I’ve really come to respect Peter Tomasi as a writer. As an editor he was one of the architect’s for the return of the Green Lantern mythos, but he’s really turned me into a fan with his work on Green Lantern Corps and he adds another great piece of writing with this weeks issue.
This issue really delivers some great moments for Kilowog and Arisia, who has always been one of my favorite Lanterns. Both characters get some time in the spotlight as we see them deal with people from their pasts. Now, if you didn’t get the “Tales of the Corps” issue a few months ago then you probably won’t understand some of the significance of the people who show up to feed on the Lantern.
If you fall into that category – here’s the Reader’s Digest version. Lantern Ermey was Kilowog’s trainer in his early days, helping shape Kilowog into the being he is today, and he’s the one who originated the use of the word “Poozer” that the Wog has made his own as a tribute to Ermey. And we learned that Arisia is one of four members of her family who have served the Corps, a rare legacy that Arisia strives to live up to. Yeah, if you’re jaded you’ll say that the back story was created just for the moments in this issue, and you’d be right, but story is told well and furthers the growth of two long-standing members of the Corps who we really don’t know a lot about despite how long they’ve appeared in the comics.
Jade continues her mental assault on Kyle and we get a couple of neat, but gross, scenes with Iolande and Soranik Natu trying to protect their fellow Lanterns in the infirmary before she goes to save Kyle from Jade’s clutches. Guy shows up for a page or two, freeing himself from Ke’Haan who had run one of his horns through Guy’s thigh last issue. As of this issue the Black Lanterns’ power hits the 85% range and we know that the big bad of the event is one the verge of making his first appearance in the story. Oh, and one of the Indigo Tribe show up to save Isamot Kol and Vath from some of the Black Lantern Lanterns.
When I first heard about the Blackest Night event my hope was that this would not only be a great action story, but that it would give us some great character moments as our heroes face the return of friends, family, and foes. Unlike the Sinestro Corp War event, this story should strive to be not only the superhero horror story it obviously is, but one that is deeply personal and character driven at the same time. This issue of Green Lantern Corps accomplishes that very well, and if I have one major complaint of this story so far it’s that we haven’t seen this story get personal enough for Hal Jordan yet. I’m hoping with Saint Walker’s power level of hope that we see Hal confronted with a Black Lantern version of his mother.
But as far as this issue only one thing keeps it from getting ten Lanterns, and that’s the art. Patrick Gleason has been hit or miss for me for that past several issues, and I have to say that there were things about the art in this issue that left me scratching my head. Soranik Natu’s contortions as the Black Lantern is forming around he seem anatomically impossible and there’s some work on Kilowog’s head that just leaves me longing for some Ethan Van Sciver Wog artwork. And then there are a couple of panels where I just can’t tell what the hell’s supposed to be happening them.
Speaking of artwork, if have the chance to pick up the Greg Horn variant, grab it. As much as I loved the creepy heart-holding kid on that Gleason did a great job on, Horn’s variant of Jade and Natu is a piece of art. Greg Horn is doing several more variant’s for the series according to this story on Newsarama, including one really great Guy Gardner cover for next month’s Green Lantern Corps. Eight out of ten lanterns.