Here we have a review for Green Lanterns #35. I have always been a GL fan. I don’t have a favorite, but if I am being honest Hal will always be my mental image when I think of a Green Lantern. The story of the Lanterns and the multi-color expansions didn’t lessen my fandom, but it certainly did add a lot to the plate. Green Lanterns are tricky characters, because they must BE characters. They are not unique, so the powers are not enough to be the core of the ring bearer. We all know how cool the ring is, and if you are a DC fan you certainly know what the rings can do. The only way to really hold anyone’s interest is to make the reader care about the character wearing the ring. Green Lanterns as a title doubles down on this fact, and takes the time to try and make you care about two very different ringbearers.
Time for the creator roll call. Tim Seeley is the witer, Carlo Barberi works the pencils and Matt Santorelli handles the inks. The colors are in the hands of Ulises Arreola. Dave Sharpe makes the words look great as the book’s letterer.
Well, since I brought up how important it was to care about the people with the ring, I should probably start with that. Nothing goes further to make a character likable than to make a character relatable. Seeley immediately puts us into a very relatable situation with the book’s female lead Jessica Cruz. I would wager most of us have been right in the same chair she is sitting in to begin the book. Relatable may be an understatement, this scene is down right real. Well, at least until an Alien Bounty hunter shows up to remind us it is a superhero book. Jessica’s reactions stay grounded however, keeping the relatability at a very high level. The bombastic villain adds more of a sense of fun than danger, but this works well with the over all tone of the book.
I always enjoy when the rings themselves get a little characterization. We live in a time where little boxes and doodads connect us to the world and talk back to us when we ask them questions, it only makes sense the rings would function in a similar fashion. This issue does a great job of making this apparent without making them obnoxious. Enter our other lead Simon Baz, we find him in another (although very different) real situation. This book really begins to shine when the two partners get together. The banter between them is fluid and organic. It maintains the light tone of the book over all without being forced or cheesy. The plot itself moves quickly and intelligently, setting up more of the story to come in later issues.
The art here is very clean and of the caliber you would expect from a top tier book from DC. The page compositions are kinetic and visually interesting. Your eye moves naturally and follows the flow of the story with no issues. Barberi presents the story in a very strong visual style. The pages have good depth and color both a compliment to Santorelli and Arreola. The words are presented seamlessly by Sharpe making the book great looking overall.
The mythos of the Green Lanterns is very large, and Cruz and Baz may not be the first GLs you think of when you hear the name, but issue 35 is an excellent jump on point for new readers. They may not get all the little nods to past stories, but they will get an immediate grasp of the main characters.
Over all I must give this book 4/5 stars, 4 for the story, and 4 for the art!
(W) Tim Seeley (A) Carlo Barberi (CA) Mike McKone