In Review: Star Trek/Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #3

The visuals destroy an outstanding story.

The covers: A trio for fans of this series to file away as if they’re Larfleeze. The Regular cover is by Angel Hernandez and Mark Roberts. This has Kilowog, Hal Jordan, Star Sapphire, Saint Walker, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart doing battle against several Manhunters on the saucer section of the U.S.S. Enterprise. It’s a great idea for cover and the layout of this is well done, but the details are really missing in the characters; they look really angular and the shiny portions of the costumes are overdone. Only Kilowog and the Enterprise look good on this. The colors are okay, but the foreground characters are too dark and the background is excessively light. The Artist’s Edition cover is by Sandra Lanz and it looks like a fan created piece of artwork. As with the Regular cover, the idea is strong, but the execution is not. The coloring on Kirk’s face is terrible, and doesn’t even match the skin tone of this hand. Better is Hal, but his hand looks malformed. Tremendously disappointing. Best of the three is the Incentive cover by Aaron Harvey which has a Green Lantern in silhouette flying above the Enterprise, his ring creating a circular ring around the saucer section. The iconic ship forms the center of a gigantic outline of the lanterns’ logo. This looks good. Overall grades: Regular D+, Artist’s Edition F, and Incentive A-

The story: Writer Mike Johnson has got some very nice twists in this installment. The Enterprise has come under attack by several Manhunters. Hal doesn’t want Kirk to attack them because they might be able to lead him and the other lanterns to Oa, the world that will one day spawn the Green Lantern Corps. He and Star Sapphire go out to speak with the Manhunters, showing them that their rings were created with Oan technology. This causes the mechanized warriors to “eliminate the theives.” Luckily, Mr. Spock has a solution to stop the enforcers’ onslaught. This solution was very clever and reminded the reader that the Federation characters are necessary to this saga’s story. Meanwhile, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kilowog have located Atrocitus, who’s been knocked unconscious by the awakened Khan Noonien Singh, who now holds the crimson lantern’s ring. What happens next puts the entire galaxy at a threat level that even the might of Sinestro may not be able to overcome. And where is the wielder of the yellow ring? Armoring himself in Manhunter plates so that he may find Oa, with a little help from Larfleeze. Johnson has got this story spinning in several different directions, with each spelling possible doom for the protagonists. This was a fun read and leaves me wanting more. Overall grade: A

The art: The visuals are again by Angel Hernandez, but this time they did not work for me. The backgrounds, when they appear, are very minimal. This is always is a warning sign of something not right with a book. And what the heck are the yellow colored flecks coming out of Sulu’s console and arcing over his head? When the Enterprise‘s exterior is shown, such as on the first page, it looks fine. However, with a turn of the page the reader is transported to its interiors and they are lacking; lines suggest panels, but that’s all. The setting where Khan and is people are is very vague. I though it was an immense tall space, as evidenced by character outlines on Page 5, but then the space was next shown with a lowered ceiling and the walls widened. The final setting for Kirk and Hal looks the best, but it’s only two pages out of the entire issue. The characters are also hit and miss, with Kirk and Hal looking good. Khan looks exceptional in first appearance, but loses all resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch quickly. Larfleeze looks terrible, from any angle on any page. I don’t think that Hernandez knows what this character looks like at all. The visuals took me out of the story and had me feeling disappointed I bought this book. Overall grade: D-

The colors: Mike Roberts, who was also the colorist on the first two issues, captures the light from the lanterns superbly. This work is especially strong on the wielder of the red ring. The Manhunters create several problems with their coloring because of Roberts’s choice to color space as violet. Their dark reds and shaded areas have them melding with the background, losing any details in the art. There’s also too much red used in the final setting: a red background with red characters creates a red soup. The same can be said of the oranges of Larfleeze that blend in too much with the tans on Qo’nos. When rings are used, things look great, but if characters are standing, or hovering, the art is lost in the coloring. Overall grade: C-

The letters: Narration, dialogue, yells, Manhunter speech, sounds, ring speak, and the tease for next issue are brought to life by Andworld Design. The Manhunter speech and some of the sounds are standout work by Andworld, while the dialogue is very crisp and easy to read. Their contributions to this issue were good. Overall grade: A-

The final line:  The visuals destroy an outstanding story. I don’t know how this would appeal to anyone beyond the two franchises. I love both franchises, but was incredibly disappointed in this. IDW has done much better than this and I expect better. I would suggest passing on this and saving one’s money for the Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern limited series. 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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