Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It Isn't Easy Being Green

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artists: Chris Samnee and Mike Mayhew
Publisher: DC Comics

Rating: 3 Stars

This companion series to the mega-event The Blackest Night was designed to give you some nice little vignettes about the other lantern groups that have popped up over the past couple years. Each of the first two issues had three stories, each focusing on one of the new colors of emotion.

Despite only giving you a short story about each of the main characters, the stories were interesting and fun. For those of us who have been curious about the "Indigo Tribe", we finally got to see them do something, even if we couldn't understand what they were saying. We also got to see a new Red Lantern who had a really cool, and sad backstory. And, perhaps my favorite story, a giant being that posed as a god going from planet to planet commanding the treasures of each civilization in exchange for their lives. This being finally meets a world whose most valuable possessions were their children. Deciding he had no need for the little ones, he leaves them behind and moves on. Unfortunately, he runs into Larfleeze, the Orange Lantern, and his story comes to an end after being absorbed by a power greater than his own.

Issue #3 brings us only two new stories: a story about fan-favorite Kilowog's early days and the rise of another popular character from Green Lantern Corps, Arisia Rrab. Kilowog's story delves into why he's such a tough-ass with the new recruits he trains. Turns out he was ridden hard by his drill sargent, Lantern "Ermy" (you guessed it, a guy who acts and looks like R. Lee Ermy from Full Metal Jacket). But behind all that tough exterior, Ermy does this because he wants his recruits to be able to live long enough to save innocents from death and destruction. Nothing else will do. From that, we learn why Kilowog is so tough on everyone else. If he isn't hard on them, the recruits couldn't hope to survive a day as a Green Lantern.

The story of Arisia is more about living every day to become a Lantern. Her father is a great Lantern and his father was as well. It's all about a family commitment to helping those who can't help themselves. It's very similar to why real people follow their fathers, mothers, grandparents into the military, firefighting or the police force. It's not about the risk, it's about the commitment and duty to protecting the innocent.

Both stories are nice, but not really something that couldn't be told in either GL series. The third part of this issue is a "director commentary" version of the Free Comic Book Day Blackest Night #0. For those who couldn't get their hands on the issue back in May, it's nice to now be able to see it, but for the people who did get the issue, we're paying for something we've already got. Okay, there are comments describing the thought or origin behind certain scenes, but not much more than anything seen before.

So, in conclusion, this was a bit disappointing after the first two issues. I kinda like how the cover has a Star Sapphire, Indigo and the main baddie in the Red Lantern Corps, and none of them appear in this issue - they are just the third part of the mural-esque cover art of the whole series.

Green Lantern fans will still like this book. I liked this book, but I was a little disappointed that the mini-series kinda came to a whimpering end after first two awesome issues.

Thank you for reading. I'll have my review of Fear Agent tomorrow and over the weekend, I'll put up my first "retro" review!

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