Review: Green Lantern #5
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Art: Tom Raney, Marco Santucci and Andy MacDonald
Colors: Mike Atiyeh
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Teen Lantern gets the spotlight along with Sinestro as she’s subdued gently by a mysterious Yellow Lantern. Plus, John finally gets a plan together to save his saviors, but all’s not well with the rest of the Quest Lanterns.
Green Lantern #5 opens with a focus on Sinestro. When he was introduced way back in Green Lantern #7 (1961) he was a straight up villain. In modern times, mainly in Geoff Johns’ epic Green Lantern run he’s been developed into a much more nuanced character. Geoffrey Thorne takes this approach with the opening pages of Green Lantern #5. He not only shows both sides of Sinesto’s character, but the story has a mystery narrator. From the caption boxes it’s clear that the narrator is a Yellow Lantern, but we don’t know who it is. First instinct is that it could be Soranik Natu, however as the story develops that gives way to a different realization.
It’s interesting to note that there is an underlying theme here that Thorne is exploring- giving in to fear. We know that fear is the power source for Sinestro. Soranik Natu turned on the Green Lantern Corps after feeling betrayed by Kyle Rayner back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #25. In Green Lantern #5, Thorne gives us as Teen Lantern that the narrator describes as “not knowing fear.” There’s no suggestion that Teen Lantern will turn to the Yellow Side, but this gives Thorne the opportunity to explore some of the things that make both Sinestro and Keli tick. It’s incredibly effective as we see Keli’s assault on Korugar while the narration is the psychological breakdown of the two characters. No spoilers on the reveal of the unknown narrator, but you’ll figure it out by the end.
The second part of the issue switches to John Stewart’s predicament. And, while he seems to succeed in saving the inhabitants of Sergilon, he’s faced with his seeming failure as Quest Leader. He’s been gone for almost a year and a lot has happened to the rest of the Quest Lanterns. In one issue John seems to finally succeed where he failed in Green Lantern: Mosaic while still coming up short. One hopes John will come out on top by the end.
Each section of the issue is handled by a different art team, Marco Santucci and Andy MacDonald are on the Sinestro/Teen Lantern portion and Raney takes care of John Stewart’s continuing tale. It’s nice to see the book split into two different stories. All three artists do a great job this issue. Raney does well giving John those all too human emotions and Santucci appears to have a lot of fun with Keli’s ring constructs. They all contribute to the world building as they each have a unique alien world to depict. There’s no confusion that the scene has shifted or that it’s suddenly a different story.
No negatives here! None whatsoever! The surprising non-negative here is that Keli is one of the focuses and it benefits her greatly.
Green Lantern #5 is without doubt, the best issue of the series so far. While advancing the two plotlines, it is best at remaining character focused. Unbelievably, the entire creative team keeps this at the forefront. While Thorne’s story is the driver, Santucci’s depictions of Keli’s constructs emphasize things about her character that work to subtly reinforce the narrative. Similarly, the emotional exchanges between John and the people of Sergilion and John and the rest of the Quest Lanterns help the reader experience the conflict John feels. Additionally, MacDonald rises to the occasion of keeping the enigmatic narrator thus while suggesting just enough of the identity to the reader. You SHOULD be reading this book and this is a perfect point to hook a new reader to get hooked by the characters!