After believing she’d killed Lobo, Kara is driven to the point of madness by rage at seeing him up and about, having actually felt incredible guilt over her actions. The fact that he’s relentlessly taunting her does little to cool the raging inferno. They battle across the planet, even outside of it, before landing in New York where Lobo tries to reason with her. It doesn’t go terribly well. Tony Bedard does a good job of bringing more characterization to the ever-controversial Lobo, revealing more of his sneering, snarling jerk who’s actually good at fighting with his head, and an assortment of gadgets, as he is with his fists and weapons. We even get a glimpse of his ride which is, as the kids say, “off the chain.” That’s still a thing, right?......right? There’s also a pretty sly tongue-in-cheek reference, at least that’s how I took it, between Siobhan and her roommate.
Yildiray Cinar’s pencils along with Ray McCarthy’s inks communicate a tremendous sense of impact and the protracted fight scene that stretches from one end of this book to the other has an incredibly kinetic feel.
For an issue that has a giant fistfight from cover-to-cover, this book moves at an interminably slow pace. Between Lobo narrating exactly what he’s doing from panel-to-panel and Kara spelling out, and really shouting out, what her exact emotional state is and what her motivations are, this book is bogged down in unnecessarily expository dialog. Kara’s temper has been a hallmark of the character for some time now, but this issue feels like it escalates it far, far too quickly in the interests of getting that red ring on her finger. Having her bottle up the rage and then the ring find her the moment it explodes out might have made for a less “forced” plotline. The sense of whimsy and wonder established in the previous storyline is all but gone from Kara, replaced by this one, all-encompassing characteristic: an out-of-control temper tantrum.
This book also has a lot of little problems that add up into a great big one. Lobo talks to Kara while she’s in the vacuum of space. Yes, he’s using his ship’s communicator, but that’s STILL not how that works. He then takes her to New York, assuming that she’d rather talk to him than level the city she’s living in (even though she’s been estranged from it and if her rage is so out of control, why would she settle down so quickly?). Siobhan’s return, funny moment aside, falls flat, especially as there’s an explosion outside her apartment and she merely tells her roommate she’s going out and to not wait up...not the most elegant job covering. The colors are muddy and murky, but that doesn’t feel right for a book like this, one that’s far more sci-fi/superhero themed. It lends the whole thing an air of gloom when it should be frantic and bright. And that’s the one big problem all of these add up to: a lack of coherent storytelling and characterization.
There’s a good match for this concept hiding somewhere in this book, but it’s buried pretty deep at this point. Kara would actually stand out MORE in the Red Lanterns in the state that she’s in for being so completely defined by a single personality trait: her anger. She needs more than that as both an amazing legacy character and the protagonist of her own series. There’s such a rush to show how angry she is this issue that they neglect to show us why we should care.