Archive for Guy Gardner

Green Lantern Corps #36

Posted in Comics, DC, Green Lantern with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st May, 2009 by Adam Redsell
A temporary lapse in judgement.

A temporary lapse in judgement.

“Emerald Eclipse: Part Four”
Author: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Rebecca Buchman & Prentis Rollins
Colorist: Randy Mayor
Cover Artists: Gleason, Buchman & Mayor
Alternate Cover Artist: Rodolfo Migliari
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Adam Schlagman

I’ll level with you: I was more than a little disappointed with this issue of Green Lantern Corps.  And that’s a little more complimentary than it sounds at first.  See, I’ve come to expect a high level of quality out of both Green Lantern titles, because they’ve been the most consistent books on the shelves for quite some time.  Unfortunately, this particular issue is *not too bad* as opposed to ‘good’ or ‘great’ – a temporary lapse in quality, or a slump, if you will.  This is mainly attributable to two things: the flat opening, and inconsistencies in Patrick Gleason’s art.

The opening reveal wasn’t nearly as earth-shattering as it could have been.  It was surprising, but its subsequent explanation felt really contrived and was dryly delivered.  On the back of Tomasi’s emotionally-charged Star Sapphire arc, I found this even more surprising.  The revelations imparted did add yet another dimension to Sinestro’s character – it just lacked the sugar to help the medicine go down.  The issue finishes quite strongly, but his Mongul scenes lacked the visceral punch they usually have.  Tomasi practically built Mongul into the menace he is today, but on this occasion he felt kind of…soft.  All is not lost, though – there are still some good lines to be had from both Sinestro and Mongul.

The Great Prison Break on Oa was strangely scripted as well.  There was a voiceover of sorts echoing through the halls of the Sciencells, but it was unclear as to who was speaking.  Was it a computer?  Was it a Guardian?  Was it the power battery?  I couldn’t tell, but who/whatever it was, that speech was a little kooky.

Probably the biggest letdown was Patrick Gleason’s art, though.  Gleason is usually very solid, consistent, and adept at drawing action scenes.  This time faces morphed from panel to panel, and details were fudged in big action sequences.  I should mention that this doesn’t happen in every panel – some panels are up to scratch – there’s just noticeable dips in quality quite frequently.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and that is the battle on Daxam between Sodam Yat (Ion) and Sinestro Corps usurper Mongul.  Sodam Yat’s character gets stronger and stronger with each appearance – you may remember him kicking ass in Legion of 3 Worlds recently – and I’m happy to report he kicks ass again here.  Think Goku’s Spirit Bomb in Dragonball and you should have an idea of the gravity of this sequence.

Ultimately this feels like an important Green Lantern story.  It’s just a pity that the execution was kind of lacking this time.

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Green Lantern #40

Posted in Comics, DC, Green Lantern with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell
Looks can be deceiving.

Looks can be deceiving.

Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: Philip Tan
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: Nei Ruffino
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Artists: Tan, Glapion and Ruffino
Alternate Cover Artist: Rodolfo Migliari
Associate Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
“Tales of the Orange Lanterns: Weed Killer” Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

Let’s start with the cover.  ‘Prelude to Blackest Night.’  Okay.  ‘Green Lantern vs. Agent Orange.’  Now, that’s a little bit misleading.  Sorry folks, but Hal Jordan won’t be fighting Agent Orange in this issue.  That’s not to say that Green Lantern #40 isn’t already packed with exciting stuff, but the cover art is probably more indicative of what will happen next issue.

Thankfully, everything else about the cover art is very indicative of what you can expect to see inside this issue.  And that is brilliant comic action depicted by the art team of Tan, Glapion and Ruffino.  It’s good to see the full complement of inker, colorist and letterer credited on the splash page of this issue, because I don’t think their roles could possibly be overstated in making Green Lantern the quality title it has been from month to month since 2004.  It’s amazing to see the book that used to be characterised by green and green only grow into what is essentially the most colourful series on comic store shelves, month-in month-out.  The book opens with purple, moving on to green and blue, and then of course, orange.  The brilliant colours and pencil work on the cover are consistent throughout the entire story.  Philip Tan’s pencils are dynamic and perfectly suited to the breakneck action that fills these pages.  Take the cover art alone, for instance: Agent Orange grips Hal Jordan’s neck possessively; a hungry reptilian maw burning from his other hand; Hal threshes in frustration, his green constructs shattering on his opponent’s chest.  It really says all you need to know about the character and his insatiable thirst for more.  The unsung hero of Green Lantern comics is of course the letterer (in this case Rob Leigh), whose ring transmissions and ring commands are always interesting to look at.  All of these elements work together to generate the atmosphere that is unmistakably Green Lantern.

Geoff Johns must have heeded our general weariness for Hal Jordan’s narrative recaps in the opening of every single Green Lantern issue, instead shifting them to the sixth and seventh pages!  Newsflash, Geoff: an annoying narrative recap is still an annoying narrative recap, even if it comes five or six pages later!  Imagine how this is going to read in a trade!  I can count ten out of sixteen caption boxes that this glorious two-page splash could have done without.  While I understand the desire to get new readers up to speed, especially those who may have jumped on board for Blackest Night, there’s got to be a more economic way of doing it.  In fact, most of the dialogue contains enough incidental information to get by.  Luckily there’s enough action unfolding on-page that it doesn’t really slow things down.

The opening story snippet hints at big things to come for John Stewart, which is interesting, considering this book’s one-eyed focus on Hal Jordan since Rebirth.  It stands to reason that Lantern Stewart would have his time to shine – Green Lantern Corps centres around Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner – so he has been without a comic book home for quite some time.  In fact, I seem to remember an interview with Geoff Johns last year indicating that Green Lantern would focus on the adventures of Hal and John, while the support book deals with Kyle and Guy.  I guess that time is now.

It’s all happening in the Vega system at the moment, which should excite fans of Alan Moore.  Johns himself must be a huge Alan Moore fan – just about every single issue up to now seems to contain at least one tip of the hat to his Tales of the Green Lantern Corps.  The beleagured Guardians introduce a fourth new law to the Book of Oa, and it’s refreshing to finally see some resistance to all this revisionism from within the ranks.  The Guardians themselves embark on a mission, and so we’re starting to see a more interventionist creed taking root here.  Hal Jordan is a nerd’s dream come true as he struggles to reconcile his blue ring’s powers with his green ring.  The blue ring gives us a glimpse of Hal Jordan’s deepest hopes, which hints at a possible future.  I’m starting to see the setup here, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone with further details.

Once again we see Larfleeze (Agent Orange) gripping the orange power battery in his cave.  I love this depiction of the character; his posture says “MINE!”  Thanks again to Philip Tan.

Unfortunately, the core story caps off at 18-pages, and we have a backup feature to conclude.  The good news is that it’s still entertaining and very Moore-ian.  The bad news is the change of artist – not because Rafael Albuquerque’s art is unwelcome; in fact it’s quite good – it just makes the overall product feel a little inconsistent.  The four-page story is titled “Tales of the Orange Lanterns: Weed Killer”, and narrates the origin of Glomulus, one of the orange constructs that debuted four pages earlier.  You may remember Albuquerque’s work on Blue Beetle (though judging by the sales figures, probably not!), and it’s actually well-suited to this type of story.  It’s just that I would have preferred to see this and other stories like it in a separate tie-in, to make room for the main feature.  It does flesh out the character, but it feels a little strange, given that Glomulus is essentially dead, and lives only as a construct within Agent Orange’s power battery (as do all the Orange Lanterns).

All in all, we have a pretty juicy issue of Green Lantern to dig into this month, even without the cover’s promised match-up.