Halfway through this issue I found myself wondering why it is that we have yet another Green Lantern title. A few pages later, I realized that this book intends to focus on Guy Gardner (duh), Arisia, and Kilowog. As three-sevenths of the crew that assembled under the title “Green Lantern Corps” back in the late 1980s, this is a trio laden with potential for great stories. Suddenly, it all made sense, only it didn’t make much sense to my wallet. Set upon with a $3.99 price point, this title has a lot to prove to “Green Lantern” readers, especially if DC expects those same readers to put a sixty percent hike into their comic budgets in the name of all things Lantern.
Tomasi does a good job narrowing the focus here, noodling around in the brains of Guy Gardner and Arisia. Arisia is more of an open book here than she ever has been before. She’s driven to find Sodam Yat, to save him, to bring him back. Gardner’s path isn’t so obvious, even though Tomasi opens the issue with inner thoughts from the mind of Gardner. Kilowog is, well, Kilowog. Tomasi does a great job of defining Kilowog within the span of three pages. As the trio sets out, there’s hope for some fun stories, especially as the set course for the home of hope: Odym, homeworld of the Blue Lanterns. Tomasi also throws in a wink and a nod for keen-eyed fans of Geddy Lee and Rush.
Pasarin’s art is strong and clean, crisp and well-defined, but it’s grounded. All of the majesty and wonder of aliens, far away worlds, spacescapes, and threatening bad guys falls flat. Pasarin’s technique is strong, his pages are clear, his style is very draftsmanlike, but that’s the problem. Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, and Patrick Gleason reveled in the bizarre, the alien, and the extreme. Zardor, the new baddie, is just a hulking humanoid who spits for snakes. Those snakes could have been more alien, more imaginative, more disgusting. Zardor could have been more disproportionate and bizarre. It seems like opportunity for expression slipped away from Pasarin, which is disappointing. This is a beautifully clean book, but it needs to have a little mud and imagination thrown on it.
Of the three “Green Lantern” titles currently running, the cast of this one appeals to me the most, but the story doesn’t compel me to itch for more. Would these three Lanterns be better served as a “second feature” in the “Green Lantern Corps” book, or will Tomasi deliver some tales that truly separate these characters and their cause from the rest of the Corps? Honestly, at this point, I’m unsure. Kilowog, Guy, and Arisia are enough for me to come back for another check next month though.