Simon Baz has no idea what he is doing with a Green Lantern ring, and neither do President Barack Obama (yes, he appears in this issue), Baz's family, or the Justice League. After escaping from Guantanamo Bay Prison, Baz rockets back to the US, and his hometown of Dearborn, Michigan, with hopes of clearing his name. (Baz stole a van loaded with a huge bomb not knowing there was a bomb in the van. I know...it's the dumbest and most unbelievable origin story ever, but it's what we have to work with.) Baz needs his sister's help, she might not be in a position to help as much as she could, or would like to, though when she is let go from her job because of her status as the sister of a suspected Islamist terrorist...
Not much really happens in Green Lantern #13 besides new GL Simon Baz getting decked by Superman and his sister suffering from discrimination at the workplace. Oh yeah, there is something about some creatures who look and act like zombie Borg and are seeking out Baz at the behest of The Guardians (or so they say) in order to "Assimilate" him. This is obviously something that ties into the overarching storyline running through the Green Lantern Family of titles currently (which I am unfortunately not fully following at the moment). The real appeal for causal Green Lantern readers (of which I used to NOT be, but have been ever since The New 52 reboot), is this new Green Lantern who has the potential to be a much more grounded, complex, and realistic character. I just hope that Johns doesn't continue to overplay the whole "discriminated Arab-American" theme. Yes, there is discrimination, and it is brave and noble of Johns to address it realistically, but I'd like to see Baz rise above his "otherness" and be a "Green Lantern" and not a perpetual "Arab-American Green Lantern."
Doug Mahnke has been drawing Green Lanterns for several years now and his representations of them never, ever, get old. He is a master of the sequential art medium, and superhero comics in particular. He draws some of the most subtly expressive faces in all of comics. His panel layout, detail and realism is of the highest quality as well. Jim Lee might be the rage at DC Comics for drawing Justice League, but Mahnke is the unsung hero of the artistic core at DC.
It's going to take a little more than interesting social commentary to keep this new Green Lantern relevant. There is a great deal of potential here though, and based on his track record, Johns is most likely up to the task of maxing out Simon Baz's tenure as a GL.