In Review: Green Lantern #37

With the addition of this villain, Godhead takes a turn to the epic. Good story with great art.

The covers: Two different covers for one to track down and both are very different from what lies inside. The Main cover is by Billy Tan and Alex Sinclair. It’s inspired by Jack Kirby, so this is not the Billy Tan artwork you’re used to seeing. The setting seems to be a brick maze with Black Hand urging some of his reactivated dead after Hal Jordan and Orion. There’s absolutely nothing like this within, but this is sort of interesting to look at. I love Kirby, but I have no idea what sparked an imitation of his style on this, let alone this composition. It’s fine, but why? The Variant cover is by Darwyn Cooke showing Hal flying through space, drawn in the style of the 1990s Batman and Superman cartoons. It’s absolutely awesome and I wish that Cooke would do a series looking like this. Overall grades: Main C and Variant A 

The story: Godhead, Act III, Part I, “The Wall,” by Robert Venditti, begins in the Singularity Stockade, the multiversal prison of the New Gods. Within are those lanterns that were given to the New Gods by the Indigo Tribe. Among them are John Stewart, Sinestro, Kilowog, and Saint Walker. As soon as one releases their energy it’s absorbed by the walls. This seems like the right time for Sinestro to release his ace in the hole to free himself, and he allows Parallax to leave his body, but the entity of fear is shot back into him. There is no way out. Back in Coast City, Black Hand has captured Hal who has gone to him to recruit in the battle against the New Gods, as his is the one ring that they do not want. Black Hand has previously been written as a character who’s gone mad with his power, but is also to be pitied for it. He was a tortured soul. No longer. He’s just insane, like the Joker, but not as crafty. He knows what buttons to push with Hal, and the scenes between them are the best in the book, and when they join forces B.H. still has a surprise or two up his sleeve. And just when I thought that Venditti might have taken the character too far into comedic villainy, the last two panels of Page 10 bring him back to ubber-twisted. There’s a confrontation against a regiment of the New Gods, lead by Orion, with the final page being a major “Uh-oh” moment. Things can now officially go epic. The comedic moments of Black Hand kept this grade a little low. Overall grade: A-

The art: Breakdowns on this book are by Scott McDaniel with Francis Portela ultimately doing the art. I loved the look of this book. It reminded me of Ernie Colon’s artwork, from his Amethyst days, and I’m a huge fan of that series, so I really liked this. The thin linework is beautiful. The unleashing of Parallax is a major moment, and that entity is not the cuddliest of creatures, but it’s impossible not to spend some time drowning in the wonderful look of this character. Black Hand and Hal look equally good, with the former able to communicate a lot with just a glance (Page 7, panel five; panel four, Page 8, panel two, Page 15; and panels two and six on Page 19). The top of Page 12 has some amazing detail in the setting. This location has become a key location in this saga, so I was very pleased to see it look as dramatic as it’s supposed to. Page 14 was a great rah-rah moment, and the battle scenes impressive. This book looks great on every page. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Also being incredibly pleasing to the eye is the work of Brad Anderson. The opening four pages inside the New Gods’ prison are colored softly, being the exact opposite what one would expect of a jail. The soft colors makes the lanterns’ costumes stand out against the metallic prison, and the subtle shading that Anderson is doing is terrific, especially in the characters’ faces–Sinestro and John look great. The first appearance of Hal and Black Hand also looks great with browns being used on the undead and the setting. Doing this makes Hal stand out amazingly and Black Hand being the obvious focus of evil. Terrific work. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Green Lantern go-to letterer Dave Sharpe provides scene setting, opening credits and title, dialogue, yells and screams, and a few key sounds, such as on Page 18. That final sound was perfectly creepy, being an important plot point. Overall grade: A

The final line: Black Hand was a little corny at times, but he got his evil mojo on. With the addition of this villain, Godhead takes a turn to the epic. Good story with great art. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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