I've been slowly buying the various TPBs that make up Geoff Johns' run on Green Lantern for about a year. GL has been a series that has held my interest for a long time, probably since watching the original Justice League animated series. I found the mythology of the Guardians and their Green Lantern Corps fascinating and very different to anything else in the superhero sphere. That only intensified as I began to come across and understand the other lantern groups, particularly the nuance that they could hold. The GLs themselves using will power is a little cliché for a superhero, but what happens when you are consumed instead by an emotion like fear or rage? The creation of the yellow, red, blue, pink etc. lanterns gave the entire concept a huge shove towards genuine novelty.
Central to that, in terms of published stories, is the Blackest Night/Brightest Day arcs. Ultimately, that's why I started picking up TPBs when I found them on offer, but as I read more around the publishing history of the series that list expanded backwards through the whole of Johns' run. As a result, when I recently found Forbidden Planet was having a sale on a lot of TPBs from this period I decided to round up as many as I could. Amongst them was No Fear, which was doubly exciting as it meant I could finally start the series and begin actually reading the books I've bought so far. At least, that's what I thought.
With that in mind, I enjoyed No Fear but found it a little confusing as a starting point to the series. I was aware that this was a soft reboot, standing on the shoulders of the continuity that came before it rather than starting from scratch, so expected some level of existing character interaction. Still, the whole premise that Hal Jordan was back from the dead and the Corps disbanded seemed like it could use a little explanation. With villains such as Hector Hammond and The Shark just appearing without any explanation, the plot, taken by itself, is pretty confusing. Luckily, having a decent understanding of the backstory of the GL franchise, I was able to muddle through and found it quite enjoyable, albeit a little odd as the introduction to a series.
Which, of course, it isn't. Actually, it turns out that whilst No Fear comprises issues #1-#6 of Johns' run on Green Lantern there was an introductory miniseries, known as Rebirth, that serves as the true start point of the series. Hopefully when I finally pick it up most of my issues with No Fear will just turn out to be my own fault. Other than leaving you a little at the deep end, though, No Fear is well written, well drawn and a very solid beginning to the story. It sets up character arcs well and gives you enough information to get a good a grip no the emotional state of Hal Jordan, as well as those closest to him. It definitely left me wanting much more, which is a good thing considering how many TPBs I've already invested in.