Attacks From Multiple Fronts In Green Lanterns #51

by James Ferguson

A Guardian has been murdered during a chaotic storm on Mogo. While Jessica, Simon, and Kyle start to look for clues, Guy and Kilowog return with a battered and unconscious John.  A strange force is targeting the Green Lantern Corps, both internally and externally. The ring-slingers must work together, but is there a traitor among them?

Guardians don’t die easily, so this comes as a major shock to everyone nearby.  Thaava’s reaction upon seeing the corpse is one of surprise and terror.  He must do everything he can to save this being.

Artist Mike Perkins underscores the gravitas of the scene in a series of panels showing Thaava at work with the unmoving line on the heart rate monitor appearing over and over again as a reminder that everything is ineffective.  It’s too late.  These panels feel like one of those serious moments that would pop up every so often in M*A*S*H that show how frail life can be.

The Lanterns don’t have much time to grieve or even think about next steps as everyone’s attention turns to their leader, John. They were already against the ropes with this strange storm ravaging Mogo. This is a one-two punch that could knock them out.

The reactions to all this are amplified by Dave Sharpe’s letters.  He highlights key words to show just how much weight they carry. For example, when Kyle cuts to the chase and points out that the Guardian was killed, the word “Murder” is massive. It breaks out of the word balloon itself.  This happens a few more times throughout Green Lanterns #51, but only for specific, important items.

While all this is tense, it feels a little disjointed. The Lanterns are popping from one crisis to another like a pinball.  They have absolutely no idea what’s going on or what they’re up against.  They’re playing catch up and they’re miles behind their foes.  With all the power they have at their disposal, you’d think they’d be a little more prepared for something like this.

One problem they try to tackle head on is the storm on Mogo. This is a powerful scene where a bunch of Lanterns work together to stop the high winds and rain beating down on them.  Perkins excels here with some epic artwork, blending larger-than-life moments with closer personal beats showing each Lantern’s reaction as they push themselves to the limit.

This is shown with a burst of green energy shining through the dark clouds. Colorist Hi-Fi makes the constructs pop off the page with an electric green, glowing brightly to ward off the shadows.

I’m a little frustrated with how writer Dan Jurgens’ writes Jessica. It feels like she’s been reset to a previous setting, ignoring the growth and confidence she’s developed over the course of this series.  She’s unsure of herself and feels like she doesn’t belong which flies in the face of everything she’s accomplished recently.

One aspect that does work well is Jessica’s personal relationship with her ring.  It has less of a personality here, but we did see it adjusted in the recent Annual, so maybe it’s more like a basic operating system now.  It’s like this little voice that only Jessica can here, giving her guidance in this crazy situation.  I do wonder if it’s been infected by this mysterious enemy though.

There are multiple threats working against the Lanterns. They desperately need a win right now and it doesn’t look like one is coming any time soon.  I’m more curious as to this overpowered bad guy flying around attacking Green Lanterns, but that seems to be lower on the priority list, despite what he did to John. I’m not digging this arc too much; however I’m still sticking around to see where it goes.  I’m curious about how this will come together.

Green Lanterns #51 from DC Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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