Green Lanterns #53 Review

Story: Dan Jurgens
Art: Marco Santucci
Colors: Hi-Fi

In Green Lanterns #53, Simon is off on some unknown mission back to Earth, while the rest of the Corps continue to fight for what is left of Penelo. Hal and Jess try to take the lead ship from the Ravagers, while Guy faces off against Eon.

To be honest, I’m conflicted on GL 53. On one hand, it’s a fast-paced issue with exciting visuals. You keep turning the page eager to see more space fight goodness, and some of the dialogue keeps you engaged. On the other hand, there are a few moments that take you right out the issue, and leaves you asking, “Wait, what? Why?” So let’s go ahead and Facts of Life this.

The Good

First off, I’ve got to give it to the team of Marco Santucci and Hi-Fi. This team on a GL title is a perfect fit. The way that Santucci uses the space to convey a huge battle is beautifully balanced. For example, the first splash page we see show Hal and Jessica doing their best to hold off wave after wave of Ravagers. We see a few Ravagers have been defeated, but we can tell that they have barely made a dent in the Ravagers numbers. It still seems as though the Lanterns can last much longer. In a splash like this, it would be easy to make the page feel cluttered, but Santucci plays with levels and surrounds the Lanterns, while still showing enough of the ship between it all to give you a chance to take it all in, in sections. Combined with Hi-Fi’s color choice, and it makes for incredible panels that pull you in. The fight between Guy and Eon will make you forget to turn the page.

Next, Jessica. I really want way more Hal and Jessica team ups. I honestly enjoy that match up way more than Jess and Simon. Granted, I have a love/hate relationship with Simon (we’ll get there in a minute), but Hal and Jessica was just more fun to read for me. Jessica also seems to be much more confident fighting alongside Hal; though, I’d assume that is true of most of the Green Lantern Corps. Regardless, Jessica is a stand out in this issue. She seems to easily hold her own against the Ravagers, and keeps up with the great Hal Jordan. Then once she is done kicking butt, she goes right into savior mode for what is left of Penelo.

Another character high point for me was Guy. His face off against Eon was one of the most exciting parts of this issue, which is saying something. Though it did quite have the chaos that many of the other battles and panels had, the colors mixed with the sheer bravado of Guy makes it easily the one of the most memorable parts. Having the blues of Eon clash against the greens of Guy, and the blackness of space around them, easily pulls you into the fight and keeps you in the moment of the panel. And then there is Guy. Facing off against a being that put John Stewart in a coma, fighting for his life on Mogo. Nothing fazes Guy though, and he actually gives Eon a pretty great fight for a bit. You gotta love Guy Gardner.

Finally, the last page made me scare my cat (Thundercat) as I screamed in excitement. He is now looking at me in a concerned manner. My wife is too, but for some reason the cat is more concerning at the moment. Anyways, I won’t spoil it. Go pick up the issue and read it. The final page is a very interesting layer to this story.

The Bad.          

Simon. Simon bookends the issue, and it didn’t play well for me personally. Last issue ended with Simon telling his ring that he can’t leave his team behind for a mission he knows nothing about but ultimately giving in and flying off to Earth. This issue starts with more of the same. Simon saying, “I can’t leave them behind! I need to go back”, the ring replying with, “Yeah…but… Earth”, and then Simon going, “Ok, well when you put it like that… Earth.” It was a bit of an annoying way to start the issue. If Simon is going to exert some of his will power (as Lanterns are known to do), then he should fight it a little harder than that. We also didn’t need the moment again. I believe Simon would complain about leaving the team, but if he’s going to go to Earth, just go to Earth. The “I’m going back/never mind” moment just rubbed me wrong.

The only other real issue I had with 53 was Kilowog’s plan. I got confused and had to stop reading this issue to go back to 52 to double check what Guy’s plan was. They are pretty much the same, but you change a couple words, and get a different ship, and a much easier solution. Guy finds the ship where most of the communication originates from, while Kilowog finds the ship most communication flows through. Seems like that ship is a wee bit redundant, but I also know nothing about carrying out a military strike, so that totally may be a thing. Regardless, having to stop an issue, to go back to a previous issue isn’t usually a great thing.

And There You Have.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this issue. The artwork really makes this an issue I want to come back to, and makes me eager for this trade to come out. We get closer to some answers that we have been looking for, but there are still a lot left to discover. Jessica continues to be a stand out of this title, and of the Green Lantern Corps in general. Kyle shows his inner Red Lantern for a brief moment, and Guy takes on a being of pure energy. Yes, there were some moments that ripped me out of the issue completely. That is not something anyone enjoys. Being wrapped up in a story, just to be pulled out of it during some of the best moments, is a big thing. Luckily, the good far outweigh the bad in this issue. I am very excited to see what Jurgens and company have for us in #54.

7/10

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Anthony is an Arizona comedian and one of the hosts of Read a (Comic) Book! Podcast.