Green Lantern Corps #34

I have to give Peter J. Tomasi credit, in that up until recently I never thought of "Green Lantern Corps" as much more than a throw-away book, an extra title hanging out there serving to shuffle around some otherwise homeless characters. What Tomasi has brought to the book, though, is a title that is strong in its own right and definitely not something to be ignored.

After all, for people who are dying to read the upcoming "Blackest Night" event, this issue has it all. Star Sapphires, Sinestro Corps, Mongul, Sodam Yat, Red Lanterns, the Guardians of the Universe's edicts being defied, and a potentially deadly escape on Oa. In many ways it's actually surprising just how much Tomasi is able to pack into a single issue; listing out all of the dramatis personae, it sounds like a laundry list of insanity. The reality is, though, that everything fits nicely together.

It helps that there's a definitive main story being told here, with Sodam Yat being begged by his mother to come back to Daxam and save it from the Sinestro Corps. The opening page might seem a touch over the top, but as Tomasi spells out why Yat left the xenophobic Daxam in the first place, his disgust for his own people and planet is spelled out pretty well, and it makes a nice progression for Yat's character as well as building on Mongul having taken over the Sinestro Corps for his own plans.

At the same time, though, Tomasi juggles other stories as well. It's nice to see the edict of Green Lanterns being forbidden romantic relationships with each other being followed up here, especially by using Kyle Rayner as someone caught right in the crosshairs of this rule. It adds an extra layer of oomph by using an established character in this story, and it gives our heroes another potential sticking point against the Guardians for when things inevitably disintegrate once "Blackest Night" kicks off. And all of that's not even mentioning the captive Red Lantern on Oa, of course, a perfectly-timed event after the "Rage of the Red Lanterns" story subsided last issue in "Green Lantern."

Patrick Gleason's pencils are slightly exaggerated as they pack a lot of power onto the page. His larger than life characters not only have large physiques, but are thoroughly expressive as well. It certainly lacks subtlety, but Tomasi's scripts are giving Gleason just the right kind of scene to draw. From the carnage on Daxam, to Kyle and Soranik's love affair, to the creepy scenes of Sinestro Corps member Kryb terrified for her child, each one hits the mark in just the right way.

"Green Lantern Corps" has quietly become an entertaining and fun book, and I actually feel a little bad that I've been dismissing it these past few years. Don't get me wrong, Geoff Johns has done a lot to really punch up the profile of "Green Lantern" and he deserves all the accolades he's received, but Tomasi and company are doing a bang-up job here, too. If you're only reading "Green Lantern," you really are missing out on some fun here, too.

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