The covers: Two very different covers for you to track down if you have the will. The Main cover is by Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo. Its format is similar to the previous two installments of the Godhead storyline. The majority of the cover is a green background with four members of the corps flailing about unconsciously. Next to them in bold black print is “You failed to safeguard this universe. The time of the lanterns has ended.” In the strip below this is the close up of a character’s face, emanating with orange energy. It’s hard to say who this is. Since the individual’s eyes aren’t green, I’m guessing it’s not a lantern and it’s Highfather. I like this cover and this format, so I bought this. The Monsters of the Month Variant cover is by Mikel Janin showing John Stewart possessed by the power of the black ring in a graveyard. Nice, but so three years ago. Overall grades: Main A- and Variant B
The story: Four corps members, including John, have gone to the planet Aydin to investigate the huge burst of spectrum energy that’s gone off there. They find mutated beasts that attack them, only to learn that they are the inhabitants of the planet. They’ve been mutated by the New Gods, who have sent one of their own, Uggha, there to wipe out the populace. The Gods tried to accelerate their evolution, but a flaw in the lanterns’ rings produced this error of epic proportions. In fact, the rings are too dangerous for the lanterns to wield, so Uggha demands they give them to him. Cue a monster battle. Van Jensen has written a really spectacular knock out fight against only one New God and, as good as it was, that was not the real highlight of the book. Uggha’s dialogue was spectacular. I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard such arrogance come out of a character’s mouth, unless I think about the Gods and Darkseid’s first appearances. I enjoyed the fighting, but if Uggha had just sat back and spoken the entire issue I would have been thrilled. I was struck by everything he said and wanted to punch him as much as the lanterns did. Pages 8 and 9 return to New Genesis to have Highfather find the location of the one lantern that has eluded him. Nothing more is told of this, but when the two meet it’s going to be really bad, yet fun to witness. The solution to the battle on 17 was very smart, and I was happy to see Uggha have not used his “intelligence” to foresee it. The surprise appearance at the top of 20 was very welcome, since this increases the cast of this saga and shows that things are indeed progressing across all books. This was a fun read that had me actually yelling at the villain. Overall grade: A+
The art: I’ve fawned over Bernard Chang’s work in other reviews and this issue shows there’s no reason to stop doing so now. I love his lanterns. I believe in their abilities whenever I seen them drawn by him. The splash on Page 3 actually warrants a full page and Chang makes it look spectacular. I also liked the first panel on the next page to show the depths that John has gone to. The splash of 6 is also stellar. That’s how a bad ass character makes an entrance. The top of Page 14 is great, because it would take that much energy to topple a lantern. Another stand out for me was all of 16. I love the middle four panels that show the path of one lantern’s ring. This is a textbook example of motion being shown excellently in a comic. This book is beautiful. Overall grade: A+
The colors: The opening page instantly showcase the mighty skills of Marcelo Maiolo. The first panel has the lanterns flying low over the deserted planet’s surface. The second shows John up close examining some plant. The third has become a signature Maiolo coloring job–red and white used to highlight an action panel. The fourth and fifth panels are great use of green energy on the dead world, with the final panel being something new from Maiolo–green and white being used to illustrate intensity. This is wonderful work. The first splash page has some major oranges in it to make the two characters really stand out intensely. Every panel is brilliantly colored. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, ring transmissions, sounds, screams, title and opening credits, moans, and distant screams have been perfectly wrought by Dave Sharpe. He is completely in control of every wonderful piece of text in this book and each page has something unique in the text to appeal to the eye. Overall grade: A+
The final line: Drama and action in spectacular fashion. Godhead continues to thrill. Highest possible recommendation. Overall grade: A+
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.