Review by Ian Keogh
In the first volume it was the shorter stories that packed a greater punch than the extended three chapter serial, and this collection is nothing but shorter stories. Once again, the opener is strangely the weakest, featuring a viable idea that never really comes to life.
Todd Klein and Dave Gibbons (sample art left) are already proven Green Lantern Corps quality, and supply an enjoyable sequel to Deeter’s story from Volume 1, now featuring the adult Deeter looking back on his past. They also follow up on Holli and Mikkin after their banishment, although she’s largely secondary, and the emotional content is button pushing. Alan Moore teams with Gibbons for ‘Mogo Doesn’t Socialize’, what was intended as a throwaway having such a good sting in the tail it introduced a character now known to all Green Lantern fans, the sadness of that being the story no longer surprises as intended. Len Wein sets a melancholy mood at the start of Kwo Varrikk’s story by revealing it’s his final day as a Green Lantern, and maintains the reflective atmosphere nicely over a collection highlight, while Gil Kane art never hurts. Kane, an artist with Green Lantern history, also delivers the book’s closer, co-written by Wein and Paul Kupperberg, but while the art’s nice with a sinister Guardian standing out, the story is ordinary.
Paul Kupperberg and Don Newton look back in on Ch’p, but while having pirates underestimate him because of his size, it’s otherwise a tale that could have featured any Green Lantern. Mike Baron and Marshall Rogers are an interesting combination, but their story is predictable, and so to some extent is what’s provided by Kurt Busiek and Don Heck, but that has a greater solidity underpinning it.
Back when superhero publishers still submitted their stories for approval to the Comics Code Authority a Kevin O’Neill Green Lantern Corps story was rejected. When DC asked what needed to be changed, the response was that nothing could be changed to make his art acceptable. Although they later printed the story anyway (see Across the Universe or DC Universe by Alan Moore), it’s absent here, which is a shame. O’Neill’s art is unique (sample right), and gloriously twisted, with the stories he’s allocated featuring robots and insects ideally suited to his approach.
On balance the good and thrilling just outweighs the poor and ordinary, while any Gibbons or O’Neill art is surely worth having. For reasons best known to DC editors, Volume 3 just reprints the standard late 1980s Green Lantern continuity, which is bizarre, as there are more than enough Green Lantern Corps shorts remaining to fill another volume. Instead several have been bumped to Green Lantern Corps: Beware Their Power, another place to find O’Neill’s ‘Tygers’.