Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Lantern #38 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inkers: Onclair Albert
Colorist: Nei Auffino

Story - Rage of the Red Lanterns: Part 4

Does anyone else have that old Power Rangers theme song running through there head when they read this issue or was it just me? Just something about seeing Hal as a hybrid Green, Red, Yellow, and Blue Lantern just had me hear that old White Ranger song from when I was a kid. The whole color and emotional spectrum kind of gives Green Lantern a feel of Power Rangers meets Captain Planet.

Still, Green Lantern #38 did a good job closing this Red Lantern arc. Geoff Johns has done an impressive job showing how differently each Lantern Corp behaves and fights during battle. Through the leaders of each Corps you can see how all the different corp members are suppose to fight in order to get the maximum out of their Rings. with Hal and Kyle it is shown that the Green Lanterns are all about focus with them being the most creative while fighting due to using different constructs to fight there enemy. With the Yellow Lanterns Sinestro shows that they are a group all about precision looking for an opening in there enemies attack (just like fear preys on the weakness of a human). Then with the Red Lanterns they are all about brute force as they get stronger the angrier they get. And the opposite is for the Blue Lanterns as they are all about finding their calm center similar to those who are practitioners of Tai Chi. The last group is the Violet Lanterns who seem to employ more manipulation as they try and "convince" those they fight to believe in love. All of these various styles is what has made it fun to see all the Lantern Corps fight one another as it brings a some unpredictability to all the fighting. It will be interesting to see when we see how the Orange, Idingo, and Black Lanterns fight and what they will bring to the table as each one pushes the other to their limits.

With all the various fighting styles Johns also does a good job giving us some nice dialogue in order to convey just how chaotic the fighting between the Red, Yellow, and Blue Lanterns are. Johns did an especially nice job showing all the conflicting emotions he has within him as he has to deal with the Red and Green ring each vying for control and later the Blue. Hal has always had trouble controlling his emotions as he is all over the place sometimes and that he is still suffering from the affects of being combined with Parallax for so long. It will be interesting to see what the after-affects will be of Hal having three different rings on at the same time. The hybrid Green, Red, and Blue Lantern became during his short fight with Atroticus was a very cool to see and adding more foreshadowing to Hal becoming a White Lantern that I mentioned in my review for issue #37.

Also I liked the idea of the Blue Lanterns are only at their strongest when they are next to a Green Lantern. Hope has already been shown to be the strongest of all the Lantern Corps so they did need to have some sort of weakness. It will be interesting to see were Johns goes with this as the Blue Lanterns try and build more of a relationship with the Green Lanterns. It will also be interesting to see how the Guardians feel about this as it is two of there former Guardians that are now leading the Blue Lanterns.

I also thought it was a cool thing that Johns addressed the fact that Mongul and Arkillo are battling one another for control of the Sinestro Corps over in Green Lantern Corps. It makes me look more forward to the fight as we will see Sinestro and those loyal to him intervene. It looks to be a bloody battle as we see a triple threat match between three of the strongest members in the Sinestro Corps.

Even though I enjoyed this issue I did have some problems with this issue. My biggest problem with this issue is that it felt more like I was reading a prologue to Blackest Night than a closing chapter to the Red Lantern arc. I understand that we are building towards Blackest Night were we see Carol joining the Violet Lanterns, the tease of Sinestro joining the fight on Daxam (which I don't see us getting for a while), Atroticus looking for another prophecy, more Blue Lantern recruitment, and teases of the Orange and Black Lanterns felt like a bit much. Up until now Johns has done a nice job keeping the flow to feel natural but shifting through these scenes, especially at the end of the issue, it just reminds me that we are still a ways of before Blackest Night resolves as there are still many events that need to happen before the War of Light happens.

Also the other problem I had with the issue is actually the Origins and Omens back-up. I found the last page to be very cool with some interesting images of the future. The thing I did not like is that the back-up story before the last page seemed to take place after the Agent Orange story arc that is suppose to take place in the next few issues of Green Lantern. It bothers me that they mention that one of the Green Lanterns talking to John asking him how he feels after his fight with the Orange Lanterns. Also that we see Hal back to normal as a Green Lantern since the last time we saw him he was seen as a hybrid Green and Blue Lantern. Outside of the last page I have not read any Origins and Omens that actually had spoilers for a storyline which is what the back-up story in this issue does.

Now as always Ivan Reis does an excellent job with his art as he crams a lot of detail in his art. Reis gives this issue a frenetic pace as you do not know who will come out on top in the fight between so many different characters. He does an excellent job giving us plenty of beautiful art especially when it came to the splash pages.

Issue Rating
Story: 8.2/10 - Even though Johns seem to be splitting his focus throughout the issue he still did a nice job keeping the flow of the dialogue feel natural and not forcing anything.
Art: 9/10 - Reis continues to do a fantastic job as he shows that he is one of the best cosmic artist in the business.
Overall: 8.6/10 - Even though this issue read more like a prologue than an actual closing chapter it was still a very entertaining issue that has me looking forward to all the various plotlines that are being build as we head into Blackest Night.