Never Bring a Knife to a Ring Fight!
With Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps defeating a bunch of Durlans disguised as Green Lanterns over in Green Lantern #31, Uprising continues on as John Stewart leads a team to follow the rings of the missing Lanterns back to their rightful owners. By the time the issue ends the return of a long lost member of the Corps reveals the Durlans’ endgame while giving the Green Lanterns an extremely powerful ally.
Green Lantern Corps #31 starts out on Corona Seven, the planet where the Durlans have set up a prison camp and where the missing Lanterns have been held captive. Writer Van Jensen mixes some great characterization with the Lanterns’ prison break and we’re reminded once again that while the power ring is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the universe it’s really the person chosen to wear the ring who makes it that way and a Green Lantern without a ring is surely no pushover. But once their rings return to them and their fellow ring wielders arrive the scales are severely tipped against the Khund and the Durlans and it’s only a matter of time before the skirmish is over. Before the lanterns escape they plunge deeper into the facility to free one last prisoner resulting in John Stewart figuring out exactly what the Durlans are really after.
|Prisoners no more
While the revelation of the identity of the final captive and what the Durlans are trying to achieve are pretty spectacular, there are some things which left me scratching my head not only about this issue but the whole Uprising
story now that we are about a third of the way into the arc. The Durlans were pretty tough customers when John and his crew encountered them a few issues ago
, but they are just a bit too easily dispatched here and I’m left wondering how great of a threat they really are. We’re two issues into the story and so far we’ve seen them be far too much on the defense of things. I’m hoping that there’s a serious amount of conflict forthcoming that will provide a greater challenge to the Green Lantern. So far the Khund/Durlan offensive lacks the same kind of the punch that we’ve experienced from past Green Lantern cross-over events.
Van Jensen does a great job of spotlighting some of the Lanterns who tend to stay in the background, however the balancing act doesn’t fare well for our main cast. Fatality doesn’t utter a word this issue and Von Daggle is nowhere to be found. He likely back on Mogo but there’s nothing to indicate where he is and there’s nothing in the narrative which connects John’s story back to Hal’s. It’s indicative to me of the greater lack of cohesion between the two titles so far in this story. John and his team were mysteriously missing from the battle over in the Green Lantern book and there’s absolutely no connective tissue between those events and John’s mission here. While readers don’t need to be reading both books to follow what’s going on, the underlying point of a crossover is to link together the various books with one overarching narrative and in this case it really doesn’t feel like the books are as connected as I think they should feel.
|The Durlans’ true goal is revealed
I’m not saying this issue is a let down, because it’s not when you consider the book as a standalone story. Green Lantern Corps
#31 has a lot of action and it’s great to see characters like MukMuk and R’amey Holl getting a chance to do more. Taken as a singular piece there’s a lot to like and it’s really only when I stand back and look at how the pieces connect, or don’t connect, that I see any chinks in the armor of the issue. The potential for what the Durlans could do if they are successful in learning how to shapeshift into the lifeform revealed should send a shudder up and down the reader’s spine given how successful we’ve already seen the Durlans can be. And Van Jensen succeeds in that as he does with the dramatic freeing of this “lost” member of the Corps.
Bernard Chang’s art lends itself very well to the issue and his contributions to the story give the action scenes a lot of visual punch. The monochromatic action panels make a return which is either good or bad depending on your opinion of them. I find I don’t mind them, but for me they have greater impact when they are used more sparingly and in this issue I felt like they were overplayed a little.
Green Lantern Corps #31 is a great read as a single issue, but as a part of the larger story of Uprising it feels a little disjointed. The Khund/Durlan menace comes off looking more like minor annoyances and almost as a subplot to the issues major objective – to reveal the Durlans’ true goal and to return a character that hasn’t been seen in quite a while. In those areas the book excels. I have high hopes that part three will be the issue where things take a bad turn and Uprising begins to really live up to it’s potential. Four out of five lanterns.