Green Lantern #22 - Training Day
Cover Art: 4/5
Billy Tan does a good job on the cover art with this weeks (6/30/13) installment of Green Lantern #22. The image very much correlates to the actual story, which is sometimes rare nowadays (see Superman # 21 if you need a prime example of covers not correlating to the story). The imagery is simple enough to understand, with Larfleeze and his Orange Constructs bearing down on Hal Jordon, who is protecting his brand new crop of Green Lanterns who cower behind him. I collect my comics digitally, so the color scheme on this cover is very vibrant. The bold use of the orange seemingly overpowering the green is symbolic to the battle that occurs in the pages of this book. This is definitely one of the top 5 of the 25 covers from the Green Lantern new 52 series.
Story Line: 5/5 SPOILER ALERT!
This story picks up from issue #21 where Larfleeze, The SOLE lantern of the Orange Lanterns that represent the emotional spectrum of Avarice, or greed. Larfleeze's constructs are a bit unique as they are technically not real people, but act somewhat like a worker bee with Larfleeze being the "Hive Queen". It is pretty easy to control their actions because they have only one goal, get all the treasure! Larfleeze knows that with the change of guard in OA, the Green Lanterns base of operations, the time is NOW for the taking of all goodies. Larfleeze and his "menagerie" show up at the same time a fresh batch of Green Lanterns show up looking for training from Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan fights off Larfleeze while simultaneously training his new GL's on how to use their rings and get them into the fight as well. Hal Jordan, Kilowog, and the new recruits hold off Larfleeze long enough for Saint Walker, the Blue Lantern that represent the emotional spectrum of HOPE which also boosts a Green Lanterns energy output, and a Star Sapphire, which represents the emotional spectrum of LOVE, show up to aid in the battle. During the Battle, the Star Sapphire is killed by an onslaught of Orange Agents and her ring finds its new host on the finger of Queen Nol-Anj, a prisoner on OA. Nol-Anj has obviously been pulling the long con on her warden, Green Lantern Cossite, and convinces him to release her from her cell to accept the Star Sapphire ring. Cossite, knowing the ring only chooses beings capable of great love, frees his capture only to get a Star Sapphire spear through the gut for his effort. Queen Nol-Anj's love was not for Cossite, but for her "people". Cossite is the second death of this battle and of this book. Hal Jordan, overwhelmed and about to overrun, comes up with a plan. That is what he is good at. He commands Kilowog to send out all the ships in the hangar and to call the ships "treasure". This forces Larfleeze to make a choice, and his greed makes him follow the ships away from OA giving the Green Lanters a bit of a respite. We see the newly ringed Star Sapphire Nol-Anj in one of the ships and she is heading back to her people to reclaim her title as their Queen.
Story Art: 4/5
You may sometimes think you are reading a Jim Lee drawn book when flipping through a Billy Tan drawn comic, but, when you look closer, you realize this is no work of Jim Lee. The style is so similar, but Billy Tan is just not as crisp and expressive with his art as Jim Lee is. It is like comparing a butter knife to a Ginsu knife, you just 't always get the same result. That being said, Billy Tan does do as great a job that I can expect from Billy Tan! Larfleezes constructs are well done as well as all of the Lanterns constructs. I am sure the G-Man will continue his "shark" theme with a "best of" shout out from this issue of a Green Lantern Shark construct biting the crap out of an Orange Lantern devil fish construct. There has been a lot of sharks in these last three weeks from Thor God of Thunder to now Green Lantern. Sharks are cool so its okay. The only real negative about the art in this issue I have is that there are multiple times when Billy Tan has drawn Hal Jordan in too close resemblance to Kyle Rayner. There are many times that I had to make sure it wasn't Kyle Rayner. Take a look and judge for yourself. That IS Hal Jordan and NOT Kyle Rayner by the way.
Overall: 4/5 I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and there is really no need to research back stories to feel "caught up" Robert Venditti does a good job explaining what each Lantern can do and what they represent and how the rings work throughout the book, so it is literally a training experience for the new Green Lantern recruits as well as anyone looking to start here with their Green Lantern story. It is unusual to see deaths in comics these days, but I guess the essence of the Green Lanterns is that it is a universal police force, and sometimes officers die in the line of battle.