Thursday Round Up
Green Lantern, Demon Knights, Journey Into Mystery
Green Lantern #6
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Mike Choi

As we begin the second arc of Geoff Johns' relaunched Green Lantern, regrettably, much of the momentum that this series had regained with the relaunch is lost. Hal Jordan is back on Earth and although he's gone from sad sack to bad ass and is for the first time in a long time engaging in a healthy relationship with Carol, it's hard to shake the feeling that we've been here before. Likewise Sinestro is still cleaning up messes from his time as leader of the Sinestro Corps, reluctantly fulfilling the duties of a Green Lantern which leads him to again seek Hal's help at the end of the issue. Sounds a lot like the first issue of this series doesn't it?

Johns is giving us great character development. Hal is making a good faith effort to mature and find contentment in a normal life with Carol, but we can see that it's only a matter of time before his restlessness and thirst for adventure gets the better of him, and Sinestro continues to show that he is more anti-hero than straight villain while attempting to hide a begrudging respect for Hal Jordan. However the mirroring of the plot of this issue to that of the first issue the series a feel that is uncomfortably formulaic.

Mike Choi steps in to fill in on art and while he delivers a competent performance, the characters look a bit stiff (with the exception of his awesome depiction of a familiar face and former Sinestro Corpsman) and the backgrounds look a bit sparse. It's a hard task to step in on a title that has come to be so defined by the masterful pencils of Doug Mahnke, but Mike Choi simply isn't on his A Game here, perhaps rushed to hit a deadline when called to fill in for Mahnke.

While I'm still excited for the direction of the overarching story, this issue felt very much like the creative team was spinning it's wheels and dipping back into a well that had used less than five issues ago.

Grade: C+

Demon Knights #6
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Paul Cornell
Penciller: Diogenes Neves

In my review of last issue I spoke about how this series needed to start setting off some fireworks. Well right now, I am a happy camper, because Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves more than delivered in the fireworks department.

This issue marks the true assault of the forces of the Questing Queen against the tiny village that stands between them and Alba Sarum. And while Vandal Savage continues to be the breakout character of this book, even when he appears in just a couple scenes, it's Paul Cornell creations Exoristos and the Horse Woman that take center stage this time around. Cornell delivers a variety of diverse and exciting action set pieces interwoven with character moments. It's hard not to hear the soundtrack from LOTR playing in your head while reading this book.

Diogenes Neves shines in some areas but falls a little short in others. I love his depcitions of Vandal Savage, and of Exoristos bludgeoning Velociraptors. However the first splash page and the sequence in which the Horse Woman makes her fateful ride are not quite as clear as one would hope and require a bit of study to discern what's going on, breaking the overall momentum of the read.

After a few quiet months, Cornell and Neves deliver a tale that is non-stop action. This is still one of the most unique comics coming out of the big two today and definitely worth a look for fans of knights, sorcery, and dinosaurs.

Grade: B+

Journey Into Mystery #634
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciller: Richard Elson

Kieron Gillen has made it clear that Journey Into Mystery is his passion project, and his love for the characters and enthusiasm for the story he has cooked up gushes off every page of the latest issue.

Son of Satan thinks Loki is responsible for a wave of fatal fear comas afflicting children across the globe. After a brief confrontation, they enter Loki's sub conscious to see what his connection to this phenomenon might be.

Loki's friendship with the "always a downer and perpetually dumped upon" Leah, as well as his desire to not be viewed as the villain even though he has already begun to commit sins of his own in the name of good drive the intense emotional investment I and I'm sure many other readers have in these characters.

Little touches like Loki's pet hell hound's reaction to the Son of Satan or Loki being able to physically interact with the narration while in dreamscape make this book a cut of fun above the rest of its contemporaries.

Richard Elson is not my first choice of pencillers for this series, as his style seems a bit flat and light when compared to the source material and the stunning one off by Doug Braithwaite that was my introduction to the book. Still he draws a terrifying dream scape and his compositions display a keen eye for a creating a fluid read.

This story is moving along nicely and the book continues to be a highly enjoyable, under-the-radar hit.

Grade: B+
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