Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
With Part Four and Part Five of the crossover “War of the Green Lanterns” shipping this week I thought it would make sense to review them together as a double feature. The two issues really only have two components to them. First, Earth’s Green Lanterns meet up and, second, they pick their weapons as they can not use their green rings. There really isn’t a tremendous amount of material with these forty pages but the two plot developments at least push the overall story along. Overall, the two issues could have been merged into one but they are at least mildly entertaining.
In order to discuss the contents of one issue I must reveal the cliffhanger of the first issue. This basically means I will be spoiling the ending of these books. Consider yourself warned.
Part Four, in Green Lantern proper, mostly deals with Guy and Hal trying to find the safe house and then find Kyle and John. All of this is made more difficult because they can’t (or won’t) use their green rings. It turns out the safe house contains a space ship that Hal pilots back to Oa. The transportation piece to this comic takes up 10+ pages of story which is excessive. Johns is clearly wasting time here and it strikes me as simply unnecessary. However, the playful banter back and forth between Guy and Hal makes it entertaining.
Once Hal and Guy find Kyle and John they must come up with a plan to free the other Green Lanterns from the yellow corruption. Hal then whips out a bag of rings – the other colored corps rings. This is baffling that Hal would keep these rings under wraps leaving him and Guy unprotected on the icy safe house planet, traveling through space and then being chased by Kilowog and the Green Lanterns on Oa. I simply didn’t understand this move.
Part Five, in Green Lantern Corps, is mostly about Hal, Guy, Kyle and John figuring out how to use their rings. The issue tries to intertwine the characters and play off their personalities but it doesn’t come close to the level that the Green Lantern issue does between Hal and Guy. I’m not sure if that’s because Kyle and John are just that uninteresting or if the writing can’t connect the four in an interesting way. Either way, the best part of this issue is the cliffhanger ending and the bulk of the rest of the issue is forgettable.
The artwork has its highs and lows. The splash pages, particularly at the beginnings and ends of the issues are highlights. The army of artists working on each issue does take its toll as many of the pages where heavy detailing are needed seem to get a little lost. For example, there is one panel where Hal appears to have blond hair and these types of oddities add up. Still, the comic book excels in the coloring when the various colored corps make an appearance and this has been consist in both books for quite some time. The art in both issues is good but isn’t anything too memorable.
One other bizarre move occurs on the cover. For Green Lantern, the upper banner promotes the inclusion of some movie material and the chapter and arc title are included with the actual comic book title. Whereas with the Green Lantern Corps book, the upper banner has the chapter and arc title and the book’s title is all alone. I just found it strange that DC isn’t promoting the movie in the Green Lantern Corps book and has the crossover information in two different places among the two books.
These issues are fun but present the same problem that many crossovers seem to have of late: they are too long. So far we have had six issues (with the prologue) and based on what I can tell that’s two too many. It’s not even a case of story decompression as much as it seems to be simply stalling. The books are quick reads and they do provide enough entertainment for your money and they definitely leave you wanting more based on the final pages. I think any fan of the characters or genre won’t be disappointed. Any newcomers get enough of a recap that they should be okay following along in the story but I’m not sure there is enough here to get them going. These are average to good but not great.
2.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles