The cover: Bill Tan and Alex Sinclair have created a nice, possible preview of things to come in this issue. If one were to hold this 3D Motion Cover from a certain angle, Hal Jordan flies forward strongly, looking as though he could win any battle, and he’s going to have to since behind him are several stone characters that will look familiar to readers from a few months ago. If the cover is moved, Hal is in a somewhat similar pose, but now he’s screaming, his fist reaches out in a grasping gesture, and he’s turned to stone like the creatures behind him. What’s going on? Only by reading this issue can one find out. Nice motion effect. Overall grade: A
The story: “Five years from now…” Krona is the new Black Hand and he has resurrected the Black Lantern Corps. They are at the Source Wall, where Relic is standing. He, somehow, has gotten out of the wall and has been experimenting on it since he got free. Hal pleads for the giant to help him in taking out the swarm of living corpses. Relic agrees and it’s on. We then go to “Earlier” on Earth, when Hal is alone in his apartment, drinking, until the unexpected arrival of someone. The following pages are the highpoint of the book. I was impressed that writer Robert Venditti chose to include this “new” character in this issue. I didn’t think it would work, but it’s an emotional sequence. This is not a two page quickie to add some heart to this story: this is the heart. If it had gone on for the rest of the book I would have been happy. The battle is returned to, with a lot of what you’d expect, and it doesn’t disappoint. But there is a very surprising ending to this. The final three pages were completely unexpected and I hope, I really hope, that Venditti can bring the book to this adventure, and this ending, in 2019. I need to know how Hal is going to get out of this. Overall grade: A
The art: Two artists on this outing, with Martin Coccolo (Pages 1 – 3 and 10 – 20) and Aaron Lopresti (Pages 4 – 9). I never noticed any difference in art. The scenes they draw couldn’t be more different, but they suit the story perfectly. Coccolo handles the action in space. The details are really impressive. Readers are treated to all the twisted evil that the Black Lantern Corps has to offer. The ring-slinging that goes on is wonderful. I’m still not a big fan of the big Relic. I was pleased to see that Coccolo gets an opportunity to show him not as a god, and I really liked it. The big guy also gets a nice moment of humanity in the end, and Coccolo made him much more relatable with his facial expressions. Lopresti gets the long scene on Earth. It’s not showy, but it is the scene stealer of the book. It’s just two characters talking, which should be death in an “adventure” book, but he makes every panel as exciting as possible, wringing every ounce out of each line. It’s brilliant. I was so happy with the look of this book. Overall grade: A
The colors: Alex Sinclair is working this book like a rock star. The action sequence is in the black of space against a rock wall with an army of black and gray colored villains attacking a green man and red and blue colored man. He makes the art stand out stunningly with every shade from black to grey being used on the villains and in the wall. Never is there a blob of darkness–the characters look three dimensional. The energy wielded by the two heroes of the book is gorgeously bright. You believe the power that’s being employed. Earth uses much more sedate colors, but the emotion coming from the dialogue and the visuals of the characters doesn’t require showy colors to add emphasis. When a bright color finally does come into play it’s powerful. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, yells, a broadcaster’s voice, Relic’s computer interface, and sound effects are crafted by Dave Sharpe. There’s a lot of work for him to do and he excels in placing the dialogue without covering the art. Perfection. Overall grade: A
The final line: Much, much better than I expected a crossover could be. My only complaint is that I have to wait five years to revisit these characters and this situation. 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.