The cover: Kyle Rayner, the sole White Lantern of the universe, seems to be hovering peacefully, with his common white aura about him. Titling this 3D Motion Cover slightly one can see that this is not the case. He explodes in a blast of white energy, with only his skull having any final definition before it joins in the explosion. This is a fairly formulaic cover by Diogenes Neves on pencils, Marc Deering on inks, and Wil Quintana on colors. All three have done much better work previously and I’m somewhat dumbfounded why this would be their choice for the image. It does tie into the story, somewhat, but I expect more for my extra dollar. Overall grade: C
The story: Okay, I take back any doubts about this story. This is a wowser of an issue. “The Test” by Justin Jordan is a terrific Futures End one-shot. Beginning on the first page readers instantly know something has gone horribly wrong with Kyle. “Five Years Later…” on a hitherto unseen world, narration from Kyle states, “I have learned by trial and error that my arrival must be sudden. No time for panic, or fear, or resistance. Just a flash of white and then…The Change. This is a world now at peace. A world without want or war. A better world.” The visuals show an intelligent species on a civilized world going about their business until the world explodes with white, and all appear in the final panel with the glowing white emblem of the White Lantern on their foreheads, smiling and laughing. Kyle is warping the minds of innocents to conform to his vision of order. Talk about abusing your power, and this is only the first page. What follows is one inhabitant of the world learning what has happened and in the process discover the fall of the strongest lantern. It’s a perfect story for one issue that is accessible to the new fan jumping in for the first time or the long time reader. It takes its time in delivering answers, but does so to build up this new character. I loved every moment. I had suspicions about how this would end, and it came close to my guess. This book shows why the White Lantern cannot be ignored in the scheme of things, and why that ring can’t be worn for too long. Overall grade: A+
The art: The illustrations in this book are alien, yet completely identifiable. Diogenes Neves and Marc Deering have made the absolutely correct choice in having he new character of the book be a humanoid. If they had chosen to make the lead a strange alien the story would lose its power, but they wisely have made the star look like a human–only coloring makes this individual alien. The emotion that rips through their characters is mighty. Readers will feel the anguish and pain whenever a close up occurs. There’s also some really nice subtle technology in this book. It’s futuristic to be sure, but it’s not so far advanced as to create a vacuum between the reader and what is done. Kyle looks great. He has two very distinct appearances and neither has been seen before. His base is also new. It’s simple, as one would suspect for one wielding his power, but its contents eerie. The final six pages are like poetry in motion. I loved this. Overall grade: A+
The colors: This book begins with stark colors on the alien world, but quickly fade. Do not mistake this for Wil Quintana taking the “easy” route in coloring this book. After all, this is the White Lantern’s book, so things should be absent of pigment, right? Don’t be so hasty, kiddo! The lack of color perfectly sets up the voyage of the new character and introduces the new Kyle. It’s bloody brilliant. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Dave Sharpe creates narration, dialogue, and closing credits. There’s nothing truly spectacular about what he does, but it tells the story sufficiently. There are no sounds effects, but there don’t need to be any with this story. Overall grade: B
The final line: Absolutely fantastic tale with perfect art. I loved this. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two 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.