Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Green Lantern Volume 4 Dark Days Review

Time to continue the Green Lantern saga although it unfortunately does take a bit of a step down from the last arc. The first half is relatively down to Earth, which isn’t bad, but I don’t really care for the villain. The second half pops up out of nowhere and it’s pretty interesting. I definitely wouldn’t have minded that being the main part of the arc since things get cosmic once again. This plot sound intriguing to you? Well, let’s jump in!

Hal Jordan is alarmed to find out that the Power Rings are not working very well. It nearly costs the Green Lanterns everything in their fight against Larfleeze. Hal doesn’t need this extra stress because things aren’t going very well between him and Carol Ferris. The source of the ring issues are with an all powerful being known as Relic. Due to tie ins and other plot lines, he really pops up nowhere in this series. He’s suddenly in a portal vision kind of thing so Hal charges in to help along with Star Sapphire and most of the other Lantern types. This even includes the Red Lanterns.

Relic is an ancient being who was once just an ordinary guy. Unfortunately, his reality blew up because the universe ran out of light. After dying many times over, he found out that the universe inevitably ends because of the Lantern corps. The energies from their rings actually come from a big well in the Source Wall. He took it upon himself to take down all of the Lanterns to prevent them from ever using the energies again so he is storing them inside of these machines and then plans to bring it to the wall to replenish the well. It’s actually a fairly well thought out plan. He’s even made himself immune to the Lanterns through his high tech equipment and expendable drones. Hal has a tough choice to make since stopping Relic could mean the end of the universe, but not stopping him will mean that the Guardians of the Galaxy (That’s what the Corps do) will be powerless.

Well, no worries, Kyle and friends are here to help. Kyle remembers that he is essentially all powerful and steps into help by going through the wall and then Relic also gets stuck inside. That’s one threat down and Kyle is effectively written out of the plot for a while. At least that means there is less drama between him and Carol. It was a short, but good arc. Relic made for an incredibly powerful villain. He couldn’t quite top Volthoom, but it is cool how DC keeps on throwing in more cosmically powerful guys in the GL series.

Sadly, this experience basically traumatized Hal Jordan and he has decided to make it his job to stop Lantern users from using the rings unless absolutely necessary. Carol warns him that this is a bad idea since the Green Lanterns will essentially be making the laws without any say from the other colors and that will just lead to a tyranny. Hal doesn’t want to hear it though and it looks like the various colors may be gearing up for yet another war….that’s just great. Keep in mind that the well didn’t run out until several thousands of years had passed so these measures are rather extreme.

Moreover, the rings are necessary and there’s no way that Hal can police the entire galaxy. If anything, he’s just going to weaken the team’s morale. Already quite a few members have quit, granted those characters are all pretty cheap. It’s still not good to start talking about getting rid of the rings or limiting one’s use during a fight. That’s the last situation where you will want to be holding back since it can be the difference between life and death. After the Relic arc, there was a quick little scuffle as Hal and Kilowog apprehended a Star Sapphire who had evaded them earlier, but let her go in exchange for capturing her clan. It was an intriguing move, but technically one that saved them all some bloodshed so maybe it was worth it. I didn’t care much for the Star Sapphire as a villain as she mainly just messed with Hal’s emotions the whole time and didn’t strike me as much of a fighter.

The whole situation is pretty sad for Hal since Carol friendzoned him out of nowhere and basically traded up for Kyle. This will be good for Hal in the long run, but in the short term he’s definitely not taking it well. At least now he can focus on being the leader of the GL Corps in the meantime, which is another subplot. The Guardians realized that they messed up one too many times so they’re taking a step back for a while. Hal should make for a good leader, especially since he doesn’t care much for rules. That’s why it’s alarming to see him act so drastic about the rings issue.

Things are tough for Guy Gardner as well since he was sent to be a Red Lanterns member while undercover and became their leader. The place is very savage so Guy has to always be watching his back or it’ll be game over. With Hal set on taking away their rings, Guy’s going to have to come to blows with his old partner. Kyle got a huge power up here as he controlled all of the powerful ring entities for a brief period of time and he’s gone on another mysterious quest. It’s a shame that we don’t see Kyle as a fighter too often anymore since he’s always acting as an all powerful sage. It comes with the territory I guess.

Geoff Johns isn’t writing the comic anymore so I’m sure that the new writer has a lot of changes planned. Hopefully most of them are good, but I’m definitely not a big fan of the increased romance thus far or the new Lanterns who were just recruited since they don’t seem to be likable characters. John Stewart may become more of a main character though so that’ll be cool. I also like the fact that the Green Lanterns live on Mogo now instead of Oa. Having a home world that can actually defend and fight back is quite useful. Not to mention the fact that it can actually move.

As always, the art was extremely good for Green Lantern. The colors leap off of the page and it makes all of the fight scenes very exciting to watch. Space fights are usually awesome, but it still takes skill to not get sloppy during the action scenes and just throw energy blasts all over the place. The character designs are on point and everything feels right artistically. While the Star Sapphire wasn’t my favorite opponent, she did have some decent fights. The battle against the Orange Lanterns was great as well and likewise for the Relic fight. It had a cosmic feel to it that’s always great to see.

Overall, This was a good Green Lantern comic even if it could have been better. Things will get trickier for the heroes before the situation gets better so they better buckle up for a tough ride. It’s similar to how everything went wrong for Peter Parker in Next Chapter for the start of the series before things eventually smoothed out. I can see why writers want to start the heroes off in a tough situation as long as it isn’t at the expense of character development. I recommend this volume and it has a lot of action consistently throughout the adventure. I’m just wondering where Simon Baz is at this point. Also, how will Green Lantern balance his days as leader of the Corps and being back to active duty in the Justice League? Should be interesting that’s for sure. Either way, no matter who is writing the series (So far) Green Lantern is still the best space adventure series in all of comics and I don’t see him leaving that position. Even more controversially, I may consider him to be the strongest cosmic hero in all of comics…but that’s a story for another day.

Overall 7/10

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