“Standing on the edge of oblivion, we went with no fear”
Week two of DC’s Rebirth is accompanied by the final issue of Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #6. The timing of Rebirth takes some of the tension out of the finale because we already know that Simon Baz is back and among the living as well as much of the Corps itself. That’s sometimes how things are in comics and while it shouldn’t play into the enjoyment of the series it does take the wind out of the sails of Tom Taylor’s script.
That said the finale is a cover to cover action piece as the Green Lantern Corps face one of their greatest struggles against the Blackest Knights while the universe crashes down around them. Taylor envelopes the issue with a monologue from Guy Gardner who documents the final moments of the universe and their struggle to find their way home. This choice elevates some of the issue’s more dramatic moments when some of the Lanterns fall in battle – I felt like I was watching a poignant scene from a war film with Guy’s narration providing an eyewitness account from a battlefield. It’s a nice touch that adds some depth to an issue dominated by fight scenes.
I suspected back in the first issue that the apparent deaths of B’Dg and Arisia might not be what it looked like so I wasn’t really surprised at how our group departs the universe in its final moments. However what I was disappointed with was the fact that we don’t see where they go which gives the series a dissatisfying “to be continued” non-ending. It also might be unfair to tie complaints about the lack of continuity between Edge of Oblivion and Green Lantern: The Lost Army to Taylor’s story but as a reader it’s hard not to miss the glaring disjointedness between where Cullen Bunn was going with his story and where Taylor ended up going. In the end I’m not going to fault this story so much as consider it another example of how DC doesn’t know what to do with the Green Lantern franchise.
Even though Taylor has put a lot of emphasis on Guy Gardner in this series there have been moments for other characters to shine through. This issue featured great moments for Iolande and Kilowog, both of whom deliver some of the best “ooh-rah” moments in the finale. Some of the dialogue might seem cliched but in the context of what the Green Lanterns are facing it seems genuine enough to be believable. Simon Baz also gets a moment to display is worth when he volunteers to enter the breach in space to see where it takes him and it shows that he truly is no rookie.
With the facades of their appearances removed, Ausras and Dismas become nothing more than the monster of the week and I felt Taylor missed the opportunity here to make the villains of the piece more than one dimensional threats had we gotten a bit more backstory as to their motivations. With part of the issue showing the Green Lanterns taking one course of action only to then reverse course I felt those pages could have been better spent giving the reader something more to chew on. There was a subtle reference to the John Stewart led Mosaic series which may or may not have been intentional but would be interesting if Robert Venditti picked up on it and used it in the Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps series.
Artist Jack Herbert jumps in for the finale and does a good job overall. He does default to Kilowog’s pre-Green Lantern: Rebirth uniform but barring that the art looks great. Scott McDaniels provided the breakdowns and Hi-Fi does his usually great work on colors. Visually the books moves at the same frenetic pace as the script, adding to the feeling that time is running out for our protagonists.
Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #6 might have dropped off from many readers’ radars with all the hoopla surrounding DC’s Rebirth initiative, and while the story didn’t contain a great deal of depth it serves as a fun science fiction / action-adventure romp. Tom Taylor’s story served as a fun tale of high danger and great heroics, and at the end of the day that’s not a bad thing. However the disappointing ending, the lack of explanation of how the Green Lanterns got into this situation and the failure to make the antagonists more interesting left me wanting a bit more. Six out of ten lanterns.