In Review: Green Lantern #40

The story underwhelms, but the visuals are good.

The covers: Hal Jordan is beating the tar out of Kilowog. The human is atop the Boloviaxian, causing the alien to go down under the fury of his punches. But what’s with Hal’s right hand? Is that gauntlet and the device on his back ring constructs, or are they something else? Only by reading this issue will readers find out, because this scene does occur. The image is by Billy Tan and Jason Wright. I love the looks on both characters’ faces and this is an image that shows both of them looking strong. The Movie Poster Variant is by Tony Harris and it’s a take on the classic 2001 A Space Odyssey poster which had a super close-up of Dave Bowman’s face above the reveal on the moon. This image has Hal in Dave’s spot, while below him some members of the Corps have discovered a power battery buried on the moon. Harris did an excellent job on this image and the text at the bottom mirrors a movie poster’s credits. This was the cover I had to purchase. Overall grades: Both A

The story: This is an odd duck of a story that had me shaking my head at the end. Robert Venditti’s “Resolutions” opens with Hal breaking into the Green Lantern Corps’ evidence vault. He reaches for a gauntlet and power pack (the same seen on the cover) and straps it on, just as Kilowog arrives. His angry friend says, “You want it to come to this. You want to be a traitor.” Hal doesn’t say a word as Kilowog powers up his ring saying, “Gimmie your best shot.” The scene then goes back in time to “Earlier,” as the Guardians decide to play their final gambit after a quick discussion. What that gambit is involves Hal and Kilowog. They have a scene on three pages that explains the beginning of this issue and leads to an expected confrontation. Given what’s told on these pages, the rest of the book is really predictable. I found it hard to believe that the second person through the door on Page 16 doesn’t have more doubts about what’s occurred, given his lengthy history with Hal. I’ll admit to being touched by what happens on Page 15–What Lantern fan wouldn’t be, but for the story as a whole, I was left feeling indifferent. The book ends proclaiming, “In Two Months, a Bold New Era Begins!!!” This is obviously Convergence fallout, but Hal will get out of this, because he always does. Just not feeling the tension. Overall grade: C

The art: The first eight pages of this book had me wondering who the guest penciller was. Imagine my surprise when I went back to see that it was Billy Tan penciling and Mark Irwin inking the entire issue. Pages 2 and 3 look nothing like this pair’s work. Hal’s drawn in a lot of darkness, intended to make him look sinister, but it only makes the art looked rushed. Not helping is Kilowog’s arrival, who’s in silhouette for the first two panels. Page four is an unbelievably bland page with the faces on the Guardians simple and the final panel too large for what’s shown and the amount of dialogue given. The three pages that follow have Hal’s nose really inconsistent–some times it’s big and sometimes it’s small. The cartoonish reaction is effective, though. Only when the story resumes where it began does the art reach the heights that I know this artistic team are capable of. These two can definitely draw a fight scene and this is one mama of a fight. Pages 14 and 15 are visual heartbreakers, with the final page being free of all text to allow the emotion to soak into readers, and I was a sponge that took all of it in. I really liked the final panel of the issue, even if I didn’t like the reasons behind it. Overall grade: B

The colors: The backpack and gauntlet that Hal steals and later uses gives Tony Avina many opportunities to show he’s skillful at having objects glow with power. Page 2 is the perfect example of this because Hal has powered the device up and it looks as if it’s going to explode off the page. I liked how Avina had Kilowog enter from a backlit rose room to make his anger more palpable for readers. Page 4 uses blues excellently, though that final panel is overdosing on them. The shine on the table on Page 6 is an excellent way to bring realism to the panels it’s in. Avina didn’t have to do this, as the table isn’t a focal point of the panels, but it makes this book more grounded in reality. When the two lanterns fight, Avina does some sensational work with greens and blacks. Avina is awesome on this issue. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dave Sharpe doesn’t pull any punches in giving sounds to the punches that are thrown by the two heroes of this book. He begins with scene setting, dialogue, opening title and credits, and some yelling, before unleashing every WHAM and KKRRASSHH of the book’s battle. I need my super hero books to have these sounds and I’m grateful he was allowed to provide them. Overall grade: A

The final line: The story underwhelms, but the visuals are good. Overall grade: B-

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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