by Peter J. Tomasi (writer), Patrick Gleason (pencils), Rebecca Buchman & Tom Nguyen (inks), Randy Mayor & Gabe Eltaeb (colors), and Steve Wands (letters)

The Story: Along with their new Indigo ally, the Green Lantern Corps make their last stand defending the central power battery.

What’s Good: This is probably the best issue of Green Lantern Corps since Blackest Night began in earnest, and that’s largely due to all of the black lanterns coming together for one attack. The book has felt far too scattered and disparate over the last few months thanks to the black lanterns singling out characters and their change of tactic is welcome, as it brings all of our heroes together. This feels like a coherent narrative once again as opposed to a series of 3 pages vignettes.

As a result, our protagonists feel like a team and not simply a bunch of tangentially related people doing different things in different places. This helps foster some very strong character moments. The character death at the end of the book is certainly a gut-punch and it’s only the book’s newly regained cohesion that makes it possible.

Strangely though, my favourite scene involved Kilowog. The combination of rage, denial, and sadness was fantastically executed and oddly touching. It was a fantastic summation of the emotional reaction, and aftermath, that the black lanterns are capable of bringing forth. Kilowog’s tragic dialogue is only so effective because it hints at deeper, existential issues and personal pain that the character has harbored, and concealed, for a very long time.

Gleason’s art is more intelligible this month and also provides some really jaw-dropping moments, with some particularly awesome splashes and spreads. The size and scope of some of Gleason’s work here is astounding, daunting stuff. The character death at the end of the book is rendered beautifully and the mass black lantern assault is a sight to behold.

What’s Not So Good: While it’s much improved, Gleason’s art still isn’t without fault. The chaotic nature of the action still makes it occasionally difficult to decipher. The opening scenes were a bit hard-going at some points and the later sequence involving a released red lantern is nothing short of incomprehensible. Also, Gleason again shows himself to have some difficulty drawing Soranik’s face, which at times feels overly cartoony, even comical, with expressions that feel exaggerated, misplaced, or both.

What really disappoints about this issue, however, is Tomasi’s handling of the major character death.  Putting it simply, he dropped the ball.  It’s clearly the most important occurrence of the book and the most emotionally significant moment of the series for quite some time, but I just didn’t feel as though it was treated as such.    It comes off as random, rushed, and hence, underwhelming.  It takes just long enough that it isn’t shocking, but there’s also not enough build up for it to carry the emotional weight that it should.  It’s just about the most abrupt last stand and farewell that I’ve ever read.

A major character’s dying, especially in such heroic fashion, should garner more of a reaction from me.  Hell, Tomasi could very well have had me tearing up.  Instead, it doesn’t feel as significant or powerful as the character deserves and the fact that I bordered on feeling non-plussed is almost a travesty.

Conclusion: The best issue of GLC in a while, but I can’t help feeling a little soured by the missed opportunity.

Grade: B

-Alex Evans