So far, Geoffrey Thorne has excelled at highlighting the best Green Lanterns in years in Green Lantern. Out today, Green Lantern #5 excels at juxtaposing the Yellow Lantern point of view with the adolescent rage of Teen Lantern Kelli Quintella. Expect huge fights and thoughtful captions in this well-written issue.
This issue opens on Korugar, a planet protected by Sinestro. Living like a king, Sinestro is living a life of partying and sex, but he’s certainly not hurting anyone. Enter Kelli, very angry and blowing up ships left and right in the sky. Through a third party, we get a solid interpretation of Sinestro’s approach to using fear and how it will fail against Kelli. We’re basically being told why Kelli is so powerful and why Sinestro is no match for her giant constructs in the sky.
Artists Tom Raney, Marco Santucci, and Andy MacDonald (with colors by Michael Atiyeh and letters by Rob Leigh) carry the brunt of your interest when it comes to spectacle and action via Kelli’s attacks. The captioning is to the point and almost poetic, while the artists are showing how Kelli’s constructs are clever, but also deeply tied to her personal experience. It’s a neat wrinkle that helps explain why a giant John Stewart would be fighting by her side.
Color by Atiyeh helps define the giant constructs and there’s some smart shading going on to add volume to their forms. There are a few pages with multiple Yellow Lanterns on the page, all of which have a super clean style and glow effect due to their powers.
Something that also works in the main story is the way sci-fi elements and technology are woven into the usually sparse Green Lantern arsenal. Kelli sports a cool-looking backpack. At one point, a Green Lantern shows up with a spiffy super suit. Pair this with the notion that with the central battery of Oa being destroyed in the last issue, and you can see Thorne is playing around with how the Green Lanterns function in multiple ways.
A weakness of having so much action is that it reduces the plot progression, which is minimal here in the main story. The captions add weight to the big action, but ultimately it’s a slower chapter when it comes to the story. Kelli is in a bit of a rage mode here, though she does get a key scene focusing on her fears. That scene further defines her and helps distinguish her from other Green Lantern characters (apart from her age of course).
Following the main story is a backup featuring John Stewart’s ongoing exploits on the Dark Matter world of Sergilion. He’s trying to save an entire people, but at what cost to them and the Green Lantern Corps? Heavy is the weight on his shoulders and this story plays off the main one by showing rational thought and decision making can get you in as much trouble as a teenager Green Lantern rushing into battle.
If you’re looking for big action and a contemplative narration about fear, Green Lantern #5 is going to be your jam. Thorne is subtly introducing new elements never before seen in this series and it’s working to make the series feel new again. It also highlights tough choices heroes must make and the results of rash decisions.
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