Green Lantern is the most popular cosmic DC property, and it’s easy to see why. Even in a superhero universe of endless characters and parallel dimensions, the Green Lantern mythos truly inhabits a unique world of its own.
The enormity of the canvas means there’s virtually no limit on the scale or type of story creators can tell – from the localized hard sci-fi of N.K. Jemison and Jamal Campbell’s Far Sector to the psychedelic high fantasy of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern.
Geoffrey Thorne’s new ongoing series for the Infinite Frontier era attempts to split the difference, featuring the classical opulence and grandiosity of a Silver Age book, while also introducing some of the boldest shakeups to the mainstream status quo in quite some time.
Issue #3 begins on the tail of these changes with Green Lanterns across the corps being assigned to new sectors, and some sectors even being abandoned altogether. Most notably, John Stewart and a team of 1,000 Lanterns have been sent to explore the Dark Matter Universe — a mission that goes horribly wrong and leaves Stewart stranded in uncharted outer space.
When John eventually wakes up, he finds himself under the care (or perhaps experimentation) of Saqari, a friendly chemopath from the Dark Matter world of Sergilion. Bonding ensues, and a lengthy stay is inevitably interrupted when John has to intervene on behalf of his new friends when unfriendly visitors threaten to disrupt the tranquility.
The world of Sergilion is nicely designed and fairly intriguing in its conception, but ultimately suffers from the fact that the time spent exploring it on the page is so limited. Thorne made the choice to begin this issue with a sequence of surreal vignettes that, while entertaining and clever in their conception, ultimately might have been cut in service of giving this particular plot more room to breathe. While we are told with caption boxes that John’s stay extends over a long period of time, it’s hard to get that sense from the limited amount of scenes we are given.
The second section of the issue centers on the much more mysterious storyline involving the explosion of the central power battery and the arrival to Oa of Sojourner “Jo” Mullein, the star of the aforementioned Far Sector. Her interactions with the likes of Simon Baz and the new Teen Lantern Kelli Quintella are some of the finest character moments in the book, and they provide a welcome reprieve to the chaos of the circumstances.
Art duties here are handled by Tom Raney and Marco Santucci, and while there are nice touches scattered throughout, there are few if any moments that manage to stand out. The different worlds of the various vignettes that open the story are nicely rendered in contrasting color palettes, and the scenes of teams of Lanterns buzzing about in space have a great amount of detail and pop. If I had one point of contention, it would be that the fluidity of the anatomy made it so that certain shapes and expressions weren’t quite as consistent from page to page as I might have hoped.
Geoffrey Thorne and company have proven that they are more than up to the task of creating a new Green Lantern tale that balances the historical grandeur of the lore with novel concepts and interesting new directions. This issue doesn’t have quite the scope or expert pacing of the previous two, but the plot developments and character moments are enough to keep patient readers sticking around to find out what comes next.
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