There’s big trouble brewin’ for John Stewart and the rest of the Corps as an unknown force is targeting Green Lantern Sector Houses for destruction, while taking the Lanterns inside of them hostage. Van Jensen, with Robert Venditti, has brought an absolute dream of mine to the page: when it was first announced that the Lantern books were getting all new creators (after the sliiiiiiiiiiight hiccup), I posited on the podcast that it would be awesome to see one of the books actually portray the Lanterns acting like space cops. You know...their essential function? This issue not only has them unraveling a mystery, but doing so using actual forensics to reconstruct how the attack went down. Jensen, as always, displays a command of the massive cast, giving a unique voice to each character. I'm a particularly big fan of how he writes the distension in the ranks with some actual clarity of purpose rather than just having a few of the Corps members being weirdly unreasonable for the sake of creating conflict.
Bernard Chang handles most of the linework duties and, as always, does an absolutely stellar job. The level of detail he puts into these characters and the sheer diversity of each of the various Lanterns is stunning and I have no idea how he manages it. Sure, some of the characters existed beforehand, but plenty were and are brand-new. The visual style is sharp and crisp while maintaining a veneer of smoothness. We also get Sean Chen penciling a few of the pages with Walden Wong on inks and Marcelo Maiolo coloring the whole thing. These pages, partially due to Maiolo’s gloriously varied and expressive colors, work fairly well for the change in location and keep the story moving at a good clip.
Most artistic shifts are jarring at the best of times, and this one DOES accompany a different location, but there’s still little justification beyond the practical (likely having to do with a deadline) and while it isn’t BAD, it does fall a little flat next to Chang’s. A central point in this storyline has to do with the core Green Lantern storyline and, while it may be explained in another issue, it seems extraordinarily odd and out of place in this one. I’m happy we’re not still seeing these titles stuck in a neverending crossover chain, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them exist completely on their own for at least a FEW issues.
The Green Lantern book I’ve been waiting for continues to live up to my expectations. Seeing the Lanterns behave like actual law enforcers is a delightful shift from their “saving the universe from cosmic apocalypses,” which is seems like it should be another branch, is a breath of fresh air for well-trod characters. I truly hope this new role for Corps remains an ongoing thing, because I personally can’t get enough of it and I know I’m not the only one.