In Review: Green Lanterns #14

The characters continue to demonstrate unlantern-like behavior, which makes their actions and this series troublesome.

The covers: The Regular cover is by Robson Rocha, Jay Leisten, and Jason Wright. The first thing that hits the reader are the colors that resonate out of the Phantom Lantern in the upper left. Wielding the ring of the same adjective allows him to use every color in every lantern’s arsenal, however he’s not mentally stable to use it, hence the explosion of colors. One would think that a rainbow is a passive thing, but this one is causing Simon and Jessica to burst into flame. This is a good cover that takes the reader right into the action that’s occurring on the first page. The Variant cover is by Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh and it’s the one to track down. Though not as action packed as the Regular cover, this has Jessica holding her right fist up, showing she’s wearing her ring and the Phantom rind. The energy coming out of the rings is a neat green and blue. She looks awesome and the focus on the rings reinforces that the ring will change her. Overall grades: Regular B+ and Variant A 

The story: In Memorial Park in Coast City, Simon and Jessica and make their way out of ruble as Frank Laminski, aka the Phantom Lantern, has a change of heart since his violent outburst last issue. He’s now tapped into the power of the Indigo tribe whose emotion is compassion. Meanwhile, across town, Volthoom and Rami battle one another trading barbs like a father and son. After two pages of this, it’s back to the lanterns who can’t understand Frank because he’s speaking in the alien language of the tribe. Thankfully, writer Sam Humphries provides translations for what the villain is saying, but it can’t help this story. I liked the emotional change of heart in the Phantom Lantern, which shows how the ring is manipulating him. I liked how he lost the ring and I really liked who got the ring, as it gave this character some long overdue boost in confidence. This was great. Having one character go Frodo on the ring shortly after was a dip in character that didn’t need to be shown. Again, the green ring chooses its wielder because of willpower, and this character loses some of that, while another gets some. This book has suffered from its inception with the inability of the two leads to show that they have will. The conclusion to the confrontation ends well on Page 13, but from 14 on it falls apart. The two characters that appear are absolutely unnecessary to this issue. In fact, after their one page of dialogue on 15, they contribute nothing to the issue but take up space. The character that arrives on 16 was expected, but what has become of this individual is not surprising and is really cliche. I’m not liking the future of this book or these characters. This story is fine for over half the issue, so my grade represents that. Overall grade: C-

The art: This book looks as if it was illustrated by two different artists, and it was: Eduardo Pansica and Ronan Cliquet do the pencils and Julio Ferreira and Cliquet do the inks. I’m going to guess that Pansica and Ferreira are responsible for the first ten pages and Cliquet the final ten because that’s where the visible shift in art occurs. The first ten pages look terrific. Page 2 is flat out gorgeous. The details in the debris and the clothing throughout are sensational, and the emotions on the characters are excellent. Looking particularly exceptional is the Phantom Lantern undergoing a moral quandary now that he’s gone indigo; take at look at 5 – 7 to see the evidence of this. Yes, Page 9 is sold primarily on the coloring, but if the image that’s repeated wasn’t well done it wouldn’t have such a strong impact. I love that page. The artwork that Cliquet provides is fine, but is very different from the first half of the book. Look at how smoothed out the characters’ faces have become, especially Simon. The close up of one character on 17 is really smooth. The energy construct that Jessica creates looks like Medusa’s hair gone amok. The one character that does look good is shown on 19, which is impressive because this character hasn’t been well illustrated in previous issues. If one artist had been responsible for the entire issue, this might have been a better issue visually, but the combination of this pair is not helping the appeal of the book. Overall grade: C- 

The colors: This is an element of the book that is entirely successful. It’s a given that Lantern books must have strong colors, since their rings are their power, but Blond really goes above and beyond the call on this issue. Look at the terrific tone work he does on the lanterns when they emerge from the ruble on Page 1. The Phantom Lantern is drop dead gorgeous in indigo. Every time Frank appears on the first ten pages his face is perfectly colored to make him very realistic. Behind the PL are some heavenly light blues for the sky, enhancing his enlightened state of mind. The violets and light greens on 3 make the battle that’s occurring awesome. The show stopper of the issue is 9 with all the colors on the page. I just love this. Blonde truly shows himself to be a coloring god on this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, narration and dialogue (the same font), ring speech, the story’s title, the book’s credits, yells, screams, and the tease for next issue. I wanted the narration and dialogue to be differentiated by the style of the text, rather than the shape of the dialogue balloon and its coloring. That said, Sharpe continues to show his mastery of the dramatic yell by using a font style that always resonate with power, as shown on Page 3. Overall grade: B+

The final line: Starts well and then slides downhill. The characters continue to demonstrate unlantern-like behavior, which makes their actions and this series troublesome. I’m a Lantern junky and I’m buying this series for that reason, but my enjoyment is very low. Overall grade: C

To purchase a digital copy of this book go to https://www.comixology.com/Green-Lanterns-2016-14/digital-comic/441626?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

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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