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Green Lantern #159

Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Dale Eaglesham (p), Rodney Ramos (i)

Publisher: DC

Plot:
The book opens with Kyle & Jade trying to figure out a way to stop the seeming unending wave of Bore Beasts that have erupted out of the ground, and are currently stampeding their way toward the nearby Resal settlement. However, when a giant canyon, and a mile high wall fail to stop the creatures, we see the two heroes have to resort to encasing the entire settlement inside a dome. We then see Kyle decides that he needs to make an effort to locate the source of the Bore Beasts, as the dome will only hold for so long, and the creatures are still streaming out of the cave. Leaving Jade behind to maintain the dome, we see Kyle speeds toward the cave, and after fighting his way past an endless wave of the creatures, he discovers a massive underground volcano that is emitting a rather familiar looking energy signature. We then see Kyle suddenly has a stunning realization, and after taking to the air he learns that this planet is actually a former member of the Green Lantern Corps named Mogo. To this end Kyle learns the Bore Beasts are power ring constructs, and when Mogo makes it clear he'll let the Resal live on his surface if they stop their destructive mining operations, we see the Resal decline the invitation, and leave in a huff.

Comments:
Since the big surprise of this arc is a fairly obscure bit of continuity that is likely to only really excite fans who have been following this book since before Hal Jordan went nuts, I don't really think I'm spoiling much when I say this issue features the return of Mogo, the Green Lantern Corps member who was basically an entire planet. Now I must confess I'm a bit puzzled by this revelation, as last time I remember seeing Mogo he was playing host to a infestation of Aliens that Hal Jordan had placed there, and that Kyle had to go in deal with, which means Kyle has encountered this world before. Now it may not look the same, but still there's some hard to miss clues such as the massive Green Lantern symbol etched into the planet surface, and one would think his power ring would've given him a heads up that the planet was drawing upon the same power source. One would think that Ganthet would've also made note of this fact before he sent Kyle & Jade to this world, but I guess doing so would have made this a rather short story. Still, the idea that Kyle could be completely ignorant that he was running around on the surface of Mogo did strike me as rather unlikely. Still, I imagine older fans will be happy to see the return of another member of the Green Lantern Corps.

This issue is far too obvious in the way that it establishes the idea that the Resal are a parasitic race that travel from planet to planet stripping them of all their resources. I mean yes every story needs a villain, and I guess we are supposed to take note of the irony that the very alien race that Kyle & Jen had arrived to rescue end up being the true villains of this piece. However, since Jen had pretty much clued into this fact right after her first meeting with the Resal leader, I must confess I had just assumed that Judd Winick would add an unexpected twist, that would leave the reader slapping their foreheads for allowing themselves to fall for his smoke & mirror show. Now the revelation that the planet being ravaged is Mogo was an unexpected development, but truth be told it simply not enough to leave me willing to overlook the fact that this story is very much plot-by-numbers affair, and that all the cards that we were shown right from the start are exactly what they appeared to be. In fact the only real surprise this story has going for it is that Judd Winick felt no need to include any surprises beyond the return of Mogo. This issue is a bit like watching a rerun of a television show that you found mildly entertaining the first time out.

Dale Eaglesham is a pretty solid artist when it come to the big action that this issue calls for, as when Jade & Kyle are making their collective efforts to stop the advancing army of Bore Beasts, one can't help but be impressed. From the Grand Canyon sized trench that Kyle manages to carve into the planet surface, to the wall that he erects behind it, the art does a wonderful job capturing the sheer enormity of this task. The same goes for the scene where we see the two erect a dome around the endangered settlement. There's also a nice sense of danger developed during the sequence where Kyle descends into the cave to locate the source of the Bore Beasts, and the reveal panel that shows us what he finds at the end of his investigation is also worth a mention, as the underground volcano is quite impressive. The discovery that this planet is Mogo is also nicely handled as the art manages to make the discovery of this fact into the big spectacle it needed to be. It also does a nice job of showing the reader Mogo getting back on his feet (relatively speaking), as we see the Green Lantern energies allow it to restore life to it's surface. The cover to this issue is also worth a mention as Ariel Olivetti turns in a pretty imposing shot of Kyle ready for action.

Final Word:
I'm sure there will be many fans who will be quite pleased by the return of yet another member of the Green Lantern Corps, but truth be told this little surprise simply wasn't enough. This story pretty telegraphed the direction it was heading right from the first meeting that Kyle & Jade had with the Resal leader, and this final chapter is incredibly disappointing in that it offers up the safe & utterly predictable ending. In fact the only thing missing from the scene where the Resal decide to abandon the planet is the mustache twirling that normally comes as part of the package when a villain is painted in such broad strokes. I can easily believe that Judd Winick is on the verge of leaving this title, as it's become quite apparent that this book is no longer stirring his creative juices, and here's hoping the new setting that Green Arrow provides will help get him back on track. This issue is a completely mundane affair that is somewhat redeemed by the return of a character who I imagine many readers will be happy to see again.



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