“Our oath remains the same”
In the first issue of Star Trek / Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds we caught up with how the Green Lanterns, Carol Ferris and Sinestro have moved on since they first arrived in the Kelvin Star Trek Universe. This week’s second issue reveals a little more as we learn the whereabouts of Larfleeze, Saint Walker and Atrocitus. With all of their power fading all the ring bearers enter a desperate race against the clock to uncover the truth behind the appearance of Manhunters and whether the Guardians, and a way to charge their rings, are somewhere in the cosmos.
Writer Mike Johnson wastes no time getting us into the thick of things in the second issue. Hal Jordan and the crew of the Enterprise are engaged in an all out battle with a Sinestro led Klingon army with the winner taking home a most valuable prize, a Manhunter robot. The Manhunter just may hold the key to proof of the whereabouts of the Guardians of the Universe and both sides go all out to claim the spoils of their conflict. Johnson does a nice job of balancing both universes, never letting either franchise appear unworthy of being teamed with the other. He also has a good grip on the Hal Jordan / Sinestro dynamic which shows that he respects the Green Lantern franchise. There’s always the fear in these inter-company crossovers that the creative team will drop the ball with the characters they don’t usually write, but it’s clear that Johnson is enjoying himself here.
The arrival of Atrocitus and where he goes in search of a source of rage is an emerging subplot in this installment and serves as a catalyst to reunite Hal with John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kilowog. While we wait for the four amigos to get back together again Johnson helps readers unfamiliar with the Green Lantern understand the importance of the Manhunters and how they tie to the history of the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps. It also creates some fun moments as Hal and Spock have a nice interchange and the newfound romance between Carol Ferris and Scotty becomes public knowledge.
I like that Johnson is pairing Sinestro with Larfleeze, who is portrayed a little uncharacteristically rationale to be honest. It makes sense that the two would form an uneasy alliance with both Sinestro and Larfleeze figuring they’ll stab the other in the back in the end and take all the power for themselves. I also have to give Johnson a lot of credit for how he ratchets up the excitement level by the end of the issue with the Enterprise comes under attack and he reveals just who Atrocitus encounters when he finds the source of rage he’s drawn to. This story has just taken a swerve at Warp 3 that I really didn’t see coming and I’ve excited about where the series goes from here.
Angel Hernandez is once again on art duty and I think he does both franchises justice. Sinestro wielding a fear construct bat’leth is a great visual and I like how he’s given the DC characters civilian wardrobe which reflects their personalities. His take on the Manhunters is unique but still recognizable and of course his depiction of the Enterprise crew is dead on. Last month’s color issue with Kilowog is better this time around, however this issue colorist Alejandro Sanchez gets Hal Jordan’s boots wrong by coloring them white. It’s an odd oversight considering he got it right in the first issue. White boots are a pet peeve of mine, along with missing power rings and rings on the wrong hands, so it’s something that took away from my engagement with the opening third of the issue.
Star Trek / Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #2 is another solid entry in the second IDW/DC Comics crossover between two of my favorite properties. This issue has all the action and adventure you’d expect to find and the surprises at the end make this installment a great read. Eight out of ten lanterns.