Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Green Lantern #40 Review

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion

Similar to last issue, Green Lantern #40 excels in many areas, but seems to lack the same kind of flow and excitement that its sister title, Green Lantern Corps, has. It's like it's hitting key plot points, yet lacks the connective tissue that moves the characters from one scene to the next. There's also the ever growing "Hal Jordan is the bestest Green Lantern ever" vibe that's been permeating the title for the last few months, moreso than the typical Hal sentiment from Johns, to contend with.

The basic plot consists of the Guardians leading a small army of Green Lanterns to the previously off-limits Vega System to confront Larfleeze. Possibly confirming my suspicions, the Guardians compared Larfleeze to Parallax in terms of power and potential threat, implying that he is most likely possessed by whatever the orange emotional spectrum's entity is. Helps explain Larfleeze's power, how he easily dispatched the Controllers and why the Guardians made a deal with him in the first place.

Another Orange Lantern fact confirmed is that their corps is made up of copies of everyone Larfleeze kills. This is demonstrated by Controller constructs and, more directly, through the killing/eating of the Green Lantern Gretti, who's torn to pieces and has his body and ring consumed. This results in an orange ring message stating Gretti "belongs to Agent Orange" and shows him as an orange construct attacking John Stewert.

Yet another bit of information on the Orange Lanterns thrown our way was that the Green Lantern rings, and even the Guardians' powers, have no effect on the Orange Lanterns. Unlike the Red Lanterns, who drained the rings, the Orange Lanterns simply "absorb" the Green Lantern attacks. It's not confirmed if this empowers the Orange Lanterns or if it is simply ineffective against their spectrum.

The Hal Jordan segments, as I stated above, dragged this issue down for me. Just about everything to do with Hal, the Blue Lantern ring and Hal's complete lack of hope seemed forced and threw off the pace of the issue. I'm not sure why these Hal scenes have been annoying me so much lately, but I did enjoy the ring's response to Hal's hoping for world peace, so it wasn't all bad.

Another negative against this issue, which amounted to nothing more than moving people into position and setting up future conflicts (I suspect it will read much better in trade format, but that doesn't help me much now), was how short it felt. It featured a Tales of the Sinestro Corps-like backup, which spotlighted an Orange Lantern, that ate up the last four or five pages and it was really noticeable in terms of the length of story. I felt like the Agent Orange part of this issue was simply cut short to fit this in moreso than the backup feeling like the "extra" it should be.

Verdict - Check It. It's not so much that this is a bad issue, as it's still better than most comics on the market, but it's a noticeable dip in quality, mainly through the pacing and character driven moments, for the past few months when compared to previous Green Lantern issues. I'm typically harder on my favourite books when I feel they're dipping in quality than I am with genuinely bad or even average issues, so take any of my complaints with a grain of salt, too.

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