“The future awaits”
This week’s Star Trek / Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #3 takes everything we’ve seen up to now and ratchets up the tension. We see one, and possible three more, deaths of major characters as writer Mike Johnson raises the stakes as the lanterns race towards Oa and a chance to rekindle the energy in their rapidly fading power rings. The second issue ended with quite the cliffhanger as it was revealed that Atrocitus had accidentally released Khan Noonien Singh and his followers from their slumber just as the Manhunters had arrived on the Enterprise.
It was interesting to see how Johnson uses the Manhunters and their interaction with Hal Jordan and the Enterprise crew. These Manhunters have yet to go rogue but you can get a sense that they aren’t far from reaching that stage as they jump to extreme measures when there is a perceived threat against the Guardians. How Hal deals with the Manhunters wasn’t what I expected but I like how the situation was resolved.
As for Khan, well let’s just say that Johnson showcases why the survivor from the Eugenics War is such a threat. Thanks to his encounter with Atrocitus Singh now has more power than he’s ever had before, making him one of the most dangerous adversaries in any universe. His encounter with the Green Lanterns is quick and brutal, leaving a trail of blood and misery before Khan and his followers move on to bigger game.
The issue can’t ignore the other major player in this story and shifting the scene to Qo’nos Johnson checks on the uneasy alliance between Sinestro and Larfleeze. Sinestro clearly has the upper hand is the situation, utilizing the Manhunter he acquired to give him a sizeable advantage in finding Oa. If there’s a weakness in the writing it would be in Johnson’s handling of Larfleeze, who does something this issue that he would never, ever do – surrender his ring. Like Gollum, Larfleeze’s relationship to his ring is far more complex than simple greed and the thought of him sharing it with anyone no matter how temporary is unfathomable.
Visually the issue is a little hit and miss. The Star Trek side of the story looks great and you can tell that artist Angel Hernandez has a firm grasp of the universe. On the Green Lantern side it’s a little rougher to be honest. The power rings are the most powerful weapons in the universe but they don’t come off that way here as all the constructs lack depth, look flat and are anything by awe inspiring. There are also a couple of missing power rings and Guy Gardner’s boots are still white.
Star Trek / Green Lantern: Stranger Worlds #3 takes this second outing to its midpoint and upping the ante by creatively adding classic threats from each universe. Despite some mis-characterization and some underwhelming visuals this issue is another entertaining chapter. Seven out of ten lanterns.