In Review: Green Lanterns #22

A fantastic issue that is the perfect entry point for new readers to this title and the Green Lantern Corps.

The covers: The Regular cover for this issue was created by Mike McKone on visuals and Jason Wright on colors. This is a good cover, though it doesn’t happen anywhere in this issue. Jessica is reaching for her power ring which has inextricably come off her finger. Losing one’s ring in space is not a good idea, and a stream of green oxygen can be seen leaving her nose. Good illustration with good details and vivid colors. This is a good cover. The Variant cover by Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh is thematically the same, and also appears nowhere within, as Jessica is joined in death by Simon. They’ve had something much worse happen to them than losing their rings in space, as they are floating corpses in void whose faces have become skulls. Jessica is closer to the reader than Simon, though both are floating aimlessly against some asteroids in space. Creepy cover that reminds me of covers from the 1970’s, heightened by the red colors. Good. Overall grades: Both B+

The story: Last issue ended with Jessica and Simon receiving a summons from their rings and launching off into space. Jessica has never experienced this before and is terrified at what is occurring. She orders her ring to make an emergency stop, though Simon warns her not to. Her flight is halted and she’s in the middle of nowhere, now alone. Her ring tells her she’s in Sector 0502, which is 1,682 sectors away from Earth. She wants to land somewhere, but her ring says there are no near habitable world. She starts to get angry with the ring and that’s when salvation appears — Kyle Rayner. “I’m here to give you a hand. Hey…I just realized, I used to have your job!” He’s exactly the right choice of lanterns to lead her to Mogo. Before they get there writer Sam Humphries has them share a friendly dialogue and make a brief stop that begins to open the novice lantern’s eyes wider to what her position represents. At the headquarters to the Green Lantern Corps, Cruz’s mind is blown by what she sees. The rest of the book is her introduction to the larger world of the Green Lanterns, including one of its most famous members. She also learns of how another corps in now co-existing with the GLC, though, as she learns, it’s not going too smoothly. Why they are brought to Mogo is revealed on Page 19 and this seems to be coming really late in the characters’ history. This comes off as an excuse to introduce new readers to the Corps, rather than create character growth. Three pages of the issue are dedicated to the series big villain who’s now wearing a new face. He’s able to infiltrate the highest echelon of this society, sowing the seeds for future trouble. A decent story, but intended for new readers. Overall grade: B

The art: Ronan Cliquet is doing beautiful work on this issue. The first page is a full paged splash and it’s amazing: Jessica and Simon being pulled unwillingly through space by their rings. The look of fear on her face and the look of strain on his are excellent. When Jessica puts the brakes on her voyage, she’s utterly alone. As her panic begins to increase, Cliquet uses crooked panels of unequal shapes and sizes to show the distress she’s expressing. Kyle’s arrival is also a full paged splash and he looks spectacular. He looks every inch the hero and the look of curiosity on Jessica’s face is perfect. Cliquet is not only good with the characters, but the settings: take a gander at Page 5 and the extreme power he shows in the object next to the heroes. Mogo’s introduction counts as both a hero and a setting’s appearance and it, too, is strong. The showstopper of this issue is the double-paged splash of 8 and 9 as Kyle and Jessica fly down the street surrounded by several lanterns of all shapes and sizes; it’s a virtual Who’s Who of lanterns. She meets one of the most recognizable lanterns on 11 and he makes quite the impression. The individual who causes trouble on 13 looks sensational and is a perfect match for what he’s intended to do in this issue. 18 has the villain’s final appearance nicely echo his previous look. The final page of the book is also a full paged splash, revealing a favorite lantern who looks glorious. This is really strong art. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Hi-Fi is the gold standard for coloring and it’s apparent in this book. The first page is beautiful with its many greens. Every shade in the world seems to be on display and it’s amazing. The second page’s shot of space, when Jessica puts the kibosh on her trek, is stunning in its beauty. I’m used to seeing space be a black void, but Hi-Fi makes this multicolored and beautiful. Page 5 has amazing use of yellows and oranges that are wonderful. The colors on 8 and 9 return to green, but, again, there’s such a variety, with an exceptional use of soft emeralds, every element of the art stands out. There’s also a strong use of dark mustard for a character and it’s terrific. Two characters wear striking reds, making them stand out on their pages. Characters’ skin looks awesome in this book, whether human or alien, giving them a great sense of depth. Hi-Fi, I salute your work, yet again. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Yells, the story’s title, the book’s credits, ring speak, dialogue, Mogo speech, two aliens’ speech, sounds, text on a bag, a key character’s name, and the tease for next issue are crafted by Dave Sharpe. The opening yells from Jessica are great and I’m in love with the font used for the “Lost in Space” title. I also love that Mogo’s speech is just a tad larger than other lanterns, which suits his size. The aliens’ speech is slightly threatening looking, making each instantly sinister for the reader. The tease for next issue is also well done, being perfectly suited for the words. Overall grade: A

The final line: A fantastic issue that is the perfect entry point for new readers to this title and the Green Lantern Corps. Though I’m very familiar with the lanterns and how they function, this was still an enjoyable issue. Overall grade: A 

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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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