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January 31, 2012

Touring the Cosmos: DC’s New Green Lantern Comics pt. 2

Last time on Touring the Cosmos, we took a look at the main Green Lantern title. With Geoff Johns at the helm, Green Lantern has seen a huge surge in popularity. A movie, tons of action figures and apparel, and three new titles have spawned out of Johns’s successful new take on Hal Jordan and co. This week we are going to be taking a quick look at the other three Green Lantern titles and see how they have been measuring up.

 

Green Lantern: New Guardians #6

Green Lantern: New Guardians

Writer: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham and Harvey Tolibao
Inks: Batt
Colors: Nei Ruffino

If any of the new GL titles had fans excited, it was this one. New Guardians promised readers a book that had one member from each corps on a team led by Kyle Rayner. With the promise of one of the most exciting premises, how has New Guardians fared? It started off relatively slow, but has really picked up some steam. Kirkham took three issues to really find his footing, and with the addition of Tolibao the art in this book has been impressive. The characters are not static in the slightest, and each one really has his own persona. Bleez is constantly in flight (which is true to her character), Glomulus is always lingering in some funny manner, Arkillo is big and bulky, Saint Walker slim but graceful. You could go on and on about how each character really is drawn with their own unique touches that really add to the feel of the book. New Guardians is a mash of some very unique characters, and the art team has handled it excellently. Bedard also took some time to find his way on this book. The first two issues were pretty bland, but it was just a matter of time before Bedard put the book in the right direction. Bedard usually starts his stories out with a pretty loud bang, but because the concept was pretty obvious, the first few issues held little surprises. The arrival of a certain greedy lantern has really upped the tempo of this book, and it is finally finding its own voice. There seem to be plenty of surprises in store with this book, and the addition of a new villain has created a little more necessary tension. Kyle’s new role in the GL ‘verse holds a lot of intrigue, and the idea of getting to learn about the lesser known corps is also pretty exciting. Now that Bedard and his crew have found some direction, hopefully this title becomes as fun and exciting as it should be.

 

Red Lanterns

Red Lanterns #6

Writer: Peter Milligan
Pencils: Ed Benes with Diego Bernard
Inks: Rob Hunter
Colors: Nathan Eyring

Coming into the new 52, Red Lanterns had a lot of buzz around it. Atrocitus and his corps were some of the most exciting characters to be introduced by Johns, with just enough time in the spotlight to keep them interesting and exciting. Now that the Red Corps has its own title, though, it seems like a lot of that buzz has fizzled. It is hard to put your finger on exactly what is going wrong for this title. The art has been phenomenal, with some amazing covers and interiors. Atrocitus is his big bulky self, while Benes and company have been giving other Red Corps members their spotlights as well. The planet Ysmault (home of the Red Lantern Corps) is very red, and so is the corps. Colorist Nathan Eyring has done a good job of not drowning the book in red, adding other colors as often as he can without compromising the whole red blood tone. Peter Milligan, on the other hand, has had a hard time of really getting this title going. While Benes has done a good job of switching from Ysmault to other locales, Milligan has made it a bit jarring for readers to see Atrocitus on Ysmault one second, and on the next panel on a completely different planet. Atrocitus is having his own personal identity crisis as well, and it’s been really strange to see him so depressed. He figured adding a second in command in Bleez would help him out, but it has only made him weaker. He has been chasing her around with no control over her, and is gravely concerned about his leadership over the corps. It’s hard to see a character whom we know as being tough and in control be so aimless and weak. Although when you think about that concept, it makes for an interesting twist, it just hasn’t been executed very well.  Red Lanterns seems to be in a hurry to go nowhere. Milligan, Benes, and co. are all very talented creators, and hopefully the addition of a human corps member will take the story somewhere a bit more interesting.

Green Lantern Corps #6

 

Green Lantern Corps

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils: Fernando Pasarin
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb

Despite boasting a less than stellar cast, Green Lantern Corps has been great since its start. John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Hannu, and Salaak aren’t the most popular Lanterns, but under the guidance of Peter Tomasi they have one of the strongest GL titles available. Tomasi has managed to have the perfect blend of character moments and action, as well as driving the GL mythology. Since Johns started exploring and expanding the GL mythos, it has become apparent that there are many secrets to be revealed. Especially when you’re dealing with millenia old blue dwarfs. Tomasi has picked one of the unexplored concepts and turned it into a great story. Where does a Lantern’s battery reside while the Lantern is off protecting the universe? Who tends to these batteries and why are they pissed all of a sudden? Sounds pretty interesting, and Pasarin’s art has only made it better. He makes the usual suspects easily recognizable and creates some pretty interesting new Lanterns. Even pages that involve a lot of action and bodies are clean and fluid. Scott Hanna’s inks only add to the experience. When a scene needs to be light, Hanna goes easy on the inks. But when a scene needs to be dark and imposing, Hanna really shows off his skills (see the first panel where Martian Manhunter appears in issue #4 for an example). Green Lantern Corps really competes with the main Green Lantern title for the best book in the GL ‘verse. Tomasi handles a large cast with ease, giving each character a unique voice. He has managed to take the story into unknown territory, but manages not to make it one HUGE crossover story. Pasarin and the artistic team have really shown off their skills with great group shots as well as detailed closeups. Kudos to the team on this book.

Mike Parente
mike@comicattack.net

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