This is what cancellation looks like. “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” is one of the titles given its walking papers and, if there was any doubt on when that decision was made, this issue makes it pretty clear. “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” #4 has Cullen Bunn and guest artist Javier Pina pick up the pace rapidly as the book plunges into an endgame.
It’s at the exact halfway point of this comic where everything turns upside down, with John Stewart and his isolated team of Green Lanterns shifting from fighting light pirates to in a prison cell with additional Lanterns from their own universe. Saying that this is a large tonal shift is an understatement; the book goes from being adrift in an unknown universe to a very typical “these are the bad guys behind it all, we need to stop them” setup. I don’t blame Bunn for this; given the book’s abrupt ending around the corner, it’s better to wrap things up than to simply stop mid-story, and he’s going for the former option.
At the same time, though, there’s no denying the quick jump into the series wrap up has robbed “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” of any real atmosphere or suspense. The return of old Lanterns who conveniently have the skills to break people out of prison cells and communicate without rings is anticlimactic, and the shift from strange new creatures to just fighting pirates is hard to latch onto as a reader. Given enough time, this could have been led up to and felt more organic, but it’s dull when dropped in our lap like this.
Pina is an artist who often steps in for regular series artist Jesus Saiz, so his presence here is a smart one. Pina continues the overall look of the series with smooth character designs, even if drawing prison cells over and over again gives us a visually uninteresting set of pages. Of particular note is Pina and Chris Sotomayor’s four-page flashback sequence for John Stewart’s military days. The art here stands out from the rest of the comic, between the blood-stained flowers and the gentle hue of the sky. There’s more detail here than we have in the rest of the book combined, from the military uniforms to the panic on John’s face when one of his men is shot right next to him. It makes you wish the entire book had been this visually strong, or at least full of something for Pina and Sotomayor to sink their artistic teeth into.
“Green Lantern: The Lost Army” #4 does its best to start wrapping things up for its readership, although ironically the blunt method in which it does so may actually scare off some of those readers from sticking around for the conclusion. As said earlier, the majority of the problem is not Bunn’s or Pina’s, as they work with the hand they were dealt. Nonetheless, the result is underwhelming.