By: Adam Schlagman (writer), Robson Rocha, Felipe Massafera, Joe Prado (artists), Rod Reis (colorist)
The Story: Well, you’re not exactly E.T., but at least you’re not the Borg.
The Review: Do you remember how last week I talked about the importance of exposition done right? How it’s best not to always have characters explaining everything? No, that part was too boring and you just wanted to read more about Injun Batman? Okay. Anyway, keeping those points in mind would be very handy as we talk about what made this issue of Abin Sur – The Green Lantern so wildly unarresting.
Let’s rewind to about a month ago, when the last issue came out. There, Schlagman laid down some basic facts: Abin as Sinestro’s mentor, Sinestro’s love for Abin’s sister, the loss of Abin’s sister and home planet, the Guardians ordering Abin to retrieve the entity on Earth, Abin refusing to do so and leave Earth to its doom, and Sinestro hearing from Atrocitus the prophecy of Flashpoint. You’d expect, quite reasonably, that Schlagman would expand on those details here.
Instead, he just reiterates every single one of those plot threads a second time around, just in case you forgot them in the last month (and, frankly, why wouldn’t you?). Abin’s entire conversation with Cyborg basically works as a “Previously…” bit: “I am on a mission to retrieve…an entity.” “Whose mission? Who are you?” “My name is Abin Sur. And I…I want to help you and your world.” “Then please join me.”
You can appreciate Cyborg’s virtue and trustworthiness instantly convincing Abin to become his ally, but Schlagman does nothing to flesh out the nature of their partnership. We know Abin gets right to work saving European refugees (because President Not-Obama—or Nobama—tells us so, not because we really get to see it), but for an alliance of such import, you’d expect to see more of them working together in specific ways.
And before Abin’s work on Earth barely gets started, Sinestro shows up, rambling about his conversation with Atrocitus about Flashpoint, which we also don’t get to see. And even though Sinestro plans to use the Flash to “change the world in our image,” you can’t really work up much excitement, seeing as how he tells you nothing specific about how he’ll do it. It just feels like Sinestro being his usual, control-freak self.
But those are the hazards of having so much substance just being spouted to you. It’s like hearing from your parents, teachers, government, and public television stations that drugs are bad and killing people off by the dozens, and then you thinking, Yes, bus isn’t it also kind of fun? You just have no direct evidence to take anybody seriously.
Even with three artists onboard, there’s a fairly remarkable consistency in the heavily painted, posed style Massafera established last issue. Really, it looks fine, just not very dynamic, and at times the colors and inks get so heavy that it’s a bit difficult to see what’s going on. The most irritating snafu is the variation in Sinestro’s facial shape and features, changing from youthful to grimaced even from panel to panel.
Conclusion: Despite everyone behaving as if the universe is going to end (because it is), the issue is strangely lifeless and unconvincing.
– Minhquan Nguyen
Some Musings: – At President Nobama’s press conference introducing Abin, someone in the center of the very front row takes a picture with a digi-cam. They’re just letting anybody into the White House press corps in that universe, aren’t they?