What do you get when you mix red, yellow, green, and blue? In the case of “Green Lantern” #37, the answer is one huge battle. As this year’s “The Blackest Night” storyline looms closer and closer, Geoff Johns seems to be taking great glee in introducing the remaining differently colored lanterns. In this issue, though, it’s that moment that everyone has been waiting for, as four of the different Lantern Corps finally collide.
And as fights go? It’s pretty brutal. Johns and Ivan Reis aren’t holding back here, which makes sense when you consider that the Red Lanterns are fueled by their rage. And let’s face it, when two of your foes are known for rage and fear, the end battle isn’t going to be pretty. At the same time, though, Johns does set up a lot of stories to come. Atrocitus’ predictions of the future are hard to ignore if you’ve read Alan Moore’s story that first introduced the planet Ysmault and how those story’s prophecies began to come true. Even if you haven’t, though, it’s hard to not see these hints as anything but where Johns’ run on “Green Lantern” have headed.
It’s interesting, though, in that while the story is called “Rage of the Red Lanterns” it’s really the new Blue Lanterns that come across as the real stars of the story. The idea of a Lantern Corps powered by hope seemed strange when first announced, but Johns really makes it work here. Seeing them in the midst of a battle has helped solidify their role, and with each issue they show up in I end up wanting to get more of the focus upon them. As logical and brilliant a step as the Sinestro Corps invention was, it’s the Blue Lanterns where I think Johns has shown his most clever creation to date.
Reis is given a tough job of juggling dozens of characters, here, but it’s to his credit that I never felt lost or confused in the big fights. He’s also good at the smaller details, like giving the Blue Lanterns a sense of innate grace as they move across the page, or making the Red Lanterns actually look nothing short of savage as they burst into view. Reis is a good fit for this book, and hopefully he’ll be around for some time to come.
“Green Lantern” #37 is going to be an immensely satisfying comic for anyone who’s reading the title. And for a new reader, well, there’s enough going on here that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them drawn back for more as well as the build-up to “The Blackest Night” continues. Only two more colors to go…