Wrath of the First Lantern Review: Green Lantern Corps #18 by Peter J. Tomasi and Chriscross

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Review:  Green Lantern Corps #18

“Part Six:  Pieces of You”

Published by DC Comics

Written by Peter J. Tomasi

Art by Chriscross

Coloured by Gaeb Eltaeb

The Plot

John Stewart and Fatality are in the clutches of the First Lantern as we see various images of them.  He begins to rewrite various stages of John’s life such as the death of his mother.  Surprisingly we also revisit the destruction of Xanshi…again.  The First Lantern then replays a moment of anguish once again, which is switched around in order to include Fatality this time.  Reality is bent yet again this time to show John becoming an Alpha Lantern.  The incident where John was forced to destroy Mogo is also revisited from a couple of different point both of which lead to John failing.  Then John’s course of action with Kirrt is shown once again, but then the results are altered and it plays out the other way around with John’s neck getting broken.  However, John finds himself on trial once again and this time his judgement is carried out.  The issue ends with both John and Fatality in the clutches of the First Lantern reiterating his point (again) that reality is what he wants it to be.

The Breakdown

With the exception of the weird armband things, the Alpha Lantern version of John Stewart actually looked pretty decent.  I almost wish that he had become an Alpha Lantern and then maybe we’d miss him or something.  One thing that I realized after re-reading this issue is that John is the Green Lantern that is willing to make the impossible decisions.  He always sees the greater good or the bigger picture with crisis events.  This is where he differs from the other Earth-based Green Lanterns.  The scene where he and Fatality both die in space was kind of decent..it had a nice visual to it.  There were some nice looking panels in this book like when John broke Kirrt’s neck.  The colours were done well and I like how dynamic Eltaeb can make some pages look.  His work is consistent.  There were a couple of good moments in this book.

BUT…

I was indifferent about the majority of the book this month.  GLC was really damn good during the weaker Third Army storyline, but has been really slow during the First Lantern storyline.  At the end of the previous issue, I knew that we would revisit Xanshi, Kirrt, and Mogo.  These books are starting to remind of me of those compilation episodes (or clip shows) in T.V. series where there are a couple new scenes, but the majority of it is flashbacks and it usually feels like filler.  I don’t really enjoy reading about John Stewart, which sucks because I used to like his character a lot.  I loved the Justice League cartoon, but I hate that this version of John creeped its way into the comic version.  Also, so it seems that his military background has in fact completely retconned his history with architecture.  This also sucks because his skills as an architect were very evident in his constructs.  So after the Xanshi incident, he had a gun construct against his head in a moment of anguish.  This is well before the Sinestro Corps War, which is when lethal force was enabled for the Green Lantern rings.  I’m just saying.  So for some reason, the First Lantern chooses to strip them of their clothes, which was awkward at one point because John’s anatomy resembled that of a Ken doll.  I know it’s a mainstream comic and nudity shouldn’t be in it, but they could’ve at least put smoke in that general area instead.  I didn’t care for how John’s Black Lantern was rendered in this issue and I wish that the First Lantern’s appearance was more consistent with the one in the GL title.  It straight up looks better.  I don’t hate Channel 52, but it can be a tough couple of pages to get through.  I actually forgot this was Part Six and it really doesn’t feel like anything has happened.  Some major crossovers have too much action and too little substance, but this one has had absolutely no action.  I know this will change, but this has been an oddly paced and slow event thus far.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Ignore It.  I usually recommend this title, but this month was a misfire.  Usually with Green Lantern crossovers I’m looking forward to the next part as soon as I put an issue down.  However, when I read that New Guardians was coming out next week all I could think was “Already?” This crossover is losing me fast and I’m considering just picking up the main GL title.  I’m sure this will change soon, but I’m tempted to shelf read the next issue to make sure I want to pick it up.  Overall this has been a good series and I don’t fault the creative team for this misfire as the entire story has been lagging thus far.

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