All good things…

January 5, 2015

After five long years, it’s time for the Indigo Tribe to go on indefinite hiatus. (The blog, I mean, not the ring wielders.)

Long story short: I’ve become rather bored with Green Lantern comics (and a lot of other comics and “nerd culture” in general), and while I still enjoy parts of the stories, I’ve definitely grown weary of writing about them. So rather than just force myself to churn out boilerplate blog entries, it’s better to cut things off now before I crash and burn. The end of “Godhead” seemed like a natural place to do this, so at least there’s some sense of closure. (All of the Lantern titles except for Green Lantern and Sinestro are being canceled soon, anyway.)

Thanks to all of my readers over the past half-decade; I couldn’t have done this without your support. I’m going to leave the blog up for the time being; I really don’t see any reason to delete it. And who knows, it’s possible that I may start writing about the Lanternverse again someday.

Green Lantern Annual (Vol. 2) #3

January 1, 2015

Release Date: December 24, 2014
Cover Date: February 2015

Story: Charles Venditti
Pencils: Billy Tan
Inks: Mark Irwin, Marc Deering, and Livesay
Cover: Ethan Van Sciver

Hal Jordan and Black Hand are surrounded by Orion’s forces at the Source Wall, but Black Hand somehow manages to free the trapped beings in the Wall, changing them all into Black Lanterns. Sinestro soon arrives via boom tube, and the Lanterns bring the undead forces to New Genesis where they begin to wreak havoc. Unfortunately, they soon begin to come back to real life, as they were never really dead in the first place. Meanwhile, the Templar Guardians tell Kyle Rayner that Highfather is merely accessing the Life Equation through Kyle; he could never actually remove it from the White Lantern. Kyle tries to stop him mentally, but Highfather’s too strong. This also backfires as Highfather attempts to convert the Wall titans to his cause. As New Genesis is slowly destroyed, Hal finally gets through to Highfather, telling him that he’s becoming a Tyrant just like Darkseid. Highfather relinquishes his control over the Life Equation, and Kyle uses it to teleport the titans away. Sinestro refuses to help the failing New Genesis, but Saint Walker is so impressed by Kyle’s work that he regains his blue ring, supercharging the Green Lantern Corps and allowing them to save the city. The Corps returns to Mogo and gives the sentient planet back its ring, while unbeknownst to them, a massive hand begins to free itself from the Source Wall.

As I feared, “Godhead” ended with a plopping noise. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t very good, either. Highfather just stood down, the Lanterns did absolutely nothing until Kyle just teleported the Wall titans away with no explanation, and Mogo magically comes back to life with his ring (even though his slow rot after removing it made no sense). Black Hand freeing the trapped Source Wall titans and other folks also made no sense. They’re not dead, as was specifically explained, so he should have had no power over them.

As for the rest of the Corps, there really wasn’t any point. The Green Lantern Corps didn’t do much until after the fight was over, Guy was the sole Red Lantern whose presence also was not necessary, and the Sinestro Corps turned tail after Highfather gave up. Look, I would’ve been annoyed if Sinestro proved to be everyone’s savior, but in fact the story went in the opposite direction, and he didn’t do shit except open a boom tube. That’s it? Even I think that’s lame. Last but not least, Saint Walker getting his ring back was cool, but it was more of a foregone conclusion than a solid plot point.

Moving on to the art. Billy Tan’s work was sadly very hit or miss here. Most pieces and splash pages looked pretty good, but far too many closeup shots and dramatic scenes looked rough and unfinished. Not a good fit for an annual or a big crossover finale. What happened?

In conclusion, “Godhead” reeked of throwing all of the Corps in a big crossover just because the powers-that-be decreed it. This could’ve been just a Green Lantern-focused story and it would’ve worked much better. (True, Kyle’s a White Lantern and was crucial to the plot…but given his history as a Green Lantern, it still fits.) And then there’s the matter of the last page. Of course the story didn’t goddamned end. Ugh. I’m so sick of “events” that merely lead into the next. Tell one story, and finish it, fer crissake!

Sinestro #8

December 31, 2014

Release Date: December 24, 2014
Cover Date: February 2015

Story: Cullen Bunn
Pencils: Martin Coccolo
Inks: Scott Hanna
Cover: Guillem March
Variant Cover: Darwyn Cooke

Sinestro kills one of his own Sinestro Corpsmen who’d been corrupted by Highfather, then steals a New God’s Mother Box by setting Parallax loose on him. He meets up with the other Lanterns, scoffing that he’ll be the one to save the day. Sinestro pays a visit to Highfather himself, and goads him into a fight by explaining that the Guardians considered Darkseid to be a massive threat, but Highfather barely warranted a footnote. Highfather beats the shit out of Parallax and Sinestro, but Despotellis has secretly infiltrated the Mother Box control system. Sinestro escapes through his own boom tube, but Highfather’s not worried. The invasion of Earth is ready to begin.

Did I miss something? Since when did Parallax physically feed on people? The giant space bug has always fed on fear, not flesh. And if you kill something…well, it’s no longer afraid. If the golden parasite has done this elsewhere, let me know. I must’ve forgotten, because the very concept of Parallax as a fear entity is stupid.

But I digress.

Sinestro was arrogant to the extreme in this issue, as befits his character. Sure, it gets tiresome after a while, but he got his comeuppance almost immediately when Highfather kicked his ass without breaking a sweat. I doubt Sinestro merely escaped to a random location, either; I’m sure he planned something very meticulous in advance, and just waited for Despotellis to be ready. If he ends up being the hero at the end, I’ll roll my eyes. I don’t mind the villain playing against type from time to time, but Sinestro’s been the Lanternverse’s golden boy (no pun intended) for far too long.

Finally, a word or two on the art. Martin Coccolo’s illustrations were excellent…for the most part. There were just a few panels were expressions just looked a little “off,” and it was enough to jump out and interrupt the story a bit. Otherwise, he’s been a fine fit for the book.

My review of the “Godhead” finale, Green Lantern Annual (Vol. 2) #34, should be up tomorrow. Tune in then to find out what I thought. Better late than never, right?

Red Lanterns #37

December 30, 2014

Release Date: December 24, 2014
Cover Date: February 2015

Story: Charles Soule
Art: Jim Calafiore
Cover: Scott Hepburn

Guy Gardner and Simon Baz manage to break out of a miracle cell, but are immediately met by Malhedron. He explains that he’s now considered a traitor, and informs the Lanterns that the various power rings are being held and studied by Hyalt, the New Gods’ weaponsmith. Simon distracts Hyalt while Guy regains the rings, and they take Hyalt out of the fight by bombing his lab. Meanwhile, John Stewart, Carol Ferris, Kyle Rayner, and Saint Walker were not killed by Highfather’s scepter (what a shock!), merely teleported away. They meet up with the escaped Templar Guardians…and they’ve got a plan for all of the Lanterns.

This issue was well-paced and featured tight battle scenes, and Simon telling Guy to act almost contrary to his nature helped it from becoming too generic of a battle. (The football bombs were a nice touch, too.) What I didn’t like was actually the main point of the issue: I think that Guy and Simon got the rings back far too easily. It was obvious that they would as soon as Malhedron mentioned them, but it would’ve been nice to see things go against the grain for a bit.

The book also seemed to go by very quickly, but that’s not a slight. Jim Calafiore’s art helped with the pace, and the action was balanced well with conversation without getting boring or feeling like filler. (There were a few expected miscolored rings, too; check out the blue one.)

A decent story and solid art made Red Lanterns #37 a good read, but I just wish the plot hadn’t been so by-the-numbers. Hell, I barely had anything to write about it as a result!

It goes without saying

December 22, 2014

The final three parts of “Godhead” — Red Lanterns #37, Sinestro #8, and Green Lantern Annual (Vol. 2) #3 — are all due to be released this Wednesday, December 24. As you are undoubtedly aware, that’s also Christmas Eve. I’ll be spending that and the next few days relaxing and enjoying the holiday with family and friends…not reading comics!

As such, my reviews for those issues will go up sometime the following week. Not sure exactly when yet, but trust me, they’ll be here! In the meantime, enjoy your holidays as we close out 2014!

Green Lantern: New Guardians #37

December 19, 2014

Release Date: December 17, 2014
Cover Date: February 2015

Story: Justin Jordan
Pencils: Diogenes Neves and Rodney Buchemi
Inks: Marc Deering, Rodney Buchemi, and Daniel Henriques
Cover: Kyle Strahm

Kyle Rayner and Carol Ferris are stuck on the surface of Old Genesis, and while Kyle tries to lighten the mood, Carol’s still angry with him for the effect his reality-warping powers had on her. She tries to focus on the task at hand, when Metron shows up. He cryptically tells them that he feels the balance of power is tipped, and unearths an ancient Mother Box from the ground, warning them that it’ll only work once. Meanwhile, John Stewart and Saint Walker plan their next move as Malhedron agrees to free the other Lanterns. Kyle and Carol teleport to John’s location, but New God guards arrive shortly thereafter. Kyle realized that they need him alive, so he physically assaults them, throwing them off guard. John uses this to steal their weapons, and the Lanterns quickly overpower their adversaries. While the Guardians escape on their own, claiming that they let the New Gods capture them, Kyle and crew go after Highfather himself. Kyle shatters his scepter and retrieve the white power ring…but it’s drained. Highfather has absorbed the Life Equation into himself, and he seemingly vaporizes the group.

Carol’s reaction to Kyle’s earlier “outburst,” as it were, was addressed fairly well. Carol already has feelings for Kyle, and his memories of Alex being forcefully (if unwittingly) imprinted onto her even for a moment had to do some nasty damage. Granted, this is something that needs to be addressed further, but at least the story has decent reasons for pushing it back a bit. Y’know, the whole New Gods problem and all that. Metron’s interruption couldn’t have had better timing.

The Guardians escaping is a bit problematic. Why not take the Lanterns with them? It’s sad to see that the Templars have seemingly become just as malevolent as the old Guardians. As for their power coming from “another” source, that’s rather muddled. Ever since the 2004 reboot, their power has fluctuated between being their own and coming from the “emotional spectrum.” Make up your minds!

Green Lantern: New Guardians #37 has some decent art; though again, as with some of the other “Godhead” issues, the stylistic shift between two artists in the same book is a bit distracting. Fortunately, as before, this is confined to shifts in scene, so it’s not as noticeable as if the art changed from one page to the next during the same scene.

It’s fairly obvious that Kyle and crew aren’t dead; they were likely just teleported somewhere. Perhaps we’ll find out where in the next installment, Red Lanterns #37…but considering that all three final parts of “Godhead” are due for release at the same time, we have less than a week to wait, regardless.

(Or maybe not; see my upcoming post on Monday for details.)

Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 3) #37

December 12, 2014

Release Date: December 10, 2014
Cover Date: February 2015

Story: Van Jensen
Art: Bernard Chang and Mirko Colak
Cover: Bernard Chang
Variant Cover: Darwyn Cooke

Highfather thanks Indigo-1 for walking the other Lanterns into his trap, and offers her Tribe a place in his army. She respectfully declines, so Highfather returns the stolen indigo power ring and sends her home. When the captive Lanterns are dumped out of prison before him, Highfather wastes no time using his scepter to convert them into soldiers. John Stewart and Sinestro try to fight back, but they’re not match for Uggha, one of Highfather’s generals. Before the New Gods’ leader can convert them, the Green and Yellow Lanterns are saved by Malhedron, who believes that Highfather has become a tyrant. He sends Sinestro to the Source Wall to find Hal Jordan, while John and Saint Walker stay behind to kick the hornets’ nest. John threatens the citizens of New Genesis and goads Uggha into another fight, eventually stealing his hammer and beating the shit out of the New God. The insurgency has begun!

Malhedron’s quasi-defection was a nice payoff that’s been building for some time now. It was also interesting that after he saved John, Sinestro, and Saint Walker, he said that’s as far as he’d go in defying Highfather. Perhaps another battle with Malhedron is brewing down the line? Or Highfather will just off him, and then regret it, which will set up his downfall.

Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 3) #37 was decent for the most part, but it had some pretty crappy moments that brought it down a bit. John touting himself as Earth’s greatest assassin may have just been boasting to rile up the New Gods, but it still sounded very out of place. Also, his comment that he’s leaving his family in Sinestro’s hands? Where did that come from? Sinestro’s not even going to Earth! Even if by “family” John meant the Green Lantern Corps, that still doesn’t make sense; the Corps is under Hal’s leadership, anyway. Weird. At least the scene with John finally kicking Uggha’s ass was a great moment.

John’s doing a bellyflop on the cover, but the interior art fares much better. The only downside was that Mirko Colak’s art, found on the last few pages, is very different stylistically than that of Bernard Chang. Colak’s art isn’t bad, but it’s just a very noticeable jump which takes you out of the story for a bit.

Only a few issues left of “Godhead.” It remains to be seen how much plot the powers-that-be can cram in there and the epilogue to follow before Convergence — DC’s big spring crossover that mixes universes past and present — comes along and mucks with continuity even further.


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