In Review: Green Lanterns #29

The visuals are muddled by the colors, but the story is still top notch.

The covers: Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, and Jason Wright bring the Regular cover to light handsomely with Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz flying through space accompanied by the Ancient Lanterns. I love covers that showcase all the book’s characters and this one does an especially strong job with each looking strong. I like how the Ancient Lanterns are flying around the leads, with three of them upside down. Given there is no right side up in space, this is entirely fitting for the heroes as they streak through space. The coloring on this is also good, with the purple background for all the greens being used sharply. The Variant cover is by Brandon Peterson and it connects to the previous issue’s cover that featured Jessica. This time Simon gets the cover treatment and he looks ticked off as the flies to the right, with a fist up to deliver a crushing blow to a deserving foe. He’s great and the background is lavish, showing a city full of highly detailed buildings and gigantic power battery. Definitely worth picking up. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant A

The story: Tyran’r is screaming in Simon’s face that no one tells him what to do, a constructed emerald blade is held at the veteran’s lantern throat. Simon can barely choke out, “I-I’m just trying >KHAK< to h-help you…” Jessica pulls the newly christened lantern off her partner, with him saying he’s learned the error of his ways. Besides, “It’s not even a fair fight — He doesn’t have a ring!” She tries to tell him that their training is going well, though he thinks it’s not fast enough. “We don’t have time for this! Volthoom is out there. And you and I…We’re trapped ten billion years in the past.” This causes her to gather the Ancient Lanterns, to give Simon some time to cool off, and have them work on solving the puzzle of the Emerald Sun, a mind trick for lanterns. The lanterns grouse about the exercise’s purpose, but robotic Brill solves the problem. Next, Kaja-Dox gets some one-on-one training from Jessica, with her doubting her abilities to do what the lantern wants. Another lantern gets some exclusive time with Simon and what happens is surprising. Writer Sam Humphries has the characters training and questioning every step, which has them coming off as very immature, which they are. Thankfully, before it gets too annoying, a veteran has something happen that hasn’t been seen in several issues and the group is off to a new location. What they discover unifies them into a better team to take on Volthoom. Humphries has got his pacing for the story down very well, knowing exactly how long to linger on a character, before moving on to the next, as well as when to move the team to something epic, and making that epic moment staggering. Every issue of this series’ story just keeps getting better. Overall grade: A

The art: The teaming of penciler Eduardo Pansica and inker Julio Ferreira continues this issue, but things look different. This is not because the art has changed, but the colorist has and that’s why this issue looks unlike what this pair has done before. The first page is splash showing Tyran’r about to behead Simon with a blade. The colors make it difficult to find a focus on the antagonist. With a turn of the page, the point of view pulls back to show Jessica’s arrival and the art looks better. However, throughout the book, Tyran’r comes across as muddled. Kaja-Dox looks fantastic when her willpower spikes at the top of Page 5 with the look of joy on her face infectious. The lantern that Simon is tutoring on the following page has a truly startling visual epiphany that stayed in my mind for the remainder of the issue. The double-paged splash of 10 and 11 focuses on one lantern having a major moment and the power that this character projects is outstanding. It’s also neat for the reader to share this character’s vision as it gives the individual’s words greater strength. A turn of the page has a partial double-paged spread with a villain doing some incredibly detailed damage on a group of people. This was the first illustration of the issue that had me pause in its reading in order to take in all that was occurring. It’s an epic visual. 15 features a hero shot of all the lanterns on the move and it’s the type of image that will be reprinted when this story line is discussed. 16 and 17 is the final double-paged spread and it features the effects of 12 and 13. The reactions of the heroes are key to this image, to prove to the reader that they need to act. I’m still very impressed by Pansica and Ferreira, but the coloring is hurting my love. Overall grade: B

The colors: I don’t know what technique Alex Sollazzo is using to color this issue, but it’s not working. The blending of the colors isn’t smooth, resulting in some shades overpowering others. This is evident on the first page with Simon and Tyran’r, with the alien’s face being a brown mess. Look also at the newly minted lantern’s hand holding the blade: there are streaks of color to show depth, but they look slapped on. The first panel on Page 3 has the greens of the setting blending in too easily with the lanterns, making the entire image a blotch of color. Things improve for Kaja-Dox’s moment, but again become blurry on 6 with another lantern having a moment. The large panel on 12 and 13 does look good with the colors, though one really has to search the image to see all work done by the artists. The colors on this book do not look as those in previous issues. Overall grade: C-

The letters: Tom Napolitano is the letterer for this issue and he does a fine job. Scene settings, ring speech, Tyran’r’s opening proclamation, dialogue, yells, Brill’s speech, a powered up lantern’s new speech font, the story’s title, and the book’s credits are created by him. Considering the detailed art, such as on 16 and 17, it’s neat to see that Napolitano can put quite a bit of dialogue on a page or in a panel without stepping on the visuals. I enjoy seeing aliens getting their own unique font when they speak, and that happens with two protagonists in this issue. Napolitano is doing good work. Overall grade: A

The final line: The visuals are muddled by the colors, but the story is still top notch. It’s neat to see the Ancient Lanterns in action and this is the issue that unifies them as a team, though at a steep cost. I’m hoping once this story line’s threat is beaten more tales of these new/old lanterns will be told. Overall grade: B

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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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