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Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5 cover
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Alan Scott: The Green Lantern’ #5 is building towards a fiery conclusion

Combining Red and Green makes for some explosive colors.

Alan Scott and his mortal nemesis, the Red Lantern, are far from a typical hero and villain duo in Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5. The two tend to be at each other’s throats, while simultaneously caring for each other — even as they try to hide it. In an honest effort to fully communicate their tense relationship, Tim Sheridan, Cian Tormey, Matt Herms, Hi-Fi, and Lucas Gattoni have also enhanced the storyline compellingly and thoughtfully.

If Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #4 was dedicated to revealing the truth behind the Red Lantern’s backstory, #5 is about utterly dismantling its lies. Every word that came out of Vladimir’s mouth in the last issue is shattered by new revelations. In a book filled with heartwrenching twists, this issue is determined to never let up on the gas, even if the end is fast approaching.

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The last issue ended with Alan taking in the power of the Crimson Flame, just to survive in the fight against his former partner. The follow-up on that decision is tremendous.

DC Preview: Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5

DC Comics

Even setting aside its skillful writing, the art and coloring are more than enough to carry the book. Every panel featuring the red-lit Alan is terrifying. The beams of light breaking through his cheeks make him look more like a skeleton than a soldier. In many ways, he reflects Ghost Rider’s appearance over at Marvel Comics, though the remnants of Alan’s skin and costume somehow make the look even more captivating. For the first time, the red in the Green Lantern’s shirt finally makes sense.

In any Green Lantern book, color will inevitably be an essential motif. Alan Scott: The Green Lantern has not disappointed in that regard. After all, the background of every panel directly informs the story itself. Even the black one-tone backgrounds communicate the overwhelming divide between Crimson Flame and Emerald Flame that war in Alan’s heart. Entire pages of green, red, and purple reflect Alan’s costume across the book, while still tying into a central thematic and colorful war.

At times, as the Red Lantern desperately tries to convince Alan to ease away from using the Crimson Flame’s power, green bathes Vladimir, while red pours off of Alan. It’s a reversal of roles that could be communicated by Sheridan, but he instead chooses to allow the more ominous coloring to tell the story. It’s an ingenious way to use the coloring to subtly influence the overall narrative without directly spoonfeeding readers.

DC Preview: Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5

DC Comics

Sheridan also takes the opportunity to retcon another piece of Alan’s history by tying the Red and Green Lantern together eternally. With the Crimson Flame and the Emerald Flame having been bonded from the very beginning, the fact that Alan was chosen to bear the Flame feels more destined than circumstantial. It adds a touch of bittersweet irony to Alan’s love for Vladimir. The two hosts were drawn together and torn apart by outside forces, and those same forces have been reuniting them again and again.

Outside forces remain a prevailing theme of this issue. While Alan grapples with his role as the Green Lantern, a new host of enemies is introduced, and each feels like a relic from the 1960s. Between their names, their frankly bizarre costumes, and their dramatic introduction, it is difficult not to run to a DC wiki to check if these characters have never appeared before. That is either a mark of their excellent period designs or a reflection of the way that Marvel and DC treated the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Either way, it works surprisingly well.

DC Preview: Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5

DC Comics

Still, it would have been nice to get some more insight into Vlad’s history with the team before their introduction. The mystery about Vladimir’s lost periods was introduced in this issue, leaving the reader with no time to really consider the overarching threat. The pace simply moves slightly too quickly in this issue. Unfortunately, that is inevitable with so little time left in this book.

The tragedy of Vladimir’s relationship with Alan could very well be resolved in the next issue, though Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #6 will have an extensive amount of threads to resolve. With new enemies on the horizon and old friends coming together to support Alan in his fight, the coming issue is set to be jam-packed with action, romance, and the bittersweet tragedy that always seems to underline this book.

Alan Scott: The Green Lantern is at its best when it focuses on the relationship between Alan and Vladimir. That’s exactly what this issue does, and it’s why it works so well. Even when Vladimir is trying to appear as a heartless monster, the heart in this book screams out and makes for a rewarding and touching experience. While there are some serious pacing issues, it’s still hard not to love this series more with every passing issue.

Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5 cover
‘Alan Scott: The Green Lantern’ #5 is building towards a fiery conclusion
Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #5
Alan Scott: The Green Lantern is at its best when it focuses on the relationship between Alan and Vladimir. That's exactly what this issue does, and it's why it works so well. Even when Vladimir is trying to appear as a heartless monster, the heart in this book screams out and makes for a rewarding and touching experience. While there are some serious pacing issues, it's still hard not to love this series more with every passing issue.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9
Alan and Vladimir's relationship feels like a real connection between two compelling and flawed people.
The colors on this book work as well as they can in any Green Lantern book.
The art makes Alan's fate genuinely haunting.
The pace is starting to reach a fever pitch, but it's progressing a little too quickly.
8.5
Great
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