WHAT a breath of fresh air this book has been, and it’s only been two issues! Again, I don’t mean to disparage the previous creative teams, they did a fantastic job telling an epic, sweeping space opera, but after that it’s nice to see Van Jensen (with additional co-plot credit from Robert Venditti) and Bernard Chang get back to the GL Corps being galactic police/peacekeepers. What’s also nice is seeing some major fallout from the last two major events, which saw the Guardians try not only to convert the entire galaxy into their emotionless Third Army, but accidentally unleash a horror from beyond time that nearly wiped out all of creation.
People no longer trust the Green Lantern Corps, even though the Guardians are dead (at least the ones that engineered all of the above horrors) and John Stewart and his new recruits run up against some pretty sturdy opposition, even though they’re where they are to do good. Add that to rings across the spectrum giving out for some unknown reason and Fatality trying to halt a ring of sinister shapeshifters, and you’ve got quite the issue. Jansen writes with great economy, letting new readers in on who’s who while seamlessly writing the characters longtime readers know and love. I love the new recruits, I love the situations they get in and if this issue is any indication, they’re just getting started. Oh and the end of the issue treats us to some of the most honestly horrific and hilarious alien version of dirty talk I’ve ever heard.
Let’s talk about Bernard Chang again, though, because he and colorist Marcelo Maiolo do an exemplary job making this issue pop and gleam. I’ve said it in past reviews, but colors are SO important when you’re dealing with the various Corps, so Maiolo has his work cut out for him, but manages to rise above and beyond the occasion giving life and verve to Chang’s stellar pencils and inks, which again frame the action cleanly and solidly, making both action and conversation exciting.
This issue had a LOT going on in it. Some would say too much. I am part of that some, because this issue is a whole lot to take in. It’s not that the issue ever becomes confusing, but between Stewart and his various wants, the four new recruits and Fatality off doing her own thing, no one group gets very much focus. Stewart is leading the recruits, which is a good move, but between his group, Fatality on her own, the other Lantern entities, the goings on of Oa and some (admittedly great) action scenes, this particular issue feels unfocused and scattershot. I’m hoping these disparate threads unite down the line, but for now I have to acknowledge that the whole thing feels like it could use a few extra pages.
Did I mention the alien dirty talk? This book is still a joy to read, and having too much ambition isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s not completely perfectly executed, but I’m happy that someone is focusing on the smaller Lantern stories. The art is fantastic, the writing goes perhaps a step too far, but not nearly enough to wreck the book, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the title.