Review: Green Lantern #19

Full Spoilers Below

Green Lantern #19 Cover

Written by: Geoff Johns

Art by: Szymon Kudranski (Pencils and Ink), Adrian Syaf (Pencils), and Mark Irwin (Ink)

So here we are at the penultimate chapter of Geoff Johns’ epic run on the Green Lantern title, and you can really feel the significance of the issue. We get a hero dying, a planet exploding, and the return of Sinestro the Fear Lantern. But plot points aside, how much did I enjoy the issue?

I need to preface the rest of this review by saying that I have not read the entire nine years of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern tale, so when Korugar is destroyed at the hands of the First Lantern, I didn’t feel an immediate emotional impact from the event. However, through an excellent storytelling, particularly on the part of the pencillers, once I saw tears falling from Sinestro’s eyes, I was instantly able to empathize with him. This was his home, and despite his less-than-ideal means in the past, all Sinestro ever wanted was to protect it. The creative team was able to overcome my lack of pre-New 52 history with the title using some emotional artwork and great scene-framing, and for that I applaud everyone involved.

Over in the world of the dead, we pick up where we left off last issue with Hal preparing himself to leap off a cliff to kill himself, thus allowing him to (hopefully) harness the power of the Black Ring and escape. Johns actually succeeded in faking me out, as I was convinced at the end of last issue he would jump, but throughout this issue and Tomar Re’s monologue I thought Hal had reconsidered. Then he jumps, landing such that a pool of blood forms around him. I don’t know whose artistic choice it was to make this Dead World’s color palate be strictly monochrome with heavy shadowing, but I think it was a stroke of brilliance that really sets the tone for the scenes, and in conjugation with the emotionally-heavy image of Hal dying it makes the reader feel the impact even more.

With the end of the issue, we see Sinestro at the end of his rope and willing to do anything to have his revenge. This is when he’s once again presented with his old friend, the Yellow Lantern, and consequently, this is the moment I got extremely excited for the conclusion to his event. I’ve been wanting to see Sinestro wield the power of fear for almost two years now, and I can’t wait to see how this plays out. Add that to Hal potentially becoming a Black Lantern, albeit for a short time, and you’ve got a definitive recipe for an epic conclusion.

However, I couldn’t help but feel like this issue was lacking a “wow-factor,” that something special that leaves me stunned. And because of that, I’ll dock it half a point. But I know Johns won’t let me down for his last issue on the title, so do yourself a favor and don’t miss it.

Rating: 4.5/5

– DC Gent

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