In Review: Green Lanterns #39

A terrific conclusion with some fun surprises and excellent visuals.

The covers: The Regular cover is by Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki, and Jason Wright and looks more intense than what’s actually within this issue. Simon and Jessica are in the literal claws of Liseth Vok, who now has the abilities of a Durlan. Liseth is absolutely frightening on this cover, but she’s not so terrifying in the actual story: her wings and face have her looking very demonic. Having the entire image set on an explosion of yellow and orange make it even more powerful. Brandon Peterson is again the artist of the Variant cover. This cover has Jessica and Simon, back to back, contorted before a giant green power battery. I’ve really enjoyed Paterson’s previous variant covers, but this has the characters in really odd positions and the coloring is much lighter than the other frontpieces. I’m not as keen on this. Overall grades: Regular B+ and Variant C+

The story: A group of soldiers go into a corridor in search of the Regent and the Green Lanterns. They saw the Regent’s daughter, Liseth Vok, fly out of the space with newly acquired wings, so they’re feeling nervous and have their guns ready. They find all three alive within corpse containing pods. These pods were used to drain the aliens of their abilities and give them to another, which is what Liseth has done. The young woman appears above the skies of Tokoo, telling the people that it’s time for a change. In the past the people of the Ungara have been told to help others, but no longer. “Now Earther Lanterns bring aliens to our planet! We’re told to give them homes! We’re told to open our hands!…The next generation deserves to keep its power to itself! And we deserve to take whatever the hell we want from anyone else in the universe!” She looks down at the helpless Molites, “I’m sorry, Molites. Your planet is gone, swallowed by your sun. And you have no powers…nothing to give me or Ungara.” She then begins to unleash energy blasts from her hands upon the diminutive aliens. That is until a voice behind her says, “Hey, you no-talent hack!” The lanterns arrive and the action begins. Liseth introduces a nice twist to the villain on 6. I expected writer Tim Seeley to have nothing but slugfests for the rest of the issue, but due to the villain’s absorption of several aliens’ abilities, the attack upon Simon is really creative on 8, showing what the hero fears the most. Things also take a surprising turn on 9 with another hero engaging the baddie. Even better is what is done with the characters on Page 13; often these individuals are ignored in comic book battles, but showing them during the fray is neat, with the top of 14 being an incredibly uplifting moment; if a writer can pull this off, they’ve got skills. The fight concludes well, with the resolution being equally well done. This had all the feels of a classic Green Lantern tale from the early 1980s, when I was reading lantern adventures in my teens. The final page is a good tease for the next story. I really enjoyed this issue. Overall grade: A

The art: Ronan Cliquet’s art is good. The opening is very cool with the lanterns and the regent released; really neat is seeing Jessica’s release and her transformation into lantern togs. Liseth’s first appearance on the second page is a large and dramatic panel that’s slick, with the perspective of the character similar to how those below her would see her. The Molites first appearance on 3 is incredibly sympathetic and a great lead in to the bottom panel that shows the villain powering up while sporting a cruel smile. When she blasts the tiny aliens, she looks like an angel of death, with her winged form looking incompatible with the devastation she’s unleashing. Her look of surprise at the bottom of 4 is perfect. I have to stand and applaud the construct that Jessica uses on Liseth, which had me cheering; its recognizable without being named. Page 7 has the antagonist starting to transform to attack Simon and Cliquet does some creepy changes on her. The profile of Simon on 8 is beautiful. The vehicle the hero is in on 9 is too similar to other creations in other forms of entertainment, and begs the question why such a vehicle wasn’t used against the Red Tide in the previous issue. I LOVED Liseth’s close-ups on 10 and 11, with the final panel on the latter page exceptionally well done. The outfit worn by Jessica in the battle’s conclusion is awesome and I really need an action figure of her in that costume. The defeat of the villain is well done and its immediate aftermath on 17 is dramatic. I don’t know if the reader is supposed to recognize the character on the final page, I didn’t, but it teased the next issue well enough. Cliquet did a solid on this issue. Overall grade: A

The colors: The opening two panels require dark colors as the soldiers make their way through a dark corridor in search of their leader and her allies. Hi-Fi makes the image dark, but notice how the men’s lights are perfect in the chamber and their masks’ eyes brilliant in red. When Jessica powers up the glow around her is great. Liseth’s avenging angel first appearance is highlighted by her being surrounded by orange flame that explodes across the night sky. And explode is the right adjective for the work done when the fighting begins: reds, greens, yellow, and oranges are employed throughout the fight to punch up the already strong visuals. The lanterns’ luminescent greens stand out in every panel they’re in, with them being particularly strong when Jessica changes costumes at the book’s midpoint. Hi-Fi’s contributions makes every panel beautiful. Overall grade: A

The letters: The text of this book is done by Dave Sharpe and includes scene settings, dialogue, sounds, the story’s title, the book’s credits, transmissions and ring speech (the same font), yells, and the tease for next issue. Sharpe is consistently good, with him placing dialogue, no matter how voluminous, perfectly so no aspect of the art is lost to the text. His story titles, credits, and next issue teases are always visually engaging. And the sounds are spectacular. Sharpe is aces. Overall grade: A

The final line: A terrific conclusion with some fun surprises and excellent visuals. This is a fun comic that captures all the joy of classic Lantern outings. I’m looking forward to more from this team. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Green-Lanterns-2016-39/digital-comic/606429?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

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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