Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
Quick Rating: Great
Title: Hope Burns Bright
The avatar of the Blue Lanterns chooses a host!
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne & Doug Mahnke
Colors: Randy Mayor
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Cover Art: Doug Mahnke
Publisher: DC Comics
For a few months now, a mysterious being has been wandering the universe, trying to snatch up the entities that embody the various colored Lantern Corps. Larfleeze has his safely tucked away, and Carol Ferris seems to have tamed the Star Sapphire’s “Predator,” but this issue is all about hope. Adara, the entity of the Blue Lanterns, chooses a host, and reveals quite a bit in the process.
This really was a spectacular issue. Both Adara and Larfleeze have very strong, very important moments, with Adara pulling a bit of psychoanalysis on our hero and disclosing some things about Hal Jordan that he probably doesn’t want to admit, even to himself. Larfleeze, left in charge of the young man who briefly played host to the Predator last month, is forced to face some truths about himself as well, and the reader is given a few nuggets of information about our favorite orange alien that make him far more interesting than he already was. I’m curious how much of the Larfleeze stuff was planned from the character’s outset. He’s really become the breakout character of the Blackest Night/Brightest Day cycle, turning out to be far more entertaining to read (and, from all accounts, to write) than anyone anticipated. Whether his history, which we glimpse this issue, was pre-planned or whether Geoff Johns decided to flesh it out once the character caught on isn’t really clear. Either way, though, it’s welcome.
The Adara host we meet this month also kicks things off as a pretty engaging new character. Of all the various Corps (with the exception of the deliberately ambiguous Indigo Tribe) I’ve felt like the Blues are the ones who haven’t gotten the development they deserve. After a pretty triumphant debut, we haven’t seen too much of them. Part of that, probably, is because the meticulously slow process of selecting a Blue Lantern keeps them from becoming legion like the other Corps, but whatever the reason, I’ve been left wanting more. This issue takes a big step towards giving us that.
Doug Mahnke does his customary powerful artwork, with some great-looking aliens and a very nice design for Adara’s human host. Randy Mayor is doing good color work as well, not only using the multiple Corps to make the pages look diverse, but even picking up on the emotional cues that go with each color along the way.
One of the best issues of this title since Brightest Day began.