With Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps set to end next week, it’s up to Green Lanterns to carry the emerald torch for DC Comics. Fans of the Lanterns need not worry, however, as the the tales of these intergalactic cops are in capable hands with writer Dan Jurgens at the helm. Green Lanterns #52 sees Jurgens team up with guest artist Marco Santucci to deliver the third chapter of the “Evil’s Might” story arc featuring every major Green Lantern DC has to offer. The result is a fast paced, action-packed story with a mysterious and thought-provoking narrative hook to keep readers wanting more, even if the art can be inconsistent and the dialogue remains dull.
Green Lanterns #52 wastes no time, immediately thrusting readers into the middle of a massive space battle between the Lanterns and the Ravagers over the newly conquested Penelo. The battle is kicked off by a gorgeous splash page that does a masterful job showing the scope and intensity of the battle at hand, with each Lantern firing blasts of emerald energy at different attacking targets. It is a true spectacle that allows Marco Santucci’s ability to capture the chaos of battle to shine on a grand scale.
This battle over Penelo takes up most of the issue, but it’s totally awesome. These scenes are intense and fast, feeling like they’re playing out in real time as the Lanterns struggle to pull out a victory. The pace of the battle makes for a quicker read, but Santucci and writer Dan Jurgens manage to capture a real sense of excitement and intensity during the battle — no easy feat in comics.
While the battle sequences are masterfully drawn, the character models have room for improvement. There are sequences where character reactions to dialogue or visual queues seem contradictory to one another. One glaring example is during Hal Jordan’s introduction to the book, when the letters on the page allude he’s exclaiming his words, yet his facial expression is downright calm.
This causes a disconnect between prose and visuals that disrupts the reader’s experience. In general, the facial expressions and body language of characters never really feel in sync with the situation at hand.
The dialogue is, once again, mostly dull. There are some great quips in this issue, particularly two well timed Star Wars references, but overall the dialogue is mundane. The words spoken are just so plain they’re borderline unnecessary — not doing anything to make the scenes better while feeling more campy than captivating. The script just feels, for lack of a better word, old.
The heroes seem to be loudly announcing their thoughts and actions in ways that feel unnatural, unwarranted, and uninteresting. Fans longing for more 1970s style dialogue may love Green Lanterns‘s script, but those who have become acquainted with modern scripting may get bored with the exchanges.
Thankfully Green Lanterns #52, and the “Evil’s Might” arc as a whole, has such an intriguing and thoughtful mystery at its core I am more than willing to overlook any script issues or visual mishaps. On the surface it may seem like the Ravagers and their new leader, Eon, are the big-bads, but the malfunctioning rings and seeds of dissent among the Lanterns tells a different story: the biggest information is distrust and misinformation.
Jurgens is doing something incredibly interesting her: he’s removing the omnipotence from the Lanterns’ rings and instead making them unreliable narrators who leave the readers unaware of the truth. This may sound frustrating, but it makes the story all the more interesting and worthy of revisiting to try and root out the truth. It’s clear the rings have been corrupted, so can you trust anything they say? What’s really going on? I’m on my third read of this issue and I am still making sure I’ve caught all the rings’ lies.
Furthermore, this issue offers a timely inspection on the spread of misinformation and how the rapid release of such uncertainty can cause immediate problems. It seems Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, the two Lanterns with arguably the strongest bond, are being led astray by malfunctioning rings the most to the point they nearly come to blows.
Both receive information from a source they deem to be infallible, and unwilling to budge in their trust in their source, they choose contention over discussion. It’s an eye opening moment within the narrative that will leave readers thinking about the power of misinformation and the importance of not holding too tightly to your own truths.
Green Lanterns #52 regains some of the series’ momentum lost from the utterly average previous issue, but still falls short of its potential because of sloppy dialogue and inconsistent art. Regardless of these shortcomings, Green Lanterns #52 is still an exciting, thought-provoking read with a compelling mystery at its core that will certainly have readers excited for the next installment.