In Review: Green Lanterns #30

Perfection in every way as Volthoom is battled, often to the death. A must-read book!

The covers: A twosome to track down if you’re a completist. The Regular cover has Simon shown from the right as his ring explodes on his hand, peeling his costume off him as he screams. This is a powerful image from Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, and Jason Wright. Very cool in every way. The Variant cover is by Brandon Peterson and it features Volthoom in his original veiny form from this first appearance a few years back in Green Lantern. This arms open threateningly as he smiles down upon Simon Baz, who is trying to crawl away from the omnipotent villain. This was the cover I had to purchase because I prefer the villain looking like this and the colors are incredible. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant A+

The story: “Never Quit” by Sam Humphries opens with Jessica and Kaja in orbit around planet Maltus. The veteran is telling the rookie to relax. They share some words before the scene moves to Z’Kran Z’Rann and Caleen speaking, with the former saying, “This is the battle I’ve been waiting for since I was a child.” A turn of the page has the story going to Brill and Simon, with the latter still brooding over not having a power ring. This ends with a change to Tyran’r and Alitha’s location, where they watch Volthoom rebuild a Maltusian mill for a pair of men. They compliment the ring bearer and discount those that have separated themselves from society. “Those parasites in the science citadel don’t lend us a hand, that’s for sure. You know they call themselves ‘Guardians of the Universe’ now?! What about guarding the people on their own damn planet first?!” The three have a friendly conversation until Volthoom remembers his destroyed travel lantern, which has him transforming into an orange then red lantern. It’s obvious that he’s a disturbed individual and the Maltusians have befriended the wrong individual. That’s when the lanterns arrive to take him down. What follows is a massive battle, with several deaths. One lantern decides to take on the antagonist on Page 18 in an unorthodox manner and it’s awesome. This individual actually makes contact several times, with the character’s actions having something dramatic occur that’s wonderful. This was a shocking, action-packed issue with one heck of a cliffhanger. More, please, Mr. Humphries! Overall grade: A+

The art: The visuals are beautiful on this issue from penciller Carlo Barberi and inker Matt Santorelli. The introductions of the lanterns on the first two pages are slick, with each showing their personalities in two quick panels for each. I especially like the individual at the bottom of Page 1 and the close-up of Simon on 2. Even Volthoom is introduced well, with him looking his heroic best on Page 3. The smiles he shares with his new friends are disarmingly warm. His build to his momentary breakdown on 4 is great, with that fourth panel a winner. I love how lantern symbols are constantly coming out of him, and them changing to represent the color that he’s currently employing. The full-paged splash on 6 is a killer with two lanterns taking the first swing at him. There’s a lot going on in this image, and it’s full of incredible details to get lost in. These details continue throughout the battle, with a taking down on 8 excellent. The first shocking image occurs on 11 and it left me gasping. The shocks continues on 14  and 16. I honestly expected to see the action that’s teased on 17 carried through, given what’s been shown previously, which makes the first image on 18 incredibly strong. I loved what the hero did to the villain: it’s simple, effective, and unexpected. The fifth panel on 19 is sensational, with the three panels that follow making my heart race, and ultimately sing on the final page, which is a gorgeous full-paged splash. Wow! Does this look good! Overall grade: A+

The colors: Ulises Arreolo does a spectacular job on this issue. Look at the smart shading he does on the characters to make them three dimensional; Callen’s skin is particularly cool. The work done on Alitha and her armor is also incredibly well done. I really like the tones done on the Maltusians, with their blues dynamic. The energy that surges out Volthoom when he uses his ring changes to every spectrum of the rainbow, looking strong and frightening. Look at the awesome lime greens behind the characters on Page 3 that makes the characters pop off the page. Page 6 has that full-page splash resplendent in greens, but there are so many different shades of emerald that the art receives a tremendous amount of depth due to the coloring. When characters die, and there are several, Volthoom’s colors dominate and they make the actions horrific. I would love to see Arreolo color this book forever! Overall grade: A+

The letters: The superb Dave Sharpe works his magic on this book, creating scene settings, dialogue, character identifications, unique speech for Brill, power ring speech, laughter, Volthoom’s voice when mad, yells, sounds, screams, the story’s title and tease for next issue, as well as the book’s credits. The variety of yells in this book are staggering. They visually show the screamer’s intensity and if that individual is possessed. The sounds are also awesome, making each action wonderful and terrifying. Sharpe is a lettering god. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Perfection in every way as Volthoom is battled, often to the death. The story is incredible, surprising, and cheer worthy. The visuals are perfection. Everything about this book is amazing. An absolute must-read for fans of heroics and ring slingers. 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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