Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Green Lantern #37

Green Lantern #37 is the best mainstream super-hero comic I've read in yonks. The cover is pretty rank - scantily clad thin woman puking blood, (a bit like a backstage scene from London fashion week I imagine), but once you open the book, well it's just spandex glory from start to finish.

Storywise, you've got Sinestro crucified on the prison planet Ysmault by the Red Lanterns who kidnapped him from the Green Lanterns who were taking him to Oa to be executed. 

Hal Jordan makes his way to Ysmault to bust Sinestro out. He's accompanied on this mission by the Blue Lanterns (a slowworm and an elephant with multiple piercings!) who reckon they can turn everyone (including Sinestro) into peace-loving tree-huggers through the power of hope. Meanwhile, Sinestro's own nasty Yellow Lanterns are also on their way to Ysmault to get their leader out of the shit. Long story short, the Red, Yellow, Blue and Green Lanterns all end up on Ysmault with predictably violent results. 

Predictable and yet wonderful. Honestly, reading this comic is like climbing into the head of a very intelligent nine-year old and watching them play with action figures. That might sound like a creepy nightmare to your average, well adjusted adult, but for the emotionally retarded fan boy, it's as damn near close to perfection as a comic from the big two can get.

Geoff Johns is a master at this sort of thing and this is him at his very, very best. There's no attempt to take the comics high ground, this is all about Johns having fun layering on alien after alien after alien and making them fight each other. It's breakneck stuff that clobbers the reader over the head with one action-packed panel after another; tearing along until it reaches a fantastic cliff-hanger on page 22 which reaffirms my faith in the power of single issues.

Artist Ivan Reis (one of the most under appreciated pencillers working for the big two) tears it up big time, peppering the pages with fantastic looking, dynamically rendered aliens that leap off the page in a frenzied whirl of motion. It's high-grade inter-galactic nonsense, a masterpiece of mainstream comics that moves the ongoing "War of The Rings" story onto a new chapter while at the same time managing to be an outstanding stand-alone example of comics escapism.

Loved it.