Following on from the mildly successful ‘Green Lantern Corps: The Lost Army’ fans now have the new ‘Edge of Oblivion’. The big question is will it be better than the original six issue run?
Last year ‘The Lost Army’ presented fans with a fairly interesting concept that saw key members of the Green Lantern Corps cast back into the universe that preceded theirs, caught in a race against time to find a way back home before the old universe died claiming their lives along with it. Along the way they faced challenges in the form of Light Pirates and a dwindling supply of green energy as well as surprising help from former foes such as Krona and Relic. The prospect of seeing these established heroes and villains teaming up and fighting for their very survival was an intriguing one and when coupled with the uncertainty of the old universe’s fate now that they were in it it sounded like the team behind this book could have been on to a winner. Regrettably that potential was never realised and the series was lackluster at best, leaving so much on the table to be explored and offering so little in its actual pages.
The task now falls to this continuation of the story to redeem the team and make the most of an inspired concept. The story picks up relatively soon after where the last issue left off as the bloated cast of heroes find themselves still in the ancient universe and still setting up shop on the planet/Green Lantern, Mogo.
What should be immediately noticeable from the first frame of the new book is that the writer, Tom Taylor, has a brilliant sense of humour and that shines through perfectly. There are too many books out there that force the jokes and as a result the pacing and flow of the dialogue feels unnatural, that is most certainly not the case here as is evident when adorable Squirrel Lantern, B’DG, has a hilarious interaction with Guy Gardener at the beginning of the comic.
After that initial spat the tone changes to being slightly more serious, although it is not a dark or depressing book despite its perilous nature. Taylor shows that he is more than capable of embracing the weightier parts of the story too though as you get a sense of the stakes through the interactions between the heroes and a few newly introduced characters. That being said he is not immune to falling prey to the pitfall of clichés. This is most evident in the lazily done fight sequence with two new giants. It is the old fight first ask questions later scenario and adds nothing to the book at all, of course these characters couldn’t just be introduced with no drama surrounding them but surely there had to be a more unique method of bringing them into the story?
With regards to the characters themselves it seems as though there are too many present for any of them to be given the required time and attention that it takes to craft an engaging hero. Certainly all of them offer some sort of boost to the story but not nearly as much as they each could had they been a part of a smaller cast with a more concentrated writer. The biggest names don’t suffer hugely from this as they are already very well established but the lesser known ones do not get any more recognisable through use in this book. In future issues it would be nice to see this problem addressed as it would be hugely advantageous to the book if readers cared about everyone fighting for their lives and not just a select few.
It is encouraging to see proper villains added in this time around and not some vast, intangible entities such as the Light Pirates. You only get a glimpse of them this time out but they are suitably set up as a formidable opponent for the Lanterns and should provide insight into how this universe is to die whilst also creating the necessary tension surrounding whether or not anyone will make it out alive. That was sorely missing from the ‘Lost Army’ run and is a welcome addition here.
The art on this book, helmed by Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright, is sophisticated whilst also being vibrant and pleasing. It suits the desired tone of a Green Lantern publication to a tee and allows for each character to shine as they appear boldly on the page. The colouring work breathes life into not just the heroes but also to the environment they inhabit. It was a high point of the last series and it appears that it will be once again this time around.
Overall, despite some pacing issues towards the end and the unresolved question of where the city on Mogo from the last books went, this is a very strong opening book. Should they continue to work at this high level as the next five issues roll out then this has all the makings of a highly enjoyable series.
Score: 4 out of 5.