GREEN LANTERN #24
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Billy Tan
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: October 2, 2013
The light is dying. Hal can’t be a cowboy. The bad guy isn’t a power-mad lunatic or one of the Guardians’ failed experiments. It’s a brave new world in the Lantern-verse, courtesy of Robert Venditti. “Lights Out” is the story he pitched to DC when they were looking for who would fill Geoff Johns’ shoes. It’s easy to see why he was chosen – the story is actually something we’ve never seen in modern Green Lantern, something that will change the mythos is a real and noticeable way. The concept is fascinating, and the book has never looked better. The finite scope – only 5 issues – seems to indicate we’re in for a focused, dramatic story with the potential for a lot of surprises.
The best part of the way Venditti writes this issue is that it’s accessible. If you are familiar with Green Lantern, but you’ve been on hiatus for a bit, you can try this one on. Everything you need to know is explained clearly and naturally. If you have been reading, the early pages may have too much exposition for you, but I personally welcomed the post-Villain’s Month refresher. SPOILERS AHOY: The notion that the light all Lanterns use is a finite resource is brilliant and has endless possibilities as far as impact and lasting consequences. In addition to being socially relevant, this twist also gives our new villain, Relic, some extra wrinkles. He’s not a creature of malice. He firmly believes he’s doing the right thing. The very best villains are always the heroes of their own stories, and I think Relic is turning out to be one of those.
Venditti captures the distinct personalities of each Lantern perfectly. Newer readers will get a solid sense of who these heroes are just in how they interact. The balance of action and dialogue really strengthens that. Seeing Hal Jordan actually step up and be a team leader – emphasis on team – rather than flying off in a green jet and punching someone in the face is a genuine surprise. John Stewart has a fantastic line that lets us know it’s okay that we weren’t expecting Hal to show shades of Captain Picard after so many years as Captain Kirk (if you don’t watch Star Trek, I’m sorry).
Billy Tan, Rob Hunter, and Alex Sinclair all deserve your love for making this book look epic and gorgeous but feel intimate and relatable. Tan pushed himself in this issue, and it paid off. It’s not easy to convey personality and emotion through domino masks, but he does it. Sinclair does a fabulous job making the book pop out at you, without any lenticular assistance. I sometimes wonder is it a colorist’s dream to work on a Lantern book, or a nightmare? Every panel is vibrant without being messy or muddled. Even sad Salaak on the last page looks great – if in need of a hug.
Green Lantern #24 has me excited because so much could happen, but given the length of the arc, I’m left guessing as to what will. Last time we saw Sinestro he had an entity inside him; will the mystery of the dying entities bring him back into the fold? Atrocitus is in a similar situation. How long before the Indigos show up in force again? I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a GL event in my life. (My prediction: Dex-Starr saves the day, is a good kitty.)