“Rage of the Red Lanterns” continues as “Green Lantern” continues its crossover with Rainbow Brite. In all seriousness, the emotional spectrum gets a little deeper in this issue as we find Sinestro facing the rage (and spewing blood) of the Red Lanterns. The mysterious appearance of the Blue Lantern, aka Saint Walker, also deepens a little as we learn who is sponsoring the Blue Lanterns, where they come from, and what their hope for the future is.
Johns is setting up a lot of pieces on the Blackest Night gameboard here, as every new color (to this point: Green, Yellow, Purple, Red, and Blue) demands a new cast of characters. Warth is introduced as the newest Blue Lantern and also provides us with the method to learn the Blue Lantern oath (certain to be sung at tailgating gatherings across the nation). Johns’ characters continue to flourish under his writing, even when they are “out of character” like John Stewart after his Blue Lantern encounter.
Reis’ work is easily the best stuff of his career, which is saying quite a bit. Reis has found design sensibilities that offer a tranquility to the Blue Lanterns, while the Red Lanterns are quite the other end of the spectrum visibly. Ruffino deserves a shout-out for not only handling the spectrum well, but all of the colors arrayed around the main action. Check the double-page spread of Odym for just a sample of mind-numbing dedication to the craft of coloring comics.
As the Green Lantern segment of the universe gains more attention across comics readership, these early installments that establish the color palette for each ray of the emotional spectrum will undoubtedly be sought after for clues and details that offer insight as to how this “Blackest Night” will completely play out.
For as wonderful a job as Johns and crew do in the delivery of great stories, I would like to see this book get a little bit more on track, timing wise. Issue #36 was resolicited, and carries a January cover date. Unfortunately, scheduling being what it is, it also features a January release. 2009 was broadcast to be a major year for the Green Lantern family of titles; let’s hope that year contains something resembling twelve issues.