A vicious killer is murdering the families of every rookie member of the Green Lantern Corps. To add sadistic insult to injury, the killer has delivered the victims’ eyes, en masse, to the recruits on Oa. The only chance to track the mysterious killer down is a lone Green Lantern.
Who can speak to the dead.
Sounds like a pretty crazy, epic Green Lantern story right? A nice showcase for tension and intrigue? Maybe stretch the chase out over four or five issues? Ratchet up the stakes as the mystery behind this killer unfolds? Really get into what makes him tick? How exactly he’s able to get to so many planets so quickly? And what about this mysterious necromantic Green Lantern?
Yes, it seems like there’s dozens of angles to examine in this scenario, and we haven’t even brought Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner in, nor the subplot involving Guy’s rekindled romance with the reanimated Ice.
Heck, let’s give it six issues, then!
Unfortunately, “Eye Of The Beholder”, the storyline that ends in this issue of “Green Lantern Corps” is a two-part story. That’s it. All the stuff I talked about is crammed into these two issues and thus, so much of the weight and intrigue is completely gone. You’ve got a genuinely creepy murderer, who’s genuinely vicious, doing things that you would imagine would get the entire Corps very very angry. In fact, you’ve got the whole lynchpin of the Corps, its recruits, at risk because they all fear for their loved ones. They’re all ready to bounce! I mean, seriously, this is some hi-toned, dramatic stuff. Sadly, it’s given no room at all to breathe. The killer is found out on one page and apprehended pretty much a page later. No game of cat and mouse. Just the new Lantern flexing his leet ouija skills and pointing in the right direction.
It’s incredibly disappointing. The set up for the story could easily stand up to the best Geoff Johns “Green Lantern” adventure (surely the modern Gold Standard), but instead of getting the seven issues an epic like Secret Origin might, it’s knocked down to two, for who knows why. I’m sure there was a reason but I would have hoped that Peter Tomasi would have stepped back a moment and said “Hey, this is a pretty fantastic idea for a Green Lantern Corps story. Why don’t I hold off until I have more space and write a fun two issue story where Kyle and Guy have to defend their new Bar/Restaurant from a couple of space bikers.”
Artwise, Luke Ross and Fabio Laguna do a perfectly serviceable job filling in for the regular art team. It’s solid work, if not as creepily dynamic as Patrick Gleason’s. But really, my biggest fault with the issue was that it was really the end of this story. Which means that no one involved is lacking talent, it’s just that too much of it was squandered by confining it to such slim quarters.