It’s roughly been 30 days and that means it’s time for the next issue of Green Lantern!!! Now last issue had it’s flaws and missteps, however there was some good to be found in last months issue. Have Robert and Tan found that magic? Will they take Hal as leader of the Green Lantern Corps to a logical yet dynamic story? Well lets dive in and find out shall we.
We open our issue just as last months ended with Larfleeze wanting the treasures Oa. Now when someone says to you that you will see nothing but Green Lantern’s fighting Orange Lantern constructs you might think the artist on the book will have a tough time to not only deliver a compelling action sequence, but also not confuse the reader would be a daunting task. Once again Tan shows why he still should be working in the comics industry, with his excellent story telling and great sense of fluid action in his pages, plus it would seem that Rob Hunter has helped smooth out the rough edges from Tans pencils from last month. Venditti decides to go with the trial by fire approach with this new status quo for Green Lantern proper, Hal comes off as the guy who doesn’t really know how to lead a group like the Corps, and his barking orders solidifies this. Venditti even gives us a bit a humor from one of the new recruits creating a construct for the first time. The best part of these opening pages is the subtle hint that something might not be right with the recruitment of new members, which adds on the mystery that Venditti is building.
However the next page is where the issue hit a bit of a well. As Hal and company are just about to be overrun, Blue Lantern Saint Walker and an unknown Star Sapphire show up just in time to help them. Now this isn’t exactly a problem but when the previous era was defined by the emotional spectrum, it would seem they would need a break from at least the main Green Lantern book, but that sadly isn’t the case. Tan should be patted on the back for his rendering of Larfleeze, the character feels like he’s alive (more so than the other characters) and Tan gives Larfleeze the illusion of constant motion and lovely little detail touch.
Subplots is one word that can describe this entire issue. Not that far into the battle all the corps rings and batteries stop working (which also a second humorous interaction between Hal and Larfleeze) but out of nowhere all the lights literally turn back on, which leads into a very gruesome off panel death of the Star Sapphire.Soon we are reintroduced to Non-Anj from last months issue and her suitor/jailer Cossite. Venditti does a excellent job with a very old story telling trope, yet it is still entertaining to read. Combine this with Tan’s facial expressions as you can see the love Cossite has for Nol-Anj and vice versa. Soon Nol-Anj is given the Star Sapphire ring to join her beloved, but instead she guts him with her newly attained powers. Tan flourishes in the these few pages, with simple facial expression and body language Tan enhances Venditti’s dialog in the way comics are meant to.
We close our issue with the conclusion of the battle on Oa. Hal is giving out orders and Kilowog especially is reluctant to follow his new commander order. This tiny detail setups the idea that Hal and possibly other members of the corps are not really keen on the idea of their former peer being the man in charge. Hal comes up with a deceitful yet brilliant plan to get rid of Larfleeze by confusing him and taking out his remaining constructs. However in the aftermath of it all, Larfleeze is nowhere to be found in any panel and it really can’t be said if he escaped or is a science cell. Hal and other corps members soon discovers the body of Cossite thus infers that a jailbreak has taken place. Venditti is pretty by the numbers with the finale of this issue. Dialog is predictable and the ever sense of foreboding that lives in super hero comics persist here.
While Green Lantern #22 wasn’t a perfect issue, it certainly was improved over last months #21. Although we still don’t know anything about the new recruits nor is the reader given any sense of who they are, or what there personality is like. Hopefully Venditti can handle balancing the juggling act of Hal, the Corps and the new recruits with ease.
Green Lantern #22 receives a 3.8/5
Review by Ben Castruita