Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 04.28.2010 – Green Lantern Corps #47

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873
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Avg Rating: 4.4
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 3.7%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Buchman
Variant cover by Rodolfo Migliari

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

We are in an era of comics right now where one long epic tale of struggle and woe leads right on into the next. One big story serves up the next and the event train keeps on rolling down the track. Sure, they aren’t all “events” in the traditional sense of the word, some of them are just status quo changes, but the fact remains: we are in the era of the Big Story. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. The Big Story, when handled right, can be great fun (see: Blackest Night and Siege). The only downside I can see in the era of the Big Story is that we’re often so busy pushing forward to the next thing that we don’t often get to stop and spend some time with these characters that we love. There often isn’t room for the Little Story.

Well, Green Lantern Corps #47 is a Little Story and it’s issues like this that are the reason why I love reading comic books so much.

Yes, this issue deals with the fall out of Blackest Night, and yes there’s a Brightest Day (and a Blackest Night!) banner on the cover. But this issue isn’t about fighting or explosions or massive battle scenes. This issue is all about picking up the pieces. This issue is all about the characters. And at the end of the day, why are most of us reading these comics week in and week out if not because we feel a connection to the characters?

In the aftermath of Blackest Night, the Green Lantern Corps is a bit of a mess. Their planet was attacked, they lost a good portion of the Green Lanterns in battle, and one of the Guardians was revealed to be in league with Nekron and the Black Lanterns. There are a lot of pieces here that need picking up, and a lot of self-examination that needs doing. We see the remaining Green Lanterns restore the central power battery. We see a touching living memorial for all the lost Lanterns unveiled on Mogo (I guess you’ll have to track down Mogo if you want to visit it?). We see all of the rings from the dead Lanterns sent back out into space to find replacements. We see Kilowog reexamining and then redefining his place in the Corps. We see two Lantern partners come to blows not out of anger but out of an overwhelming feeling of frustration and loss. We see Lanterns stand up to the Guardians and force them to repeal the Third Law banning romantic and sexual relations between members of the Corps. And finally, we see Guy Gardner an Kyle Rayner share a couple of beers in the ruins of their bar.

If you’re a Green Lantern Corps fan, if you’re a fan of these characters, it doesn’t get much better than this.

We talk a lot about writers who can deftly weave great character moments into big action stories and that’s often important because we don’t often get issues like this one where the characters (and the reader) just get to stop for a moment and breathe. Peter J. Tomasi excels at these type of issues. I am reminded very much of Nightwing #151, which was also written by Peter J. Tomasi and was also a Pick of the Week. In that issue, Dick, Tim and Alfred spent a quiet 32 pages not having to fight any bad guys, instead they just got to be a family while dealing with recent tragic events (in their case it was the “death” of Bruce Wayne). The Green Lantern Corps is a much larger and more complex family but the results are the same in Green Lantern Corps #47.

This is the last issue for writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason together on Green Lantern Corps before Tony Bedard and Ardian Syaf take over next month and not only is this issue a fitting tribute to the characters in this book, but it’s a fitting capper for two creators who took a title that was, let’s face it, an also-ran and shaped it into a book as good and as entertaining and as important as Green Lantern was. Hell, these guys did the seemingly impossible and turned me around completely on Kyle Rayner. I like the guy now, and I absolutely love the dynamic that they created between him and Guy Gardner, a character that I also never really cared for much before this series. It’s often said that ending a thing is hard, and the vast array of evidence in comics (and movies and TV and etc.) would seem to bare that out. But Tomasi does not seem to have that problem. His endings are always poignant and heartfelt and hit me right where I live.

Patrick Gleason is an artist that I didn’t know much about before reading his work on Green Lantern Corps, but I’m a big fan now and I can’t imagine the book without him. Despite the fact that there are four inkers on this particular issue, this is one of Gleason’s stronger efforts. He really seems to excel at drawing the myriad alien creatures of the Green Lantern Corps, especially Kilowog. In his brief scene in this issue  I really got a sense of the tough texture of his skin. I spent a lot of time admiring those pages.

As much fun as epic battles featuring a cast of thousands can be, these are the issues that I really love. Let’s face it, without some sort of connection to the characters that we read every week, those epic battles are meaningless. If I don’t care about the people in the fight, then the fight itself is meaningless. It’s issues like this that strengthen my connection to these characters and make it all worthwhile. After reading this issue I care more about Kyle and Guy and Kilowog and Arisia and Sora. And now I really want to know what happens to them next.

 

Conor Kilpatrick
It's Miller time.
conor@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. Excited, because I won’t be able to pick up my comics until Friday. Like mentioned in the issue, though, I’m a fan of character moments/issues, and Tomasi does good work in those moments.

  2. If Iron Man #25 weren’t as great as it was, this’d definitely be my pick for the week. It was a great week for my favorites from the big two and I’m glad the joy at this issue of Green Lantern Corps wasn’t just mine alone. Excellent review!

  3. It’s a bummer they couldn’t just keep going until #50. I’m definitely excited for Bedard and Syaf, but it’ll be strange having them work on the hallmark fiftieth issue of a series that I’ll always think of as Tomasi’s.

  4. It really irks me when a comic makes potw that I refuse to buy. I’ve tried GLC 5 or 6 separate times now and it really just won’t click with me. Not saying this isn’t the right pick, just sad that I won’t be reading it=(.

  5. I wasn’t going to get this, but I think I will when I go back to the shop on Friday. I read GLC starting with the Blackest Night preludes, and this sounds like a fitting cap before I drop it for good.

  6. X-FORCE 25 is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT!

  7. @tomdpimp but it’s not as good.

  8. @Rou21: i’m right there with you. But, hey, you’re ok, i’m ok. Not everything is for everyone

  9. They really packed a lot of material into this issue. I don’t think I enjoyed it nearly as much as @Conor, but I certainly feel like I got my $4 worth.

    I like that Kilowog is receiving some attention.

    I can’t wait to see what they do with Guy.   

  10. Whats up with the quick POW lately. Are you guys getting early copies now or something?

  11. I haven’t finished all of my books this week, but this was a strong issue.  I agree with everything you wrote.  I’m excited for the next generation of Green Lantern stories.

  12. Let’s hear it for Salaak!  The butler of the GL universe finally told the blue meanies where to go and what to do and.. um, yes, he would still shine their shoes, but he wouldn’t be happy about it. 

  13. Of course Conor picks the DC book over X-Force. (sigh)

    For all the crap that Ron gets on the podcast about being such a Marvel zombie, how come Conor never gets too much for being just as big a DC fanboy, if not possibly more so? I’m not really complaining. I like that there’s the DC guy and the Marvel guy on the podcast. It makes it fun. Just saying.

  14. @j206: A. I don’t read X-FORCE.

    B. I’ve had six Picks of the Week so far in 2010. Three have been DC. Three have been Marvel.

    Facts! They’re not as much fun as hyperbole.

  15. Curse me and my decision to wait for FCBD! I knew this was gonna be a sweet sendoff for Tomasi/Gleason too.

    Great review though, can’t wait for Saturday! 

  16. A bit too much exposition, but an enjoyable book. Some great great moments and I’m really excited to see what Tomasi does in Emeral Warriors. That teaser image in the back of the issue was bitchin’.

    My pick is between Iron Man #25 and X-Force. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I can’t wait to here Ron talk about an X-book on the podcast. 

  17. I read both X-Force and GL Corps today. X-Force may have been more important in the long run, but it wasn’t a better book. It wasn’t a horrible issue and X-Force has generally been a fun title, but GL Corps was just a better book this week.

    I’ll go even further. Without spoiling anything, the "big thing" about X-Force was handled about as well as it could be since everyone already knew what was going to happen and who would be taking a dirt nap. I wasn’t shocked or moved in any way. Give it a year or two and it won’t count anyway. It is an X-book after all.

  18. I’m not annoyed that Conner picked GL Corps over X-force because I figured that he did not read it.  Still its the most IMPORTANT comic of the week.

  19. @tomdpimp-Not really. Obviously if someone doesn’t give two shits about the X-Men, the death won’t matter to them at all, so it’s not more important.

  20. My favorite thing about the Green Lantern Corps series has been the relationship between Isamot and Varth, who at the beginning of the series were mortal enemies because of their race, and have now evolved into this complicated partnership/friendship. I really hope we see them again, but if we don’t, then issue will have been the end-all perfect send off for them, as it really showed how far their characters have grown through the series.

  21. And by Varth, I totally meant Vath.

  22. So… uh… I have a feeling this is gonna be a contentious thread this week. 😉 Me, I didn’t read GLC. I’ve dropped it post-Blackest Night because, frankly, I felt like the BN issues (the only issues I’ve read of the series), never really clicked with me. Actually, while enjoying Tomasi’s work on The Mighty and Light Brigade, I haven’t really enjoyed any of his corporate super-hero work.

    X-force: didn’t hate it like Jimski. Actually felt it was a decent chapter. But, yeah… it really shows ya that people value different things in their stories. I was actually just wondering if the "death" would actually be used to make Hope realize she’s got all these people sacrificing for her, and move her toward some kind of epiphany that changes the course of the plot. So, we’ll see.

    I LOVED Invincible Iron Man #25. A great direction-setting issue that is accessible while building on the past and also echoing some of the better elements of the film(s).

    But in a week with Lock & Key, Stumptown, and Madame Xanadu, I have no idea what my pick will be yet. 😉

     

  23. People who liked X-Force are mentally ill? I never thought I’d feel the need to point a staff member toward the TOS page…

  24. Is it really fair to call the early GLC an "also-ran", considering you haven’t, to the best of my recollection, actually read it? Perhaps I’m mis-remembering.

    In any case, Green Lantern Corps has been good from the start. Tomasi’s work has either maintained quality or improved the title slightly.

     

  25. Great review Conor, but…

    Green Lantern Corps as an "also-ran" title?  This title has been rock solid since Gibbons/Johns/Gleason relaunched it with the Recharge mini.

    The concept may have been also-ran, but in my opinion, this title has been anything but.

  26. @TomO I think that’s essentially what Connor just said…

  27. @Bornln1142 and @TomO – Conor may have been referring to the general perception of, not his actual opinion of, the first few arcs of GLC (not to put words in his mouth).  Personally, I assumed the book was pretty weak (without giving it a shot) until the Sinestro Corp War.  I’ve been reading it ever since.  I would argue that if you asked the general population of this site (pre-Sinestro Corp War) about GLC, they would have agreed that it was an "also-ran" title.  I know I would have.

  28. I don’t quite feel as strongly as Jimski about X-Force, since it’s better than all the issues I’ve read of X-Force so far (not that it’s saying much, I only read the first couple issues and the Messiah War crossover issues) but yeah it was pretty bad, I only even read it because of my love for "that character"

  29. I thought better of my comment in the morning light.

    (X-Force was appalling.)

  30. Ehhhhh. While I thought the issue was basically decent, and that the death was very well handled, I’d still say this issue of X-Force was the weakest chapter of Second Coming so far. 

  31. Why does Kyle still wear a mask?  

  32. @Apotheosize

    My guess would be a combination of his mask being semi-iconic and to put more of a difference between him and Vath for close ups. 

  33. Or wide shots and Sodam Yat for that matter…

  34. Great review Conor. I agree wholeheartedly with almost every statement you made. Both this issue and GL#53 really impressed me. It’s an old habit to pass off post-event issues as throwaways, and both GL creative teams have turned that stigma on its head.

    It’s funny that you mentioned Nightwing #151, because I thought of that one after reading this as well. I look for character-driven content first, and I’ll often step right out of an issue if a writer doesnt spend any time on those beats. Johns and Tomasi both understand that without character, any title is an empty shell at best. That’s precisely why they’re two of my favorite writers in the biz.

  35. While I respect your choice,  GL is just not on the top of my list this week.  Iron Man 25 I feel deserved some recognition.

  36. I was pretty sure I wasn’t gonna end up getting this, assuming it would just be starting up the  next "Brightest Day" event. Glad I read reviews. This was a much needed "slow down and reassess" issue in what has tended to be a break neck action packed title. Excellent.

    That tease for emerald warriors has me intrigued too.

  37. While I did love this book and Scalped, my pick this week was Invincible Iron Man.  It was a great extra sized issue that brought Fraction’s run to the next level.  Anyone who’s interested in the book should pick up the issue because it’s a great jumping on point.  I’m stoked for where it’s going.

  38. It was all about Invincible Iron Man this week. X-Force was great and GLC was excellent, but Iron Man fucking *ruled*. 

    Lookin’ forward to hearin’ the podcast, though!

     

  39. Conor: " I’ve had six Picks of the Week so far in 2010. Three have been DC. Three have been Marvel."

    My bad if that’s the case. I’m a newer listener who recently went back and listened to ALL of the old ep’s over the past few months. So I’ve heard a lot of pow’s over a short period of time. And historically what I said is(was) totally true. If you’ve been more fair in ’10, my apologies. 😉

    But still, like I said before, I enjoy having the DC guy and the Marvel guy, and as Josh calls himself, ‘the common sense guy’, on the podcast. You guys make for a great team. Keep it up.

  40. I’m stoked for emerald warriros!!!!!! This was a greast ending but is that Tomasi off the book until emerald wariros hits and is emerald warriros and ongoing? I don’t think there has ever been a better time to be a G.L fan tyhan right now. That image where the rings went out, awesome, this book awesome. Can’t wait for more GL stuffs 🙂

  41. Deaths make a book important?

  42. @Ruo21: Sometimes.

  43. DC had entire event surrounded around one character’s death that still gets talked about.  SUPERMAN

  44. Cracked up hearing Ron (and Conor) with the deep NYC accents. So damn funny. I almost think you really could speak that way 24×7 if you wanted to. As for the POTW, I can never argue with GL Corps as it’s a great book. I’m such a fan of R.E.B.E.L.S. that I have high hopes for Tony Bedard’s turn on the book.

    Ron’s missive about X-Force is spot on. That’s a book I should LOVE. Few people walking this Earth as as big a fan of Domino as I am, Wolverine is one of my favorites, etc…and yet the art just throws me. I still read it, and think on the story alone I would be ga-ga for this title. But the painted, CGI-induced look they’re going for keeps it from being one of my favorite reads.

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