Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green Lantern Corps #35 Review

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Buchman

I'm not sure when it happened (maybe the 8 months or so spent on Secret Origin?), but Green Lantern Corps has actually become a better title than the Geoff Johns-written main Green Lantern title. While Johns has been great on GL, he's also very prone to tunnelvision in regards to Hal Jordan, often times to the detriment of the story.

Peter Tomasi, in contrast, has taken the Blackest Night ball and run with it, effectively weaving in and out of several different subplots while simultaneously introducing or following up on new bits of information every month. All while handling a huge cast of characters, consisting of a dozen or more Green Lantern Corps members and spilling over into the various other Corps, such as this storyline's Sinestro Corps-focused cast.

Speaking of which, this issue cranks up the action by continuing the three separate stories that began last month - 1) the Red Lantern, Vice, escape and riot in the Sciencells, 2) Sinestro's search for his daughter on Korugan and 3) the Sinestro Corps occupation of Daxam. Each storyline is given just enough pages to shine and Tomasi and Gleason don't waste any of them.

In fact, I'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite of the three as each is equally entertaining in their own ways. The riot in the sciencells was great for the simple fact we get to see Vice cutting loose, killing his Green Lantern jailor, Voz, and Sinestro Corps prisoners alike. Another great part was the reintroduction of Lyssa Drak, the Sinestro Corps member that kept the Book of Parallax and was responsible for narrating the delightful Tales of the Sinestro Corps shorts that predated the Sinestro Corps War and introduced us to so many of the great characters that sprung out of that storyline.

While I said I enjoyed all three parts of this issue, the Sinestro's daughter subplot actually left me a little disappointed. Not because it was bad or anything - I actually loved the follow up on Sinestro's escape and how the Korugan's react to not being able to execute the Hitler of their world - but because of the reveal of who his daughter actually is - Soranik Natu. She's met Sinestro before in the Sinestro Corps War and neither indicated in any way that they were related and it just feels really forced that his eventual replacement in that sector and the only Korugan Green Lantern ends up being his daughter. It's like some comic book trope that everyone has to be related to everyone else or no one will care and it just annoys me for some reason. I'm still willing to hold off passing judgement until we find out next month though.

The final part of this issue I want to talk about dealt with the occupation of Daxam by the Mongul-led Sinestro Corps. It's mostly setup for the next issue with Sodam Yat and Arisia making their way to Daxam and showing the fallout of the Mongul vs Arkillo fight, but there's still some great action here and some amazing visuals, such as a giant Jörmungandr/World Snake-like Sinestro Corps member encircling Daxam as a first line of defense or Sodam Yat using the last of his yellow sun Superman-like abilities (Daxam is under a red star, so his powers were drained) to take out a platoon of Sinestro Corps members. One thing that disappointed me here was that Arkillo didn't use a yellow ring construct to form a new tongue so he could speak. Just seemed like an obvious thing to do to me.

Verdict - Must Read. While Johns deals with the more dubious aspects of the multiple corps, such as wearing multiple rings, Tomasi is content to give us non-stop action and Sinestro Corps War-like moments month in, month out and this issue, and storyline, is the equivilent of a Battle of Mogo-like mini-event building up to the Blackest Night.

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