I think what’s impressed me the most about the direction the different Green Lanterns have taken after Wrath of the First Lantern is how each one now has a defined role rather than all just being “human Green Lanterns.” Hal is the new leader, John is the drill sergeant, Guy is the diplomat (HAH!) and Kyle is the explorer. Justin Jordan continues, as I previously mentioned, to redefine Rayner’s role as a sort of USS Enterprise of the Corps, exploring strange, new worlds, boldly going etc., etc. And like the Enterprise, his role as the White Lantern means he’s got a ridiculous level of power, but that doesn’t stop him from being shocked or overwhelmed by the unexpected, which is why I like it when a problem can’t immediately be solved by blowing it up. Such is the case when Rayner finds himself on a planet that has seemingly achieved total societal and cultural bliss. But, of course, there’s something simmering just under the surface, and that something has sinister (but not Sinestro) written all over it. We also get to see the relationship between Kyle and Carol continue to grow, and while there’s no significant jump this issue, the fact is that Ferris is along on this adventure as opposed to one of the other Lanterns and that seems significant in and of itself.
The pencils are handled by Brad Walker, with Andrew Hennessy on inks, until Geraldo Borges picks up in the middle with Cam Smith on inks and, in what feels like an increasingly common practice: Wil Quintana handles colors from cover-to-cover. There’s a very smooth transition between the styles and the two compliment each other well, so Quintana’s colors make the entire thing feel mostly seamless. This is a great issue for how little violence there is in it (until the end) and that feels right for what this book is setting out to be about. A book about exploring the galaxy and interacting with new, exciting races doesn’t need action as much as it needs interesting character designs and stories, which this issue is overflowing with. It introduces one of the most absolutely interesting concepts for a sci-fi society that I’ve ever heard of.
The artistic shift is still a little jarring, especially as it doesn’t accompany anything in terms of the plot or story. That’s a very minor complaint in what is otherwise a fantastic story.
As much as I actually wound up enjoying Lights Out, I’m glad to see everyone getting back to what they do best, especially in Kyle’s case where what he does best is be amazed by new and strange things. He’s the perfect character to be exploring the wild, bizarre aspects of the universe and this is one helluvan introductory adventure to send him out on. I’m excited to see where it takes him and I’m absolutely thrilled to see that Carol Ferris is along for the ride.