Friday, May 16, 2014

Smallville: Lantern #10 Review

Written by: Bryan Q. Miller
Art by: Ig Guara
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: May 16, 2014

United They Fall

Wonder Woman is on Capital Hill and it's time to Filabust some ass.  Green Arrow gets to ride the backward word magic express to go fight Prometheus.  Meanwhile, Batman is ring shopping and John Stewart may have done the unthinkable.

DC has recently started pushing their weekly books, Batman Eternal and Futures End.  While I like those enough, my favorite weekly title is still Smallville.  Bryan Q. Miller has consistently provided a great read with the standard season 11 and the many mini series since.  Superman is the star of course, but the books strength has been Miller's characterizations of the other characters Superman has interacted with.  Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Lex Luthor, Constantine, Jay Garrick...the list goes on and on.  Through these characters we get to see the expanded Smallville Universe up close and personal.  Universe is the key term here since this mini has dealt with every one's favorite space cops, the Green Lantern Corps and in particular, my favorite member, John Stewart.  All is not well for either.

This issue starts with Steve Trevor and the age old battle of political parties.  We all know Democrats hate Republicans, but what happens when members of each party get Yellow Rings?  Personally, I was hoping the Green Party would get involved, but you can't have everything.  Someone who does get involved, however, is Wonder Woman.  It's so good to see her in action again.  She is fighting on Capitol Hill and in a nice touch is battling constructs of a donkey and an elephant.  

While this is going on, a still beat-up Ollie (in his 3D printer battle armor) wants everyone, including the reader, to remember the Prometheus plot line.  Steve Trevor remembers and sends transportation for Ollie. It's Zatanna!  A little word magic and backwards reading (which for some reason I am awful at)  and the two are off to fight Prometheus, hopefully in the next issue.
Then we get the scene everyone who read last weeks issue was waiting for, the biggest Yellow Lantern fighting Superman. Yes, it's John Stewart and he has embraced the fear big time.  They have a little one-on-one about the nature of fear, repressing your emotions and right and wrong.  Superman seems to be getting to John as he visibly fights between the Green and Yellow Rings. Then fear takes over and the unimaginable happens.  This scene was so good, especially watching John struggle between the colors.

Another great issue.  Such a good mixture of characterization and story.  Plus, Miller always knows when and how to bring loved characters back for a spin.  It was awesome seeing Zatana again, even if only for a panel.

Ig Guara is on art this week and I loved it.  I enjoyed his work on Blue Beetle and more recently, The Green Team, so I was excited when I saw his name on the cover.  I've enjoyed Marcio Takara's work on this mini, but when someone as talented as Guara can fill in, the book is in good hands.  Another shout out to cover artist Cat Staggs.  Every three issues we get a new cover and each one has been better than the last.  Great job!

Bits and Pieces:

I'm going to be upset when Smallville: Lantern is over.  Bryan Q. Miller continues the story with a few awesome cameos thrown in and a crazy cliffhanger to boot.  Everything is coming to a head and I can't wait to see it all come together in the next few weeks.  Ig Guara is on art and makes everything look great and Cat Staggs gives us the best cover yet.  Add it up and you get another great issue of what is DC Comics best weekly series, IMHO.


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