In Review: Green Lanterns #33

An average story lessened by troublesome visuals. A disappointing read.

The covers: Riccardo Federici and Tomeu Morey have created a detailed Regular cover. The lanterns are trying to save the denizens of the planet Mol. Jessica is constructing hands to catch all the debris falling from the crumbling cave’s ceiling while Simon is carrying two aliens who aren’t moving fast enough. Both heroes look good, Jessica’s constructs are excellent looking, Simon looks heroic, the aliens look alien, and the cave with its destruction in the background looks great. I like this. The Variant cover is by Brandon Peterson. This has both lanterns straining to hold the planet together. Yes, it’s a representational cover but it’s very cool. The distress on the lanterns’ faces is good and the colors are sensational. Another winner from Peterson. Overall grades: Both A

The story: The first part of Work Release by Tim Seeley begins with John Stewart signaling the heroes to go to Mol and save the recently discovered subterranean natives. The pair arrive with 18 minutes left before stellar annihilation occurs. Before they get to the planet the story flashes back to the week before where Jessica is at her therapist. She’s come a long way since she “the incident that triggered a post-traumatic stress response” but she’s told she could do more. What she could do comes at the end of Page 5. The story then returns to the present, with the pair on their mission. This lasts for a few pages until John’s flashback occurs. Sira makes the same declaration to him that Jessica’s therapist said to her. Then it’s back to the present with a new race with new characters appearing. This race is interesting, as are the characters. Twice more the adventure is interrupted by the pair’s normal lives, before returning to the task at hand. I’m not seeing how these flashbacks relate to the mission, seeming to serve only to flesh the pair out. I think that’s fine, but a whole issue could give their non-lantern lives a better shake than interjecting it into a story that’s supposed to move at a fevered pitch, seeing as how there’s a countdown clock for these people’s survival. There’s a nice split cliffhanger for the ending, with each lantern encountering problems to solve. How they survive these obstacle, with the aliens not dying is beyond me, but I’m more than willing to see how they do it. I just want the flashbacks to keep from interrupting the story. Overall grade: B

The art: This issue’s pencils are by Eduardo Pansica and with inks by Julio Ferreira, who have illustrated previous issues of this series. I’ve enjoyed their books, but with a different colorist. This issue reunites with them Alex Sollazzo, who gives their work an odd texture. For example, in the fifth panel at the bottom of the first page Simon looks almost unfinished. The art looks almost clay-like on Page 4. I do like the cliché obligatory motivational poster behind the therapist on 4, with that one being particularly shudder inducing. Jessica’s got a great triptych at the top of 5 that has her emoting well. When the story returns to the present I LOVE Jessica’s construct, but what’s up with Simon on these pages? He looks like unfinished sketches. Page 11 shows the interiors of the new alien ship and it comes off as muddy. Not better is the crowd at the bottom of 12. Much better is 14, with the crowd, the constructs, and the chaos looking fantastic. It’s very difficult to make out the destruction in the fourth panel on 15. The second panel on 18 looks good, with the construct and crowd again awesome. Sadly, the final page, which is a full-paged splash, the visuals are hard to see because of the colors. This book should have looked better. Overall grade: B-

The colors: I don’t know what Alex Sollazzo is doing, but it’s hurting this book’s artwork. Look at how flat the first two panels of the first page look. This is a comic book, nothing has to be colored realistically. Simon has a weird texture to him on the first page. This strange coloring occurs on 6, 7, and 20. Better is the double-paged splash of 2 and 3 with the lanterns looking good with a gigantic orange and yellow star behind them. The character that ends 6 is extra glossy. The device that John is working on does not have a metallic gloss, instead looking, again, flat. The interior of the aliens’ ship is too dark, losing much of the artwork, and the metal work looks more like plastic. The coloring of these characters’ skin has them looking like mannequins. 14 has the best coloring of the book, with the characters and the constructs terrific. However, a turn of the page returns to murky orbiting aliens, with the destruction in the fourth panel obscured. And I want to know where the light source is that surrounds the grieving character on the last page? It’s not the lantern, otherwise the characters in the background would also be brightly lit. This page is a mess. Overall grade: D 

The letters: Dave Sharpe delivers dialogue, transmissions, the story title, the book’s credits, scene settings, sounds, yells, chants, a computer voice, a song, a weakened voice, and the tease for next issue. Whew! The chants are big, bold, and also incredibly humorous. The scene settings are strong, the book’s credit’s eye catching, the computer voice appropriately robotic, and the song visually heartbreaking. Sharpe is always in top form. Overall grade: A

The final line: An average story lessened by troublesome visuals. This was not a good debut for Seeley on this book. The artwork has got to get better. This was a disappointing read. Overall grade: C

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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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