By Tim Seeley, Carlo Barberi, Matt Santorelli, Ulises Arreola Palomera
Green Lanterns #37 begins a new arc in the series, entitled “Peacekeepers”. The story seems to be a relevant one in terms of current events, as it’s heavily concerned with the conflict between a native species and a foreign one. This comes across clearly throughout the issue and takes a stance toward the end of the issue as the true villain is revealed. The lead up to this moment loses some of its weight though, as parts of the issue are bogged down by some missed jokes and over explained set up. The issue tends to drag and feel stretched out because of these aspects. Art in this issue, meanwhile, is successful. Facial features are expressive and varied, and the glow of a Green Lantern ring never gets old.
The current political climate is a wealth of inspiration for creators of all types, and Seeley leans into these issues heavily. The themes of immigration are not only relevant to the real world, but also appropriate for the series given the Lanterns’ own ethnicity. The issue manages to balance commentary on the topic without feeling forced because of this, and hopefully Seeley will dive more into Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz’ thoughts on the matter later on in the arc, especially given the odd position of one of the characters in the last few panels. Seeley puts himself and the Lanterns in a tender spot that could be intriguing or terrifying, depending on the direction he chooses.
The jokes of the issue, on the hand, don’t feel as natural. Often, it seems that they are unnecessary, out of character, and they tend to fill spaces that could be used as a breather from the heavy dialogue that defines this issue. The dialogue between Baz and Cruz is only occasionally necessary for narrative set up, and otherwise seems to simply exist on the page. Reading through at least a few lines of dialogue on every panel slows down the pacing of the issue.
Luckily, the art is pleasant to look at. Cruz and Baz find themselves on an alien planet , and that’s evident throughout, thanks to the wide variety of colors on each page. The varying shades of pink, red, and green create a few different races, further distinguished by unique design choices in terms of body shape. With that being said, the physical juxtaposition of the two titular characters doesn’t go unnoticed. Baz is stereotypically muscular while the three women in the issue, including Cruz, are conversely more petite, despite one being able to overcome Baz physically in an opening scene.
Overall, Green Lanterns #37 has its problems, but it still manages to be fun. Readers looking to round out their pull lists and learn about the DC Universe’s new characters might look here for a relevant story arc 37 issues deep with little to no required reading up to this point. The story is relevant, and will surely provide the beacon of hope Green Lanterns are known for.