Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Comic Book Review: Green Lantern #52

Book Information
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke

Blackest Night reaches the climax as Sinestro gets his hands on a white ring, becoming the very first White Lantern.  Through Sinestro, we are given a brief run through of the history of each entity and its foundations, revealing some major possibilities for the future of the Green Lantern Corps.  It is now a battle between life and death, and Nekron takes full advantage of Sinestro’s distracted mind…but will it be enough against the power of the white light?

My Thoughts
This issue of Green Lantern starts off after the events that occurred in Blackest Night #7, and Geoff Johns pushes everything forward with no lingering literary obstructions to drag it down.  #52 is nothing if not a positive push towards the future of Green Lantern and everything tied with it.  The continued progress made by Johns on this title has been phenomenal, but this month’s installment officially brought Green Lantern to the next level, boosting itself into the non-comic book fan’s eye and allowing it that opportunity to become as well know as DC’s big three.

I felt this entire issue was one big poetic prose, combing the influences of Edger Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde and giving it a Geoff Johns twist.  The constant militaristic task force jargon is often interrupted by poetic and gothic dialogue which no real person would use in everyday speech. 

As Sinestro embraces the power of the white light, he reflects on a new found past that the ring is obviously flushing throughout his mind.  But the Poe approach is very surely present in the voice of Nekron as he slices Sinestro down the middle with his staff sized sickle. 

Of course much of the dialogue used in this issue is in different forms of already regurgitated sentences from past issues, claiming the dead will rule and the living will be no more.  Mostly I read how darkness will dim the light, no one can delay the coming of the black, etc.  It’s all very entertaining, well written and comes off quite powerfully, but it isn’t anything we haven’t read before since Blackest night began.
Rating: 9

Geoff Johns takes the scientific theory known as “The Big Bang” and places into the mythological world of DC.  This approach by Johns establishes the emotional spectrum of each Corps as the creator and founder of the planet Earth, and a wandering light searching for a home.

“I see your birth, your violent entrance into the barren and endless space.  Sent here by accident or with purpose, Krona does not even know.  Casting your presence across the entire universe, light fighting back darkness by creating the stars and planets.  Creating your shelter, Earth, at the very spot you were thrust into the universe.”

Johns is a master at pushing that religious button, first with the Justice Society, now with Green Lantern, further giving people a reason to doubt their upbringing and learn to accept the fact that what you thought you knew may not be true.  However, Johns does pull out certain aspects of Christianities creation story as the brief glimpse of a snake in an apple tree points to the story of Adam and Eve right before the interaction with the sadistic and manipulative snake. 

It seems Johns also uses a worldwide religious take on the telling of this story as the entities seem loosely based on the Chinese Zodiac when circling Sinestro’s violet skull.  I’m very interested to see where Johns plans to take this new development in the world of the Green Lantern Corps as how this will influence its future.  I’ve heard arguments that the Corps, each one in fact, could become much more of a religious sect rather than a galactic police force.
Rating: 10

I think if you bought this issue purely for the art and nothing else, you got a sweet deal.  The quality of the art by Doug Mahnke is worth more than $2.99.  Consider yourselves lucky, you purchasers of Green Lantern, you have gold in your collection.

As I am one of the most non-religious Christians I know, I have always loved angelic imagery depicted in Churches, museums, and in other artistic genres.  Seeing Sinestro plummet from above, with the white entity behind him, stretching its silvery wings in a glorious spread in a downward attack on Nekron was one of the most inspiring images in comics I’ve seen to date.  I felt like I should have stood up at that moment and drive to the closest church and thank God for creating Doug Mahnke and blessing us with his talents.

The contrasting colors are quite good as well.  The purple skin of Sinestro against the white background was a nice touch, as well as the violet, green and blue energy beams coming from different lanterns shooting down on the horde of Black Lanterns below in the city.  And of course the multicolored explosive moment as the Black Lantern connection was severed and John Stewart zooming away is a poster framing image.
Rating: 10

This is without a doubt the best issue in the Blackest Night series.  It’s the penultimate moments in a story which are the best and the Johns/Mahnke team produces nothing less than the most satisfying Blackest Night installment out of the whole series.

Rating: 9.67 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming April 21st, 2010
A BRIGHTEST DAY tie-in! Exploding out of BLACKEST NIGHT comes the next exciting chapter in the Green Lantern mythos: "New Guardians"! Forced together during the rise of the Black Lanterns, Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Carol Ferris, Saint Walker, Atrocitus, Indigo-1 and Larfleeze must agree to disagree if their next mission is to succeed. But when one of the strangest beings from Green Lantern's past returns, the future of the Lanterns and the universe at large once again falls into question.

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