Stop and look at yourself one second. Yes the individual who stumbled onto this review (thanks for reading) and think to a moment in your life where you had something great. Then you find out it was all a lie, your dream turns into a nightmare so quick that any good seems unfathomable. This is what has happened to John Stewart after last months revelation. While Hal got a relaxing visit from his family, John has to deal with the ramifications of a dream gone by. Let’s just open page one and see what in store for John. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read last months GLC. You’ve been warned.
In a striking image that seems more fitting for a Batman comic with Bernard Chang, having John choke the Durlan turned Daxamite who was posing as Yrra. Chang’s art excels at bringing out the anger and frustration in Stewart’s face, it’s borderline terrifying. John isn’t the character to lose control. He’s the stable one, but as Jensen shows in the opening scene, when you removing something integral to that stability then the potential to become unhinged increases.
The flashback device of John seeing Yrra with all pink coloring is a nice touch as it serves that John still has a purpose for why he’s going a bit further than usual. Even Von Daggle is worried about him.
That being said Van Jensen begins to wrap up the villains as deputies idea, with a simple “you’re free to go” it’s executed well enough but in comparison to John’s pain it doesn’t stack up. It’s a simple wash of the hands and move on to the next plot for Von Daggle. Which will excite if you knew about his previous adventures, but since Jensen has barely visited back on the Corpse days, it’s not the big moment it should be for all readers.
Maybe new readers will learn more about the Corspe in some fashion during Godhead.
Chang’s art was taken to another level as the book cuts to a prison, and it looks grim. The look of what appears to be rust and old blood stains on the walls gives life to these two static pages. Then we see an unknown women holding a alien head, threatening the much larder creatures. Excellent use of red here by Marcelo Mailolo.
Van Jensen decides to push John closer to the dark side as he crashes into the space frigate. Interesting use of colors for John as looks like The Hulk became a Green Lantern over night. Seeing John using Batman style interrogation techniques is odd, it’s out of character but given the circumstances it’s still within character. Walking the beam ever so gently Mr.Jensen.
John eventually learns where Yrra might be as he ends up in the same prison that was seen earlier and what do you know that woman earlier was Yrra. Chang’s single page splash captures Yrra perfectly. The dead aliens covered in blood, her anger visualized by her face and body language. A chain in one hand and a sword in another, yep Fatality is back.
Here is the emotional gut punch we’ve all been waiting for, after a physical beat down Fatality tells John that she never loved, and that it was the ring that forced her to love him. Jensen reminding us what the Star Sapphires once did to get get recruits. Chang does have Fatality soften a bit but become cold as she tells John that she only loved the idea of her and not her.
The ending is pure story telling bliss. Remove the word balloons of John scream and whispering no and you still understand what is going on. Leaving us with a broken John Stewart. You build characters up only to tear them down and that’s what Van Jensen has done. That’s not a negative though, it makes the story more engaging. It’s something all of us can understand. Let’s see how John is in October when the New Gods show up.
Green Lantern Corps #34 earns a 4/5
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