When last month’s “Green Lantern Corps” revealed the Cyborg Superman being behind the current storyline, I suspect a lot of readers groaned. I can’t say I blame them; when the character first returned in the “Reign of the Supermen” storyline during the early ’90s, he ended up being a startlingly dull villain (and this was the same storyline that brought back the Eradicator, for Pete’s sake). This was a villain who often seemed to do bad things for the simple sake of doing bad things.
You can imagine my relief, then, to see that Tony Bedard hasn’t lost sight of the more recent motivation that’s driven the character, one that made him much more interesting: the desire to finally be destroyed. It’s certainly not a typical reason to work with other bad guys, but it’s made much more sense considering the character’s history. So with that in mind, I’m finding myself enjoying “Green Lantern Corps” this month, because the different pieces of Bedard’s story are all starting to come together now that we understand the mastermind behind everything.
I’m not going to pretend otherwise: it’s a little convoluted in places. (I can’t help but think that if the Cyborg Superman just showed up at Oa and said, “Please kill me” that everyone there would do their best to try and accomplish that request.) But Bedard has a plan, and it makes sense. He’s also not losing sight of what Dave Gibbons and Peter J. Tomasi did on the title before him; we’re getting that ensemble cast feel, even while John Stewart and Kyle Rayner continue to hold important places within the title. It’s fun to watch Kyle and Soranik together, and while I still have my doubts about Ganthet’s new position in the title, so far it seems to work.
Adrian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes tackle the art, and they’re doing a reasonable job with it. What’s intrigued me the most so far is how Syaf has tweaked his art style a little bit for different characters. When the Cyborg Superman is leaning over John Stewart, for example, Syaf appears to be channeling Dan Jurgens, the artist who had drawn him in “Reign of the Supermen.” On the other hand, scenes with Ganthet have a much more long and stringy look to the art, while Kyle himself has a much more beefy style on his pages. It’s a versatile approach to the art, with Syaf not locking himself into a single look or feel, and it keeps things interesting.
The biggest surprise this month, though? It’s probably that Bedard didn’t artificially end his story just because this is issue #50. (A rarity in comics, these days.) I was a little unsure about Bedard taking over “Green Lantern Corps,” at first, but I’m convinced by now that he’s the right guy for the job.