In Review: Green Lanterns #34

A step up from last issue, with one lantern resuming an ability that's not been seen for a while.

The covers: A rainbow of cosmic lights shower down on Liseth and Green Lantern Simon Baz. The lantern is defending them from the deadly lights by constructing a shield with his power ring. His pose is graceful, as one would expect of a hero, while she looks clumsy, as one would expect from one in distress. This Regular cover by Mike McKone and Dinei Ribeiro has a fine illustration, but the colors really catch the eye on this cover. I do wish that I could see this illustration without the text because I feel it’s obscuring something at the top of the construct that should be visible. The Variant cover by Brandon Peterson is deceptive in that it seems very simple, but the artist is showing himself to be a master. Caught in a blast so powerful it’s white, Simon and Jessica Cruz are thrown by this explosion. The illustration is entirely in black and white, save the bit of green for the their masks and on Simon’s chest. I love the lines of the explosion that are incredibly fine around the characters and how some partially cross over the pair. Overall grades: Regular B and Variant A

The story: Writer Tim Seeley brings the reader into this story with a smart and quick encapsulation of the last issue on the first page. Simon and Jessica were sent by John Stewart to evacuate the planet Mol, but the Molites are refusing to leave on religious grounds. As she’s communicating with John the ceiling above the population collapses and Jessica constructs a web to stop the debris. Simon has left her to assist an Ungaran lifeboat that’s having difficulties in orbit. With all this action occurring, the story flashes back to the previous day in Portland, Oregon where Jessica is applying for a job. The owner is concerned with her panic disorder and agoraphobia by keeping her from waiting tables and starting in the kitchen. She’s told she’ll start the day after tomorrow. The story them moves back to the present with Simon aboard the Ungaran ship where the captain’s daughter has just been killed before the lantern and the crew. Her mother, Athene, pulls a sword to commit ritual suicide but Simon stops her because he has something he can possibly do. My hat’s off to Seeley to bringing back this skill to Simon’s tool belt. I don’t think he’s shown this ability since he first appeared and I have wanted to see this skill explored more. I also like the reason why Simon thinks he’s able to have this ability. The story then flashes back to Simon looking for a job and he gets an incredibly painful, yet realistic, scene. The lanterns then pool their powers to save the evacuees, which is a little cheesey, but justifiable. Simon gets an overdue upbeat moment on 16 which left me smiling. 17 sows seeds for a return to the alien races they helped, while the lanterns are shown settling in for the night. The last page features the return of a villain that’s appeared in several other books and he’s got a terrific silly tease. This was an improvement over the previous issue, leaving me hopeful for more of Seeley’s Lantern tales. Overall grade: B+

The art: Ronan Cliquet is the artist of this issue and he does a great job. The first page shows Cliquet showing himself to set up panels well, with an excellent establishment panel of the Green Lantern Corps’ monitoring room, a close-up on Jessica’s power ring before pulling back to show her in action, and ending with the Molites in peril. The third page’s Portland street looks good and resembles a street one would see there. I like the man interviewing her, though Jessica’s face is really round in the fourth panel, never reaching that width again in the issue. I really like how Cliquet shows Simon using his unique skill, with it followed with an expulsion from the hero after he concludes. The top of Page 6 is great, with every character’s emotions spot on. When the lanterns fly they look awesome, with Simon stellar on 9. The bridge panel on 11 is great, leaving me hopeful that Cliquet will return to this book and get the opportunity to create some more tech. The double-paged splash on 12 and 13 reminds me of artwork by Alan Davis, especially with the design of the spaceship and the aliens in their vehicles. It looks fine, but it does resemble that artist’s work. There’s another sweet flying scene on 16 with the heroes looking great. There’s a good transition between 19 and 20 with the concluding two panels containing a solid visual gag. I’m liking the visuals on this book. Overall grade: B 

The colors: The colors on a Lantern book are always going to have a lot of green, but the colorist has got to be careful with how much goes on a page so it doesn’t drown all the other hues out. Hi-Fi always does an excellent job on their colors and this book is another that showcases their talents. I love the different shades of emerald in the first panel, which could have rightfully had more but didn’t need them. The green emitting from Jessica’s ring is present, but not so much that it overwhelms her in the third panel. The shock of oranges and rusts in the final panel is a nice change from the previous panels and exudes danger. The panel of Portland has all the colors of a typical street of that city, but I’ve never seen the sky so clear there. The first panel on 6 has colors that showcase the character, while the backgrounds maintain tech well with their metallic colors. The neon coloring done on the lanterns gives them some neat highlights, but looks the best at the bottom of 6 as John puts his mask back on. I love the coloring of the Ungaran ship on 9, while the orange miasma that swirls behind the characters in the second panel on the same page is outstanding. There’s a return to the interior of the ship on 11, with the distant, faded lighting creating some solid depth. The skin colors of the Ungarans also deserves some attention, as they always draw the reader’s eye and are a stark color against every other shade on the page. Hi-Fi, always rocking it. Overall grade: A

The letters: Dave Sharpe is this issue’s letterer, creating dialogue, transmissions, the story’s title, the book’s credits, scene settings, sounds, a weakened response, chants, a song, and the tease for next issue. I can’t say enough about the chanting, which is strong looking and repeated often in the same panel, but it also comes off very humorously in a lemming-like fashion. I also like the yell that follows one of the chants, “Hey! Listen up!” It’s loud and also very funny. There aren’t too many sounds in this issue, but FOONT is the scene stealer for its design and not being the expected noise for that particular action. Overall grade: A

The final line: A step up from last issue, with one lantern resuming an ability that’s not been seen for a while. The story has several strong lantern moments and teases of more with the supporting cast. The visuals are good, too, with the lantern sequences heroic. 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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