The Green Lanterns are having a rough time. For those of you just joining us, things have been bumpy for the Green Lantern Corps since the “Wrath of the First Lantern”. Spoilers ahead for anyone who has not read up to last month’s issue, #22. Since the Guardians died and the New Guardians took over and promptly left for the edge of existence, the Green Lanterns have been forced to rebuild a nearly destroyed Oa all while fighting off Larfleeze and dealing with power rings that randomly stop working.
In Green Lantern Corps #23, things don’t get any easier. In fact, this issue begins to shed light, pun intended, on the “Lights Out” story arc that is set to run in October. We last left Lantern Jordan on Nellewel 3 with several rookie Lanterns. They had been taken prisoner by The Khund. As luck would have it, they were taken prisoner fairly easy because their power rings just stopped working. This wasn’t the first time and, by the feel of things, I doubt it will be the last. Meanwhile, Yrra, a Star Sapphire, is confronting the Durlan, who we’ve come to know are shapeshifters. It is also important to remember that our primary Earth Lanterns are split up. John Stewart is now the star of the Green Lantern Corps series with Kilowog standing where Salaak used to be, though Salaak is still around just not in the same official capacity.
The issue is very solid. The story progresses nicely and we get to learn more about these new rookie Lanterns. So, I appreciate the plot and character development we get from Van Jensen and Robert Venditti. The dialogue is interesting and complex since so much is going on. Throughout the issue we have three distinct stories running and we continue to bounce between them, with all three coming back together. It’s a complex story but Jensen and Venditti handle the plot movement very well. The pace is solid too. I don’t feel like the issue drags at any point nor do I feel like I’m being pushed along too quickly. If anything, I want to know what’s going to happen next!
The illustrations from Bernard Chang are fantastic. Truly, I love the way this series looks. The characters are well defined and consistent across the board. On top of that, the colors from Marcelo Maiolo are brilliant. The Khund, who are very new to the series, have an intense amount of detail to them. I really appreciate the level of detail in their facial features and costume designs.
Overall, this issue isn’t groundbreaking but it definitely adds new depth and detail to an already compelling, intense story arc. The new enemy is devious, intelligent and incredibly powerful all while we get a closer look at why the power rings are failing. The intensity and sharpness of the illustrations add to the compelling nature of the story as a whole. While the story is interesting, the illustrations add the emotion and pressure that is hard to convey in simple dialogue. I can definitely see that Jensen, Venditti, Chang and team are leading up to a very big event. Being in the wake of “Wrath of the First Lantern” certainly means they have some majorly big shoes to fill but I have no doubt that they will pull it off with flying colors. If the “Relic” and “Lights Out” story arcs are anything like the issues leading to them, we haven nothing to worry about.
Check out your other favorite Lanterns:
- Hal Jordan - Green Lantern
- Kyle Rayner - Green Lantern: New Guardians
- Guy Gardner - Red Lanterns
- Simon Baz – (JLA) Justice League of America
- Larfleeze - Larfleeze
In brightest day, in darkest night… no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!