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Black Lantern Green Arrow #30 [Review]

Lying to Myself

Writer: J.T. Krul
Pencils: Diogenes Neves
Inks: Ruy Jose, Vicente Cifuentes
Colors: Chuck Pires
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Greg Horn
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Published by: DC Comics

This is yet another issue where we get to see one of the Nekron/Black-Ring-posessed heroes fighting against what their outward body has become. In this case, Green Arrow as a Black Lantern, trapped inside his own body, watching it do and say horrible stuff to those he loves. While Ollie recalls key parts of his life and how certain people were there for him, how much they mean to him…his body is busy trying to kill those people, while he hopes they will have the strength to take him down.

I don’t think I was are of Krul before Blackest Night. What I’ve read of his throughout this event, though, leaves me quite interested in what he has to offer in general. In this case, I enjoyed the one-shot nature of this issue, as its context fills one in on the things they need to know about the character, while presenting some of those “deep” moments as a Black Lantern does horrible stuff to someone with strong emotional ties to the deceased (even if Ollie is something else, not dead but not alive, while possessed by one of the Black Rings). The moments touched on throughout this issue are both familiar and unfamiliar. It was particularly touching to see that a moment I remember being so moving to me back in 1994’s Zero Hour was a key moment to the character even here, 15 years later.

The entire art team did a great job on this issue, really capturing a surreal tone that really enhanced the story. The effect of having what’s at the forefront of Ollie’s perception in normal color, while other things that were going on around his body but not part of the memories he was going through inside lent a great effect to things. The visuals in general were very good here. I’m not familiar offhand with Neves‘ art, but this issue felt familiar, and I think Neves‘ style is similar to Ivan Reis‘; at least, this didn’t feel like something that was all that different from the core Blackest Night series.

Though I haven’t read an issue of Green Arrow since before Infinite Crisis, I didn’t feel lost reading this. There may be subtle stuff I’m not picking up on that’ll mean more to others who have followed the ongoing stuff. But on the whole, this seems quite accessible to those following Blackest Night in general, or who know at least the broad strokes of Green Arrow’s place in the DCU.

The cover is a nice homage to that silver age Neal Adams cover; here, reversing the image, with Ollie “charging” a ring and Hal shattering the lantern, mid-oath. It speaks volumes on its own, conveying a sense of history for those familiar with the history, but still serves as a fairly symbolic image of this issue in itself.

While I’ve been down on a couple other recent issues with this sort of theme/set-up (Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2, Adventure Comics #7, etc), this one actually works for me in a way those other issues did not. Perhaps it’s because of the way this ends, differently than I expected it to; or that I have more interest and “history” with Green Arrow than I do Wonder Woman…perhaps it’s simply my lack of context with this Green Arrow series, and so enjoying this “random” issue.

Accessible for newer readers, and presumably deeper meaning for longtime readers. This issue is very much rooted within Blackest Night…other than remembered past events for characters, this issue doesn’t seem tied to previous issues, and this issue leads back to Blackest Night itself (as opposed to the characters walking through a Blackest Night tie-in to go back to the normal/continuing story next issue virtually unscathed).

Recommended.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3 [Review]

Wonder Woman: Blackest Night
Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils: Nicola Scott
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Colors: Nei Ruffino
Cover: Greg Horn
Letters: Travis Lanham
Assoc. Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Published by: DC Comics

Wonder Woman marvels over the Love-Ring, witnesses the spreading destruction from the Black Lanterns and chats briefly with Carol Ferris about their differences as Star Sapphires, fights Mera, and when she tries to use her ring to help Mera, makes some sort of realization that hits close to the heart. The issue’s ending seems almost tacked-on, and directs us into the main Blackest Night series.

Story-wise, this continues to be more of a disappointment than not. Somehow, it’s feeling more like a “filler” story than anything else, with not much really happening. I don’t feel I have any new understanding of Wonder Woman/Diana coming out of this issue, and just as with the previous issue, this seems to take place in a very limited span of time–between Nekron commanding all those who’ve been resurrected withOUT rings to “Die” and the “reinforcement” rings seeking out “backup.” While there’s probably stuff here that’s much more compelling to longtime fans of Mera and Diana, any such content seems to have gone over my head reading by myself.

The art of this issue is good, on the whole…not much for complaint. The art certainly carries its weight providing the imagery of the story, showing Diana’s wonder at the ring, the two Star Sapphires soaring over the city, the Diana/Mera fight, and so on. My primary complaints are the Star Sapphire costumes, which seem overly “exposing”–but then, I suppose “lust” could be a form of “love”–and the double-page spread preceding Diana’s final conversing with Mera left me wondering what the significance was…but I’m not sure how much of that is the art not getting something across, or the story not getting it across (at the same time, just as likely to be me as a reader not “getting” something).

On the whole, not much about this to recommend except to those wanting light expansion on Wonder Woman’s being a short-term Star Sapphire. If you’re just following the Blackest Night series itself, this issue/mini really doesn’t seem to add anything to the main story.

Story: 4/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 5/10

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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