“Green Lantern” #37 launches the third act of “Godhead” in a most unspectacular fashion as writer Robert Venditti resets pieces on the table. After two months of filling the pages of the entire Lantern line of comic books, “Godhead” feels no closer to a climatic finale than it did at the onset of the second act.
The story still feels big, but it seems as though it’s hitting the same beats again: the New Gods don’t like the Lanterns; the Lanterns have to team with other Lanterns they don’t like; wow, the Source Wall sure is impressive. Venditti opens “Green Lantern” #37 with the various Lanterns being amazed at their futility to break out the Singularity Stockade despite the New Gods putting them all in Tube GZ18. This mutliversal prison of the New Gods holds a trio of Zamarons, a handful of Green Lanterns, Saint Walker, Sinestro and Lyssa Drak. There’s plenty of posturing and sniping in the scene, but at this point in “Godhead,” those paths are pretty worn.
Unfortunately, the art largely follows suit. Francis Portela crafts a few magnificent pieces overtop the layouts from Scott McDaniel, but the story calls up a lot of saber-rattling. The actual fist-to-face conflicts lack choreography and durations the fisticuffs between Hal Jordan and Orion is complete in one panel. That panel is not on the level of the Kevin Maguire-drawn “One punch!” match between Guy Gardner and Batman, so the aftermath falls flat. A handful of distractions undercut the success Portela brings to the art, like the aforementioned punch and some anatomical abandonment — Salaak appears to be missing some arms and Kilowog is channeling some white dwarf matter, barely standing taller than John Stewart, regardless of any implied or forced perspective.
Portela’s best moments are the quieter ones in the story, when Black Hand and Hal Jordan reach the Source Wall and the appearance of the Singularity Stockade on the first page of “Green Lantern” #37. Brad Anderson’s colors are solid throughout, but especially agreeable to Portela’s pencils in those moments. In other spots throughout this comic, Anderson takes over, creating amazing bursts of radiant energy, adding in flecks of Kirby-esque crackle and giving the Source Wall texture and depth.
The arrogance of the New Gods continues to blossom throughout “Godhead,” but to this point, it doesn’t feel as though the Lanterns have found the means within themselves — collectively or individually — to pose much of a threat. “Green Lantern” #37 presents readers with the opening chapter of the final act, but it just feels like another in an ongoing series instead of a milestone. Maybe after Venditti took the time in “Green Lantern” #37 to ensure all of the pieces are in place, this story will be able to move forward and — hopefully — find a satisfying conclusion.