Weekly Comic Book Reviews for 7/22/09

Green Lantern #44

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Manhke
Inker: Christian Alamy, Doug Manhke, Tom Nguyen, & Rooney Ramos
Color: Randy Mayor

Story – Only the good Die Young

Now this may not be the popular opinion of but I am was very disappointed by Green Lantern #44. This issue was a very thin read that as Johns continues to disappoint me with his storytelling abilities. While I did give a good score to Blackest Night #1 last week it was mostly because it was a first issue and I understood that Johns had to make it new reader friendly so I wave off most of the negatives of the issue. But now with how big this event is I am not willing to read through more of Johns stalling tactics as he waste the whole issue on things that we already knew about Blackest Night and we are never really learn more about the event and the Black Lanterns.

Now before I continue my rant I will say there was something good to take out of this issue as Johns does an excellent job making J’onn a complete badass. With the way Johns is writing Black Lantern Martian Mahunter it makes me wonder why the character has been so poorly handled when he was alive. I really liked that the Black Lantern version of the character reminds not only Hal and Barry but the reader as well that he is one of the characters that is just as powerful as Superman.

Also I have to give much props to Doug Manhke for kicking ass on the art. As always Manhke does an excellent job capturing the epic feel of Blackest Night and does a great job with the fight scene between Hal and Barry vs. Black Lantern Martian Manhunter.

As I said before the problem with this issue that takes away from the good of the issue is that it reads very thin as Johns moves the story in a very slow pace. While I like Hal and Barry as characters I have really become less and less interested in scenes with just the two characters alone with one another. Right now Johns just seems to be wasting time as all the scenes between the two characters read the same as their scenes in Flash: Rebirth and Blackest Night #1. I might have like their interaction as well as their fight with Martian Manhunter if Johns did not dedicate 2/3’s of the issue to them and their fight.

The real problem I have with this issue is that Johns is dealing with such a huge story that is not just about a few characters like most events DC and Marvel have done but it is a galaxy spanning event that stars a huge cast. In many instances Blackest Night is a event that is 20x bigger than War of Kings with the amount of characters Johns has to handle. And with how big the event is Johns should not be wasting time with slow pondering issue were he continues to focus on Hal and Barry. With all the build-up I want to see more development with Larfleeze sending his Orange Lanterns to attack the Blue Lanterns, the Green Lanterns vs. the Red Lanterns, the Sinestro Corps vs. the Violet Lanterns, reactions to the Black Lanterns rising across the universe, and other storylines that have been developing since the end of Sinestro Corps War and even before that Green Lantern: Rebirth Johns should not be wasting time with these type of issues.

Johns even teases some these things yet again with a spread of these developments that was similar to the one we got in Blackest Night #1. So with the size of this event and how many interesting characters that are involved in the War of Lights Johns need to share the love across the universe and not to just two of his pet characters.

Issue Rating
Story: 4.1/10 – Johns continues his way of stalling tactics of storytelling that I have become tired of after a year and half of the same thing.
Art: 9.4/10 – Doug Manhke does a great job with the art and is one of the only saving graces of this issue.
Overall: 6.75/10 – Green Lantern #44 was yet another disappointing issue of this series. With how big Blackest Night is that it is not just an event involves the Earth and its heroes but the entire universe and the different Lantern Corps we cannot keep getting issues like this one.

Nova #27

Creative Team
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Andrea Divito
Colorist: Bruno Hang

Story – Shock & Awe

Picking up were the last issue left off Nova #27 we see that Richard and his two fellow Nova Corp members racing off to save his brother. Even though this issue is suppose to be a War of Kings tie-in DnA make this issue read more of an extension of the direction of this comic book has been on since the first issue and not just a senseless tie-in. And this is where DnA have really been excelling in with the tie-ins that we have had in both Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy. If anything else War of Kings has served as an excellent backdrop to further develop the Marvel cosmic characters that DnA have made me to become a big fan of.

Another thing they continue to do well is the dialogue of all the various characters in this book. While DnA have not really made me like Richard’s brother Robbie they have done a good job with rebuilding the Nova Corps and introducing some very good characters like Morrow and Irani who are his partners in this issue. It is great seeing Richard become more of a leader of the Nova Corps as he has that confident aura around him that takes to be a good leader.

Even in the situation of desperation were he has to save his brother and has to get through all the Negative Zone prisoners that are on the planet his brother is in Richard is able to stay calm and assess the situation even trying to make peace with Blastaar. And it is a nice parallel to how Morrow, Irani, and Robbie do things as rookie Nova Corp members as they rush into situations without thinking things through.

And while I was hoping to see more of a fight between Nova and Blastaar the interaction between the characters made up for it. I like how Nova and Blastaar have an underlying respect for one another and Blastaar is still able to maintain menacing figure he is as the reader knows that he will betray Richard as soon as he gets the opportunity.

I am really looking forward to seeing how Blastaar will figure into War of Kings and how his new escape from the Negative Zone will affect this title as it seems he could become a primary foe Nova will face in the future.

Issue Rating
Story: 8.5/10 – DnA continue to do an excellent job with all of the character work developing the new Nova Corps and Richard’s return to being Nova Prime again.
Art: 8.2/10 – Andrea Divito provides some very good artwork and he does a good job with the cosmic look of Nova.
Overall: 8.35/10 – Nova #27 was another good read as DnA, along with Divito, continue to work their magic in making the Marvel cosmic side one of the most interesting aspect of the Marvel Universe.