"Blackest Night"

Comic Book Monsters: Larfleeze

Gather around ghouls, ghosts, zombies, vampires, and other assorted children of the night…  It’s time to spotlight a Comic Book Monster!  Every day in the month of October, ACB will be bringing you another frightful feature devoted to the more macabre characters in comic book lore.

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Brightest Day #1 Review

Brightest Day #1

By now we all now Brightest Day is a 26 issue bi-weekly series, so obviously the firs issue isn’t going to be full of action and plot twists, it’s mainly just foreshadowing, anticipation, and momentum that gets put into these first issues to establish what’s going on and what needs to be done about it. Simply put, Brightest Day does a pretty good job starting out the series. It lays groundwork for the story without giving too much away too early, and gives background on what has changed about the 12 people who have been resurrected since Blackest Night #8. Anyway, let’s get on to the review, shall we?

Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi is obviously a great pairing, and you always know that everything they write builds to the next thing, and obviously these first issues of Brightest Day are doing exactly that, prepping and exciting us for the rest of the series. Overall I think most of the characters are written very well throughout, one of my favorite sequences is the Black Manta one in the bait shop and the Martian Manhunter scene on Mars was inspirational and I hope the Martian doesn’t run into too much trouble during Brightest Day. About the Manhunter though, I like the reborn one, he seems more focused and possibly even tougher. The Firestorm scene is cool, It definitely makes me excited for #2. If there’s any sequences I don’t like it’s the Hawk’s one, although it is still a fun read with straight up superhero action. I really liked the last scene with Black Manta walking into the ocean and popping back out in-costume, it’s kind of foreshadowing Aquamans Brightest Day troubles.

This issue is drawn by Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark and Joe Prado, with inks by Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Irwin, Oclair Albert and David Beaty and colors by Aspen MLT’s Peter Steigerwald. I love all of the pencilers on this issue along with the inkers and the colorist I am pretty fond of, but I must say Steigerwald brings down Reis’ work like crazy, it’s just not as good looking as a Reis Drawn, Alex Sinclair colored issue. Although, Stiegerwald also mixes with the other artists very well, especially with Patrick Gleason, and the overall tone of the book fits the tone of the art these guys are putting out. The cover is drawn amazingly by David Finch, and if there’s anything to complain about in the art compartment, I can’t find it.

Overall it’s a pretty good issue that helps prepare us for the other 25 issues of the series that is written excellently and drawn in a way that totally fits the book. I didn’t care much for the Hawk’s scene, other than the usual superhero action it’s pretty unneeded and could have been better if focused on as much as scenes like the Aquaman or Black Manta scenes. Hell, even Martian Manhunters 2 or 3 page scene was cooler than the Hawks one. Here’s how I rate the issue overall:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Amazing writing by Johns and Tomasi, The tone of the art fits the tone of the book perfectly. The Hawk's scene was lackluster and could have been much better with more focus and a clearer story.
Rating
70%

Brightest Day Reviews: #0 | #1

Brightest Day Tag: HERE

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Brightest Day #0 Review

  • April 15, 2010 4:47 pm
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Brightest Day #0

Let me get it out as quickly as possible: I cannot wait for Brightest Day biweekly and my excitement is larger than pre-Blackest Night. The characters featured are characterized great with new attitudes, although some of the events are disappointing. The largest disappointing scene was about the Jade-Kyle-Soranik love-triangle, while the coolest scene was the very last page. Deadman was great to see throughout the whole issue, and powers are nothing like a normal Lantern’s in the way that they are way more powerful. The decision to have co-writers was brilliant, and the pairing could not be better. Simply put, Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi work wonders when collaborating. Fernando Pasarin was an excellent choice for the pencils. Time for the review:

Like I said before, the issue is written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. Deadman was one of the best parts of the book, his abilities in Brightest Day are sure to be unheard of. Hawk and Dove share a cool scene, while Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s scene seems kind of cheesy. The Aquaman and Mera scene was cool and raised my interest in the characters because of the characterization. It’s very appealing and when mixed with the story, Brightest Day seems to be an event unlike any other, just like Blackest Night ended up being.

Martian Manhunter’s scene was very memorable, Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan bring him a big box of Oreo’s and milk, and he reveals he found a underground aquifer he will use to restore life to Mars. This seems like it could result in problems with the Green Lantern Corps later, if the leadership of the GLC follow their old law forbidding messing with a planets evolution. Regarding the last page of the book, I can only say one word: SINESTRO!!!!! Like I said before, the Jade-Kyle-Soranik love triangle started out pretty weird. As you’ll find out sooner or later, Jade pretty much said she’s done with Kyle because he doesn’t look at her like he does Soranik. I suppose it could play out differently, we’ll have to wait and see. I also loved the Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch scene, it alone shows how Brightest Day still isn’t as bright as you’d think. There’s a lot to be said and lot’s of things to be squared away in this series before the fanboys get fed up with events and quit caring if stuff is explained or not.

The list of artists that worked on this issue is huge, so here it goes: Fernando Pasarin on pencils, Pasarin, John Dell, Cam Smith, Prentis Rollins, Dexter Vines & Art Thibert on inks, and Aspen MLT’s Peter Steigerwald with Beth Sotelo on colors. The differences in inking are only noticed if you really look at it, because Pasarin pencils the entire issue except for the amazing cover by David Finch, Scott Williams and Steigerwald and the cover scans of various BD tie-in’s by various artists. As for the inking, my favorite scenes were Martian Manhunter, Guy and Hal’s and Jade, Kyle and Soranik’s. A little more on the cover, I am really glad David Finch is on DC, his talents are amazing and this cover is a prime example of an amazing cover. Deadman, Manhunter, Flash, Aquaman and Hawk look amazing. Maxwell Lord, Osiris, Hal and Jade also look great but Reverse-Flash and Firestorm are on another level entirely. I guess Boomerang just doesn’t have a cool look in the first place so he doesn’t stand out very much.

Anyway, the art was amazing in every way, while the story and dialogue were amazing and spiked my interest to untold of levels. The Johns/Tomasi pairing is pure-genius and Pasarin’s art doesn’t disappoint while Finch’s cover is too cool for school. The only complaint I really have is the Jade-Kyle-Soranik love-triangle, which seems started out pretty weird and was pretty cheesy. But the Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch scene was amazing, can’t wait to see how it turns out. Martian Manhunter’s scene seems complex and there’s still a chance of him having problems in executing his plan. Here’s how I rate the review:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Great characterization, intriguing story and a brilliant writing team, paired with amazing art. Overall storytelling was amazing. Unexpected results in the form of Jade-Kyle-Soranik, but that’s still not set in stone
Rating
90%

Brightest Day Reviews: #0 | #1

Brightest Day Tag: HERE

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March 2010 Comic Book Sales Figures

  • April 12, 2010 11:31 pm
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March Comic Book Sales Chart

Big surprise, Blackest Night #8 was last month’s best selling comic book. Another big surprise, Siege #3 was right behind it. You know what is good to see though? Both those books are increasing in sales each month. Content is king right? Good stories drives more sales than anything. Good to see the new Ultimate’s were a success too. Maybe the biggest surprise to me though is that Nemisis #1, for as much hype as it received, was no where near the Top 10. It finished at #22, right below Green Hornet #1, which was priced a full $1 higher. It will be interesting to see if this climbs or drops in the coming months.

Other things worth noting (follow the links below for the full lists); First Wave #1 finished at #42 (I expected higher than that), Batman: Widening Gyre #5 finished at #52 (higher than I expected), and 5 out of the Top 20 were Amazing Spider-Man books (guess they should have gone weekly a long time ago).

On the graphic novel side it’s expected that Kick-Ass would see a spike in sales but I was a little surprised to see the Twilight Manga so low. It was talked about quite a bit and I would have put money on it selling better than the Archie Wedding. It will be interesting to see if the movie will help it out or if the American teen girls just don’t read Manga.

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Top 10 Reasons Blackest Night Might Be The Best DC Event Ever

Could Blackest Night Have Been One Of The Best DC Events Ever?

Blackest Night was DC’s biggest event it it’s 75 year history, and could possibly be DC’s best event ever. It was a huge event with multiple mini-series’, many tie-in issues, promotional products and a build-up beginning with The Sinestro Corps War. It was a huge undertaking for everyone at DC, and the amazing thing is they did it with no delays and virtually no problems in it’s execution. Blackest Night crossed over into many DC titles and DC even decided to add another issue to many canceled titles, which has never been done before. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Blackest Night might just be the greatest DC event of all time:

#10. The Overall Scale of The Event

The main Blackest Night title lasted 8 issues, 9 months with the one month break between 6 and 7. BN was a huge undertaking with all the tie-in’s and mini’s, and DC pulled it off excellently. Blackest Night’s scale is unprecedented, and I think it will be a while until another event reaches the magnitude it has.

#9. The Promotions

DC decided to do the Blackest Night Promotional Rings program, where retailers could purchase bags of lantern corps rings after buying a select number of tie-in issues. The promo was hugely successful, many people even bought multiple copies so they could get more rings. I even have a set of the rings sitting atop my computer monitor that I am extremely happy I bought.

#8. The Possibilities For The Future

Blackest Night not only changed the DCU in unheard of ways, it also left possibilities for the future open wide. There have been more additions to DCU continuity and changes to it that it’s really impossible to tell what direction were headed. The next event, Brightest Day, is a direct result of Blackest Night, and has been referred to as DCU Rebirth. Blackest Night opened the doors, Brightest Day will shove us through them. Lead the way DC, lead the way.

#7. The 5 Year Build Up

This image was one of the very first glimpses we were given of Blackest Night, and readers were instantly hooked. The Sinestro Corps War gave us a taste, and that was enough to have readers buzzing frantically for 5 years straight. It was unknown at the time that Blackest Night would be so huge, and we weren’t even given a glimpse at the first Black Lantern until shortly before the event actually started. There was lot’s of foreshadowing to Blackest Night in both Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, and if you weren’t actually looking for them, you probably didn’t see them.

#6. The Tie-In’s and Mini-Series’

During Blackest Night, we saw 6 mini-series’ and 29 tie-in issues, including the individual issues added to the resurrected titles. The most popular mini was the Batman one, although all of them were successful. The mini’s served to show certain character’s BN experience while not crossing over into their core titles, so they wouldn’t interrupt their storylines. The reach BN had over the rest of the DCU is unprecedented, and will most likely not be surpassed for a while.

#5. The Impact On The Rest Of The DCU

The effects of Blackest Night will be felt for years and will be long-lasting, I guarantee that much. Many characters lost their lives, many were resurrected, and many have had changes in their situations. This event was hugely emotional for many characters, and it’s a sure thing they will never be able to think of their dead loved ones without remembering the Blackest Night. Blackest Night was not only a huge event for us, but the DCU will probably never fully recover from recent events.

#4. The Marketing Campaign

As Blackest Night was getting closer, we began to see more and more advertisements regarding it. The DC Nation features at the back of every DC issue featured ads for it, and DC even put an “Inside The Blackest Night” featurette on the Green Lantern: First Flight DVD and Blu-Ray. Ads like the one featured above arose, featuring the first glimpses at the way the Black Lanterns would appear, and featured Firestorm, Aquaman, Superman of Earth-2 and Martian Manhunter. These ads increased excitement for the event and got readers buzzing more than they had been previously.

#3. The Character Usage

From the beginning, Blackest Night obviously had more of a focus on the smaller DCU characters rather than the biggest name ones. The focus on second-tier characters like Mera, The Atom, Firestorm and The Titans proved that you don’t need Superman or Batman starring to sell a book, as Blackest Night continuously sold higher than many issues starring bigger name characters. We got to see those characters in their own mini-series, but the main Blackest Night title focused more on secondary characters and brought whole new dimensions to their personality.

#2. The Story

One of the reasons Blackest Night was such a huge success was the story it told. Blackest Night didn’t cater to expectations, and oftentimes brought twists and turns to the story that hardly anyone could have expected or predicted. It’s a tale of emotions, or lack of emotions, and does an excellent job at connecting with the reader on an emotional level without being cheesy or over-dramatic. While some elements were obvious to me, it was still amazing to see such a huge story unfold around a single element. The writers DC tasked with bringing BN to life were excellent choices, and the two most important in my mind are Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. Together they grabbed the spotlight and put GL in it and did not let go.

#1. The Execution

The biggest reason Blackest Night was so great was the way DC executed it. They had tie-in’s with many current and cancelled title’s, they had 6 mini’s, and they did it all with zero delays. The marketing and promotions all tied into the story phenomenally and conveyed exactly what was to come without giving many details. DC has perfected events through Blackest Night, and they really seem to have their shit together. Flawless execution of the event is what made it so great, whether it’s the marketing, tie-in’s or promotions, it all came together and fit perfectly into the DCU, and will be incredibly hard to surpass.

Well, there you have it, the Top 10 Reasons Blackest Night was so great. I loved every minute of the event, and I must say I will miss all the anticipation that came with the trip to the comic store to pick up the latest issues.

Still want more?

For more lists like this visit our COMIC BOOK LIST section where we have articles such as Top 10 Easter Eggs Wish List for the Green Lantern Movie, & Top 5 Candidates To Be Damian’s Father.

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Blackest Night #8 Review

Blackest Night #8

The stunning conclusion to Blackest Night went out with a bang. The issue is in stores now, and if you haven’t picked it up, make sure you do because there is a pretty good chance it will sell out. To put it simply, I loved the issue, and even though it doesn’t answer all of our questions, it is still a fitting end for DC’s biggest event in years. DC even used fold out pages in this issue, and while I won’t say why they did just yet, I will after the review portion of this post. Speaking of the review, let’s get to it!

The issue is written, spectacularly by Geoff Johns. The characterization in this issue is mesmerizing, and their are many heartfelt moments that pushed me close to crying. No lie. It’s obvious these characters have lost their patience with current events and will do just about anything to defeat Nekron and save their friends that have been infected by the black rings. The issue has no filler whatsoever and is 100% action until the very end. While not all of our questions about Blackest Night are answered, some are but more are created. This issue does a pretty good job of displaying what Brightest Day will be about, and helps anticipation for that series grow.

The issue is pencilled by Ivan Reis, inked by Oclair Albert and Joe Prado, and colored by Alex Sinclair. Reis’ work during Blackest Night was amazing, and this issue is so amazingly eye-pleasing, I don’t think I’ve seen better art in a long while. The panel choices are great, the splash-pages are beautiful, and Reis’ lines are amazing, it’s so good I’m surprised the issue wasn’t delayed. The composition is excellent, and all the characters are distinct and facial expressions in this issue tell a lot of the story.

Spoilers…

–Many dead heroes and villains are resurrected, including Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Osiris, Jade, Maxwell Lord and Captain Boomerang, with the exception of Elongated Man and his wife, Sue Dibny. The page showing them resurrected is the aforementioned fold out page. Simply amazing.

–Black Hand is kidnapped by the Indigo Tribe after the life entity brings him back to life, severing Nekron’s connection to the living, allowing him to be defeated.

–Hawkgirl remembers her and Hawkmans past lives together, and they kiss.

–Deadman, long-time ghost-hero of the DCU, is resurrected.

–On the last page, we see a White Lantern Corps power battery sitting in the bottom of a huge crater in the middle of a road.

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Amazing characterization and great art work well together, Great conclusion to the storyline Questions left unanswered (for now) and new questions arise
Rating
95%

That’s right everybody, I gave this issue a 95. While it’s an amazing conclusion to the event, too many questions went unanswered and many more arose.

Blackest Night Reviews: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7

All Other Things Blackest Night: CLICK HERE

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Green Lantern #52 Review

  • March 24, 2010 1:29 pm
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Green Lantern #52

If I were to sum this issue up in single words, it would go something like this: surprising, astonishing, and wow. This issue picks up right after Blackest Night #7 with White Lantern Sinestro putting the smack down on Black Lanterns. This issue was simply amazing, with brilliant art, great dialogue and the reveal of all 7 emotional entities, and their origins. During Blackest Night, many people have complained that it lacks action and surprise, but this issue alone makes the whole series worth it to me. Anyway, let’s get on to the review.

This issue, as always, is written by Geoff Johns and features more revelations than we have seen in GL since #43. Hal isn’t featured very prominently in this issue, which to some is a bad thing but not to me. Sure, it’s his book and all, but it’s also John Stewart’s book, and he’s hardly ever been featured prominently in the latest issues. (With the exception of #49) Sinestro seems like a different character in this book, as if being the host for the Entity has changed his personality a little bit. Either way, I’m sure after BN he’ll be back to his old dictating, sadistic ways.

The issue is drawn by Doug Mahnke, with inks by Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Rebecca Buchman and Keith Champagne, and colors by Randy Mayor, Gabe Eltaeb and Carrie Strachan. Mahnke has been an excellent artist since being put on GL, and this issue is no different. Mahnke’s crisp, detailed lines and interesting panel and perspective choices work great with the inking and coloring, and they translate brilliantly on paper. The only complaint I have would be the choice to use four double splash pages, which in my opinion is too many. Too many splash pages make it seem like the artist tries too hard, but thankfully the art is so great that it is barely noticeable.

Overall an excellent issue with an amazing story and beautiful art. Here is how I rate the issue overall:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Great art and story, Good amount of time focused on John Stewart Too many splash pages
Rating
90%

Well that’s all for now folks! Make sure to come back next week for my review of Blackest Night #8.

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Green Lantern Corps #46 Review

  • March 18, 2010 2:29 pm
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Green Lantern Corps #46 Review

Green Lantern Corps #46 is the last tie-in issue of Blackest Night, and features the GLC teaming up with the other corps’ to combat the Black Lanterns. The issue weighs in at 40 pages, resulting in a one dollar price jump to $3.99. I think this was a phenomenal issue, and my favorite part is Guy Gardner, and who knew he was a classic Star Trek fan? This is Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s second-to-last issue together, and I really hope Tony Bedard can bring the same level of tanacity and creativity to the series as Tomasi has. Let’s get to the reviewing shall we?

Peter Tomasi fits the GLC perfectly, and it is obvious he has a fondness and appreciation for these character that is unrivaled. Whether it’s Guy Gardner referencing not only a Star Trek combat tactic, but naming the actual episode it appeared in, or Vath Sarn refusing to leave the battle even after being injured, Tomasi knows these characters and their actions show that. Take Kyle Rayner for example: he’s a character that has been through a lot since his introduction in the DCU, and when Tomasi has him confront his first failure, the death of his ex-girlfriend Alex DeWitt, another dimension is added to the character, we see him overcome what’s in his way, and he moves on. Tomasi has the uncanny ability to make these characters real without trying to shove it down our throats.

On this issue, Patrick Gleason pencils while Rebecca Buchman, Keith Champagne andTom Nguyen ink and Randy Mayor and Gabe Eltaeb color. Patrick Gleason, while some hate him, is an excellent artist. His depictions are dynamic yet realistic and convey the situation for what it is without changing anything. He truly captures the essence of not only the GLC, but also the Blackest Night, which makes for an eye-pleasing experience. Gleason likes to use unconventional panels and perspective points, but when it all comes together it works. On one page you can see Arkillo  is actually chewing on a BL, and on another you see a Dove-filled bullet construct going right between the BL Anti-Monitor’s eyes.

Overall a great issue with excellent dialogue and impressive art. The creative teams creativity is amazing. My only complaint about the issue is the little amount of time focused on Kilowog and John Stewart’s expedition to BL Xanshi. Here’s how I rate the issue overall:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Great character representation, Impressive art Lack of John/Kilowog coverage
Rating
85%

Well that’s all from me folks, until next time!

-moyermason@yahoo.com

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February 2010 Comic Book Sales Figures

  • March 9, 2010 11:23 am
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February Comic Book Sales Chart

It should come as no surprise that Blackest Night #7 was last month’s best selling book and that Siege #2 finished just below it; as much as we complain about events all you have to do it look at this chart to see why they keep happening.

I was a little surprised to see Flash: Rebirth #6, the final issue, fall so low but it felt like the delays plus the Blackest Night tie-in (which is getting better reviews) may have really hurt it’s hype. Also a little stumped at the Green Lantern: Secret Origin not performing better. More people bought Star Wars Adventures Vol. 3 than the Green Lantern paperback? Course, this could have something to do with DC pushing those hardcovers for so long and then pushing out a $14.99 book in the same month as All-Star Superman Vol. 2 for just $12.99. Gotta give Dark Horse credit though, that Star Wars book that so many people bought was only $7.95. Heck, I can’t buy a CD on iTunes for that.

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Green Lantern: Secret Origin Review

  • March 5, 2010 7:06 pm
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“Green Lantern: Secret Origin” is a storyline from Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern, and spans issues #29-35. The storyline is a retelling of Hal Jordans origins as GL, and in this story his issue is changed to coincide with “Blackest Night“. The storyline has been printed in Soft-cover and Hard-cover trade paperback formats, or you can just pick up the single issues.

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Blackest Night #8 Cover Revealed

  • March 2, 2010 3:55 pm
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Since the solicitations for Blackest Night #8 appeared on the DC Comics website, the cover image has consisted of a black screen with the words “Blackest Night Top Secret”. Well, earlier on DC’s The Source, they revealed this image of the pencilled and inked cover to the issue, drawn by Ivan Reis. The issue hit’s stands on March 31st, and is written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis. Here is a full image of the cover:

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Green Lantern Corps #45 Review

  • March 2, 2010 3:35 pm
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Green Lantern Corps #45

This issue hit two Wednesdays ago, and obviously this review is late. However, I have the issue now, and I am here to review it. Lately in Green Lantern Corps, we’ve seen the main roster of the series accompanied by the Indigo Lantern Munk and Star Sapphire Miri under attack first by the Black Lantern Corps, and then a Red Lantern-infected Guy Gardner wiped a bunch of them up and then attacked the GL’s. Anyway, let’s get on to the review.

This issue is written by Peter Tomasi, who will be replaced by Tony Bedard soon. Tomasi has also written Blackest Night: Batman, Nightwing and The Outsiders, whle Bedard’s writing cred’s are for series such as R.E.B.E.L.S., Countdown and Birds of Prey. Tomasi has been great on GLC, and I expect great things out of his upcoming Emerald Warriors series. The writing in this issue represents the mentality and dedication of the featured character’s, as well as the destructive abilities of characters (I’m talking about more than just Guy Gardner with a green and red power ring). The story is complex yet easy to follow, and represents what the GLC is all about in a great way.

The issue is drawn by Patrick Gleason, with inks by Rebecca Buchman, Keith Champagne and Tom Nguyen, with colors by Randy Mayor. Gleason is an extremely dynamic and smooth artist, and his pencils and Mayor’s colors are a great match for a GL-based series. Seeing GG double-ring-slinging over the last few issues has been amazing, and seeing an awesome character like the planet GL Mogo is always a cool sight, especially when his level of power comes into play. Without Mogo, the GLC would be completely hopeless provided the right situation. Gleason’s representation of the power-rings energy is unique in the way that the material’s you could compare certain constructs to vary greatly. The panel layouts Gleason uses are unique to each page and they compliment the angles each panel is looking from greatly.

Overall a good issue with a complex and meaningful story and great art. The only thing I would complain about is that some of the dialogue seems unnecessary and makes the script kind of cheesy. Here is how I would rate the issue:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Complex Story and Brilliant Art Semi-cheesy Dialogue
Rating
85%

Until next time everybody! Come back next month for my review of Green Lantern Corps #46.

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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