Reunited with fellow Lantern, Guy Gardner, John Stewart leads what remains of the Green Lantern Corps through unfamiliar territory in search of a way to restore energy to their rapidly dying Power Rings. Having come across a red pyramid that exudes rage, the Lanterns decide to investigate, only to be attacked by a troop of aliens that seem to have powers similar to their own.
Green Lantern: The Lost Army #2 opens in a flashback to John Stewart’s time in the military. The brief prologue introduces readers to Stewart’s mindset. He is a soldier, and he’s unafraid to fight when necessary. This plays out in the present. When confronted by the alien force, Stewart quickly leads his force into battle. Though their power rings are all low in energy, they agree that they must defend themselves aggressively if they wish for any chance of survival. The battle is hard-fought, Stewart nearly loses his life, only to be saved by Gardner.
The Green Lanterns ultimately win the day, and in doing so, discover a way to recharge their Power Rings. While still lost, things begin to look up for the squad. That is, until an all-too familiar face finds them in deep space.
Jesus Saiz’s artwork in this series is a treat. His colors in space are glossy, highlighting the light that the Green Lanterns draw on. The linework is clean and detailed. Fans of his work on Swamp Thing will be glad to see his work succeed just as well in deep space as it did in the flora of the swamp. In addition, his work in the desert sequences from John’s days in the military are just as detailed.
Writer Cullen Bunn takes advantage of the void of space to allow for the characters to become more defined. While some of the players are still caricatures, Bunn has a good grasp on the voices of John Stewart and Guy Gardner, and it’s nice to see both of their leadership styles meld into one when the battle heats up. Bunn also has some fun uses of the power rings, utilizing representations of familiar objects to surprising effect.
The primary problem with Green Lantern: The Lost Army #2 is one that plagues many a space odyssey book: outer space is very empty. It’s hard to come up with scenarios that allow for the artist to visually go wild. Jesus Saiz has some generally stunning work in this comic, but some of the issue stagnates visually due to the uniformity of the location. Lost or not, Bunn needs to get his cast to a location that can break up the constant swath of stars, at least for a little while.
This is only exacerbated by the lack of definition to the plot. Thus far the series has seen John, Guy, and the rest of the lost Lanterns attacked by two forces with seemingly no goal other than to destroy the protagonists. With the arrival of a former foe in the final pages, it would be nice to see the antagonists gain a little more depth in their motivations.
Green Lantern: The Lost Army #2 is an entertaining, but underdeveloped comic. Jesus Saiz’s artwork is gorgeous, and Cullen Bunn comes up with some entertaining uses of the Lantern rings, but the comic stumbles in developing its plot. Two issues in, and Green Lantern: The Lost Army has delivered two battles with ill-defined stakes. For the series to survive in this market, Bunn will need to give the Lanterns something to do other than to search for their way home.