Not as good as I would`ve wanted...
At first, I thought that I could write some lame fake-corps fake-oath to this one. Then I started to think sensibly again.
Okay, since this is a book collecting alot of stories (which doesn`t make it an anthology), I think it`s fair to take a look at all of them, indvidually.
Not on the case of the shortest stories though (only few pages), since it would be needless.
Anyways, the shorts are the best part of the trade. Frankly, I thought that the book would be nothing BUT these dark mirror image stories, of the Tales of the Green Lanterns-stories. I hoped for it.
This is not the case. I guess I had forgotten that it also collects one shots, that mostly star Green Lanterns.
I`ll tell about that later.
The pattern of the stories is this: A GL does something, for example, wander in space. A little bit of the character is told. Then, the hero meets a menace, an SC-member. A bit of the SC-member is told, too. They fight. SC-member does something atrocious. The fight ends. So does the story, too. So, instead of telling stories of SC-members acting as the protagonists, the writers and artists tell about the cruelty of these vile villains. That`s cool, but I would still want to see stories of some never before seen (not even chameoing) SC-guys as the protagonists.
I didn`t get my wish fulfilled. But, I got something similar. One of the shorties, tells about the woman who forms three alien hounds with her ring (Karu-Sil). She`s one of the more prominent members of the team, which is probably why she got to be the star of her own story. It`s a great one.
There`s also a story, that doesn`t have Green Lanterns at all. Refreshing.
The Parallax story...tells about Kyle Rayner (which, even if its doesn`t tell about Parallax all that much, can`t be said to have had been a poor call). But Parallax is the other of the two characters who are the only actors in it (the story also has a few panels from Sinestro corps war, that show a few characters). It`s written by Ron Marz, who really knows how to write Kyle, since he`s written him for about a hundred issues. So he must`ve gotten Kyle right (Right? I don`t know. Haven`t read his series) Which is good, since I like the character.
But the story...It`s probably the weakest one in the book. Here`s its plot:
Kyle`s imprisoned inside his head, by Parallax, who is doing evil things by using Kyle as an unwilling host (Because that`s what this boring villain does. Possesses heroes. Which isn`t exactly a new thing.) He`s being his usual a-hole self. Kyle and him battle against each other for a while, and Parallax tells Kyle who he dooms everyone he loves etc. etc. There`s other forced stuff, Kyle momentarily kick Parallax`s butt, and the villain leaves Kyle alone. The story ends to a nice enough, sentimental note. Very ordinary, very average (maybe even below it). Art`s not awesome either, (except in a few panels). But it`s okay, and the artist does nothing wrong.
The Cyborg Superman-piece recaps Henkshaws history, while also adding a few completely new ones (And even one kinda original one, where he visits his wives grave. That`s a shocking one.). Nothing new is added. But if you want to read his history in a compressed, 22 paged comic, instead of the ACTUAL comics where these things happened, you should read it. That`s not why I read it, though. I read it because I paid for this book.
One more thing. I don` t like the art in it. It`s very different from the previous story, in a way I don`t want it to be.
Superman-Prime-story takes the second place (first place is divided between the shorts, just in case you wanted me to repeat it) at being the best that this trade offers. Like pretty much all Geoff Johns written origin stories about obscure characters, this one tells Primes history, while also adding new stuff (almost half of what happens in current time). And if you like the story, you may even sympathize with Prime during some scenes. And it doesn`t feel forced (at least to me).
This being a Geoff Johns-comic, there`s also some stupid stuff, and some of it is actually nice. Unfortunately, there`s also really gory violence. But fortunately, only for one panel. But yeah, there`s violence.
The Ion-story...Well, I`ll review it as it`s own separate review. Just go to the issues page, if you wanna know what I think of it.
Secret files...It`s got a short story and loads of short bios ( hundreds, it says on the issues description) of GL-and SC-members. These are always great. Especially if, like me, you wanted to know a bit more about some SC-members secret origins. A few sentences may not seem alot, but they tell you all you need to know. The ish also has a shortie that tells about a GL-member. It`s a nice one.
Oh, and the covers, The best ones are by Ethan van Sciver, Benes-one is kinda meh (unless you like Benes`s style) and Reis-ones are okay.
Also, if you wanna know for sure whether to buy this or not, I suggest you to borrow it for a read from somewhere (a friend of yours, a library etc.). If you really want to, I guess you should buy it. I don`t really regret buying it, so there`s a possibility that you might not, either.