Well fellow readers Lights Outs is fully under way and if you read last issue then you already know that this crossover is off to a bang of a start. All credit due to Robert Venditti and Billy Tan for their exciting opening, but now the baton has been passed to the team of Green Lantern Corps of Van Jensen and Bernard Chang. Now while crossovers usually start with a bang (with the occasional exception) the key now for the other writers is keep the momentum going. Now Green Lantern Corps has been the strongest overall title since the new teams took over, but does that title stay true with Lights Out? Let’s open page one shall we.
We begin where we left off last issue, where Relic has completely drained the Central Power Battery and Oa itself minutes away from destruction. This page immediately sets the tone for this explosive issue filled with a side of dread. Changs level of detail in the destruction of Oa adds a haunting reading experience. Sure Oa has been destroyed before but for some reason Chang (cartoony art style and all) makes it feel real and adds more depth to the issue at hand.
This is the first time that Hal has shown up in this book for more than a few pages and Jensen did a excellent job during the contrast of personalities between Hal and John. The dialog exchanges between Jordan and Stewart stick to who they are as characters, but it’s not done heavy handed, but instead it simply flows between two soldiers in a losing battle. This little scene also shows a bit of more maturity for Hal as GLC leader where he actually listens to John instead of running off to fight Relic solo like he has done in past escapades. It should be nice to see if this will lead into something down the road between Hal and John over the leadership position, maybe not in a fight but something else in another form altogether.
Now the plan to evacuate Oa is underway and the pacing of this issue kicks into high gear, Chang delivers wonder action set pieces that should have readers want to examine each individual panel to see the destruction of Oa in greater detail. Since this book focuses on the Corps as a whole usually, then that leads to most character being left out. So to compensate for that, either Chang or Jensen came up with the idea of putting small panels that display face shots of other corps members. Now while this may look insignificant, they actually add and give you the sense that every single Lantern is fighting for their lives to save themselves. It all adds to the haunting loss of Oa for this issue.
As John and the new Corps members that were introduced make a last stand against Relic in a move that reminds this reviewer of Power Rangers growing up, John draws the line in the sand so the rest of the Corps can escape. Bernard Chang continues his already excellent work with the wonderful double page spread of John and the new recruits forming giant constructs. This is point where the reader should be cheering even though the goal here isn’t to defeat Relic but to buy time for the rest of the corps. This is moment where readers should be pupping their fist for the good guys, but through great writing the reader is instead hoping that the characters survive.
Relic himself actually shows a bit more emotion than he has shown previously. Either this is a minor slip or it’s Relic showing that he isn’t as detached from the rest of the universe. It adds a bit more depth to this character which is always a nice thing.
Hal and company managed to get of Oa, with John and company fighting a losing battle, until one of the new recruits offers to sacrifice himself so that the others can escape. Jensen and Chang do an excellent job of showing the weight of the world that John had during those few seconds and this all ties back into his marine days because I’m sure that John has had to retreat and see soldiers die in a losing situation.
We wrap this issue with Oa blowing up with Relic victorious and the Corps in shambles. We now have a leader who is now shaken to his core of what he had to do and what to do next. It looks like the Indigo Tribe will play a factor, now this can all only be bad for the Indigo Tribe as this cross over continues.
This issue was a roller coaster of emotions, but the one where you want to see where the next loop is coming from. This is perhaps the best art from Chang yet along with the best script that Jensen has done to date. This was a excellent part two and this should have readers eagerly anticipate the next chapter for Lights Out.
Green Lantern Corps #24 receives a 4.5/5
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