According to Green Lantern series writer Geoffrey Thorne, the recently released Green Lantern #6 represents the halfway point of his first arc. Six issues in and the mysteries that launched the series remain unsolved – does this issue move the narrative forward at last?
Well, before we can move forward we have to move backwards as this issue opens prior to the closing moments of issue 5. Jo Mullein and Simon Baz are aboard a United Planets (U.P.) ship on their way to New Korugar. Mullein and the Thanagarian Captain discuss the mission at hand and immediately there are some narrative issues where Thorne has painted himself into a bad position. Mullein is adamant that Keli Quintela is not a Green Lantern, which she isn’t. But Mullein just had Quintela don a Green Lantern style uniform in issue 4 – and goes so far in that issue to tell Keli that, “Here, you’re repping Green Lantern”. Mullein goes one further and includes Quintela in her conversation with Counselor Fel. Keli’s not a Green Lantern you say – funny she’s certainly being treated like one and you can’t back down now because she got out of your control.
The main thrust of the first half of the book is Jo Mullein meeting Sinestro and conducting a bit of an investigation of her own while giving Simon the leeway he needs to get Keli out of the mess she’s put herself in. The interaction between Jo and Sinestro is about the only interesting part of this whole issue. You can see the mental jousting going on as Sinestro is feeling out this new Green Lantern and Jo is trying to find out if Sinestro has any role in the deconstruction of the Central Battery.
I do think Thorne gets Sinestro…to a point. Based on past history I’m surprised Sinestro would give Jo Mullein the time of day. I guess you can strike it up to morbid curiosity since he’s operating under the impression that there are no ring bearers left. Sinestro rules himself out of being behind it all and his explanation is on point – because if he did do it he’d certainly want the universe to know he did.
That out of the way, the second half of the book continues to be a real slog to get through. There’s a lot of exposition – okay it’s all exposition. Two things do happen though that give us a little bit of information. One is the tale of the Lightbringer and the Golden Centurions, who are using New Gods influenced technology. The other is the reveal that Lonar, one of the New Gods, is the person who has provided John Stewart aid in both the first and fourth issues. John has briefly interacted with Lonar before, back in the first issue of Cosmic Odyssey. One can assume John simply doesn’t remember Lonar, or perhaps the destruction of Xanshi dominates his memory of that event.
My problem with this series is that it’s rather “ho-hum” for a book that has a five-dollar cover price month in and month out. Thorne has repeatedly told fans to “buckle up” for the ride – but one needs a sleepy pillow to catch a nap on this ride rather than a seatbelt given the pace and interest this book had. $30 into what will be a $60 ride and the storytelling doesn’t compel the reader to want to stick around for the arrival at the station. “No one is safe” is the other mantra, what’s missing is the second half of that, “from being bored to tears”.
On the art side, Maro Santucci continues to lead the charge on this series. His half of the book looks good, except for the miscoloring of Hal and Kyle’s uniforms in one of the panels. But that’s not Santucci’s goof, that’s Mike Atiyeh’s. Tom Raney’s art hasn’t grown on me at all yet, although I have to give him credit for the inclusion of Kirby Crackle when we see the Golden Centurions.
All in all Green Lantern #6 doesn’t make a good case for readers to stick around for the second half of Geoffrey Thorne’s first arc. The storytelling is anything but compelling and the series has yet to get out of first gear. Four out of ten lanterns.