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Green Lantern #52 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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

Green Lantern Corps #45 [Review]

Red Dawn

Story and Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen
Colorist: Randy Mayor
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Gleason, Buchman, Mayor
Editor: Adam Schlagman
Published by: DC Comics

For the most part, this issue is Red Lantern Guy Gardner fighting against his friends, trying to kill them. As a Red Lantern he’s enraged at the Green Lanterns. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately) for Guy, the very planet he stands on is a member of the GL Corps, and where the other Green Lanterns fail to stop Guy, Mogo is–at Kyle’s persistence that Guy not be simply killed–is moved to provide a solution for his miniscule-by-comparison comrade.

The story here is fairly simple, but it’s effective. A couple issues back, Guy was possessed by a red ring when his rage flared at what he thought was the death of his best friend. Though Kyle was brought back, Guy remained a Red Lantern and did some nasty stuff to wipe out a bunch of the Black Lanterns threatening Oa. With the immediate threat of the Black Lanterns taken care of by Mogo, the remaining threat became Guy himself, who was in possession of both a red and a green ring. Tomasi uses this issue to give us some serious Guy time, as we see the battle for his heart play out. The writing and art blend particularly with a double-page spread that shows us moments from throughout a lotta years of Guy’s history.

As usual, I’m not a fan of Gleason‘s visual style, but with that spread particularly, scenes are recognizable and that is definitely a good thing. The final page of the issue has a fairly iconic sort of image that works fairly well despite my not liking the style.

This issue feels fairly epic despite its localized setting and there really not being any Black Lanterns. We have the “redemption” of Guy, and a solidification of some important elements to the character. Though this could just as easily have been a send-off, it is more a celebration of the character, firmly establishing him (if there remained any doubt) as one of THE Green Lanterns. Mogo’s solution to deal with the red ring seems to be Tomasi providing a bit of retconning of Guy’s character…but in a way that keeps the past intact while fully freeing the character to move on without being tethered to the past.

Overall, a nice character-driven issue, and well worth getting–particularly for fans of Guy Gardner.

Recommended.

Story: 8/10
Art: 5/10
Overall: 7/10

Green Lantern #50 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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

Green Lantern Corps #44 [Review]

Red Badge of Rage part 2

Story & Words: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman, Tom Nguyen, Keith Champagne & Gleason
Colorists: Randy Mayor & Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Gleason, Buchman, & Mayor (Variant by Greg Horn)
Editor: Adam Schlagman

We left off in the previous issue with the arrival of Mogo at Oa. Mogo, of course, being the Green Lantern that “don’t socialize,” due to…well, being a planet. Gravitational pull and all that. Of course, the Black Lanterns devouring will, intent upon destruction of the central Green Power Battery, seems to be enough of an emergency to bring Mogo. While the GLs deal with the arrival of their largest representative, they also have a rage-fueled Red Lantern Guy Gardner to contend with…and the fact that Guy is currently filling the role of the Red Lantern he and Kyle initially sought to unleash upon the Black Lanterns. Though one problem gets at least a temporary solution…the GLs are left with the other problem, which is ready to do them great bodily harm.

The story here is interesting enough, if not entirely entertaining. I certainly appreciate Tomasi’s keeping focused on the events of Oa–while other Blackest Night books focus on Earth and other individual characters, much of the battle at Oa unfolds in this series. If the Sinestro Corps War applied significant change to Guy and Kyle, Blackest Night will certainly leave a mark on them, and the potential–at the very least–is exciting.

Unfortunately–as I seem to be commenting on with every single issue I review of this book–the art is not to my liking. It’s not bad in and of itself, but it is very stylistic, and I just don’t care for the look. A double-page spread of Guy flying at the reader, for example, seems so much like a caricature that I have to remind myself that it is supposed to be Guy Gardner.

Important as the issue’s events are, this is hardly the best chapter tying in to Blackest Night. Obviously if you’re following the event as a whole, this’ll be worth picking up; ditto if you’re following the series itself. As a new entry point, though, I definitely cannot recommend this issue.

Story: 7/10
Art: 4/10
Overall: 5.5/10

Green Lantern Corps #42 [Review]

Hungry Heart

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

This issue is mostly battle scenes, as we see the Green Lanterns (with help from the Indigo Tribe) defending Oa from the Black Lanterns. Killowog faces the Black Lanterns of recruits who try to stir up his guilt for failing to keep them alive. And the Black Lanterns reach 100% power…and prepare to Devour WILL. With things looking bleak, Kyle seizes on an idea that might just buy the defenders an edge–and sets his plan into motion. Unfortunately, an Alpha Lantern’s interference sends things in a less than desireable direction.

The ending of this issue was pretty much what I expected as the story progressed–from the moment the Alpha Lantern showed up, I had a sinking feeling…and the heroic action that resulted left me all the more sunk. The final page, seeing the body and the ring’s declaration that its Green Lantern was deceased and flying off…totally heart-breaking. Especially given WHO it was.

The action in this issue was so fast-paced that I hardly noticed the art. Where I did notice it, it didn’t seem all that bad. Gleason’s art seems much more well-suited for the alien characters; and even the cartooney aspect that usually bothers me so much didn’t really show through in this issue. The story was basically a straight-forward battle sequence followed by a fairly typical “heroic death” sequence. While significant in and of itself, it’s nothing special, and is rather formulaic in execution.

On the whole, a mostly average issue tending toward the better side for me as one who generally has not liked the visual style of the title’s artist. While the death at the end sucks, it fits in with the story, and provided me the biggest “Oh, crap!” moment since the end of Blackest Night #1. I must also applaud all involved for not letting this slip beforehand–I had no idea this was going to be the issue’s end when I bought the issue.

As usual, I certainly recommend this to anyone following the title anyway or Blackest Night as a whole.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 6.5/10

Green Lantern Corps #41 [Review]

Hungry Heart

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

As with a number of Blackest Night issues, this issue deals with a number of different ongoing scenes, with a couple dominating the book. While we see Soranik and crew dealing with the Black Ring/Lantern assault on wounded GLs, we also see Arisia facing her uncle, father, and mother who were GLs before her and who had died in service to the GL Corps. We also see Kilowog cut loose against the Black Lantern version of his old mentor and trainer from his own days as a rookie GL. And as the cover shows, we see a bunch of children of the GLs raised by the black rings…and “backup” arrives, ready to kick butt.

All in all, a swiftly moving issue. Tomasi–as with his other Blackest Night chapter this week in the Batman tie-in–shows that he’s got a great handle on the characters involved and things that make them tick–such that the manipulations of the Black Lanterns have something to grab hold of to try to move these characters to particular emotions in preparation for harvesting their hearts. While it’s easy to give Johns much of the credit for Blackest Night, Tomasi‘s getting a lot of moments to shine…and even this issue seems like it may have a huge event in it that isn’t explicitly followed up on.

Gleason‘s art fits the usual expectation for this title, keeping a good handle on what’s going on from place to place/scene to scene. While I (as usual) care little for this style on a number of characters, the artist’s style works well for me in terms of the Black Lanterns. Something seemed really “off” when it came to the visuals of Kilowog, though, and that really pulled me out of the story.

We’re not even halfway through Blackest Night as a whole…there are still 5 issues of the main series, a couple more issues to the first round of minis, a bunch of tie-ins in other titles in november, another round of minis, plus a month of one-shots, plus the requisite GLC and GL issues and probably some wrap up stuff that’ll technically be part of the event.

It’s a lot of elements that make this what it is…while I’ve not been overly ENJOYING this title’s chapters due to the art style, on the whole I’m finding a lot to enjoy with the event…so it’s quite cool that unlike the first round of minis, we’re not ALREADY hitting some conclusion.

I’ve said it before and expect I’ll continue to reiterate it in the coming months: this truly feels like what Infinite Crisis and/or Final Crisis combined SHOULD have been. Length, scope…sheer depth for the characters.

This issue is hardly the point to jump in cold…but for readers following Blackest Night, this is well worth getting and reading–we even see where at least a couple of the shorts from this summer’s Tales of the Corps come into play–they provided context that otherwise would’ve left two key scenes in this book to fall flat.

Story: 8/10
Art: 6/10
Whole: 7/10

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

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