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Brightest Day #0 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Story: 4.5/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

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Outsiders #24 [Review]

Matter of Trust

Story and Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Fernando Pasarin
Inkers: Scott Hanna, Prentis Rollins & Fernando Pasarin
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover: Tom Mandrake
Asst. Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Michael Siglain
Publisher: DC Comics

We begin this issue much like the other Blackest Night tie-in issues: a flashback showing us the memories a black ring is downloading to use with an animated/rebuilt corpse, concluding the scene with the command to the body to RISE. In this case, it’s Tara Markov again, and fresh off menacing the Titans, now she goes to her brother and the others of the Outsiders. As the Outsiders seek to find the truth about what’s going on, the readers know it’s not quite what they think–or want to think. Meanwhile: Tatsu, Violet, and Creeper are transporting Killer Croc, and bump into Black Lanterns of their own to deal with…Tatsu’s dead family.

This is one of those issues that is far easier to read than it is to describe. Visually, I recognize everyone; the names I’m a little less confident with and have to search through the issue to find references (I’m pretty sure Tatsu and Violet are “civilian” names and not the characters’ codenames).

With the Blackest Night: Titans mini and its flashbacks, and other series lately dealing with the Titans’ history and characters related to them, I have that thin understanding that works fine while reading, but isn’t strong enough for me to really “get” fully. In a way, that’s something on the writing; but at the same time, the fact that I can read the story even not knowing much about the characters nor their status quo prior to this point is more positive than negative.

The art’s quite good; no real complaints from me. Everyone looks as I’d expect–if there’s any expectation–and at the very least, I recognize pretty much everyone. Even the Black Lantern has expressiveness…there’s a panel where one would almost feel bad for her, if one doesn’t keep in mind what’s been learned so far about these Black Lanterns.

Probably the largest factor that makes this work so well for me is that it is written by Tomasi, who has been doing plenty of other writing within the Blackest Night event, and presumably he is incorporating enough that even without non-Blackest Night knowledge, there’s some building continuity just within the event’s story.

All in all, a very solid tie-in, and certainly worth getting if you’re following either Blackest Night or the title itself. Then, of course, there’s also that little ring that ought to come with the issue, as well.

Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

Green Lantern Corps #40

Heart of Darkness

Story & Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman, Tom Nguyen & Prentis Rollins
Colorists: Randy Mayor, Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Cover: Gleason and Buchman (variant by Billy Tucci & Mayor)
Publisher: DC Comics

This is another high-action issue as we see a lot of things going on all at once. The Black Lanterns continue attacking the living on Oa, with strategically-chosen individuals facing those living, seeking the most powerful emotional response. Kyle faces old flame Jade, while Arisia faces lost family, and Guy Gardner faces old comrade Bzzd. While this battle is going on we also see other events unfolding, as the Star Sapphires help Kryb, seeing the genuine “love” Kryb has for her “children” and the various lanterns face the Black Lanterns.

While I continue to find Gleason’s art not quite to my personal tastes, there’s something to it here in this issue that actually doesn’t put me off the way it has with other issues recently. In and of itself, the artwork is certainly solid, and the style has a sort of consistency that adds to the “history” a number of these characters have–with each other, and in the recent DCU.

The story’s solid, as we pick up on earlier plot threads and they’re given more depth, while the overall scope of Blackest Night continues to ripple outward as the threat-level ratchets upward beyond even what we saw in the Sinestro Corps War. The scene with Bzzd–though rather morbid–actually made me laugh at first, with the way it just makes perfect sense, showing how Bzzd WOULD be so extremely dangerous to one who underestimates him.

While this doesn’t really move the overall plot of Blackest Night forward, it’s a solid issue that fleshes things out, developing the situation and showing how this is more than just any other threat the GLs have faced in the past.

Well recommended.

Story: 8/10
Art: 7.5/10
Whole: 8/10

Green Lantern Corps #36 [Review]

Emerald Eclipse part four

Story & Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman w/ Prentis Rollins
Colorist: Randy Mayor
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Cover: Gleason, Buchman & Mayor
Publisher: DC Comics

Soranik confronts Sinestro at length about their relationship and what the Green Lanterns mean to them–and to Korugar. Meanwhile, on Oa the GLs deal with a riot of loosed sciencell prisoners, with all the new changes to the Book of Oa in full effect. Also meanwhile, on Daxam, Sodam & co. face off with the Sinestro Corps. folks, and Sodam takes drastic measures seeking victory over his foes.

I continue to be unimpressed with the art on this title. I keep reading because of the story, because I’ve been drawn into pretty much everything GL-related the last couple years–particularly heading toward Blackest Night. But I just don’t like the visual style…it’s too cartooney somehow…it almost puts me in mind of “Americanized manga” where it’s not quite a “full” cartooney look (like a kids’ tv show) nor is it realistic-looking enough to shake that sense of “cartooney.”

The story is quite good; setting up logical relationships, expanding on concepts introduced the last few issues (and years). Events are unfolding in a fairly organic way that makes sense, and though we know this is headed toward the next “big story,” things don’t feel forced.

We’re really into the heart of this story now, so unless you’ve picked up the last couple issues, this won’t be the best point for a new reader to jump on. At the same time, if you’re just looking for grand-scale GL action, you certainly get that here. Characters are interesting and more than 2-d; the Sinestro/Soranik relationship makes perfect sense; even Sodam’s actions make sense and show us a bit more of who he is as a character…and acknowledges characters’ major beats from the last several years.

Recommended.

Story: 8/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 7.5/10

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