Warning: This post contains spoilers!
Disclaimer: This post is Solely my opinion. Green Lanterns, Volthoom & The Guardians of the Universe are property of DC Comics/Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Publisher: DC Comics
Written by: Sam Humphries
Art & Colors By: Robson Rocha. Daniel Henriques, Alex Sollazzo
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
In modern comics, it has become a trend to tell long multi-part epics, this has been especially true of the superhero comics from the big two of DC & Marvel, and while many of these stories do end up being enjoyable tells there are times readers long for a good one-shot story, thankfully such tales are not lost to the modern comic book industry, even if they are a bit rarer then they were back in the silver and golden age of comics. Today though we get to take a look at a one-shot story that reveals the origin of one of the newer Green Lantern foes, The First Lantern. Does this story shine bright, or does it fizzle out? Let’s take a look.
The story of the issue begins with Volthoom recounting how he died at the hands of Hal Jordan, and how after billions of years he was happy to finally be dead. He is soon visited by Nekron, an avatar of death and the creator of the Black Lanterns. Nekron asks Volthoom if he knows what he is and this begins a flashback to his origin. It turns out Volthoom is from the 31st century of Earth-15 and his mother used her invention the Travel Lantern to send him away from their Earth before it was destroyed. Using the powers of the emotional spectrum Volthoom used the Travel Lantern to travel through time and space to visit countless Earths within the Multiverse at different periods in time in an attempt to return to and save his own until he finally landed on the planet Maltus of Earth-0 ten billion years in the past where Maltusians, the beings that would someday become the Guardians of the Universe lived. Through their combined intellects, they are able to create the first ring and implanted the great heart from the Travel Lantern directly into Volthoom’s body, however over time he became unstable and was imprisoned by the guardians for ten billion years until his escape and defeat at the hands of Hal Jordan. Even this though was not enough to give him peace as Nekron says he is unable to die, and despite Volthoom’s plea to let him rest and destroy his soul he is sent back to the land of the living. Here he floats in space until he detects the rouge guardian Rami and decides to put his new plan of destroying the guardians and their legacy into action.
In terms of story Green Lanterns #18 is a solid one-shot. It works as its own condensed story while also being an important part of the greater narrative of the Green Lantern continuity as it references past events of the previous Green Lantern book, while also expanding on a characters backstory and explaining his justification for his actions in the current Green Lanterns series. Overall Sam Humphries hits all the right beats and is able to make you genuinely feel sympathy for Volthoom as a character despite him being the villain. It is in the end a well crafted tale that gives some much needed background and reasoning to his actions.
In terms of art the team of Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques and Alex Solazzo give a strong performance with the pencils/inks being more thick and detailed where they need to be and more relaxed when it is called for as well. The colors work in perfect sync as well, with the colors being bright when they need to be bright and muted and dark when the story calls for it. This delightful mix and contrast of light and dark coloring throughout the story makes for a genuinely visually appealing read throughout.
If I did have any minor complaints with the book it would be that while it answers most of the mysteries around Volthoom and the early days of the Guardians it still doesn’t answer all of them, but perhaps that is for the best.
Overall Green Lanterns #18 is a solid read and definitely worth any Green Lantern fans time and money.
Story: 9 out of 10
Art: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9 out of 10