“We’re wrong. We’re so VERY WRONG.”
This week’s Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #4 starts the second half of Tom Taylor’s story and with just three issues remaining it’s no surprise that this month’s installment focuses on a revelation that clarifies to a great extent exactly what has been going on since the Green Lanterns found Perduron floating in the blackness of space. This is all well and good if you’re reading this as part of a trade, but how does it hold up as a singular reading experience?
Since last month we find that Marniel has defeated Guy Gardner, Kilowog, Simon Baz, Two-Six and Xrill-Vrek and is holding them captive. I would have liked to have seen how Marniel accomplished that feat but Taylor turns his attention to the aftermath which focuses a bit more on the Green Lanterns themselves. The opening moments provide a one-sided mending of the fences between Guy Gardner and Kilowog and once Marniel shuts Kilowog down we have a great bit of dialog between the two
I love Taylor’s script here for how it talks about the difference in perspective between Marniel and her followers and the Lanterns. Into these conflicting points of view Taylor introduces an element that shows that Marniel and Kilowog are not so different as their views would make one think which draws a nice parallel to how differently people can respond to the life experiences that shape them into the people they become.
I’ve had my suspicions about the intentions of Ausras and Dismas from the start and once Xrill-Vrek goes into empathetic mode we get to the meat of the issue, a lengthy bit of exposition which reveals Marniel’s background and her relationship to the beings who guard Perduron. What got me really excited about what happens this issue is how Taylor takes what Robert Venditti did with creating this former universe and spins Lantern lore into their version of Blackest Night. For me this took the story to another level completely.
What we learn also explains the wedge that quickly developed between Gardner and Kilowog and sets the stage for a major conflict between the Green Lanterns in the final two chapters of this series. In the grand scope of things this issue really serves as the end of the first act, leaving Taylor to really have to quicken the pace. With so much emphasis on serving the main plot this issue suffers a little bit in terms of keeping everything in focus. Last month we saw a group of Lanterns approaching Mogo which is completely ignored his month, and with John Stewart aware that his teammates have been taken captive by Marniel he apparently does nothing to address the situation.
This is the first issue since Ethan Van Sciver left the series in order to focus on DC: Rebirth and the launch of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Aaron Kuder jumps on board for one of his final assignments for DC in handling the layouts for this issue and Ardian Syaf provides the pencil work. Syaf’s style here meshes well with Van Scivers and that provides a nice visual continuity for the book. There is one coloring gaffe where Jason Wright gives John a white glove, but otherwise the issue looks really nice.
Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #4 provides a lot of answers about what’s really going on in the final days of the universe before ours, but Tom Taylor sacrifices a few things in order to provide a great deal of exposition. The resulting exposition laden issue is still an enjoyable read and Taylor finds a new twist on one of Geoff Johns’ best stories. Ardian Syaf and Aaron Kuder pick up the reigns from Ethan Van Sciver and do a pretty great job at keeping the look of the series consistent. Eight out of ten lanterns.