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Green Lantern Corps #35

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
Green Lantern Corps #35

In “Green Lantern Corps” #35, writer Van Jensen sends John Stewart and a trio of other Green Lanterns to the planet Aydin to open the third part of act one of the “Godhead” saga. The emerald quartet of Stewart, Arisia, Isamot Kol and Vath Sarn discover the fallout the New Gods left behind in the opening salvo of “Godhead” and are further ensnarled into the New Gods quest to eliminate ringbearers and uncover the “true” power of the light spectrum.

With the New Gods setting out to divide and conquer the light-bearers, Uggha is on hand to meet the Lanterns. Filled with pomposity and bluster, Uggha and his unnamed troops present an additional threat that supersedes that of the manipulated residents of Aydin. So much so that the duration of the battle in “Green Lantern Corps” #35 falls between Uggha and his men against the four Lanterns of Green as Uggha identifies them. Jensen gives Uggha plenty of space to monologue, thereby bringing the readers up to speed nicely, but at the risk of becoming overly expositional. Two interludes provide context for other developments within the “Godhead” saga as well as narrative pauses in the battle. Uggha is the center of attention, with his troops filling in as necessary when Jensen requires cannon fodder or elects to shift the focus momentarily. Jensen gives each of the Lanterns no less than a sliver of focus, with Stewart and Isamot getting the most panel time and personality exhibition. Arisia gets her shots in as well, but none of the characters ascend to stardom in “Green Lantern Corps” #35.

Artist Bernard Chang’s work is filled with detail and the desolation of Aydin allows him to focus more extensively on the characters rather than their surroundings. John Stewart’s appearance retains some vestiges of Cully Hamner’s work from “Green Lantern: Mosaic” but is markedly Chang’s take on the former architect. Some of the other characters are serviceable under Chang’s pencils, but with Uggha, Chang again shows distinct ownership. Uggha, as fits his moniker, is a brutish, hulking armor-clad god, reminiscent of Kalibak or even Ulik the troll from the adventures of that marvelous not-so-new Norse god of thunder. Carrying a huge mace that he seemingly commands as much as employs, Uggha poses a physical threat viable for a quartet of Lanterns.

Colorist Marcelo Maiolo is onboard for this installment of “Godhead,” bringing his unorthodox single-color panels into play at critical story moments. Occasionally those panels are green, befitting the Lanterns, but more often than not, Maiolo uses red with accents of brown, choosing to amplify the alarm, rage and conflict throughout the story. Maiolo takes it half a step further in some panels, using a brown to red gradient to give those story beats even more visual impact. The “regular” panels are colored nicely, hitting the highlights, shadows and explosive moments on queue. Maiolo blends nicely with the letters from Dave Sharpe, helping complete the visuals in “Green Lantern Corps” #35.

The quartet of Lanterns, almost as required by timing of the story as much as plot or conflict, prove to be outmatched by Uggha. Jensen makes nice work of turning “Green Lantern Corps” #35 into an Uggha spotlight issue. This is a story hitting the necessary beats and marking off time, giving readers more definition of the New Gods, but gives readers precious little to commit to memory when it comes to the overall adventures of the Green Lantern Corps. “Godhead” is still a galaxy-spanning event story, even if all of the conflicts are not jaw-droppingly memorable.