By Robert Venditti & Billy Tan
Here we go again. Lights Out is the latest big Green Lantern event promising to shake up the status quo. Geoff Johns was a master of big crossovers, but the whole First Lantern arc wasn’t his finest work. The biggest problem was the central antagonist was so boring; there was literally nothing to him. Now the new creators get a crack at a GL event and so far it’s not too shabby. There are some issues though.
Ever since the new creators started their respective runs all of the Lantern titles have been leading to this particular event, and this issue especially. For loyal GL fans this makes this issue a bit of a treat, but this isn’t exactly the best time for new readers to hop on board. A little bit of backstory is given through dialogue, although that may not be enough for some noobs.
Relic is the new baddie in the GL universe and is the central villain for Lights Out. After The First Lantern, this guy feels like a breath of fresh air. He’s also one of the few characters to benefit from Villains Month as he was given a chance to be fleshed out. Relic wastes no time and comes to Oa in a giant ship that’s armed to the teeth, ready to steal the source of the GL Corps’ power.
This is a decent start to the crossover. In modern superhero comics, it can sometimes be difficult to create a sense of danger and hopelessness for our favorite characters, but Venditti manages to pull it off. By the end of the issue things really look bleak and you’re left wondering how the heck Hal and the gang are going to pull themselves out of this mess.
However, there are some storytelling issues. It’s nothing that completely ruins the story, but it can be a little irritating. For example, when Relic begins his attack there is no immediate sense of urgency from Hal or anybody else. They just stand around for a while until eventually they decide to formulate some sort of plan.
Billy Tan has done a wonderful job on Green Lantern, although this issue looks a tad sloppy in certain panels; perhaps he was on a deadline. That being said, the overall quality is pretty solid and looks as great as it has been. Alex Sinclair’s colors look especially nice, giving us a nice contrast of light and darkness that suits the tone of the plot.
Lights Out is off to a slightly rocky start, but that shouldn’t concern fans. There are just some minor issues that do not disturb the overall narrative. Relic is a marked improvement and a foe worthy of the Lanterns, so the climax to this story should be pretty amazing.