In Review: Green Lanterns #37

This is a Green Lanterns book to track down!

The covers: Walking in a sewer on an alien world, Simon and Jessica are knee deep in muck and have a feeling they’re being watched. Simon asks his ring to find an exit — now! Unfortunately the ring responds, “No escape possible. Probability of death 10%.” Unbeknownst to the heroes, several small aliens bearing metallic clubs are looking down upon them to do some damage. This Regular cover is by Mike McKone and Dinei Ribeiro and looks sharp. Both heroes are clearly seen and the aliens’ colors have them blending in well with the background. The Variant cover by Brandon Peterson is gorgeous. Simon is standing on a rocky outcropping, while Jessica is sitting on it. There’s a white light behind them that makes them appear to have been chosen by the sun to be its heroes. The background is primarily composed of a beautiful purple and yellow nebulae. This should be made into a statue by DC! Outstanding. Overall grades: Regular A- and Variant A+ 

The story: “A World of Our Own” by Tim Seeley opens with the reader seeing how lonely Simon is. His action is interrupted when he receives a call from the planet Ungara. It’s Liseth Vok and she’s requesting the Lanterns return to the planet; she fears the Red Tide, a terrorist group, has returned. He and Jessica arrive and find protests in the streets with angry Ungarans carrying torches and signs that state MOLITES = BRINGERS OF DEATH and UNGARA IS FOR PEACE AND UNGARANS. Inside the capital house they meet with the Regent, Liseth’s mother, who tells the pair that Commodore Psyt, her second-in-command was murdered. DNA evidence from the scene revealed a Molite to be the killer. Once that information went public, one of the camps where the Molites live was broken into by some younglings who are now being held captive. She asks the Lanterns to retrieve the hostages, but they cannot show themselves to be Lanterns, as that will only fire up the anti-universalist fervor of the growing mobs of protesters. This is a lot of information that Seeley gives to the reader, but he has it done in a very interesting way so that the information doesn’t result in panels containing talking heads. Using their rings to disguise themselves. the pair enter the sewer systems to get to the camps and that’s where the action kicks in. The justification for why the antagonists attack on Pages 8 – 10 is very smart, and how the Lanterns are able to stop them is very clever. Page 12 has a very sad reveal, leading to a surprising statement on 14. This was a very cool story with a seemingly simple conclusion. That’s when Seeley pulls the rug out from under the reader on 17 with two characters’ actions and a jaw-dropping cliffhanger! Without spoiling anything, this is really going to put one Lantern through the wringer! Overall grade: A

The art: Pencils on this gorgeously illustrated issue are by Carlo Barberi and Matt Santorelli on inks. This pair has got a definite style that reminds me slightly of Ian Gibson or Alan Davis. The opening page has got a terrific illustration as Simon puts on his hero togs and the final panel on the page is an excellent visual to introduce the reader to Liseth. Page 2 is a full-paged splash that shows the people protesting in the streets. The crowd looks great, but take a gander at the background work — Barberi and Santorelli have squarely set this action on an alien world with some outstanding futuristic architecture. Pages 4 and 5 have some incredible new costumes for the Lanterns and Christmas will come early if it’s announced that there will be action figures dressed like that! The interior of the sewer is epic with tremendous pipes going off in every direction and a massive flow of sludge that rapidly speeds through corridors. The attack on 8 – 10 is good and the way Jessica reacts on 9 is outstanding. Page 17 nicely increases tension as the characters get closer to one another, with the final panel on the page causing me to gasp. The contrast to the characters on 16 and 18 is perfect. The last two panels on 19 had me knowing trouble was coming soon and the last panel on 20 showed it clearly to the reader. It’s nothing monstrous or deadly, but clear enough for the reader to know, when combined with the text, that one character has made a stupendous error. I would love to see Barberi and Santorelli on any DC book! Overall grade: A+

The colors: From the first page, any reader can see that Ulises Arreola is going to do a strong job on this book’s colors. The different shades of green on the first page are terrific, with the scene setting, the constructs, and Simon’s costume having many different shades of emerald. The skin of the Ungarans is a strong violet, which like the greens used by the Lanterns, come in many shades to make it three dimensional. The interiors of the capital house are beautiful in marble, instantly making it a noble house. The sewer water is another shade of green, but instead of looking heroic, this green is sickly. The pink skin of the attackers pops out of every panel they’re in, standing apart from the Lanterns’ green and the metallic gray background. The coloring of one character is key to this issue’s finale and that individual is a knockout! Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates the text for this issue which includes scene settings, dialogue, ring speech, the story’s title and book’s credits, signs for the protesters, sounds, a whisper, and the tease for next issue. Sharpe always the has the most dynamic story titles of any book on the market and the one for this issue is no exception. Additionally, his teases for next issue are equally exciting to see and this one is a humdinger. The sounds in this book make the action big, with SHROOM! being my favorite of the issue. The signs held by the protesters are the only nick in his outstanding job this issue: they’re all too neat and uniform. I can’t imagine any protest, on any world, where citizens’ penmanship is so neat. Overall grade: A-

The final line: A smart story with a terrific surprise that features gorgeous visuals. This is a Green Lanterns book to track down! 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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