Monday, July 13, 2009

Green Lantern #43 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Inkers: Christian Alamy
Colorist: Randy Mayor

Story – Blackest Night Prologue: Tale of the Black Lantern

After going through two arcs were it felt as though Johns was phoning it in we finally get a good solid effort by Johns on Green Lantern. The biggest weakness of "Agent Orange" was that it felt as though Johns was stretching a story that was clearly made to be told two issues into a four part story. With all of Johns recent work on Green Lantern I was actually becoming worried that he was losing it and that the pressure of providing the epic story that fans have was getting to him. But issues like Green Lantern #43 made me remember just how good Johns is.

I like that it only took Johns one issue to gives us the back story of the leader of the Black Lanterns, Black Hand, and what dead characters we expect to see become Black Lanterns. Even though we got some of William Hand's, Black Hand, origin story back in the "Secret Origins" arc I thought the expansion Johns made on his origin to be well done. There has already been a creepiness factor built into some of the Red and Orange Lanterns as they possess a horror picture character type feel to them but what Johns did with Black Hand in this issue put Black Hand and the Black Lanterns on a different level. All the scenes with Black Hand in this issue, especially his suicide, all had a creepy vibe to them which the final splash page of the issue just into a sick moment, as can be seen in this week's Legen--wait for it--dary Highlights of the Week.

Doug Mahnke artwork on the issue made the whole story in this issue, especially the ending, even better. Mahnke provided the solid artwork that Green Lantern has been missing. Hopefully Mahnke can stay on schedule as his artwork is a great fit for this title.

Also, while none of the future Black Lanterns where surprising, as DC has spoiled who most of the members are going to be, it thought making Black Hand the Herald of the Black Lanterns, like Ion, Parallax and Predator, was a good move. This puts more of an emphasis on Black Hand and what makes him special within all the star power that the Black Lanterns will have.

Issue Rating
Story: 7.8/10 – Johns provided a solid origin story to Black Hand and the Black Lanterns as he shows he can still do a solid job with one issue stories.
Art: 9.7/10 – Mahke's artwork throughout the issue was excellent. Hopefully he can keep to the schedule as he could do an excellent job with the tie-in issues Green Lantern is going to have with Blackest Night.
Overall: 8.75/10 – Green Lantern #43 was a very good issue that does a nice job setting up Blackest Night. While I have my reservations about the event I fully expect that Johns will be able to deliver with Blackest Night.