Good Book Readin'!

Here is were I will be reviewing a variety of comic books in my own inimitable style. Which hopefully is good.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Green Lantern Corps #4

written and pencilled by Dave Gibbons
inked by Michael Bair



The moment I've been waiting for since Gibbons wrote the Green Lantern Corps: Recharge miniseries last year: He also draws the cover. And just to one-up my expectations, he throws in fully pencilled interiors to boot. Wotta guy! I do have to say that Michael Bair is not quite as fitting an inker for Gibbons as I had expected, but he's a long haul from terrible and the book looks great.

I've been enjoying this series quite a bit already. Seriously: alien space cops with magic rings and ginchy uniforms; what's not to like? Ever since I discovered the Corps as a youth, I've kinda preferred the crazy variety of critters, weirdoes, gewgaws and googams to any earthman who's slung the ring. Of course, since the GLC as a whole rarely rates higher than a third tier character, they tend not only to be frequently unused but oft times disbanded and lightly killed. At this point, I've gotten used to this happening to my personal favourites, and am able to appreciate it that much more when some kind soul or copyright loophole brings them back from various states of oblivion. So a quick little "thank you" to everyone responsible this time, from Geoff Johns to Dave Gibbons to any of DC's lawyers who might've had a nudge in there as well.

Now, on to the issue at hand. Glad as I am to have Dave Gibbons drawing this one, I really want to take the time to talk about his writing. The man will probably always be known first and foremost as an artist, and a great one, but he's quietly and steadfastly produced a respectable volume of comic script work over his career. From Captain America to alternate versions of Superman to Aliens (like Sigourney Weaver hangs with, specifically) and even his own creation The Originals, he's cracked out a pretty penny of corking crackers. Even alongside all of that, this may very well be his highest profile writing gig to date, and he's doing a bang-up job of it. His delicate balance of deep space cosmic adventure with squad room chitchat evokes elements of Alan Moore's Top 10, while easily avoiding any semblance of pastiche. The character work is solid as well, with pre-existing and brand new Corps members alike all deftly handled and well-rounded. This is a large part of this issue's fun. Guy Gardner may be a jackass, but when writers know how to use him that's his greatest strength, and Gibbons' pitting him against Bolphunga the Unrelenting is a delicious recipe for entertainment stew. Eagle-eyed readers may remember Bolphunga as the rather ridiculous bounty hunter from Alan Moore's Mogo Doesn't Socialize (also illustrated by Gibbons and currently available in the DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore TPB), and while I certainly wasn't clamoring for his return, it's nice to see him again indeed. Gibbons doesn't forget those who helped him get where he is today. The issue also follows up on a few ongoing plot threads, which will hopefully encourage those who only picked it up for the art to stick around beyond this arc. I, for one, think you could do a lot worse.

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