In Review: Green Lanterns #28

This is the type of Lantern story that fans crave.

The covers: The first of two frontpieces for this issue is the Regular cover penciled by Brad Walker, inked by Drew Hennessy, and colored by Jason Wright. Jessica Cruz is the foreground, holding her ring before in her terror as she turns to see that she and Simon Baz are surrounded by the original seven Green Lanterns. These character hover ominously around the pair, their green energy writhing off of them. Everything on this cover is good except Jessica, whose head is of enormous proportions compared to the rest of her body. Her torso also seems out of perspective. All the other characters look fine and the coloring is superior, but the largest character looks the oddest. The Variant cover is an outstanding piece by Brandon Peterson. Jessica is the sole character on this cover as she flies forward, nervously considering her power ring. Behind her and to the right, is an enormous power battery. The art is stellar and the colors are perfection. This is the cover to purchase. Overall grades: Regular C and Variant A+

The story: Holy smokes, is there a ton of payoff with this issue and it’s only the second part of “Out of Time.” Writer Sam Humphries starts this issue with a short tale that’s been recurring in previous issues: set in the distant past, ten billion years ago to be precise, a character receives one of the first, of seven, Green Lantern rings. A group of Kryptonian colonists are stranded on a planet and are about to be destroyed by a dust storm. One colonist, Jan-Al, compels the others not to seek shelter in their ship, and it is destroyed in the chaos, while they survive. One of the seven rings finds her and soon she’s flying through the cosmos. She is being taken to “Sol 3. Center of the universe.” It is there that Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz realize they are, to quote Simon, “…royally screwed.” They are stuck in the past and Simon’s ring has been destroyed. Jessica’s ring detects the arrival of the seven first Green Lanterns, and they see each other for the first time. Things do not go well. If one is vaguely familiar with DC history, the instigator of trouble will not be surprising, but how the trouble is stopped, on Page 10, will be. Trouble comes from another source on 14, resulting in one character having something horrific happen. The rug was completely pulled out from under me on 18. I have a big question after this, though: Where did it go? There should be another character debuting soon. To be any more specific would spoil the story. Humphries has created lightning in a bottle with the last few issues and things are only improving. The characters are fantastic, their actions true, and the tension awesome. Overall grade: A+

The art: The visuals on this issue are by Eduardo Pansica on pencils and Julio Ferreira on inks. The first page shows the Kryptonian colonists on their way. My favorite look for Kryptonian tales set in the past is the style of The World of Krypton mini-series from 87 – 88. Pansica and Ferreira mirror this look with their design for the short-lived vessel the characters employ, however once they’re on the ground, the futuristic look is gone as they are simply trying to survive. Page 4 is a full-paged splash showing Jan-Al reveling in her recently acquired ability; the look of wonder on her face is wonderful. Pages 6 and 7 is a double-paged splash of the seven lanterns arriving and it’s a fantastic visual to show how each stacks up to the other. I particularly like how the bottom of the image shows each lantern’s ring up close. Rami’s transmission to the lanterns is neat, as is the lantern’s reaction on 9. Jessica really gets some strong visual moments, with her striking a fantastic pose on 11. Danger is foreshadowed on 14, which is practically a full-page splash, save a small panel insert showing Jessica and Simon’s reactions. One character demonstrates an ability that doesn’t require a ring and will have long time readers thinking of another hero named Holland. 18 is unquestionably the strongest visual of the book which is increased by the first six panels on the next page. Should one have forgotten the true threat of this issue, he makes a one panel appearance on the final page, though it is memorable. The visuals on this book are great! Overall grade: A

The colors: In the book’s first panel, Blond is knocking this out of the park. The ship has the cool blues one would expect to see on alien technology, but he’s also included splashes of red and some nice violets to give it a fantasy/royal flavor. Even the flag that the Kryptonians place on their new home has every color of the rainbow to show how many people they represent — Love it! On the second page, notice that when one character yells, the lettering has been filled in with yellow to foreshadow the dust storm that’s headed towards the characters. The greens on Page 4 definitely increase the magic of the moment. Rami has a good green around him to show he’s a projection before the characters. Tyran’r’s colors have him dominating any panel he appears in and provide a good contrast color to the greens that are around him. And speaking of greens, Page 18 has every possible shade of emerald exploding off the page, solidifying the color as one of power and not magic. Oranges appear on the final page and they come off as very deadly. Blond always makes a book’s art look good. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, narration and dialogue (the same font), yells of many different levels, the story’s title, the book’s credits, character identifiers, ring speech and transmissions (the same font), Brill’s unique speech font, sounds, screams, and the tease for next issue. The scene settings are dynamic and futuristic. The narration and the dialogue look to be the same font, and if they are I wish they would have been a little more dissimilar, rather than differentiated by the shape of their balloons. The ring speech and transmission have to be the same font as they are both created by the lanterns’ rings. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, there’s nothing like a scream or yell created by Shapre; there are so many varieties of each that allow the reader to understand how loud each is. Overall grade: A

The final line: The original seven lanterns have arrived, but will they tolerate Simon and Jessica? The story is fantastic and the art powerful. This is the type of Lantern story that fans crave. Check this out! 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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