Taking a break from the high-octane action that has so far defined this series, Peter Tomasi uses this issue to explore the aftermath of the Green Lanterns’ battle with the Keepers. John Stewart’s decision to kill a fellow Green Lantern is brought into focus.
The cover copy reads “John Stewart killed a Green Lantern! What happens next?” Let’s just ignore that John has done this before. Depending on how loose we define “kill,” we might even say that he has made quite the habit of offing both friends and enemies. We might still live under the assumption that the comic is meant to target new readers who have never read about John feeling guilty about killing someone or failing to save someone.
So putting aside the repetitiveness of the story, how well is it told? There are certainly some scenes that are very well constructed. Guy Gardner giving the Guardians of piece of his mind is always worth reading. And the silent moments when John is transporting Kirrt are well-weighted. The quality only starts to drag down once characters start speaking and the cliches roll out. Although, should we expect this book to say anything insightful about death and service that hasn’t already been said?
The story must be commended for including a character with what appears to be a learning disability in a subtle and respectful way. The story doesn’t scream to call attention to it, but uses the character as one of the many things building up the situation. This is how diversity should be handled in any story.
While the art contained plenty of hatching, it still leaves plenty of open space, giving the story a cartoonish feel that perhaps didn’t match the tone of a funeral story. Scott Hanna is the regular inker on this title that often includes elaborate linework, so the deviation from the norm of this series can be attributed to guest artist Claude St. Aubin. The expressions are clear, but other pencillers have created a little more gravitas in the features of the characters.
If we take a peek at the solicitations for upcoming issues, this will probably be the calm before the approaching storm. Readers looking for a break from punches and explosions will appreciate the mood of this story.