In Review: Red Lanterns #37

Nice adventure with a pair of lanterns trying to recover captured rings.

The cover: Thanks to the Channel 52 pages on the inside of all DC comics this week, I now know that the last five covers of the Godhead saga are homages to some of Jack Kirby’s covers from the past. This month’s cover is Scott Hepburn and Gabe Eltaeb’s take on a Our Fighting Forces cover with Green Lantern Simon Baz and Guy Gardner looking through a recently opened hatch and finding themselves looking down the barrels of three rifles. Good image and good coloring. I’m always impressed when lanterns’ greens radiate off the page and they are doing it on this. Overall grade: A-

The story: Charles Soule’s installment to Godhead, Act III, Part IV: “Forged in Blood”, begins with Simon and Guy trapped within a Miracle Cell, a cube used by the New Gods to confine others. Guy decides that the only way out is for him to go full-on Bruce Banner and get angry. He thinks of the horrible things that happen every day and finds the anger to blow out a wall. With their cell gone, Simon wraps himself and Guy in his emerald energy and then wills his sphere to explode, freeing them from the energy miasma that swirls about them. Mission accomplished, but both spent, they collapse in an unlit room, though they are not alone. An unexpected accomplice has arrived to help them and sends them to a New God who has all the lantern rings that Highfather thought he would need, but has since put aside having acquired the white ring. Hyalt is their opponent this issue and he’s good. It was nice to have a New God consumed with exploration and understanding, rather than blindly follow Highfather. The battle is good and the resolution to the battle excellent. The exit from the fight on Page 18 is great, with “Quickly…Quickly…” outstanding. The last page deals with another group involved in this multi-issue saga, and I was really unhappy with the dialogue in the third panel. This falls under the heading, “If you had the ability to do this all along, why didn’t you?!” Enjoyed this issue, but angered by the final page. Overall grade: B+

The art: J. Calafiore continues to earn rave reviews for his sensational artwork. The opening two pages are an artist’s nightmare, as it’s two characters trapped in close quarters. Calafiore smartly moves his point-of-view often making this beginning interesting to look at. The actions on 3 are strong and beautiful. I love the sputter of energy coming out of Guy’s ring in the final panel on Page 5. This issue contains the best drawn version of the character that’s encountered on that page. Hyalt is the first New God I’ve seen in the entire run of Godhead that looks like Jack Kirby designed him. This is what a New God should look like. His desk certainly looks like one that’s used by a tinkerer. The energy that comes out of his weapon onto the lanterns was unique with the use of rectangles–Haven’t seen that before and it’s fitting of a New God. The bottom of Page 16 is gloriously gross! I loved this! This book is heaven to look at, even when it’s gross. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Master colorist Gabe Eltaeb is illuminating all of Calafiore’s work. The first three pages need his talents to make the exterior and interior of the cell threatening. That first panel on Page 4 must have taken a forever to color with all the shades in it. Plus, check out that there’s more than one hue of green–Amazing detail! My favorite page by Eltaeb is 18 because of the glow coming of Hyalt’s mask, the footballs (don’t ask), the lanterns’ energy, the explosion, and the sound. There’s yet to be a misstep in Eltaeb’s work. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Green Lantern go-to Dave Sharpe does scene setting, opening title and credits, dialogue, sounds, and screams, and the tease for next issue. I love Lantern stories with sound effects and there are several in this smackdown. Thank you, DC, for letting Sharpe loose! Overall grade: A+

The final line: Nice adventure with a pair of lanterns trying to recover captured rings. That last page, however, was infuriating. Overall grade: A-

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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