Thursday, December 13, 2007

All Across the Universe

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver and Oclair Albert; Variant cover by Gary Frank

Minor Spoilers. Major Spoilers are blocked off.

Come to think of it, the plot-bloated but emotionally resonant Infinite Crisis feels like a prequel to Geoff Johns’ dark oeuvre The Sinestro Corps War, which is as much a story of Sinestro recruits Superboy Prime and Cyborg Superman as it is the fall and rise of the Green Lantern Corps. What started out as the best major event opener in DC’s convulsing superhero history has finally wrapped up in Green Lantern #25 and, well, it kept me coming up for air most of the time. A solid 30-minute read it will take you about the same time (or longer) to admire the details of the art. Reis’ pencils are breathtakingly cinematic. Pace perfect. A bloody valentine to space operas.

Geoff Johns has always been more about the story than the concepts. And Sinestro Corps War, he expertly tells. Watching him weave a universe-full of story threads into a clear action-driven, morally-centered epic is simply a wonder. It could have been messy (Countdown) or choppy (Infinite Crisis), but this one is just one smooth ride to a GL mythos-shattering finale.

The Green Lantern Corps books are independent from the main title but I did find them more interesting. More theoretical, more adventurous with its inventions. Hal will live through this war, I’m sure, but the battle in Lantern Mogu had me guessing the outcome. Gibbons and Tomasi made the corps more heroic than superheroic, just your ordinary (space) cops (Zaido!) making a living. And they have the world to lose.

I’m still reeling from the magnitude of it all—there’s nothing more I want to do than finish the last two tie-ins (GLC Corps epilogue and the ION special) before giving the series another read. But as it is, the Sinestro Corps War is this year's best. Nothing even comes close. And with the lethal force activated in the power rings and the birth of the blue and black lanterns, 2009's Blackest Night just can’t come faster enough. ****1/2

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