Green Lantern Corps #22

"Green Lantern Corps" #22 is a fairly uninspiring comic book that serves up a nice metaphor for my interest in the Green Lantern family of titles of late. Van Jensen (with a co-plotting assist from Robert Venditti) dials in the focus on John Stewart, but teases out plenty of subplots soon to impact ring-slingers everywhere. Among those subplots is the increasingly more frequent intermittency with which the Green Lantern rings lose their charges, sputtering during battle and leaving their wearers prone to complications of all kinds.

Jensen explores the space around the Lanterns, bringing in Durlans and Khunds at exactly the wrong time for the ring-slingers, but the right time for convenient drama. All the same, however, the drama seems subpar and the suspense non-existent. Yes, both Fatality and John Stewart are left in a bad spot, but neither of them seem seriously threatened by undefeatable odds. En route to her predicament, Jensen uses Fatality to make a statement of sorts regarding the furor that surrounded the shift in creative teams across the Green Lantern brand. It's a moment that elicited a chuckle from me, but should have pulled a more serious reaction.

Jensen appears to still be finding his way with the characters in this book. Kilowog is more of the pattern set by the animated series than the comic while John Stewart's personality meanders between cool tough guy and just-above-rookie level. Hal leading the Corps and Guy leaving it both come as surprises to John, but he does nothing about either of them. As Kilowog is too heavily imprinted from animation, Stewart could certainly benefit from a personality infusion from his animated appearances.

The saving grace of "Green Lantern Corps" #22 is the artwork. Bernard Chang has been a designated hitter for the DC Universe since the 2011 reboot. To see him in place on this title gave me some hope and interest in the adventures within. While the book looks good and the characters are strongly rendered throughout, I'd like to see the story call for fewer drawings from Chang where John Stewart is wearing a surprised expression. Chang gets a strong show of support from Marcelo Maiolo, with the latter's colors and pattern work nicely amplifying the lines and shapes Chang has crafted.

Jensen and Chang have some fun ideas in store for "Green Lantern Corps," by having the various factions interact with long-time fan-favorite alien species from across the DC Universe, but the premise driving those interactions is flat. John Stewart is saddled with a bunch of rookie Lanterns, which short-changes the focus on the (arguably) most recognizable Green Lantern. Maybe once the subplots start weaving together tighter, this title might be more engaging, but "Green Lantern Corps" #22 left me unenthusiastic.

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