In Review: Green Lantern Corps #37

Good story, but the art--half of it--hurts this.

The covers: Another pair to track down. The Main cover is by interior artist and colorist, Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo. This image shows lanterns walking into a booth, getting bombarded with energy, and exiting wearing white armor. They’re being brainwashed into becoming soldiers for the New Gods. Flying above the line of future foot soldiers, John screams in anguish. Nice cover that conveys what’s going on without any dialogue. By leaving the background white the characters and their dire situation look bold. Very well done. The Variant cover is by Darwyn Cooke showing John standing front and center, surrounded by several lanterns, with others speeding out of the power battery. I had to have this and I hope this, and the other Cooke variant covers out this month, becomes a print or poster. Overall grades: Main A and Variant A+

The story: Godhead: Act III, Part II, “Transfiguration,” by Van Jensen begins on New Genesis as Highfather returns an Indigo Ring one of his fighters has taken to Indigo-1 to preserve the ring’s calming effects on its wearer. Her leaving allows Uggha to appear with several captured lanterns. They are added to the rest of the lanterns in the Singularity stockade, being monitored by former lanterns that have been brainwashed into followers of Highfather. This seems like a pretty standard story until a character makes a choice that will spin this saga to its conclusion. This was long overdue and very welcome. Pages 12 and 13 were a conversation that was enjoyable, justifying what has, and what will, happen. There’s also another battle between a lantern and a New God, but this time the lantern wins. FINALLY! The Green Lantern Corps is supposed to be the strongest fighting force in the galaxy, and, as Highfather has confirmed, wielding the strongest weapons in the galaxy. It had gotten old several books ago that any New God could show up and wipe the floor with them. I knew the tables would turn, and I’m glad they finally have. Godhead has reminded me of reading the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, where the Jedi got beat over and over again, for years until they finally began to win. I enjoyed the series, but how often do readers have to watch their heroes get smacked down before they get to win one? Finally, they get to win one. Let’s hope this continues. Overall grade: A

The art: Two artists on this issue: Bernard Chang and Mirko Colak. It’s very obvious when the change occurs in the book–it’s not smooth. Chang’s book is absolutely epic. The opening splash of Highfather instantly transports the reader to this fantastical setting. His expression shows the glee he gets from wielding so much power. The arrival of Uggha is great. It’s not a large panel, but it’s a powerful one. When Sinestro and John enter the story their power is great and the fisticuffs fun. Chang’s art is tremendous, and that’s why the transition that occurs on Page 12 is painful. There are no backgrounds–they are gone. The detail disappears in the characters’ faces, with them becoming severely smooth. The fighting that occurs suffers from an overabundance of circles punctuating the action. They are supposed to represent energy, but look like glowing snow instead, meant to obscure the lackluster art. It’s the worst on the final page, where the characters are completely lost to the “energy bubbles.” This was an incredibly poor artistic choice. Overall grade: C

The colors: Two different colorists as well. Marcelo Maiolo┬ácolors Chang, while Tony Avina colors Colak. There is also a vast difference in coloring, though Avina is not given much to work with. Maiolo’s colors are bright and powerful. Don’t confuse that for primary colors–he can shade beautifully. The splash page shows this well; look how bright Highfather is, while the colors behind him are faded by the lighting. I love that when something dramatic is said or done, the colors go black, white, and red. This is a sensational signpost for readers to know something major has occurred. When the artists switch, Avina does some excellent coloring on the setting-less panels, and he also continues the three color scheme for intense moments, though he doesn’t just use red, using yellow or orange, too. Avina puts quite a bit of depth into Colak’s smooth faces, such as 18 and 19. He’s doing what he can. Overall grade: B-

The letters: Whew! Just one letterer on this book. Dave Sharpe does scene settings, dialogue, opening title and credits, sounds, yelling, and the next installment’s tease. The sounds are really good, with the top of Page 5 sweet. It should have been epic and it was. Overall grade: A

The final line: Good story, but the art–half of it–hurts this. I’m just so thankful that a Green Lantern beat a New God! 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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