In Review: Green Lantern: Lost Army #3

A decent read that hopefully is the precursor of bigger things.

The covers: Andy Kubert and Brad Anderson bring the Main cover to life. John Stewart is the last lantern standing, his friends lie fallen around him. He appears to be struggling against something unseen as he makes his way forward on a rocky alien world. I like the emotion on John’s face which shows him battling a strong force. I’m a sucker for covers that have the main character trying to make their way forward while their teammates litter the ground. The coloring is really strong, with the orange and violet sky making the title pop, and the energy emitting from John’s ring going white. This is such a sweet coloring job. The Variant cover is by Ben Oliver. This is a flat out fantastic, gorgeous shot of Two-Six. She’s just pulled goggles from her eyes and appears to be sizing up the reader. Though I have to ask, where is her ring? This is still the one to track down and will someone please make this a poster or print? Overall grades: Both A

The story: Last issue ended with the group encountering Relic, though it’s a younger version of the uber-villain that went after the entire ring wielding community some time age. Using the telepathic-link within their rings, the lanterns surmise that this baddie’s appearance proves they’ve been thrown into their past “so far that we’ve ended up in the universe that existed before our own…” Seeing these strange green clad people floating before him in the vastness of space, Relic ventures, “You seem lost. Let me help you. My vessel is nearby. Follow me.” Do they go with this person who would go on to destroy thousands of individuals or do they go on their own way? How could Cullen Bunn and Cliff Richards resist this do-gooder version of Relic? I really like the quick mention of the lanterns putting their trust in him, who’s as equally dangerous to them as Krona is; this was a smart inclusion because Krona hasn’t had too much to do in the previous two issues and he shares more with Relic as a scientist than he does with the police force lanterns. The most frightening comments come from Guy: “You know we’re peeing in the time stream’s pool, right? There’re gonna be repercussions for this.” There’s a slick flashback to John’s past in the military where something he did relates to what’s occurring in his present. Once aboard Relic’s ship, he gives the lanterns a bit of his past and in the process puts them on slippy ground with him, sparking John to make an uncomfortable decision. The arrival of a threat has the lanterns assisting Relic, but leaves the future menace with Krona. They speak for two panels and it had my skin crawling. The moral quandary that John has asserted the team into is left unaddressed until next issue, because the lanterns’ fates are a little more pressing. A decent Lantern outing, with the expected action and self-questioning that’s become the norm in the last few years in these books. Interesting, but not a must-have. Overall grade: B

The art: It’s not stated specifically when the artists change on this issue, but even a casual reader will see that on Pages 6 and 7 and 16 – 20 someone else is doing the pencils: Jesus Saiz does 1 – 4 and 8 – 15, and Cliff Richards does the remaining pages. This looks to have been a last minute change, as the cover credits don’t mention Richards or his colorist. Saiz does an excellent job on his characters, and that’s what the story has him focusing on; he gets no action scenes. Instead, his pages dwell on the conversations spoken and communicated telepathically. Emotion is key on his characters’ faces. When the lanterns go into speaking silently, their reactions at the bottom of Page 2 are awesome: the shock is perfect. Even the characters who aren’t speaking, such as the pair at the bottom of 4 are giving readers clues about their hearts. Once aboard Relic’s vessel, it’s cramped quarters, but Saiz expertly moves the perspective around so that it’s visually entertaining. The flashback sequence on 10 is great, and I’d be more than willing to pay money for a series that gives the finer details of this conflict if Saiz is illustrating it. Richards steps in with the two page flashback of John in the military. It’s a pretty intense sequence, considering it, too, is just a conversation. Normally, I’m not a big fan of silhouettes, as some recent comics I’ve read overused them, but in the last panel on 6 it’s used to splendidly show John’s isolation from his peers. Starting on 16, Richards takes over completely and that’s when the threat is introduced. I know the Lost Army is in an earlier galaxy and they will see things not shown before in DC Comics, but the design of this threat was not frightening. It does relate to how the lightsmiths use their power at this point in time, but they were just too simple looking for me. The final page of the book is an excellent closing visual, focusing on the most vulnerable member of the group. Heck, if this image were completely reused for next issue’s splash, I’d be happy with it. The visuals are decent, but it is apparent when the change in talent occurs. Overall grade: B

The colors: Like the art, there are two colorists: Jesus Saiz and Michael Atiyah. The former, I’m assuming, is coloring his own work, while the latter is coloring Richards’. Saiz is doing a tremendous job, with the characters’ flesh and costumes looking amazing. It’s a combination of soft highlights on bright colors that makes them stand out. The spots on Two-Six are the best I’ve seen this side of Jadzia Dax. The illumination he gives to the city on the flashback page is beautiful. One minor nick: Guy is shown wearing his red ring on his left hand on 13, yet two pages later it’s on his right. One of those should have been green, since he’s wearing both rings. Yeah, it’s a fanboy nitpick, but he’s in a unique position of all current ring bearers, wearing two different colored rings. Atiyah, who didn’t get a cover credit, is a talented colorist whose work I’ve admired on other books, and he brings some very realistic lighting to the interiors of Relic’s ship. The threats that appears have some nice shading within their structures and, upon looking closer, they have exhaust trails that foreshadow something they’ll do later. The best work by Atiyah is on Page 19 when something attacks a lantern: it’s a beautiful and eerie job. Overall grades: A-

The letters: Dialogue, character identification, telepathic-link speak and ring communication (same font), story title, and closing credits fall under the domain of Dave Sharpe. He does a great job with all, and I really like the slick font used to identify characters. Overall grade: A

The final line: A decent read that hopefully is the precursor of bigger things. 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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