Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #5(of 5) - DC (2006)

This miniseries was almost everything I hoped it would be. I thought I was a big Green Lantern fan for years but it turns out I was a big Green Lantern Corps fan.

I discovered that stories about individual GLs didn't captivate me like those of the Corps. I'm sure Hal, Kyle and John are perfectly nice fellas but during the time that the Corps didn't exist I found their tales no different from those of any other mega-powerful superhero. The structure of the Corps, however, allows many different kinds of stories to be told. Stories about camraderie, stories about duty vs. "the right thing", stories about teamwork. Stories I really like.

Fortunately, Dave Gibbons and Geoff Johns like those kinds of stories, too. It's obvious that Guy Gardner is the favorite Lantern of either or both writers because he gets to Always Be Right but that's OK, he's a good character and in their hands he shines.

This mini had epic space battles, enormous power levels and reflections on the nature of morality and belonging. Hell, issue 5 had that. Oh, by the way, if you are even a little arachnophobic, you might want to read certain panels of #5 with caution.

I am quite pleased with the overall story but I do have a few quibbles with the writing. For example, much is made of how the Corps has brought beings from all over the galaxy together to serve a Greater Purpose. Corps members who were at each other's throats in issue one were bestest buds by the end of the miniseries. I have no problem with that, in general. In fact, that can be very powerful and touching when it's well-told. The turnarounds in this case were a bit abrupt. I would have liked it better if some of those rivalries and hatreds hadn't been so neatly smoothed over.

If I have a few quibbles with the writing, I have some major problems with the art. I don't know whether to blame the penciller (Patrick Gleason) or the inker (Prentis Rollins) but there are several panels in this issue in which it is nearly impossible to tell what's going on. In a comic featuring many, many characters who all dress pretty much the same it is vital to be clear with your visuals. Also, there's a weird forshortening/distortion effect that shows up on many of the faces which throws me off.

Having bitched about that, there are some moments of artistic brilliance, especially in this last issue, but for the most part, the lines are way too heavy which obscures the differences between individual faces. There were a few points at which I had no idea who was supposed to be speaking.

Despite these shortcomings, I can recommend this miniseries to anyone who likes the GLC or who would like to get in on the ground floor of this new incarnation. Flip through a few pages first to make sure the visuals are your cup of tea.

If you missed the individual issues, the trade will be out on June 21st. The new GLC ongoing series should show up around that time, as well. No clues about the creative team on that one but I'll keep you informed as I get news. Anybody else know?

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