I have to admit I was a little surprised by this issue of "Green Lantern Corps." Up until now, one thing I've always liked about Peter J. Tomasi's run as writer of the series is that each issue has felt accessible to brand-new readers. As he did so, Tomasi slowly built up a large number of characters and plots to his arsenal, one by one. I guess after juggling all those stories for issue after issue, there had to come a time when Tomasi let all that build-up finally come crashing down, and "Green Lantern Corps" #40 is that issue.
This issue lets all of the characters that Tomasi's been using get their page or two in the spotlight, as we see just how long-term Tomasi was looking when he took over the title. From deranged baby-snatching Sinestro Corps members to the recent massacre of prisoners by the Alpha Lanterns on Oa, everything is clicking together in a way that will let long-time readers have fun watching it all unfold. The only real problem is that there are so many balls that Tomasi's been juggling, that it's hard for the book to focus on any one for too long. It's fun, but if you have a particular favorite character you'll inevitably be disappointed that they don't have more of the focus on them.
On the down side, people who haven't read "Green Lantern Corps" before "Blackest Night" will no doubt be a bit confused. There isn't time for Tomasi's normal slow build of action, with the book moving rapid-fire from one scene to the next. Normally I'd recommend "Green Lantern Corps" as the kind of book where you can just try it out and instantly know if you'll like the series, but "Green Lantern Corps" #40 is the exception to that rule.
Patrick Gleason's pencils are at their best when they focus on just one or two characters. The scenes with Kyle and Jade confronting each other look great, between the Black Lantern oozing through space like an oil slick butterfly, to Jade's wide-eyed gaze towards Kyle. It's only when Gleason has scenes of dozens upon dozens of characters that things look a little muddled here; it's hard to tell exactly what's going on when the gravesites of the executed prisoners are examined, for instance, with so much going on. Still, on the whole, it's up to Gleason's normal standards.
"Green Lantern Corps" #40 might not be new-reader friendly, but it is a payoff to people who have read "Green Lantern Corps" for the past year or two. Considering that so many of the "Green Lantern Corps" stories have moved into the "Blackest Night" mini-series, though, it's a little apt that "Green Lantern Corps" gets to serve just itself for once. It's earned it.