The Green Lantern Corps, bent but not broken from their battle with their new foes, face off against overwhelming odds in the third issue of Pete Tomasi’s post relaunch title. The pulse pounding action starts on the first panel, grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until you put the book down.
The Story –
|Porter makes his case
The team of Green Lanterns on the planet Xabas are severely outnumbered, outgunned and completely surrounded by the warriors of the Keepers and as the small band of emerald brothers try to hold out against the overwhelming odds Guy Gardner reaches out to Salaak to send reinforcements. While he has trouble believing Gardner’s assessment of their foes, Salaak realizes that if Gardner is asking for help it must the most dire of situations.
Salaak gathers a battalion of unassigned Lanterns and prepares to send on the three hour trek from Oa to the front-line. However one of them, Porter, proposes using his innate ability to teleport to cut the travel time down and improve their chances at doing more than picking up the pieces left behind in the battle. Despite Salaak’s protests he agrees and in moments Porter has the rest of his teammates off the surface of Oa.
It appears that they may not arrive in time as John Stewart and the rest of his squad are on their last legs, except for Isamot Kol who lost his limbs last issue
but is doing a fine job using his power ring on his serpentine tongue. The warriors that team captured in issue two are also close to getting free with the Green Lanterns having all they can manage to ward off the oncoming waves of attackers let alone keep the constructs binding their captives intact. However the prisoners have another strategy in mind to protect the Corps from learning more about them and they begin to actually will themselves to death.
|John tries to learn the weakness of the enemy
That doesn’t set well with John Stewart, who manages to knock one of them out in all the mayhem so that he will be alive to be interrogated further. A scan of the unconscious warrior proves that they are also harnessing the power of will but the realization may be coming too late as the numbers of enemies bring Guy Gardner to the conclusion that they are making their last stand.
Fortunately for them Porter’s gamble worked and they arrive in the nick of time to literally lay the hammer down on the warriors. The tide of battle turned, the Green Lanterns make quick work of the fight and begin to help the planet’s inhabitants. The effort to get the Corps to Xabas has taken a toll on Porter, who is bleeding from the eyes from the strain it took on him. But knowing that a second wave of attackers is only moments away from starting the battle anew, he prepare to teleport everyone back to Oa.
The next wave comes, stronger than the first and as the battle begins to rage again Porter makes his move and in a blink of an eye the Lanterns and their captive are whisked back to Oa. The second effort proves to be too much for Porter, who collapses and dies in Guys arms. Despite Porter’s dying efforts he was unable to get all the Green Lanterns off Xabas and the issue closes with the image of John Stewart, Vandor and a handful of Green Lanterns surrounded by the hostile warriors with Guy Gardner promising to bring a universe of hurt in issue four.
The Writing –
Pete Tomasi has this issue full of rings to the wall action and the pacing reflects that with this issue moving so fast that by the time I reached the end I was wondering if there were pages missing. There’s little time for meaningful dialogue or character development and in reviewing this as a single issue I’d call it out for a lack of balance, but taken in the context of the larger story being told this issue represents that part of the action movie where all hell breaks loose making this issue exactly what it needs to be.
While this issue is very action heavy, there is also a bit of plot development as the cast finds out more about the enemy and we learn just how strong their will is. Tying this to the narrative going on in the main Green Lantern title and the revelation about the Guardian’s new mission in the third issue
, one has to wonder where the Keepers may fit into this whole “Third Army” business.
If there is a weakness in this issue it’s found in the contrivance of the character of Porter, a never before seen character who just so happens to have the one ability to come in handy in the situation facing the protagonists. I’m not downplaying the sacrifice the character was willing to make, but the whole nature of creating a character with a special ability only to have them make the ultimate sacrifice doing the one thing only he can do is lazy writing to me and I think too much of the Tomasi’s work to give it a pass because he is better than that.
Likewise we have a score of characters never seen before and I wonder if the “not everyone makes it out alive” teaser that was made about this first arc just means that some of these characters were just conceived to be the Ensign Smith red shirt that beams down to the planet in Star Trek only to die in the teaser at the hands of this week’s bad guy. If this new threat is to have any meaningful lasting power there needs to be some weight behind it that shows this is serious business. I’m not calling for the head of either of the two leads, but someone with some history needs to take a dirt nap if we’re going to take the Keepers as real threats.
The Art –
Fernando Pasarin is out for this issue, with Geraldo Borges stepping up to the plate on pencils. Borges work isn’t outstanding nor is it the worst I’ve seen, but somewhere comfortably in the middle. His work shows his lack of familiarity with some of the established characters, not quite getting John and Guy’s facial expression quite right. But when he’s allowed to create something all his own there’s a great deal of creativity there. I rather like some of his unique Corps members that he comes up with as part of the team leading the charge on Oa and it reminds me of one of reasons I love the Green Lantern mythology.
What Do I Think?
Issue three of Green Lantern Corps is all out war from cover to cover, only pausing to advance the plot of the story for a few panel before jumping back into the action. If you’re not already reading this title this is not the issue to start with unless you really want to jump right into the action without knowing what’s really going on. Despite average artwork and a plot contrivance this issue provides a lot of adrenaline rushing action and deserves four out of five lanterns.