The cover: Another super 3D Motion Cover on a lantern book, this time created by Scott Hepburn and Ian Herring. Looked at from one perspective, Guy is on the homeworld of the Red Lanterns, Ysmault. The world matches the rage of this character. He looks ferocious. However, by moving the book slightly, Guy is now the exact opposite, striking a pose of meditation since he wears a blue power ring. He looks so peaceful, more so than I’ve seen him look in years. Behind him are several grotesque members of the Red Lanterns, looking on in shock and dismay. Great contrast of characters and the coloring perfection. This is great in every way and goes a little higher than usual for the great look of Guy the Blue Lantern. Overall grade: A+
The story: “Five years later…after the atrocities” starts “Blood Debts” by Charles Soule. A vicious looking snake rears back its head, blood coming out of its mouth as it chants, “Three down, three million to go.” It’s wearing a red power ring on its tail and has the red lantern logo on its back. It spits a fountain of blood at the character before it, but to no avail. Bleez easily deflects the stream with one of her boney wings. She says, “It’s hopeless,” but blue ringed Guy Gardner says he wouldn’t go that far. He grabs the snake’s head with a construct and takes the ring off the creature. He then takes the crimson ring and gives it to Bleez, who places it with all the others she has on her skeletal wings. The pain of adding another to her vast collection causes her immense pain, but she endures because she and Guy are on a mission to end the Red Lantern Corps. The pair decide to end their quest by going to Sector 666, where the palace of Red King Jack lies. Who this king is was surprising, yet seeing what this character has been through lately makes this somewhat expected. This individual’s chest armor was a keen idea. The King does battle with Bleez and Guy, with the latter showing something amazing in the bottom panel on Page 12. The battle is great and the ending even better. The final three pages have some truly wonderful moments. If this series were to ever end, I would want it to be like this. So what if this isn’t going to happen? For right now, it’s perfect. Overall grade: A+
The art: Stunning work by J. Calafiore on this book. The opening snake is frightening. I would not be surprised to see some fan build a life sized version of this Red Lantern and be walking around a comic book convention with it. It’s dying to be made into a plush doll, as scary as it is. Guy’s posture throughout this book is so reminiscent of Saint Walker. Naturally this is going to happen since he wears the blue ring, but it only made me want to see Calafiore draw a book with Walker back in action. Guy in action, as a Blue Lantern, is great and he’s practically god-like on Page 18. Bleez is also great. She’s the perfect combination of beauty and rage, and readers get a lot of the latter late in the book. Red King Jack is new and a royal terror. His reveal on 9 is fantastic, with the details in his clothing super, and the energy crackling around him wonderful. Anyone of any age can easily see this is a bad guy. The action scenes in this book are impressive and the final two pages tore my heart out. A beautiful ending, Mr. Calafiore. Overall grade: A+
The colors: Colors explode out of this book to accentuate emotion and to show the extreme levels of power in play. Gabe Eltaeb does an awesome job. Right out of the gate things are amazing. The varied reds on the scales of the snake are great, but look at the work he put into the grass the monster is on: Eltaeb didn’t do a blanket color on this background, but highlighted certain blades with a lighter color and he splattered blood from the snake on others. Wow! Nice work on the leaf in the foreground as well. Check out the sky around Guy when he appears. It’s beautiful. Page 9 had to have been a nightmare to color with all the reds, yet he highlights so much on the Red King Jack he’s a wonder to behold. That sums up Eltaeb on this book: a wonder to behold. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, titles and credits, and a lot of amazing yells and screams come to readers from Dave Sharpe. No sounds, which, sadly, lantern books rarely have these days, but the yelling and screaming in this book is soul ripping. I’ve seen letterers use a normal dialogue font in italics for these, but in this book Sharpe goes the extra distance but putting them into a bold font that really stands out. Check out the opening page as the manic snake’s rant increases with each utterance. It’s a sharp way to make the threat of this being stronger. When the fighting occurs, yells and utterances gain a bold font, too. Sharpe increases the emotion of this book with his contributions. Overall grade: A+
The final line: Outstanding. I loved every part of this. 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.