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“Darkness falls”

The dust is barely settling after the events of GodHead and before the Green Lantern Corps can catch their breath it’s time for the next threat to emerge from the shadows.  Van Jensen’s script addresses the actions of the Guardians in last week’s issue of Green Lantern, providing a reluctant John Stewart with a shot at leading the Corps while Hal Jordan is away and the Guardians are mulling over whether he will continue to serve as their leader now that they have returned to Mogo.

The Guardians are portrayed as trustworthy leaders here, appealing to John’s humanity as beings who really believe in him.  I’m not so sure I trust the Guardians at this point, and John should be questioning them far more than he is given their recent actions, but for now he seems to be very willing to fall in line behind them.  I’m surprised that John doesn’t see the need to know more about why the Guardians withheld information from the Corps and Kyle Rayner while also spying on them before moving on, but move on he does.
NOW he’s wearing the ring!
Van Jensen also addresses the whole Star Sapphire ring issue although I’m not sure it helped or hindered the nature of the ongoing continuity.  For all intents and purpose John keeps the ring, now displaying it on his left hand very prominently, but for some unknown reason failed to use it during the most pivotal moments of GodHead.  I like that Jensen has John steadfastly holding onto to the ring for a very obvious person to return and don it, however the odd notion that he waited until now to do so plays against the tactical nature of John’s character.
A great touch is seeing newer characters like Feska, Jruk and Maro getting recognized for all the have endured since they were recruited and stepping fulling into the ranks as Green Lanterns.  It shows the progression of the series since Jensen took over the title and felt very rewarding as a reader to have seem them evolve.  Their celebration is short lived when a ship arrives from Feska’s home planet of Zarox and pulls the Corps into the darkness that has spawned there as the Shadow Market, and something else, has taken hold.
Jensen juggles this new plot with the continuation of Von Daggle’s search for his long lost partner, a quest which has led him, R’amey Holl and Hunger Dog to Abin Sur’s home plant of Ungara.  Satisfied with Hunger Dog’s tracking ability, Von Daggle sets out on his own to discover the fate of his partner while John Stewart’s team on Zarox confronts the Shadow Market.
Von Daggle appears to be talking to himself
Bernard Chang shares art duties with Mirko Colak and the results are not only uneven, they create confusion for the reader.  Chang’s detailed imagery is what we’ve come to expect, however Colak’s work seems rushed and fails to contain the same attention to detail that would have helped for their pages to have flowed better.  There are also two panels that have major issues with the dialogue: one where Feska’s conversation with her fellow Zaroxians has dialogue coming out of the wrong people, and one where Von Daggle is drawn instead of Hunger Dog as he’s addressing the Durlan.  There’s also the matter of the Green Lantern oath being incorrect in two places, but there’s no way to know who’s responsible for the mistake despite the fact that it should have been caught by the editors.
Green Lantern Corps #38 passes up the opportunity of exploring where GodHead leaves characters like Saint Walker in favor of plunging John Stewart into a new conflict while reminding us of a dangling plot thread from the past.  The resulting script seems haphazard and I’m left feeling like the series is being rushed forward with another conflict rather than providing the characters and readers with a character driven issue that showed the impact of recent events.  Visually the book suffers from two art styles that don’t mesh well and a few major mistakes that really should have been caught by editorial.  Two out of five lanterns.

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