I’m not sure why Bleez was chosen as the cover “icon” image instead of one of the GREEN Lanterns in this book, but she’s there and she’s also in this issue. Once Guy Gardner levels with his fellow emerald ringslingers, Bleez takes on a larger role, simply due to attrition. There is one page where Bleez is unleashed and takes out an entire planet’s first line of defense.
Pasarin masterfully sums up my thoughts of the Red Lanterns’ power display as Guy is left speechless when Bleez horks up a weapon with which to clear that defense. The expressions and posturing show that Pasarin’s art is a little more loose in this issue. The characters move a little more like people and less like posed action figures. It’s clear that Pasarin is starting to get comfortable building the worlds that “Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors” treads into. All the same, his Kilowog is doughy, or perhaps even over-inflated. The first page of the issue has Kilowog as close to life size as a standard-issue comic book can make him and, unfortunately, it’s not the most impressive drawing of ‘Wog in this issue. With Pasarin and Kilowog, it’s a matter of “good from far, far from good.” Quite simply, his Kilowog drawn in full figure is more impressive than the close-up shots. It’s a minor quibble that probably just received more words than it deserves, but Pasarin does a great job with the rest of this issue. He certainly has no problem filling Zardor with power and Arisia with contempt. Pasarin’s backgrounds are chockfull of detail, and his renderings of the Green Lanterns’ ring projections are top-notch.
Tomasi uses the “betrayal” from Gardner to pluck Kilowog and Arisia from this story, setting up a confrontation for Guy Gardner that would not have seemed as challenging with Kilowog on hand. With Guy left to fend for himself, he lashes out and herein reminds me more of the Guy Gardner I first met than the Guy Gardner I’ve been reading the past few years. Guy is given a chance to wrestle with his insecurities again, but soon discovers there’s more on the line than he expected.
This issue seems to be the herald for the upcoming “War of the Green Lanterns,” offering up prophetic visions, mysterious foes, and Corps members bearing grudges one against another. With the iconic cover promotion underway, this issue doesn’t wave a colorful “War of Green Lanterns Prelude” banner, nor does it need to provide a good story. The rubber is finally hitting the road here and Tomasi’s story is starting to build upon the wide base that has been constructed for the past five months. The issue leaves Guy hanging, but Guy’s resourceful. How he gets out of this one is going to be worth the price of admission – which, by the way, has dropped a whole buck(!) on this title – for the next issue.