In Review: Green Lanterns #32

Abilities and fighting take a welcome back seat to down time for the heroes.

The covers: Among a group of people involved in some revelry, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz look to have just used their rings to suit up to leave the party and go on a mission. The characters are looking at the reader who is positioned above the crowd, giving the sense that the pair of heroes are about to fly up and away from the event. Both characters look very old, with Simon in his thirties and Jessica in her late twenties. Even with the pair this old, this is a good illustration by Riccardo Federici, featuring colors by Tomeu Morey. I do like the people at the party, the point of view, and the effect used for the pair to show their rings in action. The colors are especially fetching. The Variant cover is by Brandon Peterson and spotlights Jessica over Earth, following closely behind Simon, who only has a foot showing. Jessica looks fierce with one fist raised as she flies forward, her ring very clear on her hand. The background of the planet and the sky is also good, with the coloring on them, and the character, exceptional. Peterson is knocking it out of the park with these variant covers. Overall grades: Regular B- and Variant A-

The story: This issue is a well deserved change of pace for the heroes after their adventures through time with the First Lanterns. Sam Humphries begins “House Party” of Simon and Jessica in their favorite diner in Portland, Oregon, waiting for pancakes. They quickly recount for new readers what they’ve been dealing with in previous issues and then the food arrives. Just as they’re about to dig in, their rings notify them they’re needed for a Code Twelve, Unauthorized Alien. The pair regretfully take off to Simi Valley, California, where a monstrous asteroid automaton is wrecking havoc. The creature reminds Simon of something they were told in a “little chat” by John Stewart. The creature is dealt with and Jessica is eager to return to her meal, though Simon says that have to make a stop first. He wants to go to Dearborn, Michigan, where a party is in full swing with his friends. Simon is forced to deal with a friend who he’s had issues with. Where they go to work out their differences is typical of a house party and made me smile. Jessica, who suffers from intense shyness, sticks to a friend and learns some background about Simon and tries to flirt with a boy. Abilities and fighting take a welcome back seat to down time for the heroes, resulting in a fantastic issue of character growth. If Humphries were to do four issues of these heroes just interacting with non-powered people, it would be compelling reading. The reader wants Simon and his friend to come to terms and Jessica to get a date with the guy. In the worst turn of fate, that has echoes of early personal disasters of Peter Parker, Jessica’s hopes go down the drain in self-inflicted style. The issue ends as one expects, but it’s still a fun read. Overall grade: A-

The art: The most difficult story for an artist to keep interesting for a reader is one where two characters are talking in a room. This issue starts with a solid action sequence with artist Scott Godlewski having the pair take on a flaming behemoth. The creature looks good and the leads heroic as they take it down. Then the story goes to a house filled with people Godlewski has got to populate this place with several different characters and he’s got to make the setting believable so that the story will be real for the reader. He succeeds on both counts. The first panel on Page 6 is great, plenty of people in a real environment without things going cliché or awry. When Simon is faced with his friend, the posture of each character instantly communicates to the reader their strife. Godlewski also does a great job with expressions, with the forced disinterest of each to the other solidifying their discomfort. When the two begin to unload on the other, it looks great. Sira is another excellent visual character, whose emotions wonderfully run about, which is perfect for someone her age. The party is left momentarily, and this page is well done, teasing that Godlewski has much to offer if another story were to come his way and the action to be set in space. The final page is a full-paged splash showing the characters in a more familiar environment and is a solid closer. I’m more than welcoming to Godlewski returning for other adventures with this pair. Overall grade: A

The colors: One can’t go wrong with Hi-Fi responsible for a book’s colors. The book begins with eight panels set in the diner, with the colors of this space establishing the setting. When the lanterns zip off in the final panel, there are only two streaks to show their departure and Hi-Fi gives them several shades of green as they speed off, rather than a blanket shade. This is just a little touch that shows how well this group works. The appearance of the asteroid automaton on 3 has the colors go an intense orange and red, reinforcing the creature’s fiery nature. These intense colors allow the lanterns to pop in every panel with their light greens. At the party, choices in characters’ clothing directs the reader’s eyes. Nazir has a bright yellow shirt, Sira has on a blue hijab with a light violet sweater. The lanterns are incognito, with Simon wearing a bold green tee and Jessica in a faded green hoodie; both being a nod to the reader as to their identities. Every character and background is colored perfectly. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, dialogue, ring speech, yells, sounds, quiet speech, and some terrific text for a pair of tee shirts. This is not an issue for super heroics, so the majority of this issue is dialogue. However, Sharpe is able to use his fantastic yells several times, with them being of different sizes and fonts to show the strength of the utterances. I really like the yells used by Sira directed at the fighting friends. It’s just so cool. The story’s title is designed in a way to nod wonderfully at Kid ‘n Play. Overall grade: A

The final line: A quiet issue compared to what’s gone before, but one that’s worth reading to see that the heroes are trying to lead normal lives when not fighting aliens. The visuals are good, especially since they’re set in a house during a party. Everything about this works, continuing its streak of excellence. 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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