G3 Review: Green Lantern-Emerald Warriors #1

Cover art by Rodolfo Migliari

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Pencils: Fernando Pasarin
Inks: Cam Smith
Colors: Randy Mayor
Letters: Steve Wands
August 11, 2010
DC Comics

As of right now, I am pulling all three Green Lantern books. I really enjoyed the fantastic nature of the Sinestro Corps War, and then it built up to Blackest Night. So, I kept on keeping on. While there was some phenomenal art during Blackest Night, the best stories did not come from the GL titles.

I’ve recently been contemplating dropping Green Lantern. Reis’ art is to die for, but Johns’ writing is not. Now that they’ve shown the teasers about the Indigo Tribe, I may wait another arc. I love the Indigo Tribe. Green Lantern Corps is still enjoyable. But, after the Cyborg Supes story is done, GLC is headed for the chopping block. My thinking in all this is that I would be content to just get Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors. Guy Gardner is a whole lotta lantern. Peter Tomasi has, on many an occasion, impressed the hell out of me with his writing. Continue reading

Brightest Day: The End of the Road

Dear Brightest Day:

From the beginning, this was a marriage of convenience. You were the next big thing in event comics; I wanted to remain in the DC loop. I’d already dropped some middling books from my pull list (See ya, Green Lantern!), so I figured there was room for you in my life. Surely, we could work through my event fatigue issues together — especially with Peter Tomasi and Ivan Reis in the mix.

Just make out already.

Unfortunately, there was trouble early on, starting with that frickin’ white lantern in issue #0. I knew you came with some Blackest Night baggage, but I underestimated just how damned sick I was of that whole white light business and the various candy-colored corps. “Hal Jordan again?!” I fumed, prompting my oldest kid to ask what my problem was. And why I was talking to myself.

But then, you quickly appealed to my weakness for doomed lovers Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter. You also had that muscular, swaggering art from Reis, who draws a bicep like no one’s business. For a brief, shining moment, I truly believed we were gonna go the distance. I told V. that you were making an effort, but like someone who has heard one too many excuses for a friend’s sketchy lover, she was dubious: “If you say so, girl. I’m dropping it.”

By issue #4, I began to suspect that we just weren’t that into one another. For one thing, Firestorm made himself (themselves?) a little too comfortable, and I couldn’t hear the rest of the book over the sound of Jason and Ronnie’s incessant, tedious bickering. (For the record, Jason’s kind of a dick. I know Ronnie is inadvertently responsible for his girlfriend’s death, but still.) Mera and Aquaman’s issues, which seemed rich with promise, took a turn for the boring. Don’t even get me started on Deadman.

I’m not opposed to a little well-placed gore — I love Secret Six, after all. But when you gleefully began ripping off innocent bystanders’ heads (and limbs), it came across as desperate, and a little cheap. There was just too much going on, and it felt like a pileup of empty sturm and drang that was headed nowhere fast. It’s never a good sign on Wednesday nights when you hear yourself muttering, “I don’t have time for this.”

BD, I’m under no illusion that you need me. Heck, you can have almost any DC reader you want, you handsome, shallow devil. I just think it would be best for me to move on — y’know, see what else is out there before I start to resent the fact that you’re costing me $2.99 every other week. That’s a lot of tall Starbucks café Americanos. I’m sure you understand.

Best regards,
E. Peterman

G3 Review: Phantom Stranger #42

Phantom Stranger #42
Script: Peter Tomasi
Pencils: Ardian Syaf
Inks: Vincente Cifuentes
Colors: Ulises Arreola
DC Comics
January 20, 2010

*Spoiler Alert*

We open with the Stranger and Blue Devil in a confrontation with the Black Lantern Spectre. Their goal: to draw the real Spectre out, and to prevent the BL Spectre from going after Hal Jordan. Why? Who knows? Our stoic Stranger does, but it seems all will be revealed in due time. The Stranger’s esoteric clue-dropping drew me in, but I was highly irritated by Blue Devil’s rude one-liners. I mean, the Stranger doesn’t show up all the time, so can you just shut your pie hole and do what he says?! Please, and thank you.

The art in the first section of the book is detailed — sometimes too detailed. In certain panels, the Spectre’s muscles are so overly defined that it looks like he doesn’t even have skin, let alone clothes. I know the characters are ripped, but this was a bit much. In the panel where BL Spectre has a “Squirrel!” moment and abruptly leaves to find Hal, the proportions are all off. He looks like a giant with midget arms who’s burying himself — backward.

From there, our odd duo goes looking for Deadman. Where? Nanda Parbat. “How perfectly obvious,” muses the Stranger. Since I love me some Nanda Parbat and think it’s a super-cool concept, it was exciting to see it incorporated into the story. The Phantom Stranger tells Deadman he has a great destiny to be fulfilled, but he must reconcile his spirit with his body and get his remains safely inside the city walls. With the help of the Stranger, Deadman battles to possess his corpse. Here we get to see some interesting panels, especially when BL Boston Brand tries to invade the body of The Phantom Stranger. It really gives you a feeling for how vast the Stranger is as a character. Deadman finally manages to get that nasty black ring off his corpse and safely stores his body. Then he flies off to warn Hal of what he learned from the Black Lanterns while fighting for his body.

The art in the second half of the book really worked in each scene, perhaps because Syaf didn’t have a giant Black Lantern to draw. It seems like he does better with fine detail than grander images. The color palette — a lot of blues and grays with extra shadowing — worked great for the characters and the mood of the story.

Apparently, Deadman was featured in Phantom Stranger #41 back in 1976. Being that Deadman has played his part in Blackest Night up to this point, his being in this issue was rather perfect. DC’s concept of raising certain titles from the dead is a good one, and it meshes well with who the Phantom Stranger is. “The Stranger comes when the Stranger is needed.” I get the impression that the Stranger has done what he felt he needed to do, as did this issue.

This wasn’t a typical read for me, but I’m a fan of Tomasi’s writing and have always been intrigued by the Phantom Stranger. The story was interesting and succinct, and it piqued my curiosity about all the things the Stranger alluded to.