REVIEW: Green Lantern Corps #39

It’s hard to believe that this is the penultimate issue for Green Lantern Corps. Which is a shame because I personally feel that this squad of Green Lantern’s could have been something special, despite the crossovers occasionally halting character progression for big action set pieces. Yes other readers will have their favorites but as a relative new reader to GLC as a book it’s been a pleasant ride since May 2012. It seems a bit redundant to write this here since this isn’t the last issue but it’s what I am felt as I read the issue. So enough of sentimental nonsense it’s time to find out what up with lies in the shadows.

Given the opening sequence and how it ultimately plays out the tone comes straight out of a survival horror movie. The monsters rendered by Bernard Chang aren’t exactly terrifying in their design but when the monsters spew out of the walls and their sheer numbers are hinted at it makes for one terrifying sequence. Van Jensen even manages to fit the trope of the one team member kidnapped and being dragged into the dark. The threat has been established without revealing what exactly is going on, providing the reader the larger mystery

Early on this run of Green Lantern Corps I made comparisons of Van Jensen’s writing style similar to Chris Claremont during his run on X-Men from the 1970’s. Sadly that disappeared during Godhead but it returned in full force with this issue. Keeping us reminded that Von Daggle is still a factor and moving his storyline along while similarly moving the “main” story along just as well. It serves to reminds us that comics are a serialized medium and while the reader is focused on plot A the writer can set up plot B for something down the road.

Some might say that might take away if readers begin to lose interests in plot A then in a weird way Plot B becomes plot A. Lucky for us Jensen manages to avoid this and make both plots equally engaging. Despite the high praise I did have some problems with the issue at hand, First off the Von Daggle sections finally reunites with his lost partner and as a reader who didn’t actually know about this partnership prior to last year I still felt like I missed something or lacked knowledge of the character who get’s a splash page.

Yes Jensen does give the reader enough to understand how they worked but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to read something prior to this. The other huge problem I had with this issue was the rehash of a trope that seemingly only John Stewart runs into, and that’s a planet about to be destroyed. It feels so lazy to put John in this position again after previous writers have beaten this storyline to death.

I’m only more harsh because Jensen has managed to push John away from the fall of Xanshi and to come back and even revisit it before the book disappears comes of as lazy. I also understand that if you don’t know the history of John Stewart and his ultimate failure then this final page could be seen as hokey, but I can’t place my mind in that thinking because the Xanshi trope has been done to death. This ruined what was shaping up to be another solid entry for GLC.

Bernard Chang once again continues to excel with his fun action sequences and in this issue in particular and great use of shadows for certain panels in the issue. His ability to convey emotions with characters was a nice treat and a great example was at the graveyard in Feska’s mother. The way Chang rendered his expression and body language made him seem genuinely depressed because of his teammates loss. Proving that art and not just the writing can progress a characters development.

Green Lantern Corps earns a 2.5/5

You can find Ben’s video game reviews at his blog

You can also follow him on Twitter

Leave a Reply