Well fine readers the time has finally come for Green Lantern to enter “event” mode with Lights Out. This is where every fan (even the positive ones) tread weary waters due to how comic events tend to follow. The action starts up at a fast then by halfway through the second act most readers are ready to jump ship. However this event is written by writers who have not had the opportunity to write a story of this scale. Now it’s no secret that the buildup for Lights Out has been a solid one, but now it’s time for Venditti and crew to deliver the goods. First up we have the regular team of Robert Venditti and Billy Tan with the opening salvo. Let’s open up page one to find out what it’s store for The Green Lantern Corps.
We open the first page to join series regulars Hal, Kilowog and Salaak centered around the Central Power Battery. Billy Tan’s use of scope for this shot is just eye popping and really this single page tells the rest of the issue. Foreshadowing at it’s best. Venditti sticks to form with his writing of Hal. Hal comes off the new leader who isn’t used to leading before and he’s in a manic due to his answers not being answered. Seeing Hal being written like this is quite refreshing, while his trademark swagger is still intact going forward, it’s nice to see Hal act a bit manc. It makes him feel more human and anybody who has had a leadership role laid upon them without warning can relate to what Hal is going through.
The next several pages for the most part are recaps from the previous Green Lantern issues that catches up the not only Hal about the coming of Relic but readers who may be only reading one Green Lantern book. While this exposition can be see as a page waster, it should be noted that first off it’s been an entire two months since the last proper Green Lantern issue and a month since Relic #1 hit stores, plus not all readers who read one Green Lantern book read all the other books. So in that sense the exposition pages do their jobs nicely on reminding readers the current situation, but with Hal and Johns input for the past events. Just as it was written earlier the snappy come back Hal is back in full force as his humorous comebacks at Relics name. However Tan’s art feels rushed in these few pages, especially when Kyle and company burst onto the scene.
Although Tan makes up with those few panels with a amazing single page splash of Relic’s ship and the sense of scale is off the charts. The ship embodies what Relic as come to do as it cast a huge shadow on Oa, continuing the foreshadowing in the issue later on.
Relic officially touches down on Oa as he greets our stalwart heroes and tells them in his cold way that he has come to take their light so they of course can’t destroy the universe. Relic uses these “ants” to suck the Central Power Battery dry and the battle begins with Hal taking the first shot of course. Here the reader is actually given a taste with a Hal Jordan who is comfortable in leadership role, most likely due to it being in a battle field scenario and not grunt work. The action sequences by Tan are nice and crisp, everything flows well and it sets a fine pace for the remainder of the book.
However since this is part one of five, the Green Lanterns will most likely being take the first bumps in this first thrilling chapter. Relic ignores the Green Lanterns attacks but the odds are stacked up against them. Relic succeeds in his goal and sucks the battery dry. Venditti does add some interesting dialog where Relic uses the fast draining of the CPB as proof that his theory of the emotional spectrum is correct, but Venditti has Hal counter that with Relic’s own technology the true culprit. This issue is put in such a away that neither answer is correct or wrong and that’s simply fantastic, because not all questions should be answered.
This issue concludes with the unthinkable, as Relics drones destroy the Central Power Batter, leaving it in ashes. Now if that isn’t a way to kick off a critical story then this review doesn’t know what is. This issue had a great sense of action dread and that unsettling feeling that everything is out of control. It’s going to be very interesting to see where this goes and I can’t wait to see it.
Green Lantern #24 receives a 4/5
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