Bob Lappan, Dave Stewart, Joe Rubinstein, Paul Gulacy 
and James Sinclair
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

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

Review: Green Lantern: Dragon Lord #1

There is nothing a like a great prequel, especially if it fills in all those holes that the reader wants to know about their favorite characters. One of the best ones I remember from growing up is the Muppet Babies, as I grew up watching The Muppet Show, and the cartoon offered us fans another side to our favorite characters. This is also true of the Truth: Red, White and Black book where we see that before Steve Rogers became the iconic hero, many Black soldiers volunteered, much like the Tuskegee Experiment. As I always wondered who was there before, as the new Black Panther comic book, showcases in many trips to the Hall of the Black Panther, where he seeks the council of all the Panthers who came before.

As Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602, though not an origin story, but rather an alternative history, how would our  favorite characters favor in an another time in history? This is precisely what Gotham By Gaslight sought to show readers that Batman will for all intents and purposes, be the same, just with 17th century ideology.  This is also what Milestone’s Icon, Kumail Rizvi’s Kahlil and Superman: Red Son shows audiences, that depending on the circumstance, we might not have Superman as we know him to be. This leads me to ask of one of my favorite characters, Green Lantern, how was there never no one worthy before Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner, to be a Green Lantern? In Doug Moench’s superior Green Lantern: Dragon Lord we meet Earth’ first Lantern, Jong Li.

The reader is transport ancient China, 660 A.D. precisely, where we are taken to the Last House of the Dragon Lords, and meet a young tempestuous monk, named Jong Li, one whose impatience overshadows his potential. We are also introduced to jade Moon, who belongs to the Emperor’s Harem, as she looks to escape the palace with her child, she seeks refuge within the Dragon Lords temple, unfortunate for her, the palace guard tracks her down. This unfortunate chain of events leads to the massacre of the Dragon Lords, the capture of Jade and Li to flee with Jade’s son. While Li hides in the woods, the Guardians of the Universe, finds Jong Li, to become Earth’s first Green Lantern, one he is uneasy to accept and finds it even harder to navigate at first. That is until Jade through the Lantern acts as his conscience, guiding his actions, as he frees the country from the corruption the Emperor’s rule has brought. By issue’s end, an experienced Jong Li, finds himself on the precipice of reuniting Jade with her son , as his abilities become even greater.

Overall, an excellent story which combines a story told in Ancient China using the familiarity of the Green Lantern canon. The story by Moench is smart, action packed, and delicately weaves Eastern mythology with superhero lore. The art by the creative team is refined, vivid and striking. Altogether, a story that more than deserves to be part of the Green Lantern pantheon, as it proves that Jong Li is the standard all Green Lanterns including Hal Jordan could only hope to follow after.

Story: Doug Moench Art: Paul Gulacy, Bob Lappan, James Sinclair, Joe Rubinstein
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy