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“We haven’t bothered to explore the more difficult options”

Green Lantern: The Lost Army has been in a lot of headlines on comic book sites with the recent revelation that the series would be concluding in November after six issues.  That being said, this week’s fourth issue does move the overall plot forward in a significant way and fulfills Cullen Bunn’s promise that not everyone would make it out of this story alive.  Death is death even when it comes to the most minor of characters and in this case one of the first recruits from Robert Venditti’s run meets his end.

Of course Arisia is the first concern having lost all power to her ring in the closing moments of issue three.  While her fate isn’t as sealed as the last issue would have the reader believe it isn’t long before all the lanterns find themselves out of power and out of life support.  In the past I’ve been somewhat critical of the flashback sequences but this time around Bunn finds an organic way to fit it in which is every bit as tense as John’s final moments of consciousness.  The flashback provides more character detail on John which helps to further cement elements of his military background which I think is a good choice as John has been slowly redefined for the 21st century.  Like the opening sequence the events in a poppy field in the Middle East transition back to John’s present in an organic way, making it much less jarring for the reader.

The central mystery of this series remains a mystery still.

The second half of the book reveals the fate of other members of the Green Lantern Corps which we have not seen so far in the series.  Both Salaak and B’dg get some significant panel time with the H’Lvenite given a nice moment to shine that serves as a rallying point for the Green Lanterns and their predecessors, the Lightsmiths.  The light pirates have proven themselves to be a very formidable adversary and their brutal tactics underscore the value that they place on the light of the emotional spectrum.  Why they are so intent on harvesting remains to be seen and I do hope that it’s one point in particular that Bunn addresses over the course of the final two issues.

Guy Gardner’s continued questioning of John’s tactics continues however I’m not quite yet sure what the point of it is from an overall narrative sense.  It’s certainly in Guy’s character to question anyone’s decisions when they aren’t his own and his rationale belies some amount of personal growth and maturity but I can’t quite get a feel for why it’s important enough to warrant the focus it gets.  Again, I really hope that there’s a payoff for this before the plug gets pulled on the book.  I also wonder how Guy survived the loss of his red ring.  Krona and Relic make small appearance before hightailing it from the pirates, leaving the reader to assume that they may have trailed the pirates to the prison complex that John and the Green Lantern find themselves in.

Hopefully there will be a payoff for the time spent on Guy’s questioning of John’s decisions

Jesus Saiz gets the month off and Javier Pina steps in for this issue.  Pina’s artwork lacks the complexity and polish that Saiz brings to the series but it’s not a bad looking book by any means.  There’s an overall lack of detail across the board which works fine for the dreamlike flashback but not for the bulk of the issue.  Colorist Chris Sotomayor does a good job particularly during the military scene and in the latter half of the book where the all black prison garb maintains a sense of depth.

Green Lantern: The Lost Army #4 picks up the pace a little from previous installments and we finally get to see what has happened to a number of other members of the Green Lantern Corps.  With only two issues left there’s a feeling that there’s too much to resolve and not nearly enough time for Cullen Bunn to provide a satisfactory conclusion.  We are two thirds of the way through the series and we haven’t gotten any answers as to why the Army of Green Lanterns is lost yet.  Javier Pina’s artwork is a bit of a step behind what readers have come to expect from the first few issues.  Six out of ten lanterns.

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