In Review: Red Lanterns #35

This installment of Godhead seems really forced. The art is good, but the story a rare misfire.

The cover: Scott Hepburn and Gabe Eltaeb have created a great addition to the Godhead storyline of covers. This issue features an ultra angry Guy Gardner as a Red Lantern, his ring projecting gorgeously frighteningly red energy. I really like the radiance and sparks behind him. To his right is some text that has come to represent what each installment will focus on. It says, “I am wroth, and you shall tremble.” Below Guy, in the stripe that contains the issue’s credits (and c’mon, DC, you had plenty of room to include letterers Dezi Sienty and Taylor Esposito in there!) is a close up of, I think, New God Kor, with Malhedron’s helmet. The only reason I’m guessing it’s her is because she’s the only New God with blonde hair in this issue. Great art and great coloring. Let me again whisper in DC’s ear that these covers should be made into a series of prints or tee shirts. Overall grade: A

The story: This is Act I, Part 5 of the Godhead storyline and it’s the first one that was filler. The previous installments have added something to the big storyline arc, but all that happens is Guy learns what’s happens in the previous four chapters. That’s it. Otherwise all else is worthless for Godhead. That said, Charles Soule’s story “God is Red” starts well, with Guy on a beach in Dubai with Tora Olafsdotter, aka Ice from the Justice League. He said he came there to get away from it all. She asks why he won’t just get rid of his red ring, which he has hanging from a strap around his neck. He’s afraid that someone else will find it if he ditches it. Tora also finds it ironic that they’re across from Qurac, a lawless country. The next day the giant gold statue of leader Shahkavat is complete, pleasing its super powered master. Guess who decides to show up? Things get interesting between Guy and Shahkavat until the untimely arrival of four of the New Gods. Then it becomes a pointless slugfest that does feature the timely arrival of another hero, but it ends so suddenly I wondered why this even had to happen. I truly believe that Guy could have learned this information in one panel in another book, rather than devote so much to this one sided smackdown. And why did the story require four New Gods when only one does anything in this issue? The three look cool, but are wasted as space filler. A rare disappointment of a story from Soule. Overall grade: C

The art: The visuals on this issue look great. The opening page showing bikini clad Tora against the painful memories of Guy is a nice opener. Seeing super buff Guy on the beach is nice, giving some equal time to readers who would like some beefcake along with their cheesecake. Page 4 is pretty sweet because artist J. Calafiore has to tell the story with no text. On top of that, no one’s face is shown. This is a cool way to tell a story and have the reader put the pieces together on their own, rather than spoon feed the drama. Page 6 starts the action in large style and Guy’s return to the red is pretty awesome. Guy does something on Page 7 that I don’t recall he’s ever done and it’s so graphic and so amazing I was left aghast. The arrival of the New Gods is a major moment, but three of these New Gods do nothing except look cool. The action looks good, but I’m surprised at Malhedron’s choice of weapons, which seemed odd for a New God. Still, I liked the look of this book. Overall grade: A

The colors: Terrific coloring from Gabe Eltaeb on this. He gets a great first page to start with: a girl in a bikini, with three very contrasting images behind her. Notice how Eltaeb makes the sky look realistic by having it lighter the closer it is to the ocean and darker at the top. Nice detail. The next two pages are pretty slick for having the characters’ normal coloring darkened as their conversation is set under a gigantic umbrella on the beach. Good coloring also appears on Page 3 when Ice freezes up Guy’s beer–again, slick shading. Page 7 was the standout for me with the colors used on what Guy does to the bad guy. Gorgeous, yet still unbelievably gross. The book looks beautiful because of Eltaeb. Overall grade: A+

The letters: I haven’t seen two letterers on a book in a while, and Dezi Sienty and Taylor Esposito do a good job. Scene setting, dialogue, opening title and credits, sounds, screams, and Highfather transmissions are done well, with the sounds being my favorites. Overall grade: A

The final line:  Overall grade: B

 

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.

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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