By Geoff Johns (writer), Doug Mahnke (artist)
The Story: The delegates of each lantern corps finally come together on Okaara. As they all work through their differences in order to confront the Black Lanterns, secrets of Atrocitus’ past come to light.
What’s Good: Johns finally delivers on the promise of the multi-colored lantern corps by having a representative of each on stage in this issue (Well, except for black, but really, you can find one of those in practically any other DC book this month). He’s definitely scratching some sort of completist itch within me by having all the colors represented here, and it really is just pure, unadulterated fun to behold. I found that I had just as much fun reading this issue as I did collecting all eight of the promo lantern corps rings that DC gave out this month. (Yes, it is possible that I took turns placing each of the rings on my finger while, in my best movie trailer voice, announcing, “Joe Lopez. You have the ability to instill blah-blah-blah. Welcome to the pick-your-color Corps!” Not that I would tell you that or anyth-… Crap.)
Adding to the enjoyment was the writer’s decision to center on the characters of Larfleeze and Atrocitus. We’ve seen the focus fall on many of Green Lantern’s supporting cast during this story-line, but these two definitely have been ripe for the spotlight. Atrocitus in particular benefits from some effective fleshing out of his past and the cause for the great rage that fills his heart. Johns also smartly uses Larfleeze to inject some humor into his script. It doesn’t always work against such an ominous backdrop, but when it does, the comedic relief is welcome.
P. S. Doug Mahnke’s artwork kicks serious ass. ‘Nuff said.
What’s Not So Good: There isn’t much to complain about here, but I should reiterate the fact that Johns’ attempts at levity don’t always work. As DS Arsenault mentioned in his review of Blackest Night #5, in both that issue and this one, several of the characters (Hal and Carol especially) have taken to cracking wise during insanely dire straits. While it might not be completely unrealistic for them to do so, and while I certainly understand Johns’ desire to lighten up the otherwise bleak story a bit, it did remind me a little bit of cheesy action movies where the protagonist’s always ready with a one-liner. Not a horrible offense, but it removed me from the story at times.
Conclusion: Johns and Mahnke are, as always, a dependable team and they consistently make Green Lantern a title to look forward to. While Johns’ jesting didn’t always succeed when in contrast with the crisis at hand, it far from ruined the fun to be had getting to see the different-colored lantern corps finally team up.