In Review: Green Lanterns #25

Two flashbacks for two first lanterns, Volthoom is back at full strength, and something really bad happens to a hero.

The covers: Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, and Jason Wright are responsible for the amazing Regular cover. Volthoom has been reborn and is flying upwards relishing in his newfound youth. The look on his face is one of overwhelming joy, his arms wide as violet energy surrounds him. Behind the villain are Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, Green Lanterns trying to take him down. Their energy blasts are merely going through him, doing absolutely nothing to him. The details in characters are terrific and the colors spectacular. The colors on this particularly draw the eye. The Variant cover is also amazing as it shows Simon and Jessica flying foward, behind them a lantern logo. This was created by Brandon Peterson and it’s stellar. Everything is perfect, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this became a tee shirt at some point. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: Writer Sam Humphries begins this issue three days in the past with Simon writing a letter to his best friend Nazir. The letter is an apology for his not being around since he’s become a green lantern. As the narration for his letter continues, the scene transitions to the present where he, Jessica, and Rami, the rogue guardian (actually Volthoom in disguise), have arrived at the edge of the known universe to enter the Vault of Shadows, a mausoleum “Where the guardians bury their secrets.” The first seven lanterns to wear emerald rings are before them in large transparent tubes, with one empty. Before they can ascend the steps to them, a construct sword crashes down before Rami, wielded by Tyran’r. Rami tells the guard that they must pass on urgent business, prompting the large feline first one to say, “Rami, the rogue guardian? Can that be you?! But you were banished for — SNNNNF —Whuh? Baz?! Cruz?! BAHAHAHAHA! My old friends! It has been so long –!” His joy changes suddenly when he is triggered by something. “Wait, you are no guardian! No! It’s you –” and he lunges at Rami. The tiny guardian uses his abilities to freeze the guard, allowing him to enter where the lanterns cannot. With Rami gone, Simon wonders why Rami is acting so weird and how Tyran’r got his ring. This prompts the next flashback to the distant past where the extremely interesting character received his ring. In the present, Volthoom finally gets what he wants, and the reader is once again in a distant flashback with another incredibly interesting origin tale. Back in the present Humphries has much happen: a confrontation, a severe injury from a shocking action, and an escape. This delivers everything it’s been leading up to and I’m standing and applauding Humphries for his work. Just Wow! Overall grade: A+

The art: This issue features pencils by Robson Rocha and inks by Daniel Henriques and their work is exceptional on this. The first two panels of the book has the pair starting things small, with Simon writing the letter to his friend. The setting is on Earth and looks like any found in practically any home. This is a good lead in to the large third panel that has the lanterns and the guardian flying in space. They look awesome. The full-page splash on 2 is decent, but it’s pretty rough; every page after this is much stronger. The reveal of the tubes on 3 is eerie, very much a “Don’t mess with them” vibe. The sword’s entrance at the bottom of the page is dramatic and works every time looked at. Tyran’r is a fantastically designed character, with his close-ups on 4 giving him so much personality. His three flashback pages show the character in his prime and I’m hoping that his pair of artists will get to focus on him more in future issues. When Rami ends up is like something out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel, with him being the disturbed visitor who has to find forbidden fruit. 13 contains Rami’s transformation into Volthoom and it’s much more grandiose than I expected, leading to the excellent full-page splash on 14. When this villain confronts the lanterns it’s epic looking, with a three-quarters double-page splash being incredible. This is incredibly dramatic and the visuals sell this part of the story superbly. The close-up of Volthoom on 25 is wonderful; he truly is lost in his own power. Page 28 has two characters in an unknown location, illustrated in a distorted way. This full-page splash reminds me of several images from 80s and 90s comics, but Rocha and Henriques have put their own spin on this and it’s so cool and so disturbing. I love these artists. Overall grade: A

The colors: A reader can tell on the first page that Alex Sollazzo is going to do a fantastic job on this book. The first two panels, set in the recent past, are given a neat golden brown tint to age them, even though it’s from the small light that Simon is writing from. These two panels start the book calmly, but the large panel on the page is set in space and it’s glorious in violet and black. The lanterns look amazing in several shades of green, with highlights on their skin and suits. The work done on Rami’s face is really impressive considering it’s an incredibly dark blue. The narration from Simon is also in green, being a good visual clue for the reader to recognize who is speaking. Tyran’r and his people’s flesh is a delicious gold, with, again, sensational highlights. These highlights are used throughout the book to denote muscle and light sources and they are incredible to look at. The greens on the individuals revealed on 15 is a brilliant green, but one that resembles flesh and could not be mistaken for a lantern’s togs. Sollazzo is amazing on this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: This issue’s text includes scene settings, handwriting, narration, lantern speech, and a transmission (all three the same font), dialogue, the location’s title in a unique dialogue font, the story’s title, the book’s credits, growls, yells, the time, and the tease for next issue. The variety of yells that Dave Sharpe creates always allows the reader to correctly gauge the emphasis with which each character gives their holler. The sounds are incredible,¬†KOSSSSSSSH! being the biggest, and most important, of the issue. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Two flashbacks for two first lanterns, Volthoom is back at full strength, and something really bad happens to a hero. This saga will send your heart soaring for the heroics and skipping a beat at the villainy. Excellent story telling and visuals. Must reading for Lantern fans. 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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