The covers: The Main cover is by Francis Portela and Tomeu Morey. This cover is a stand out for it’s use of text and sharp, single imagery. Against a white background a hand is holding a cosmic cube looking object, but it contains a ring from a different spectrum in each side. The text boldly proclaims “With these seven rings, I will at last bring Darkseid to his knees.” There’s a single red stripe at the bottom of the page showing Green Lantern Hal Jordan recoiling, and it contains the names of 10 contributors to the issue. I really like this. It’s a stark, bold cover. The Variant cover is by Lee Weeks and Brad Anderson showing Hal powering up his ring as all of the New Gods watch on. This is a more traditional comic book cover, showing all the players, but it’s not doing much for me. Overall grades: Main A+ and Variant C+
The story: Working on this story are Van Jensen, Justin Jordan, Robert Venditti, Charles Soule, and Cullen Bunn, with Jensen and Jordan doing the scripting duties. The book opens with a history of the New Gods in three pages. The second and third page open up to a four page fold image of the Source Wall, where Highfather and Metron are scanning it. They come across recent addition to the wall Relic and learn of the lantern rings. Highfather believes that if he were to gain one of each color he could, say it with me from the cover, “bring Darkseid to his knees.” He then tasks one member of the New Gods to get a ring and bring it back so he can create the Life Equation, the only thing that can stop the Anti-Life Equation, should Darkseid find it. That’s the premise of the rest of the book, and some lanterns fight back, while others cannot. What the Green Lanterns discover is that they’re hopelessly out of their league against these “attackers.” Highpoints of the book include (with the fold page counting only as Page 4) 12 (uh…that’s a very different Highfather from how he’s been portrayed before…I see problems for the N.G. in their immediate future), 17 (You bet he’d say that in the final panel!), 18 (Yeah, it’d be that quick), 23 (A surprising amount of tenderness, foreshadowing this is not in everyone’s heart), 28 (OMG!), 32 (This is very bad…), and 35 (Somebody is going to be revealed to the universe, and it’s not going to go well). This was a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see how this is played out in all the crossovers. Overall grade: A
The art: The visuals of this book are created by Ethan Van Sciver, Martin Coccolo, Gordan Sudzuka, Chriscross, and Pete Woods. It is obvious when a new artist takes over the reigns of the book, but it’s not too jarring for readers. The first eight pages look the best (All the better to get a reader interested), as there is lots of line work, creating a lot of fine details. The fold out spread of the Source Wall is beautiful, but I would rather have this large image used for something else, as the first half of it doesn’t do anything for the story; the second half of it is more than enough to establish its size and depth. When on New Genesis a new artist takes over and the work becomes less detailed, but still looks fine; it’s just an obvious change. Once the New Gods go on their individual ways a new artist takes a turn at each attempt at getting a ring. The Sinestro Corps sequence is sharp, the Star Sapphire, Indigo, and Red ring sequences are average, and the Blue and Green outings excellent. So it is a mixed bag, but enjoyable nonetheless. Overall grade: A-
The colors: “One colorist to color it all,” to poorly paraphrase Tolkien, and this book is entirely done by Marcelo Maiolo. The pages with the highly detailed art look much better than those that aren’t because Maiolo has more places to put in color. This is evident on the opening pages and the Green and Blue ring sections. However, even on New Genesis Maiolo does a superb job. The settings and characters are bright, suggesting that they truly are gods to have such light in their home. My favorite page in this setting is 12 where the rings are shown. They really light up the page. I also like the use of reds, blacks, and whites in certain dramatic-action scenes. They intensify the moment. Maiolo is doing an exceptional job on this oversized book. Overall grade: A+
The letters: And “One letterer to letter it all.” That would be Dave Sharpe who provides opening, ominous narration, dialogue, Relic’s speech, scene setting, and sounds (Dang, you feel that Boom Tube working!). Excellent work on every page. Overall grade: A
The final line: A super opening chapter that brings the Corps into conflict with the Gods. This is going to be great! 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.