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“You must be the Lanterns of Green”

The New Gods are proving to be far more than any ring wielders can handle regardless of the color they command, and in this week’s Green Lantern Corps #35 John Stewart and his team encounter the New Genesis version of Thor when they discover what happened on Aydin, the universe’s most populated planet.  Writer Van Jensen provides an energetic script for an action packed issue that serves as the third chapter in the first act of GodHead and introducing a new member of the New Gods.

Once John Stewart’s band of lanterns discover the appalling state of affairs on Aydin their paths collide with Uggha and things head south pretty quickly.  While Uggha manages to save Isamot Kol from harm any sense that the two groups might get along disappears when the hammer wielding passive-aggressive New God demands that the “Lanterns of Green” surrender their rings.  Of course John, Isamot, Vath Sarn and Arisia will have nothing of it and the fight ensues, going badly for the Lanterns and putting John in the position of using excessive force to disarm someone in order to seek a fallback position and provide some medical relief for a member of his team who falls in battle.  The group makes a hasty retreat thanks to Iroque, who manages to teleport the group out of the clutches of the rapidly advancing Uggha.
Green Lantern Corps #35 sets the stage for Kyle Rayner’s entry into GodHead
The overall plot advances slightly when the scene shifts back to Metron and Highfather for a couple of pages to show the developments on New Genesis.  The slight pause in the action sets up next week’s Green Lantern: New Guardians issue where we’ll likely see the New Gods catch up to Kyle Rayner.  We likewise get a quick glimpse at the fallout on Oa where Kilowog learns of the losses resulting from the encounter between the Green Lanterns and the New Gods at the Source Wall in Green Lantern #35.  Both scenes add the connective tissue between this issue and the other two titles, allowing readers not following the entire event at least a bit of information while serving to anchor the issue to the larger story.
Jensen’s script builds upon the work that he has done building upon the groundwork laid forth by Peter Tomasi with characters that have become some of the favorites for many Lantern fans.  While I feel that both Jensen and Robert Venditti have done a good job with characterization when it comes to the Lantern family of characters I do think that more time is needed with the New Gods for readers to get an understanding of who they are.  Comic fans will find the new New Gods to be very different from the classic Kirby characters and while they may have the multiverse’s best interests at heart they are so far removed from humanity that, as they read now, they are very two dimensional and don’t present much actual character to make the reader invest themselves in.
I think Uggha might end up resisting arrest here.
Perhaps that’s part of the point of this story, however.  The New Gods are not far removed from the Guardians of the Universe with regard to how their perspective comes from such a high level that they are so focused on the “big things” that they no longer appreciate the value of the “little things” they are trying to protect.  As this three month event unfolds I hope that we see the New Gods humbled by what the beings of this universe are capable of, and in learning some humility move closer to the New Gods that readers are familiar with.
Artistically the team of Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo once again prove a winning combination.   The action in the issue with handled superbly as we’ve come to expect.  
Green Lantern Corps #35 nudges the GodHead event ever so slightly forward while providing a quick paced space battle that continues to illustrate the superiority of the New Gods.  Van Jensen’s script provides some good character beats for the Green Lanterns and the art team of Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo rewards readers with well crafted visuals.  Four out of five lanterns.

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