Writer Geoffrey Thorne has made a strong impression on Green Lantern fans straight away with a story that has shown a healthy respect for years of lore, but isn’t afraid of taking big chances either.
Now in issue #4 of his current Green Lantern run, accompanied with art by Tom Raney and Marco Santucci, Thorne’s story is beginning to fall into a steady pace and deal with the outcome of some of the huge status quo changes the team has introduced.
In the span of a few plus-sized issues, Thorne and company have completely restructured the organization of the corps, fully integrated Sojourner Mullein from the pages of the Far Sector miniseries, and destroyed Oa’s central power battery in an explosion that is sure to cast ripples across the entirety of the known universe.
Issue #4 begins in the middle of the action, with John Stewart defending the people of his new adopted planet, the Dark Matter world of Sergilion. The planet is under attack by the Qinoori, sinister space pirates who have been hunting Green Lanterns. In the previous issue, Stewart developed a relationship with the people of Sergilion, especially a mother and son for whom he feels an especially strong sense of responsibility.
The ensuing battle contains all the swagger and heroics of classic Green Lantern tails. There are great moments here, including some especially dynamic art from Raney and Santucci that makes great use of varied panel layouts. They also play off of some fun design choices, like classic metallic space armor and glowing blue ray guns.
For a character with as tortured and layered a past as John Stewart, it’s fun to see him flex some of his swashbuckling muscles here and dispatch of the bad guys with ease, charm, and even a little bit of braggadocio that one might more commonly associate with different Green Lanterns from Earth.
The second half of the issue takes place back on Oa and follows Sojourner Mullein through her investigation into the mystery of the exploding central power battery. After some nice world-building moments (including a peek into the types of nasty creatures stored in Oa’s shadow vaults), Mullein comes to the unsurprising conclusion that the mysterious events concerning the power battery were likely a targeted attack – and could very well have been performed by a foe extremely familiar to the corps.
While the mystery element here is certainly intriguing enough to keep pages turning, the real shine of this book’s latter section is the integrating of different Green Lantern characters from across various different eras. Mullein, Simon Baz, and Teen Lantern (aka Kelli Quintella) are three of the newest human members of the corps, and their dynamic reflects this. Baz and Mullein form a quick bond in the face of adversity, while Quintella bristles at their leadership the way any teenager might when faced with authority figures.
The art from Raney and Santucci is more consistent in this issue, even if certain character designs still manage to look slightly different than they did in the previous month’s installment. This issue also takes more advantage of stylized panel arrangements and layouts that are often so emblematic of the best Green Lantern books. A particular plot point toward the end of the issue in which Teen Lantern experiences a heavy wave of emotion is reflected nicely with robust bursts of green energy that spill out from the pages and look especially exciting.
Green Lantern #4 builds a strong foundation for the rest of this series to stand on. It trades in some blockbuster surprises for solid pacing and well-drawn character dynamics that set this book up to be both thrilling in the moment and satisfying in the long run.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!