In Review: Green Lanterns #42

This is the Green Lanterns tale I want!

The covers: Two very different covers to chose between for this issue, but both are equally impressive. The Regular cover is by Will Conrad and Ivan Nunes and features both lanterns essentially crucified on metal Xs, with emerald energy circling around them. Below a cow skull faced robed priest spreads his arms wide as he looks down upon his loyal flock who are robed similarly. The text “All must be sacrificed!” is in the bottom right corner. This is a dramatic cover, showing the heroes in jeopardy. The coloring is strong, with the lanterns’ greens dominating the top half of the cover, while the orange and yellow torches of the faithful consume the bottom. The Variant cover is by Brandon Peterson and it has the two lanterns of this series in an unexpected pose, but a sensational one. Simon is on a knee, right hand to chest as though proclaiming his love for Jessica, who stands before him on tiptoes, a look of joy on her face, and arms flung dramatically back as though surprised at her partner’s actions. This is a beautiful, though highly unlikely, cover, with the emerald guardians on an ivory background. I love this illustration and this was the cover I picked up. Overall grades: Regular A- and Variant A

The story: Tim Seeley’s third installment of “Superhuman Trafficking” opens at the Basilica of the Order of Steed at the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. with Priestess Glout, a Durlan, leading Night Pilot to her new place. The Durlan reveals herself to have been Equilibrian, the hero she dated on Earth and ultimately kidnapped her. Leaving her on a dais exposed to the elements and surrounded by others just like her, Glout reveals “There must be riders…and there must be steeds.” Meanwhile, back at the Green Lantern Corps Command on Mogo, Simon and Jessica are told by John Stewart that they can’t go in rings blazing to rescue Night Pilot. Due to the Piscine Three Accords, lanterns can’t enter an intergalactic sacred site without overwhelming physical evidence of a crime. Additionally, they need permission to conduct an investigation at such a site. The pair of heroes learn they can enter as believers and pilgrims of the Steed, which they agree to do. This was a very different sort of conflict for Seeley to give the heroes, where a lantern lawyer (was this a first?) was needed to decide if they have jurisdiction to enter the villains’ space. Their pilgrimage to the baddies is interesting and it was good to see that Scrapps wanted to tag along. Naturally the lanterns learn much once they and the throng with them encounter the High Rider. Things don’t go easily for the protagonists, who have to battle an unforseen force which was very clever of Seeley. Even better is the cliffhanger with Scrapps encountering the newest uber powered acolyte of the Steed. This storyline improves with each issue. Overall grade: A 

The art: V. Ken Marion is the artist with Sandu Florea providing inks and they are a tremendous improvement over the previous issues. A reader can tell from the opening page that this book will be sumptuous. Look at the killer details done in the opening panel that shows the skyline around the Basilica. Look at the amazing detail in the stairs and the entryway of the second panel. Glout’s reveal as Equilbrian looks fantastic. The final panel on Page 2 is outstanding for the work done on Night Pilot. When the book moves to Mogo, the details continue to be outstanding with all the construct files surrounding Mr. Dasam, who is a very alien looking Green Lantern. There is an incredibly powerful image of Simon at the bottom of Page 4 and this is followed on the next page with exceptional images of Scrapps and the trio of lanterns at the bottom. The ship that appears at the top of 6 is wonderful and the people within it great. I really like seeing Simon and Jessica dressed normally among aliens, making them seem weak, which is accentuated by a character issue on 7. I love crowd shots in comics if the artists make every character a unique individual and Marion and Florea have more than succeeded with the outstanding second panel on Page 9. A full-paged splash for 12 is a wonder to look upon for all the unique characters on the page. The point of view is also really well done, with the lanterns having to look down upon an antagonist. I mean, come on, look at the crowd in the bottom left! Marion and Florea didn’t really need to insert them, but by adding them it makes the moment much more epic. The energy that whips about on 13 and 14 is great, and the battle that commences at the bottom of the latter is excellent. In fact, the detailed art continues during the battle, making each foe that comes at the lanterns seem like a part of a never-ending horde. If Marion and Florea remain as the artists on this series it will continue to visually soar. Overall grade: A 

The colors: The reader can also tell by the first page that the colors on this book will be exceptional. Dinei Ribeiro does a beautiful job with yellow and gold on the Basilica and the violet robes of the acolytes look terrific against them. The dark blues used for space at the bottom of Page 2 make Night Pilot’s predicament even more hopeless. Look at the awesome work done with all the greens on Page 3, with the lanterns standing out strongly against the flying files. Against this emerald environment Scrapps also stands out strongly in her orange skin and togs. The metallic blues used for the interior of the starship reinforce the setting very well. When the High Rider activates his abilities the colors become surprisingly light, as though they come from a higher source. The fight sequence is an explosion of colors because of the wide variety of opponents for the lanterns. The penultimate page used dark colors exceptionally well to show Scrapps going deep into unsafe territory. Ribeiro is a great colorist. Overall grade: A 

The letters: Dave Sharpe is an undisputed master of lettering and this issue proves him worthy of this claim as he creates scene settings, dialogue, character names, the story’s title, the book’s credits, a brilliant song, sounds, and the tease for next issue. I’m always impressed by Sharpe’s scene settings, which are futuristic looking (a good match for this science fiction series) and tilted slightly to make it seem as though the reader must race to see what happens next. The three character names stated are done so with different styles of font that’s appropriate for their utterances, but the one that occurs at the end of the book just looks really cool. The sounds are plentiful when the battle commences and reading them aloud will unquestionably bring a smile to anyone’s face. Sharpe’s skills make the text of this book a visual treat. The highlight of the book is the song that’s sung by the faithful that had me thinking it akin to “I’ve Got the Joy.” Overall grade: A

The final line: The heroes are in the belly of the beast and they might not be strong enough to survive. The story is very clever and the visuals a tremendous improvement over previous issues. This is the Green Lanterns tale I want! 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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