Robert Venditti recently introduced a new kind of police force last issue and had a lot to say about it. The Green Lanterns haven’t had a lot of competition in the space police department, but now they do and this force is all about lethal justice. Today’s issue fleshes out what their deal is and sets up how hard it’s going to be for the Green Lanterns moving forward.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“DARKEST BEFORE DAWN” part two! A mysterious object breaks into the Sciencells and abducts former Green Lantern, Tomar-Tu. Hal Jordan flies into action to save his friend, but what he’s confronted by may be too much for the greatest Green Lantern!
Why does this matter?
There’s a moral question being asked in this series since the Green Lanterns and the Darkstars are both technically forces for good. Problem is, the Darkstars philosophically think all criminals should be murdered to avoid future crimes. It’s harsh, and yet what can the Green Lanterns do when they’re outmatched?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue effectively explains what the Darkstars are up to, how serious they are, and gets you excited for the inevitable confrontation with the Green Lanterns. Venditti opens the issue with the Green Lanterns investigating murders and figuring out who is behind them. It gets particularly fishy when entire prisons end up dead. Soon the Green Lanterns are before the Guardians and not asking, but telling them what they are going to do. Venditti reminds readers the Green Lanterns sometimes wear their hearts on their sleeves, which ends up forcing them into a conflict they aren’t ready for.
I was surprised by how much is stuffed into this issue. The last issue was focused on two scenes, but this one cuts between a few, adding value to the reader. Like the last issue, Hal and Tomar-Tu have a conversation about their ideologies and it’s done well enough to make the reader unsure who may be right. The Darkstars definitely have some evil elements about them, like how they all share one mind, but they’re also rational and calm about it all.
Rafa Sandoval only gets better with each issue. There’s a wicked double page spread of Hal realizing how outmatched he is that’ll force you to turn the entire comic to see it all. There’s also a great double page layout of the Green Lanterns rushing out to bring some justice to the cosmos. I also like how he renders Tomar-Tu with a bit of shadow under the eyes as if he doesn’t want to be butting heads with the Green Lanterns, but knows he must if push comes to shove.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The last few pages force the Green Lanterns to make up a pretty half-baked plan that could have used a bit more to set it up. It also fails to point out the obvious which is maybe the Darkstars and Green Lanterns could coexist? Either way, the direction the book is going seems to be lacking as far as what the right next is beyond compiling a bigger army.
Is it good?
The Darkstars are an intriguing new threat for the Green Lanterns to take on we’ve not seen before. The setup is exciting and adds an interesting moral quandary for the heroes that proves fighting with fists isn’t always the answer.
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