By Koppy McFad
December 21, 2009 - 21:49
As the Black Lanterns attack Oa, home of the Guardians of the Universe, Guy Gardner sees one of his closest friends brought down, triggering an explosion of rage that transforms him into an anger-powered Red Lantern.
For a story about conflicting emotions, this story is fittingly filled with passion and drama. Gardner and his allies try to revive their stricken friend while the rest of Green Lanterns struggle to hold off the Blackest Night event.
There is a good look on how the various rings-- green, red and black-- work, especially when the rings must find a new ringwielder after the older wearer is killed. The different personalities and agendas of the ring-wielders are all showcased well.
But the story is made stronger by focusing on a few key characters rather than the scattershot approach of previous issues. Guy Gardner gets the spotlight, allowing us to see how one event can affect him in different ways, so that his eventual transformation into a Red Lantern comes off very convincingly. We feel shock but also sympathy for this character who has often been depicted as being little more than a big butt-head. Other characters, like Soranik, also get good play as they get enough space and dialogue to show their emotions rather than just two or three panels.
The art is also stronger for this focus on fewer characters The select group get to really show their stuff, either through close-ups or through very impressive action sequences. The art team also resists the urge to make things look as weird and as alien as possible-- something that has hampered this book in the past.
This issue may just be a sideshow in the big BLACKEST NIGHT event but it is a very entertaining sideshow.
Rating: 8.5 /10