As a Green Lantern fan, as well as a big fan of the Earth One series that DC Comics produce, this was one that I was looking forward to. Like the others in the Earth One range, there are quite a few differences to what you're used to. They're not just small differences either like with the others, these are some major changes as it seems like Green Lantern has had a complete rethink on not just the character, but the whole Green Lantern ethos.
Straight of the bat, you notice that Hal Jordan is an astronaut instead of a test pilot. Not a pilot kind of astronaut either, but a miner. The tone is immediately set as more of a science fiction story than a superhero one. That's not the only change with Hal, as he's worn down from past tragedies and doesn't come across as fearless or anywhere near as cocky. He's certainly less arrogant. The biggest change though is with regards to the Green Lantern rings. You're not chosen. If you pick up a Green Lantern ring from a dead Lantern, then you have as much chance as anyone else that picked it up and it's down to the wearer to make the most of the power it grants. It's not a change that I particularly liked, but it has its positives in that it makes Hal a more likeable and relatable character than he can seem in the usual continuity. It is a fundamental change though.
The comic shines with the art, with Gabriel Hardman delivering some pretty dark looking panels (it's in space, so darkness is bound to be everywhere). What's good is that people actually look like normal people. Hal isn't bulging with muscles - he just looks like an ordinary person. That's great and really helps build up your view of this new, reimagined Hal Jordon, who isn't the superhero that we know and was specifically selected because of his fearless traits. There's also the way that Hardman draws aliens, with them actually looking more than just humanoid figures.
The art sets the tone for the book, with panels of cold, barren environments and blackness of space in abundance. It's the real highlight of the book/story.
In all, it's the biggest change that DC has done with their Earth One range, and it works. Sure, it's frustrating as a Green Lantern fan to see some pretty radical changes, but come to the end none of that matters. It's good storytelling with some good artwork that made the book rather difficult to put down. If they continue the Earth One series and we get a second book for this, I'd have no problem re-reading this book again before diving into the second. With all the changes, it still manages to capture the heart of what a Lantern is.