When “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” debuted last month, it seemed like a fresh start for this title. Cullen Bunn and Jesus Saiz’s comic plunged a handful of Green Lanterns into unknown territory, about as far away from the rest of the DC Universe as one could imagine. While there are definitely things to like about “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” #2, it’s becomes clear by the end of the issue that this is less of a fresh start than one might have initially believed.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing that “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” #2 is tightly connected to past “Green Lantern” comics — if anything, it might be a lure for the existing readers — but it does mean that a certain amount of wonder and the idea that anything could happen has been stripped from the comic. With that gone, Bunn’s story is a much more standard action/adventure romp. He handles the action sequences well, and I like that he’s continuing the flashbacks to John Stewart’s time in the army, because it provides a good parallel to John as a leader. On the other hand, the revelation of where the Green Lanterns are results in a lot of exposition on the final page of the comic, and that’s something that’s going to almost certainly need to continue into future issues. If it feels a little clunky now, the idea of much more showing up in the near future is a little worrisome.
Saiz’s art looks good from start to finish, a slightly bulky but smooth manner. One of the things that he’s best at here is showing real emotion on his characters even when it’s a big, splashy fight. He achieves that often by stopping to zoom in on a character’s face, like the inset of Two-Six in a side panel when Krona blasts a foe or Arisia’s panicked expression when John is encased in the ruby energy. It helps provide a strong note to the moments that Bunn serves up, giving them an extra bit of power. Saiz’s colors are perfectly integrated into his art, too; they’re soft but strong, and everything from the red crystals to the space background has an extra level of texture.
“Green Lantern: The Lost Army” #2 drops down to an average comic book now that the mystery of where the team is located has already been solved. It’s a shame, too; this originally came across as a way to do something with the Green Lantern characters that could go in completely different directions and really do its own thing. While Bunn and Saiz may very well tell some good stories with this particular setting, it’s already somewhat trapped in “Green Lantern” lore. In appealing to one audience, it’s less appealing to another.