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Written By: Van Jensen Art By: Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: February 11, 2015
The Darkness of The Past
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Last issue of Corps, John Stewart didn't really take any time for himself like Hal and Kyle did after GODHEAD and instead decided to jump right back into another adventure when an alien ship landed on Mogo to ask the Lanterns for help. Since the word on the street throughout the Universe is that the Lanterns can't be trusted and I bet it didn't hurt that this species asking for help happens to be one of the recently promoted Lanterns: Feska's people, the Lanterns took the job and John and a handful of Lanterns flew off to see if they could help, but they found out that the planet has more going on for itself than a simple criminal threat. The shadows seem to be moving here people and it's creepy as hell when the people on the street keep chanting "Darkness Falls". Hopefully John and his fellow Lanterns can get on top of this problem and introduce this growing darkness to a little Green Lantern Light. Let's check it out.
Our story begins exactly where we left off last issue with our Lantern heroes being surrounded by monsters coming out of the darkness. In the fight, Feska's mother is killed and the Lantern Maro is taken by the monsters, who seem to disappear into the darkness of the streets below. When Maro's teammates go in search of him, they are surrounded by the people of Zarox all getting their cult on and continuing with their chanting of "Darkness Falls". After a little bit of reasonable deduction and you know, not wanting to hurt these brainwashed/possessed folks, the Lanterns figure out that the monsters couldn't have just vanished into thin air and that they must have gone underground.......... and with a bad ass construct our heroes follow.
Elsewhere on the moon over Abin Sur's home planet Ungara, Daggle continues his search for his lost partner and finds her acting as a slave overseer. When the two are reunited we go directly into some exposition about why the Guardians sent her on this undercover mission. Eons ago the Guardians fought back a enemy that called itself the Empire of Tears and imprisoned them on Ysmault where they remained undisturbed until a ship crash landed on the planet. Only a lone girl survived the crash but she was instantly poisoned by this threat's darkness and even Abin Sur was given a vision of the Blackest Night when he came to save her. This girl would grow up to form the Shadow Empire and Asile was sent to watch her and what her Shadow Empire was up to. Now that we're out of exposition territory we find out that this Empire is building something to spread it's seeds of darkness.......... I'm guessing it's not a good thing and I don't think that John Stewart is going to appreciate it either. Let's get back to him.
In the end, our Lantern heroes make their way through the underground of Zarox, fighting off monster after monster until they finally came up to what the monsters were protecting. It turns out that the Shadow Empire are building bombs and apparently.............. I say apparently because I don't remember it being like this, but the Shadow Empire alludes to this bomb being the same type that destroyed Xanshi and led to John Stewart's greatest failure.
That's it for this issue of Green Lantern Corps and with this kind of build up it's strange to think that this series only has one issue left to tie everything up. While the first issue of this story arc I found a little weak and even silly at times dealing with monsters taking over a world, I do have to say that Van Jensen really upped the ante with this issue and brought a lot of story out of nowhere. Having Daggle's part of the issue be the exposition to give us the lowdown on the Shadow Empire was a smart move as John Stewart and his gang of ring slingers moved pretty seamlessly towards this issue's cliffhanger. As much as I think the story has improved this month, I don't know if it would be as good as it was if it wasn't for the great art by Bernard Chang, but the real kudos go to Marcelo Maiolo for his phenomenal color work in this issue. The green really jumps off the page and it enhances this issue so much. See you next month as we finish off this series and see if John can learn from his past mistakes and shut down the Shadow Empire once and for all.
Bits and Pieces:
I was really happy with how this issue turned out, especially since I wasn't a huge fan of it's first chapter last month and while I'm a bit confused by what the cliffhanger suggests, this was a vibrant and fun issue to read. The stakes are getting higher for our Lantern heroes as they fight towards their final issue next month and with this issue's hype, I hope it's something really special. While I dug the writing and art in this book, it's really the color work by Marcelo Maiolo that shined brighter than everyone else and I hope to see more like it next month.