The cover: Outstanding art on this 3D Motion Cover, unfortunately one of the angles ruins the ending of the story! Francis Portela and Tomeu Morey have created some classic imagery on this one-shot. From one angle John is standing strong and proud before members of the corps who have their rings raised high. They look great and he has that iconic hero look about him. When viewed from a different angle John has an entirely differently emotional state as he stands before a decidedly different group of people. That’s as specific as I’m going to be with that image because that illustration is practically the final page of the book. It’s good, but c’mon, DC–This killed the read! This spoiler influenced my review. Overall grade: C
The story: This story takes one character and turns him up to eleven. John Stewart has always seemed to be the heart and soul of the Green Lantern Corps. He has taken every loss more strongly than Hal Jordan. Lately John has really gotten the shaft from the universe, finding out that the woman he’s been in love with was brainwashed the entire time. That would be enough to set someone on a downward spiral. This issue shows it’s been a direct drop, with no spiraling or sliding–this is the plummet of John Stewart. The title of Van Jensen’s story, “The Death Dealer,” should tell you in advance what readers are in store for. In space sector 666, the home of the corps, two lanterns have their ship destroyed by Stewart, who tells them that “if you’re going to attack a visitor, be ready for a counterpunch.” One of the lanterns begs for Stewart not to kill them, to which he responds, “I wouldn’t do that. The corps needs you. Someone has to be cannon fodder.” Yeah, time has not passed well for John. He’s returned to headquarters to speak with Kilowog and Salaak because two members of his covert team, Von Daggle and R’amey Holl, have gone silent. They were sent on a mission to reclaim Oa. They know who rules that world, as John argued for killing that individual. Now John will go in himself to save them. He goes there but someone very unexpected shows up. This arrival on Page 12 changes the focus on the book and sets up John to go in a new direction. I can’t say I’m surprised at what occurs because of his frame of mind, but the final page is reminiscent of a Rod Serling twist. If only I hadn’t purchased the 3D Motion Cover. Overall grade: A
The art: As is the norm of Lantern books of late, there are several artists on this book. Sometimes they mesh well, but it’s not working out here. Listed as contributing to this issue are Igor Lima, Ruy Jose, Rodney Buchemi, and Geraldo Borges. I wish Associate Editor Darren Shan or Group Editor Matt Idelson had stated in the credits who was responsible for what pages. C’mon, DC, give credit where credit is due! The first four pages of the book look very good. I liked the space sequences and the headquarters of the corps, but on Page 5 it seems that a new artist has taken over, because the fourth panel is awkward and John’s profile, read: nose, is unusually hawkish. The pages following go from hot to cold, with a new artist seeming to step in on 12. These pages have John looking odd and the “new” character very dated, like something from the 1980s. Another style seems to emerge on the final five pages, which are the best in the book. The inconsistent visuals of the book leave me at a loss. Overall grade: C+
The colors: This book is a good example of how coloring can only do so much on a book. Marcelo Maiolo’s work sings when the art is decent, such as in the beginning and at the end of this story. The middle pages can’t be as dynamic with the same coloring because of the artwork. Go to Page 10’s first panel. The same bright coloring is used for John’s constructs, but it’s very difficult to make out much of the artwork because of how it’s drawn. This happens a lot. Overall grade: B
The letters: Stalwart Dave Sharpe contributes scene setting, dialogue, yells, opening titles, and sound effects. All work well. Overall grade: A
The final line: A stellar story spoiled by the cover, with mixed art makes this a “could have been a classic” comic. Overall grade: B
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.