My last review expressed some frustration at an inability to tell the khund from the Durlans in conversation and being confused as to if there WAS any difference, and this issue does a great job of addressing exactly that. Van Jensen may have written a holding pattern/expository issue, but it’s an issue that very badly needed to be written, and it’s a highly entertaining one. We get to see the origin of the most mysterious race involved in the conflict with the Green Lanterns, but it’s not an issue bereft of modern conflicts. We see Mogo unleash its power in a way that doesn't utilize its power as a member of the Corps, but is incredible to behold. It’s a great, organic way to overcome the threat of a villain that can become almost literally anything it chooses to be without resorting to a cop-out. They even mention that their plan was intended to be used on Oa and taht being on Mogo has radically altered all of their mission parameters.
The art in this issue is divided up among many names including Scott Kolins, Chris Batista, LeBeau Underwood and Marc Deering, but we’ve got Marcelo Maiolo holding it DOWN on colors through the entire thing, and that on its own deserves special mention. The colors in this issue are beautifully evocative and sustain a quality and detail throughout, which cannot be easy.
I’m considering ignoring artist solicits as Bernard Chang not only isn’t the linework artist, he isn’t A linework artist for the second or third time in this title. The ones who are on the book do a generally good job on the pages they do, but there are so many of them that there isn’t any kind of consistent tone to the book. Flashbacks and current scenes are drawn by divergent artists, some panels lack a great deal of detail, one scene of the khund emerging comes off as more comedically absurd than horrifying, and the entire book feels scattershot and unfocused as a result. The beginning is needlessly baffling and doesn't clarify until much, much later in the book.
I’m still very glad this issue exists. It helps clarify one of the largest gulfs in knowledge that has been a sticking point since the crossover began and none of the artists do a bad job, in fact they’re all good, but there are just so many breakneck shifts from one page to the next that it’s difficult to keep up with all the different styles and the pace of the book suffers as a result. We get the durlans from planet Durla, but they’re NOT the race of orange-skinned antennaed shapeshifters, they’re something else entirely and that part makes the first 2/3s of the issue incredibly difficult to wrap your mind around. This is still a very good, very necessary issue in the grand scheme of both the book and the greater crossover, but I don’t get why it was divided up like this.