A common comment I heard from Green Lantern fans after Geoff Johns ended his epic run in Green Lantern #20 was that since he'd done such a superb job of wrapping things up in a nice little bow perhaps it was time to leave the books behind and move on. With a complete change in all of the creative teams it certainly did seem like it might not be a bad idea, but in the span of a few months we've seen the new teams turn away from the easy path of treading lightly and keeping the status quo and instead go all in by building towards Lights Out, a month long event which launches with today's Green Lantern #24. With this one issue the Green Lantern universe is turned completely on its head and any reader thinking that this franchise would be coasting on the Johns' legacy is in for a surprise.
When Kyle, Carol and the Templar Guardians arrive on Oa with the injured Saint Walker they have but moments to explain the destruction of the Blue Lanterns in Green Lantern: New Guardians #23 before Relic makes his fateful arrival and before long the assault on Oa begins. Writer Robert Venditti pits the Lanterns against overwhelming odds, playing out in greater detail the opening moments from the first issue of his run as Hal Jordan tries to lead his Corps against the superior forces of Relic. The pacing of the story builds towards a mythology shattering conclusion in a moment that clearly indicates that nothing and no one is safe from the immense opposition they now face.
|Pure in his convictions, Relic is perhaps the most sober villain the Green Lanterns have ever faced|
There's a sense of impending doom in the somber tone of this issue yet there are still moments that inspire a smile or two that provides some balance to the seriousness of the story. By the end of the issue it's very clear that our heroes are in a universe of trouble and, all comic tropes aside, things may really never be the same again. As I've seen the build up to Lights Out I've found a new sense of excitement in the Lantern family of books. Over the years I got very good at picking up on Geoff Johns' clues and style of foreshadowing that very often I found that I had a good sense of where he was going with things, but with Venditti at the helm I find myself in unfamiliar ground; still speculating on what I think might happen but less certain that I'm on the right track.
|Dark days are ahead for Hal and the rest of the Corps of the emotional spectrum|
Billy Tan and Rob Hunter do a super job conveying the intensity of Venditti's script and capturing key moments that visually convey all the emotions that the characters feel as their reality comes crashing down down around them. From the brief moments of levity to the solemn realization that this could be the end for the cast to the explosive action the art team shines in every aspect of depicting a turning point in Green Lantern history.
From start to finish Green Lantern #24 stands out as something incredible in a title which has had more that its fair share of amazing moments in recent years. If you were one of those who chose to drop the series after issue twenty - it's okay, we understand, but boy are you missing out! Five out of five lanterns.