Multiverses are colliding and the result is the boldest and brightest comic book to hit print since... well, since last year.
Star Trek and DC's Green Lantern are at the midpoint of their second crossover event, and the fusion of these two franchises steeped in mythos and boundless realms of nerdery are a marriage made in Stovokor (or the Emerald Space, depending on your beliefs.)
It's doubtful any Star Trek fans haven't at least heard of Green Lantern (he's the guy who flies around with a green ring! Friends with Superman!) but you may not know just how perfect the travails of Hal Jordan of Space Sector 2814 align with that of the Enterprise. Jordan, an Earthling with his share of Kirk-like qualities, is “chosen” to wear a Power Ring and join the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic band of space cops.
The Corps is like Deep Space Nine's Promenade on acid – a collection of weirdo aliens from all stretches of the Universe. Many are humanoid (like our friend Tomar-Re, a Xudarian that kinda looks like a chicken-fish) or Kilowog (a broad-chested, gentle giant from Bolovax Vik that kinda looks like a pig-dog.) There are stranger members of the Corps, like Mogo, a sentient planet, or Bzzd, a hornet-like creature from the planet Apiaton. (Bzzd is not the smallest Green Lantern, mind you. That would either be Leezle Pon, super-intelligent smallpox virus, or Dkrtzy RRR, a bio-sentient mathematical equation, but since he takes no shape at all, perhaps he is the largest Green Lantern!)
I'm really just scratching the surface of Green Lantern lore (I haven't even gotten to the Emotional Spectrum which drives rings of other colors) but you don't need to know much before picking up the trade paperback of “The Spectrum War” or the first issue of the current “Stranger Worlds” (which includes a wee summary of the first collection at the beginning.) Most importantly: it looks terrific.
A few of the key members of the Green Lantern stories have been bounced from their universe to the Kelvin Timeline. But there are similarities from their past which jibe with “our” past, even if there are some key differences. It all makes sense, especially now that we've all gotten our heads around Prime vs. Kelvin stories, right? If not, this panel is here for a little tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement.
A Green Lantern villain, Sinestro (a Korugarian who rules the Sinestro Corps from the Antimatter world of Qward empowered by his fear-charged yellow ring!) is currently calling the shots on Qo'noS. Makes sense. Like the Klingons, Sinestro has a code: he wants power, but he also wants order. (Frankly, he'd be a better match with the Cardassians, but other than a stray reference to a drink in an Iowa bar, the Spoonheads haven't shown up in the Kelvin Timeline yet.)
At this point, midway through the second series, it looks like he may have found a way to recharge the power rings that give its wearers the ability not only to fly, but to make constructs of light out of their own imagination. Frequently these are tanks or enormous fly swatters or just brightly colored laser blasts.
It's always been a little vague about how this works, and if in the back of your mind you remember that Green Lanterns were powerless against the color yellow, no, you aren't making that up, but that isn't the case anymore. (Neither is the fact that Alan Scott, the Golden Age or Earth-2 Green Lantern, used to be repelled by wood, but let's not get into all that right now.) All you need to know is that the Power Rings are like the Enterprise's shields, phasers, warp core and replicator all wrapped up into one.
But Sinestro isn't enough to keep our guys busy. You see, there aren't just Green (good) and Yellow (bad) Lanterns, there are Blue and Indigo (good!) and Violet (good now, historically sometimes suspect) Lanterns, and also Orange Lanterns (like the worst Ferengi you ever saw) and Red Lanterns (bad bad bad). In this story the Red Lantern Atrocitus runs afoul of 72 sleeping tubes (uh-oh) and next thing you know he's woken someone up.
The Red Lanterns stand for Rage, but open a thesaurus and you'll find that's pretty close to Wrath, and when we think of that word we think of a very specific guy in any timeline.
I'm not going to say too much more, as I don't want to give the story away. But I will say that as a comic book enthusiast this series is an absolute joy, with bright colors spilling out of every page. The first collection is a steal right now on Comixology and the first three of the second series are currently available at a comic shop near you. You have been chosen.
Jordan Hoffman is a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels. Hoffman is also the host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, from CBS Radio, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products. Engage is available via Play.it/StarTrek, iTunes and StarTrek.com, with new episodes released weekly.