The battle for Oa continues from last week’s excellent Green Lantern #24 and Relic proves once again that he is a force to be reckoned with in his quest to extinguish the flames of the emotional spectrum. While up until now we’ve viewed Relic as an emotionally detached being on a mission to save us from ourselves, in this week’s Green Lantern Corps #24 we see a being who is perhaps exasperated at the futility of trying to rationalize with the modern “lightsmiths” and has resigned himself to answering violence with more violence…and destruction.
(Writer’s note: the rest of this review contains spoilers, so don’t read on if you haven’t read the issue and want to preserve the integrity of your reading experience!)
Van Jensen fills this issue with tension and puts the Green Lantern Corps against incredible odds with an adversary that is just as driven to his ideals as they are, which results in a fantastic reading experience. While the continued potshots at Hal Jordan are a little tiresome they aptly reflect the anxiety that everyone feels, especially John Stewart, who ideally would have been the best choice to be a leader in this post-Johns’ era. Frankly put, a group like the Green Lantern cannot simply be run by one mortal being no matter how much he may be revered….or for that matter how much of a military tactician he may be. While the Guardians of the Universe have often been thought of as emotionless beings driven by pure logic it is their thousand mile high view of the cosmos that made them perfectly suited as the driving force of the Green Lantern Corps, albeit a little more emotion would have served them well. No one man, neither Hal nor John, is well suited for the role and I imagine it will only be a matter of time before the Templar Guardians come to the same realization.
|It’s not the size of the construct that matters, it’s how you use it….|
With their rings running on an ever dwindling amount of power the Lanterns who remain on Oa face a desperate race against the clock as the destruction of the central power battery causes catastrophic damage to the planet Oa itself, and by issue’s end the planet’s destruction becomes reality leaving a rag tag group of Lanterns to try to find safety before their ring’s are completely depleted. The battle has left the Corps battered and beaten, and not without a casualty as Jensen provides a noble ending for new recruit Ergann while maiming fan favorite Jruk. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Kanjar Ro among the criminals freed from captivity when Voz released them all moments before the fateful conclusion to the issue.
The inevitable destruction of Oa and its explosive demise is executed perfectly, a far more dramatic and powerful moment as compared to the last time it was destroyed back in Green Lantern’s “Zero Month” issue back in 1994. In speculation mode I wonder if we will finally see Mogo become the new base for the Green Lanterns once Lights Out concludes and until Oa is once again rebuilt….if it’s rebuilt. If there’s one thing I strongly believe about the new creative direction for the Green Lantern family of books it’s that they are unafraid of taking risks and want to tell a great story. I think that makes the books stronger and as a reader I want to think that the danger is real for these characters and the writers have done a great job of creating that experience.
Artist Bernard Chang does an excellent job this issue with filling the pages with kinetic energy, creatively inserting panels showing the action on other parts of Oa while the main cast struggles to survive. My inner eight year old loved the Godzilla vibe as John Stewart and the new recruits donned giant creature constructs to take on Relic as they trampled
Tokyo Oa! While I still not digging Chang’s rendition of Kilowog, the art really drives home the frenzied pace of the action and while it sometimes feels like there’s too much going on it never crosses the line into the “too much crammed into the panel” zone.
|The Corps have been rocked to their foundation|
Some of the coloring decisions were interesting in this issue with the Lanterns’ green energy seemingly muted to reflect the loss of intensity due to Relic’s actions. The flashes of action across Oa were all colored in the same orange and yellow palette which implies some significance that doesn’t yet seem apparent. With all the action in this issue I can almost forgive Marcelo Maiolo for one of my pet peeves, coloring Hal’s boots white!
For the second chapter of Lights Out, Green Lantern Corps #24 does an excellent job of putting our protagonists in a dire situation. With their chances of defeating Relic diminishing with each passing moment I can’t begin to think of how they are going to get out of this situation and while this often indicates that there’s a deus ex machina on the horizon I have a great deal of trust in the writers that we’re in for a roller coaster of a ride with a satisfying ending that will have the lasting repercussions they’ve alluded to. A five out of five lantern book to be certain!
- Green Lantern #24 Review(blogofoa.com)
- Podcast of Oa Episode 54 – Lights Out with Robert Venditti(blogofoa.com)
- Green Lantern 23.1 Review(blogofoa.com)
- Green Lantern December 2013 Solicitations(blogofoa.com)