Green Lantern: The Lost Army #4 sees John Stewart’s group on the edge of death as they claw their way through a battle even as their power rings begin to fade.
Under assault by a band of Light Pirates, the Lanterns find themselves overwhelmed by their opponents. With their power rings being drained by the enemy, John Stewart orders his team to fall back to Relic’s ship. Unfortunately, the pirates have already taken it under their control. As the battle spirals out of control, John blacks out, with his mind wandering to an old conflict that is part-memory, part-dream.
All is not lost, however, as John wakes up to the voice of Salaak. The Lanterns have been thrown into a large prison run by the Light Pirates who are siphoning not only the energy of the Lanterns, but the Light Smiths from previous chapters in the series. And though they are captured and without their rings, John Stewart and the Lanterns are done being caught off-guard and John Stewart prepares them for a prison break.
Finally, Green Lantern: The Lost Army #4 gets the series protagonists out of the vacuum of space. Yes, the Lanterns are a galactic police force, but visually, the void of space hasn’t been the most exciting of locales. The other prisoners inject a bit of personality into the script, and writer Cullen Bunn gets a lot of fun out of the squirrel-like B’og. The end of the issue also suggests that the titular lost army will become proactive in their situation.
One of the best moments in the artwork is the handling of John Stewart’s flashback. Previous issues have relied on Jesus Saiz’s crisp lines to give the scenes a gritty feel, but here Javier Pina and colorist Chris Sotomayor do a fantastic job using watercolor washes to evoke a hallucinatory feel.
The primary issue with Green Lantern: The Lost Army has been a lack of momentum from issue to issue, and the newest chapter suffers for it. The tone of the book has been part mystery, part action-thriller, but the lack of development in the mystery early on lays a lot of the exposition to be done by this issue. This issue finally sees the Lanterns take action, but the stakes still haven’t moved beyond the physical “escape this situation,” and that makes it hard to invest in the plot.
While Javier Pina and Chris Sotomayor are talented artists, the majority of the issue too closely emulates Jesus Saiz’s style found in previous issues and comes up lacking. The art is at its best during Stewart’s flashback, which takes on an an appropriate dream-like quality.
Green Lantern: The Lost Army #4 suffers from the inertia of previous issues. While the plot finally sees some real movement in this chapter, it’s hard to get a sense of momentum with so many questions still unanswered and unclear stakes. Javier Pina is a talented artist, but the art doesn’t quite match the cleanliness of Jesus Saiz’s work on this series. Ultimately, this is another issue that never quite attains the intensity the story deserves.