Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Green Lantern #57


Ron Marz – Story
Darryl Banks – Pencils
Romeo Tanghal – Inks
Steve Mattsson – Color
Albert DeGuzman – Letters
Eddie Berganza – Drunk with power
Kevin Dooley – Him too

The cover, by Johnson and Panosian, is actually half of an image with New Titans #116. It's an OK gimmick that was done as recently as the New 52's Trinity War. I'm more forgiving of this gimmick when each individual cover can stand well on its own, and I think this one mostly accomplishes that. If you were just reading Green Lantern, you probably wouldn't know that was Changeling, but I think most Green Lantern readers would have known that anyway. The only odd thing about this cover is the coloring. I suppose they felt compelled to make a difference between Changeling and Green Lantern's constructs, but they ended up making Changeling more blue than green, and I don't like that.

Our story begins with Kyle Rayner visiting the grave of his recently deceased girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt. I don't know all the details, but I do know Kyle found her mangled corpse crammed in a refrigerator. Pretty rough stuff.

Kyle then moves in to his new apartment in New York, and the situation is very similar to Marvel's Doctor Strange (hey, why can't the Big Two pay tribute to each other every now and then?).  Kyle stays up till 4:30 in the morning designing toys, when he is suddenly visited by Psimon. Kyle tries to fight him, but fails spectacularly and is possessed by the super-powerful psychic.

Psimon takes Green Lantern to kill the Titans at their new headquarters in Liberty State Park, New Jersey. But they're still battling the demonic Changeling, so Lantern takes him out with a big truck. Impulse thinks this is really cool, but Arsenal is skeptical since he heard Green Lantern had died during Zero Hour.

Arsenal tries to ask Lantern about this, but he is ignored and attacked. In fact, Lantern would have vaporized Arsenal if Impulse hadn't saved him (complaining all the while that everybody's moving at a snail's pace). However, even with his super speed, Impulse took a bit of a hit while saving his "fearless leader," and he jokes with Damage that he likes "the taste of burnt me." Terra calls in some mud to put out the green flames, and she yells, "Cripes! What're you trying to do, Lantern? Kill us?!" The possessed Lantern answers in the affirmative, to which Impulse asks to be excused.

This was a pretty fun story. I like the idea of New Titans having quick and easy crossovers with other related titles. Later this month, we'll see them in Damage, then later in Darkstars and Deathstroke. Unfortunately, DC never did any New Titans crossovers with the Flash while Impulse was on the team, which would have made a lot of sense since Wally was once a Titan. Oh well, I guess I should enjoy what we did get 20 years ago.

Somehow, I've never read anything by Ron Marz before this. I need to remedy this problem. Soon. I've never cared about Kyle Rayner before, but Marz changed that in this one issue. He spent a lot of time with Kyle Rayner, the normal man, going about his day-to-day life, and I loved it. But somehow there was still plenty of time for some fun action at the end. That is how you pace a comic book.

Unfortunately, the art really held this issue back. And I don't think Darryl Banks is entirely to blame for that. For whatever reason, Steve Mattsson failed to color about half of Green Lantern's constructs. I don't know if that was intentional — like maybe something was causing them to be transparent — but I always thought whatever a Green Lantern makes should be bright green. In this issue, I had to go back over a couple of panels to figure what was going on, and then it felt really weird to realize that 90 percent of the panel should have been colored green but simply wasn't.

As for Impulse, I thought he was well-represented here. He was drawn just the way you'd expect him to be from this era, and he acted just he did in the pages of New Titans. I did like how he saved Arsenal — again — continuing to show that he is one of the more powerful and necessary members of the team.

Next time, we'll continue this green battle in The New Titans #116.

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