Review by Ian Keogh
Short review: great art accompanying one very good story, and one that fails to engage at all.
It’s the title story that’s good. David Hine moves straight into the action with Green Lantern (Hal Jordan iteration) summoned by the Phantom Stranger to investigate disturbances at a nursing home where a drug company has been concealing the tragic suppressed results of a faulty product. Doug Braithwaite’s excellent storytelling incorporates imaginative settings and design into a painted style well inked by Bill Reinhold, and colourist Art Lyon adding to the final pages. Lyon’s radiant use of green is particularly notable. The story is emotionally saturated, and Braithwaite conveys this superbly.
Real life touchstones of thalidomide and opium are apparent, weaved by Hine into a consistently intriguing plot that combines science and magic with a hint of Judge Death. He fills the pages with nice touches, such as Green Lantern’s ring being able to translate a language unknown on Earth, the plant homes on an alien planet, and the Prootian defence mechanism and leads everything to one hell of a cliffhanger in the penultimate chapter. Green Arrow is smoothly involved and everything works to a fitting climax. Hine’s done his work so well you’ll have to have a heart of stone not to shed a tear.
Marv Wolfman’s story connects his cast through the theme of fathers, but for all the efforts on artist Phil Winslade’s part, it’s tired, and so often hits the wrong note when it comes to the dialogue. In the opening chapter Supergirl seeks out Raven for help, flying her out of school, yet despite this cavalier abduction Supergirl is the one indulging in nippy language. Supergirl wants some information about her past, Raven has the beast of all fathers, and 1970s style campus radical Jonny doesn’t know who his father is. Everything is oversold, the surprises are only relevant to those with a deep knowledge of DC’s back history and the whole story has the feeling of actors reading out lines rather than a superhero drama with the intended emotional depth.
Never mind that. Winslade’s art is good, and the Hine/Braithwaite Green Lantern tale value enough to recommend buying the book for that alone. Milestone is next in the series, although as it’s by completely different creators little connects it beyond the theme of teaming DC characters.