Green Lantern #55


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Green Lantern #55


  • Words: Geoff Johns
  • Art: Doug Mahnke
  • Inks: Christian Alamy, Tom Nguyen, Keith Champagne, & Doug Mahnke
  • Colors: Randy Mayor w/ Gabe Eltaeb
  • Story Title: "The New Guardians, Chapter Three"
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 30, 2010

Geoff Johns clearly loves what he does and it shows in nearly every story he writes whether it's The Flash, Brightest Day, or the latest issue of Green Lantern.  And, while some issues may not hit their intended mark at times, audiences cannot deny his prowess at creating and molding concise narratives.  If there was anyone still in the comics world who had not yet been exposed to Johns or if there are perhaps new readers who have heard of his work via The New York Times bestselling graphic books list but are wavering about what series to purchase, Green Lantern #55 proves that after several years of rebuilding the series with mega events, Johns still comes to the table with his "A" game.

For fans of the Red Lantern Corps who never tire of Atrocitus or his feline companion Dex-Starr (count me in that crowd), Green Lantern #55 delivers all that and more.  Both fascinating and frustrating, Johns opens the story with only a tease at future stories that should leave all spectrum Corps fans anxious for more.  Yet, the real focus of this issue is the arrival of Lobo on Earth and why exactly he is out to capture Atrocitus.  For an author who has crafted brilliant stories for such clean-cut heroes such as Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash, and a host of others, Johns reveals another side of himself and appears at home when writing Lobo and Atrocitus.  And, who could blame him?  In Johns' hands, these characters are fascinating and a welcome departure from either the hard-line, authoritative nature of Hal Jordan or the often sinister and snide creature that is Sinestro who often dominate the Green Lantern mythos and universe. 

Although some may criticize Johns for the non-stop, action-driven story that focuses on a battle between Hal, Sinestro, Carol, Atrocitus, and Dex-Starr against Lobo as being weak on plot and narrative, Johns is able utilize this action to advance the plot in ways that few authors can accomplish.  In lesser hands, the story would take a backseat to the inevitable destruction that ensues from such an encounter, but not so with Johns.  While only hinted at, Johns is able to fuse plot elements of the greater mission facing the Lanterns as they attempt to deduce the whereabouts of the missing entities and comprehend the obscure intentions behind the White Lantern battery into the evolving rollercoaster of battle.  Plus, who doesn't enjoy seeing Sinestro get pounded in one panel only to reappear and enact revenge?  That sequence, in addition to the scandalous words Lobo whispers into Carol's ear and the truly humorous fight between Dex-Starr and Lobo's dog, which is far too short, are worth the investment.  Yet, the most sinister act of the entire issue may be what transpires on the final page of the story as loyalties are questioned and motives are obscured and complicated even further.  If this was not enough, Green Lantern #55 also includes a six-page short story on the origin of Dex-Starr at the very end that from the first page you know is not going to end well for the kitty. 

Sharing in this issue's success is the continuation of Doug Mahnke as artist.  Although some readers may have feared that his stellar work on Blackest Night may have limited his abilities to carry over to the themes explored in Brightest Day, such misgivings are misplaced and Mahnke has confirmed his depth and diversity as an artist with this latest story.  The back-to-back, two-page splashes between the Spectre on one and Green Lantern, Lobo, and Atrocitus on the other are evidence enough for his stunning work. 

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