Green Lantern #23.1 (DC)

Relic

Rating: 4.5/5 – Rags Morales’ art makes this story feel epic.

Since Geoff Johns left this title, I’ve felt that writer Robert Venditti has done a pretty great job of filling those shoes.  He was taking over the title from Johns who made Green Lantern arguably one of DC’s most popular heroes today.  That’s a lot of pressure.  With this issue I feel as though Green Lantern may be in good hands going forward.  Venditti delivers a great tale of a previous universe’s Lanterns warring amongst themselves as their universe ends.  The story wanted to deliver that epic feel and at times it did, but that’s in most part due to Rags Morales’ art.

Morales’ delivers one beautiful splash page after another to tell the story of Relic, the star of this Villains Month issue.  Relic is convinced that although these Lanterns at times mean well, by using their respective light to travel great distances or to building entire civilizations, they were drawing this light from somewhere.  Wherever this power was being drawn from, Relic felt that it was a resource with a limited reservoir.  He battled against these “lightsmiths” to stop dwindling these resources, and made it his mission to find and prove that this reservoir existed and was being depleted, threatening the very universe they existed within.

Morales designs new lanterns, new weapons (these lanterns don’t use rings but staffs) and delivers a wide range of locales from a city created my multiple colored lanterns light, to the end of that universe’s source wall.  Seeing Morales draw this universe’s wonders was a pleasure.  He utilized the full page for each “panel”, and it was absolutely the right choice as it gave this book the epic feel that Venditti was writing to.  And colorist Andrew Dahlhouse does a great job of showing the full spectrum of light.  Although at times I felt that the colors could have been a bit darker, like the city of light, he does a great job of making each color stand out from one another.   Although I’m not sure that I’m ready for another Green Lantern crossover with the upcoming “Lights Out” story, I’m a bit more excited to read it knowing Relic’s backstory.

This issue has been one of my favorite Villains Month stories and my only disappointment is that Rags Morales’ art won’t be seen in future Green Lantern books.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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