Saturday, April 5, 2014

Smallville: Lantern #4 Review

Written by: Bryan Q. Miller
Art by: Marcio Takara
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: March 3, 2014

It's Like That Cause That's the Way It Is

Superman is confused about the powers of the Ring and John Sterwart has little answers.  Oliver and Chloe are up to sleuthing, one more than the other.  How does Batman stay in shape and what is the plural of Otis? All this and more in Smallville: Lantern #4.

Last issue of Smallville: Lantern was out of this world.  While the first two issues of the mini were more setup, everything came to a head in Issue #3.  Prometheus, the Manhunters and the History of the Green Lantern Corps, all in one issue.  While it's probably impossible, I was hoping for more jaw dropping excitement this week, but Bryan Q. Miller is back to setup.  That's not a bad thing, just not what I was hoping for.

The thing I take away most from this issue is that Bryan Q. Miller doesn't really like the concept of the Green Lantern and the Ring in particular.  I may just be taking it too literally, but while reading I could picture him using Superman as a way to ask questions that never seem to have answers.  Why do Lanterns need to create constructs?  How is imagination tied into willpower?  John Stewart can only bring up tradition and history to answer them and we all know how satisfying that is.  At the end, Superman doesn't seem to be no further along with his training, just more frustrated.

Meanwhile, we get to see what Lex and Otis are up to.  These two are so good together.  Whenever Lex hits a brick wall, Otis is there to see things through a simpler eye and Lex is there to scoop it up, twist it around and pervert it for his own use.  I could read a whole issue with just them talking. The scene ends with Lex taking notice of Superman's new power source and wondering where he's seen it before.  Anything that might jog Lex's memory is always interesting.

Speaking of good together, we also get some Oliver-Chloe action.  Here's a Smallville rule: whenever Oliver appears, laughter ensues.  This issue continues the fight crime/don't fight crime dilemma of these two and the grey areas they try to exploit.  Their dynamic is so natural and great.  I am really afraid something bad is in the future for the couple, but until then they always make me smile.

The issue ends with a cliffhanger that is pretty much last issues cliffhanger.  For the first time reading and reviewing Smallville, I must admit I was a little disappointed.  While I liked what was in this issue, nothing really pushed the story forward.  We are pretty much at the same spot as the end of last week.  Granted, I can't wait for next week, but you could skip this one and not really miss anything.  I have never had to say that about any Smallville issue.

The art of Marcio Takara must really be growing on me, because I really liked it.  Maybe it's just that good.  The standout this week was the full page spread of Superman's construct.

Bits and Pieces:

Maybe I was spoiled by the explosiveness of last week's issue, but Smallville: Lantern #4 was a bit of a letdown.  However, with Bryan Q. Miller, even a letdown is a good issue.  The character interactions are great, but the story is put on hold until next week.  Granted, I can't wait until next week as usual.


No comments:

Post a Comment