The idea of the Green Lantern Corps is one of the genuinely genius concepts in the DC universe, and Green Lantern Corps: Recharge, mostly achieves success at exploring it to it's fullest potential. Superficially similar in nature to the Jedi Knights of Star Wars, the Green Lantern Corps are essentially space police, and their tales chronicle the exploits of sentient representatives from various solar systems around the galaxy, given immensely powerful rings that are powered by will (instead of lightsabers).
This trade paperback collects the mini-series that relaunched the concept at DC comics after it had been allowed to die for a period, and is a fun, action filled, epic, sci-fi, generally exciting story that will make anyone who's interested in science fiction, space, aliens, and who also likes large casts, a happy reader.
The writing here is very tight, with well realized characters who are distinct from each other, and with plots for each chapter that move briskly along and waste little time on exposition. The character of Dr. Soranik Natu is one of the most interesting new additions to the Corps and the DCU in recent years. Johns and Gibbons make a good team here, with an interesting plot involving the Spider-Guild, although the end is a little too convenient and stretches credibility more than necessary, given how grounded the rest of the story seems, ironically enough, though set against the fantastic background of space. Both writers give the Corps some nice touches/flourishes/details, which help cement the world they're trying to build. Although they don't discuss the science of the rings, (which I find unfortunate and a missed opportunity), the rings are almost characters in themselves, acting like personal communication devices. When characters go into "warp" the rings announce beforehand that their wearer is about to come out of "hyper-space" and each ring repeats the same mantra when it selects a new recruit. These little touches give the world a solidity and believability that helps ground the fantastic elements of the series. Johns and Gibbons also work more than any previous writers to make the Corps resemble an actual military or uniformed force, with lanterns saluting and the suggestion at least, of ranks.
Two niggling things for me about their approach though is first, the obnoxification (I know it's not a word) of Salaak. Although my memory is fuzzy, Salaak served on the Earth Bound GLC with Hal Jordan and Kilowog and both respected and befriended these two characters. His brusque manner with them here makes little sense and contradicts what we know about these characters relationships. Finally, for some odd reason, the writers chose to make Guy Gardner the main focus of the series, instead of Kyle Rayner, who at least supported his own book quite successfully for an extended period. Guy Gardner is a divisive type of character in my view. He's especially antagonizing to me for some reason, and I find it hard to take him too seriously as a character, due to his general obnoxiousness and dislikability. He's often played for comedy, and when not handled properly, undermines the seriousness of a series. For the most part, he's handled well here, but as a character, I don't enjoy him. My personal theory is that far fewer people actually like Guy Gardner than DC thinks. It's a matter of personal taste, and some people do think he's great. But he's nonetheless front and center of this collection. It doesn't suffer for it too much in my view.
Finally, Patrick Gleason puts his best foot forward in this series. A clearly talented penciller, he is also sometimes his own worst enemy. His command of anatomy is great, his backgrounds are never skimpy and his human characters at least, are expressive and convincingly different looking people. I especially like how he draws realistic looking yet beautiful women. He's also generally pretty consistent, which is rare, although his work in the last issue of this series is clearly rushed in comparison to the earlier issues. However, Gleason really needs to improve his stortelling. He will routinely use larger panels for money shots and then shunt off important events to small panels to the side, where it is difficult for the reader to follow what's going on. His storytelling is ok, but could significantly improve. Additionally, while his backgrounds are detailed, he might think about getting out of his own way, and letting his panels breathe a bit. His work is so dense, and he uses many heavy blacks, that it is often difficult to keep track of what's happening in each panel. You will often find that you have looked at a panel and won't be sure about what's actually happened in it, which is the worst thing any penciller can do. In addition to using less heavy blacks in his own work, an inker whose line work was thinner, and perhaps a touch lighter, would seriously improve Gleason's overall "look." It's not that the work is bad, it's that his strengths are also sometimes his weaknesses, and I think a greater emphasis by him on clarity of storytelling over everything else, would greatly improve his work.
All in all though, I enjoyed this collection so much I got all the other GLC collections right away and started reading them back to back. I think you might too, if you bought it.