Green Lantern Corps: Ring Quest Paperback – 23 Jan 2009
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About the Author
Peter Tomasi is the writer of the acclaimed miniseries The Light Brigade as well as having written stories for Outsiders and JSA Classified. Patrick Gleason has pencilled Aquaman, Hawkman and JLA.
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Top Customer Reviews
A select group of corps members hunting down the surviving sinestro corps members only to come face to face (briefly) with Mongul who is also collecting sinestro corps rings, sounds like fun and does have its moments. It's interesting to see how the corps members are living their lives and how they are dealing with the game changing decisions made during the sinestro war. To get the most satisfaction out of the book make sure you have read sinestro war first though or some sections may be confusing. Setting the way for the following epics such as sins of the star sapphires this book provides a neat little back drop and introduction to Mongul setting him up for a future of sorts with the sinestro corps. Although there are better stories out there I would not dissuade anyone from reading this book.
For the price it's a steal defo for GL fans.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This volume collects issues 19&20, and then 23-26 of the regular ongoing Green Lantern Corps (GLC) series, and is also the first full volume featuring the work of writer Peter Tomasi, previously an editor at DC. Generally, it's a mixed bag, both in the writing and the art department, because both are a bit uneven, and the inconsistency hurts a little. Nevertheless, it is an entertaining read. However, I wouldn't recommend it for non GLC fans or beginners who are intrigued by the concept of the Green Lanterns and are looking for a strong introductory volume. For those people, I would recommend previous volumes Recharge, or A Dark Side of Green, the latter of which continues to be the high water mark of storytelling for the collected volumes of GLC, thus far.
The premise of the story is that the ruthless and sadistic alien Mongul has come into possession of a Sinestro Corps ring, a ring analogous to the Green Lantern's ring but only yellow, and powered not by will but fear. At the same time, the GLC is ordered by the Guardians to track down and imprison every last remaining Sinestro Corps member they can find, or at least, to capture every ring without a carrier. This sets up a confrontation between a small team of lanterns, most of whom are the regular cast of GLC, and Mongul, a powerful foe who occasionally challenges Superman and whose lust for power is unrelenting.
As stories go, the execution by writer Tomasi tries hard to live up to the promised excitement inherent in the premise of the story, and for the most part, he succeeds. However, the writing is uneven in parts. Although the first two chapters are included here, the first is not strictly necessary and is mostly filler, focused on the permanent move to OA by lanterns Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. Curiously, the second chapter announces that it is the first part of Ring Quest, though that too is mostly set up, split between the mundanity of both lanterns settling in to Oa and Mongul's scheming. It's an odd two issues that don't quite work either as single stories or that well together. Among other things, one of the glaring problems with the first chapter is that it is less a story than a "let's catch up with what each lantern's doing" checklist, which I find annoying, and had I been a buyer of the monthly comic, would have caused me to ask for my money back. (For the price of modern comics, I want an actual story where something actually happens in the 22 pages of "story.")
The remaining four chapters go directly to the lanterns' quest to find the Sinestro corps members or rings, and are far more engaging than the previous two. (For non readers of the regular series, it is also a little disconcerting that issues number 21&22 are mysteriously excluded from this collection, though one presumes that it's because they aren't directly relevant; the only problem with that being that "Ring Quest part 1" strangely takes place two issues before "Ring Quest part 2...") Once we get into the confrontation though, chapters move along briskly, Tomasi is able to build a real sense of drama and suspense with the capture of lanterns Arisia and Sodam (I know!) Yat, among other things, and the likeability of the characters as individuals and as a group, pulls you in as a reader. There are some genuinely harrowing parts, such as where the two captured lanterns get swallowed and digested, and where the other corps members are compelled to fly through collected debris in space of millions of dead bodies and body parts. A little grizzly, to be sure, but the horror aspects of this book have been one of it's mainstays since it launched.
There are some weaknesses though. Tomasi's dialog is a little melodramatic in places, even for comic books, and Mercy's narration about her origins is just very occasionally cringe-worthy, possibly because she is a sentient, telepathic, plant... (I know, even for a series featuring aliens that look like talking lizards, it was a bit much; a sentient plant, maybe, but telepathic too? Love that fertilizer! And it gets better, the plant has other powers and abilities far beyond those of physics... and gravity!) Similarly, Tomasi makes Mongul here a bit of a bombastic talker in parts, which oddly undermines the menace the character should represent, and is something other writers have been wise to avoid. The banter between Mongul and his acolyte is also silly, and a little misjudged. To my mind, Mongul wouldn't spend time talking to threaten you. Instead of wasting energy to speak words designed to scare, he'd try to scratch out your eyes and break open your skull to dine on your brains. Tomasi makes him occasionally an, "I shall this, and I shall that, and you shall obey, or I shall threaten you to death..." type. It doesn't work. Thankfully though, it's infrequent enough to only be slightly annoying. Thankfully, Tomasi is smart enough to exploit one of the real strengths of GLC, which is that it's large cast means that characters really do face peril. In GLC, characters you love really can get killed, and Tomasi uses that fact to bring a poignant end to his tale.
This volume definitely does not showcase Patrick Gleason at his best. His art in these stories is inconsistent and obviously rushed in places, and the multiplicity of inkers only makes that worse. Gleason also continues to suffer from stuffing his panels with way too much detail and to rely too heavily on strong blacks, that end up confusing the reader (something that both hurts and helps him in the previously mentioned scene of flying through suspended planetary rings of dead bodies. Few other pencillers could make it look so genuinely horrific/morbid, and yet in some places, a lot of it gets lost completely). In more panels than are acceptable for a penciller of a monthly series, I just can't make out what's going on. Gleason improves his storytelling here only marginally from previous volumes, where his story flow and panel size selection were hit and miss. Gleason's at his best when he ignores his quirky instincts and plays it straight instead of cartoony, and his art in this volume swings between both extremes, aided and abetted by whichever mad inker is on him for that page. Gleason is obviously talented, but hasn't decided whether he wants to be a cartoonist or a penciller. That said, he pencils all six issues in this volume, and his work ethic is impressive, and it needs to be born in mind that the pressures of producing a monthly title will test even the most committed pencillers. The art is not Gleason at his best, but showcases his occasional flashes of brilliance and generally serves the story well.
Overall though, this definitely a volume worth owning for GLC and Green Lantern fans. It's an interesting, exciting tale, plants seeds for some future stories even as it ties up some ends from the previous excellent Sinestro Corps War epic, and even for it's weaknesses, ends up being a solid addition to a very satisfying library of modern Green Lantern tales. I highly recommend it for people who are already fans of the GL concept, and are looking for a good read. Amazon sent me a copy with two pages missing, but I gave it three stars nonetheless.
The rest is very good too. The Guardians sent a few elite members of the Corps to seek the remaining yellow rings in the universe. Little they know Molgul was after that too.
The most important part of the story comes up for the introduction of a new character that maybe will have big importance in the future.
I was sad on the end though. I hate good characters when they go.
Anyway, the price is good and the story is solid. It won't change your GL world but it'll be entertain.
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