Current Reviews


Green Lantern #21

Posted: Friday, July 20, 2007
By: Bryant Frattalone

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis

Publisher: DC Comics

Plot: The Drums of The Sinestro Corps War continue to beat across the Universe while Ganthet and Sayd preach to their brethren regarding the Prophecy of The Blackest Night. Sinestro’s frontline troops continue to massacre Green Lanterns across the galaxies while he and his heavy hitters loom ominously in the background and Parallax forces a confrontation with Hal Jordan.

Commentary: I’ve never been a faithful Green Lantern follower. I knew of him because of The Justice League and caught a few of the “event” comics regarding Hal Jordan over the years just to keep up with a major character in the DC cannon. After the "eh" use of the cosmic characters of the DC universe (Not to mention the same "eh" use of the supernatural ones too) after Infinite Crisis, Geoff Johns has picked up the pieces and made this an exhilarating must read for me. As others have said before me, “This should have been the next BIG EVENT crossover for DC” Why? Because though it’s self-contained within the pages of the Green Lantern books, it has that feel. It has weight. It feels dangerous and hopeless. You can feel the ominous portents come off the page as you read and view the events unfolding. Every time I see Sinestro’s Core in action or standing and thumping their chests as Sinestro proclaims his righteousness with the madness of a dark prophet I can’t help but think of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and all those scenes with the Orc’s preparing for battle and then tearing into their prey. Johns has taken the mythology of The Green Lanterns’ and the Core and brought it into the 21st century, creating along the way an epic space opera. It borrows from the best of these types of stories and makes it something startling all on its own. This beats the heck out of Amazons Attack and "The Last Son" storylines DC currently has running. Those stories too should be what this is.

John’s development and progress of this story reminds me of Walt Simonson’s run on Thor oh so many years ago. Simonson took an underdeveloped comics mythology and mined it to create a modern day epic poem. Though not as poetic as that classic comics run, Johns is giving us stirring action and an Axis of Evil that we can really believe will pose an impossible threat to our stalwart Lanterns. In the context of the story there is real fear here. All the more pleasantly surprising because Johns is actually making me take seriously villains who during their initial appearances and runs didn’t do much for me at all. Parallax (his ultimate reveal almost seemed like too much of a contrivance for me, letting Jordan off the hook for his actions somewhat so he could return as a major hero to the DC universe), Superboy Prime (I just wasn’t a big fan of the "hero returns and becomes what he hates most" riff for him in Infinite Crisis), The Anti-Monitor (Goofy looking in his inception and so old do we really even remember much about him?) and finally Sinestro himself (always B-list to me). Johns has taken this cabal and made it into an A-list cosmic baddy force to be reckoned with. Sinestro seems all the more threatening because he believes that he’s right. He’s not just a self-centered, amoral criminal who does things just because he has no regard for others and is desperate. He believes his cause is just. It’s hard to reason, argue or fight that internal power source and drive.

The art is sleek and well realized like laser beams cutting across the pages. You can tell this writing and art team have their act and communication together and are running on all cylinders. Some specific highlights in the story and art for me were:
  • The battered lanterns on OA. Check out John Stewart’s bruised noggin’. If you can get through a Lantern’s force field and leave a mark, Watch out!

  • The use of the Manhunters as mobile power batteries for the Sinestro Corps.

  • The Cyborg Superman wearing Sinestro’s colors instead of Supes.

  • The sardonic evil of Parallax’s smile.

  • Lastly, Moose Brumann’s coloring is hot, adding the necessary “special effects” to the epic action scenes and sets.
Final Word: Geoff Johns is making good use of a well loved comics mythology while incorporating a cast of heavy hitting bad guys to devastating effect. These are just the opening salvos. Let’s hope Johns and Reis can keep the drumbeats going. Doom, Doom, Doom…

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!