One of the joys of being a comic book reader is knowing there’s always something on the stands to satiate a different interest. You want crazy action? That’s easy. You want good character work? There’s a ton of that too. Green Lanterns satisfies both–whether or not it’s all good however is another story. Is it good?
Green Lanterns #5 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“Red Planet” part five! Bad goes to worse as Atrocitus, leader of the Red Lanterns, comes to Earth to begin the final stages of his plan to turn Earth into a new central battery for his Corps!
Why does this book matter?
Writer Sam Humphries has shown two is better than one, at least when it comes to characters in comics riffing off each other. These two new Green Lanterns have a lot to learn, but also need to get along. Last issue seems to suggest they’re stepping in the right direction, but can they hold it together in this issue?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Oh, that’s a nice double page spread.
The answer is probably not! Humphries throws a lot into these characters’ faces this week and with Simon Baz’s two extra new abilities, it’s not looking so hot. One could say this is the stakes-raising issue of stakes-raising issues. Jessica Cruz’s fear overcomes her and this time it’s self inflicted, and Simon’s eagerness to do it all on his own bites him too. It’s clear Humphries is building this series on the fact that these characters need to work together. How that plays out is something we’re all eager to watch.
There’s also a lot of Red Lantern vs. Green Lantern battling in this issue. Anyone upset with the lack of Red Lantern action last issue should rest easy as Cruz and Baz go full tilt here. There’s also some fun back and forth captions between the characters that’s a lot of fun as Baz lists off the Red Lanterns and Cruz makes up a name for each. It’s not only funny, but helps show their personalities too.
The art by Robson Rocha and Eduardo Pansica continues to be a treat. Its strength lies in rendering the characters and action, which you get plenty of in this issue. Atrocitus looks all kind of badass and evil and is quite foreboding throughout the issue. There’s one heck of a vision Baz experiences too that looks gorgeous in all its doom and gloom. There’s nice panel work too, with well timed full page splashes.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I know it’s part of her character, but Cruz’s fear is starting to get a little annoying. Maybe it’s how it’s being displayed, but having her curl up in a ball and freak out isn’t the most entertaining of things especially when it takes up so much of an issue. Again though, it’s clear Humphries is trying to show us together these Lanterns can make it and apart they can’t, but she basically quits on herself and Baz due to this fear which makes her almost unlikable and frustrating. It may be due to some decompression, because ultimately this issue contains a single action sequence and not much more. There aren’t any cut aways to Baz’s family either, which makes this issue feel very short.
Is It Good?
If you like big event-caliber action you’ll thoroughly enjoy this issue. Baz and Cruz’s inescapable bond is on display and you’ll be dying for the next issue. The events in this issue are quick though, making you want more.