Green Lantern Corps #55
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Tyler Kirkham
I understand that when you make a new villain you want to put them over, and to do so you give them some nice victories over established characters. It’s good business, it builds their character card, it makes a viable threat out of someone in short order. It’s the best way to do it, and this issue continues to do it with The Weaponer. Unfortunately, for that idea to fully play out he has to run rough-shed on what is essentially the entire Green Lantern Honor Guard. That’s my fault with the issue. The dude is too big of a bad ass.
The rescue mission continues as Kyle, John, Ganthet, Boodikka, and Hannu charge Qward to take down the Weaponer and save Sora. Easier said than done, especially given the sheer overpoweredness of his white energy shield. I mean, I love uber weapons, but dude is invincible with it. And while dude is a total badass, I can’t help but want him to sell a little bit. However, I do enjoy the motivations and background of the character, and I do like the concept behind his powers, I just hate that he’s game-breakingly powerful. It sets the story up for an anti-climactic conclusion, as if the guy is able to crush big name Lantern’s, then his eventual defeat is either going to come at the hands of one man (Sinestro) who will then be able to boast about how much more powerful they are then everyone, or if the guy falls to his own stupidity then it’s just going to make everyone he beat up look like a schmuck for going down to the fool. I mean, I’m assuming that Bedard isn’t killing Weaponer off at the end of the arc, and that’s where a big part of where my thoughts are coming from. As far as a debut arc for an ongoing villain is concerned, it’s by no means bad, it’s just setting the character up to be in a little niche where writers are either going to overpower him, under-power him, or just not use him.
I guess I’m just saying that I don’t want to see this guy get turned into the Prometheus of 2010.
All of that said, the dude is a total badass, and if they could just tone it down a little bit to bring him into the realm of being a manageable rogue, then he will have a lot of staying power. He’s a weapons master with a weapon that can make a counter weapon to anything he’s attacked with, it’s a pretty natural fit, he just needs a more obvious weak point.
The Corps comes across as pretty weak in this issue because of it, as there’s no real way to show why you’re awesome when five of you are getting beaten down at once by one guy. Then I remember that one is John, and I feel a little bit better about it. Everyone has their own fighting style, and while I love Hannu’s “I just hit things, screw the ring”, and I’m confused about just how powerful Ganthet is these days, my biggest issue? The force feeding of John Stewart being a marine, which has been irking me for years since he made the sudden shift to being a former marine after the cartoon did it. The sniper rifle enough gets the point across, he doesn’t need a flak jacket and combat helmet. I mean, artistically, this all looks pretty damn good, but John as a Green Marine is something I’ve never been a huge fan of.
Speaking of the art, that’s the big winner in this issue. Kirkham does a great job with the action and the various Lanterns, and he keeps the constructs mixed up for the most part. This is something I approve of as the power set lends itself to so much possibility that seeing repeats of the same constructs feels boring and lazy. So by far the best part of the Weaponer is that he’s using a different weapon in just about every panel that he’s in, and it looks really freaking sweet. I like his style as a whole here, he does good character work. Spiky hair for Kyle and Sora, sure, but the characters all look great.
The issue ends on a cliffhanger, but the big moment comes a few pages earlier as we get some exposition that helps set up War of the Green Lanterns in a most necessary of manners. I mean, it answers one of my biggest questions about the purpose of the event, which means one less thing to rant about. It’s a good issue despite my complaints, and it does a good job furthering the story ahead without feeling like a filler issue. Because, I mean, it’s not a filler issue, and while not a ton happens, well, no, a lot does happen. It’s just the fast paced action of the issue that makes it feel like you’re getting less than you are, especially when you look at how the issue was broken down. Next issue should be big though, unless it turns into another big fight issue like this one….because I’m just not sure how many issues of that sort this book can manage in a row. We’ve already had Weaponer vs Sora and Kyle, and Kyle vs Sinestro, now we have the GLC vs Weaponer, and next issue we have a spoiler. I’m all for a fight every issue, but we need more than 22 page of ball to the wall next issue to keep this arc on track.
Tags: Brightest Day, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Green Lantern Corps, Reviews, Tony Bedard, War of the Green Lanterns