In Review: Green Lantern: Lost Army #4

Why the lanterns are lost is slowly coming to light.

The cover: Kilowog and Guy Gardner have their power rings but seem to be unable, or unwilling, to use them against the mob of characters that are attacking them. Two have got Guy by each arm, while the bulk of the baddies are swarming over Kilowog. Not one of the aliens is reaching for the protagonists’ rings, so they may not know who lanterns are. This cover by Guillem March is a good tease of what readers can expect inside. The coloring for this is very pale; not what one usually sees on a Lantern cover. I wish it had been brighter to emphasize the power on display. This pale coloring makes it very weak. Overall grade: B-

The story: Last issue the lanterns were fighting some energy absorbing crystals and their rings were quickly running out of power. In fact, the issue ended with Arisia Rrab passing out for lack of oxygen. The first page in this installment has John rushing to her side and creating a construct of a hospital bed/tube around her to stabilize her. His actions seem miniscule with the turn of a page because the remaining members of the corps are still battling the crystals, with only Guy seeming to make any headway against their opponents. Could this be because he wears a green ring and a red ring? John realizes they can’t win this fight and orders everyone back to Relic’s ship. If only Relic and Krona had stayed. The reason for the pair’s leaving makes sense, and I was very pleased to see one lantern justify it for the rest of the team. That’s good writing from Cullen Bunn; it’s not often that what’s perceived to be friends flaking out on a situation is recognized by the heroes as a logical choice. When something next happens to the heroes the issue goes into the obligatory flashback sequence of John fighting in the middle east. I’m done with seeing these sequences. Though they do serve to give backstory to John, they’re interrupting the story in the present and that’s where my interests lie. Additionally, there’s no tension in these sequences because John will obviously survive them as he’s now a lantern. There just not enjoyable. What is enjoyable is what happens after the flashback. There’s a reuniting and information given about why the lanterns were whisked away from their galaxy, and there’s the return of two famous supporting characters. I was overjoyed to see these characters’ return and how the smaller one is moving the story forward. I really enjoyed seeing how each lantern was dealing with their current situation. This got good! Overall grade: A- 

The art: Javer Pina is the artist this issue and his style is very different from the previous issues. I was not happy with the opening scenes set in space. The characters look ultra smooth; it’s not the fine, detailed work of the first three issues. Case in point, Pages 2 and 3 have some very different interpretations of the vessels attacking the lanterns, which now look more like spaceships. The lanterns are far from the reader when they’re introduced. Kilowog looks great, but the others don’t have any sense of strength. However, when the story moves to the flashback Pina really shines. These four pages are very tense and very real. I would purchase a war comic if Pina was illustrating it, based on the work here. With this sequence over, the regular story resumes and Pina’s art has improved dramatically. I don’t know if it was the distance from the characters or their fight scenes in space, but they just weren’t working. In this new, close-quarters setting the characters are pulled into tightly, which ups the tension and drama, and the story had a much stronger resonance. These final ten pages are fantastic! The characters are drawn in a realistic fashion, with the lantern who appears on 11 fantastic. I’ve not seen him look this good in years! Every word that came out of his mouth was filled with the gravity of their situation, and it’s because of the way he was drawn. Page 14 has a graphic death that was a stunner due to the way its shown. Though this character hasn’t had much time in the lantern-verse, I felt pained by his loss due to Pina’s art. 15 has the return of another famous lantern, and he’s always been a tricky one to illustrate because he can become too humorous, but not here — I swear, he’s real! The space battle isn’t the greatest, but Pina explodes once space is left behind. Overall grade: B+

The colors: Excellent coloring by Chris Sotomayor on this issue. Space is beautiful in violets and blues, which makes the energy coming from the rings really pop. Guy’s red striping really makes him stand out among the lanterns. The rainbow pattern left in the ships’ wakes makes them a beautiful foe against the backdrop off space. Only two panels long, the interior of Relic’s ship is gorgeous and it left me wanting to return there with Sotomayor coloring it again. The flashback sequence has a beautiful watercolored violet sky, which contrasts to the violence that’s occurring. The final setting is supposed to be dim and it’s colored perfectly to evoke this mood. Colors only explode on 14, and the choice of color was perfect if one is familiar with what colors represent in lantern rings. A sensational job on every page from Sotomayor. Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: Dave Sharpe provides narration and dialogue (the same font), character identification, sounds, a weak voice, screams, and the story’s title and credits. The sounds are super again on this issue and I’m so glad that Sharpe is allowed to insert them, since so many other books are sadly going silent where sounds could be placed. I also really like the font used when a character shows fatigue: it gives an additional visual to the reader that the character is not at their strongest. Overall grade: A

The final line: Why the lanterns are lost is slowly coming to light. Things start slowly but kick into overdrive when other lanterns are encountered. Overall grade: A- 

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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