Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson, art by Mahmud Asrar and Bill Reinhold
This issue finds Kara unable to accept everything Clark has told her about the destruction of her home planet and that he doesn’t believe anyone else survived except for the two of them. Can you blame her? Just three days ago she was at home, taking care of baby Clark and now she’s on the other side of the universe with a grown up Man of Steel. She tries to find the pod she landed in and meets a wealthy man named Simon Tycho, who invites her to his space station for some (unknown to her) combat training.
If the series has taught me anything up to this point, it’s that Kara is not going to like humans for a very long time. She lands and is then attacked and not too long after she finds herself fighting off incredible threats as she tries to retrieve her pod. The girl just wants to return home and find her family but humans keep getting in the way of her goals. If she’s going to become a protector of Earth, I don’t think it’s going to be an easy road for her.
As mentioned earlier we’re introduced to a new character in this issue, and probably the first true villain of the series: Simon Tycho. The guy is smarmy as all get out. Rather than giving us a super-powered villain, we’re given someone akin to Lex Luthor: someone who can use his money to buy him power and prominence. We’re shown that he’s bought the rights from at least Russia and the U.S. to harvest any alien craft that lands on Earth. He doesn’t seem to be a big fan of these countries, at least America, and is only paying them to stay out of his way.
Simon leads Kara to his space station, fascinated by her strength and her emblem’s resemblance to Superman’s. He has no issue with thrusting Kara into this strange and dangerous environment, eventually tossing out something he calls The Brain, a brain and nervous system held together by a viscous matter. Kara has the most difficult time dealing with this threat and she’s noticeably tired after having laser-shooting-butterflys thrown at her. Things just are not going her way this day and she’s not happy about it at all.
Kara herself is pretty confused through it all and still can barely understand her own powers, willing herself to fly into space and not look down. She’s got a sort of trial-by-fire lesson in using her powers during this issue and the girl definitely deals with stress well. She eventually manages to take down Tycho’s creations and finds the pod in his station. Once Kara gets near the pod, she feels sick and faint as she touches an odd green liquid seeping from the pod. Simon seems most intrigued by this new development.
So after a speedy second issue, we’re thrown into a slightly slower issue with #3. Don’t let the fact that 90% of this one is fighting fool you, the story sort of comes to a halt after the first few pages and it turns into Kara duking it out with whatever Tycho throws at her. Despite the halted story pace, I didn’t have any problem with the issue at all. We get a lot of fun fight scenes and we’re sort of figuring out Kara’s powers together with her. While she does pretty great in the midst of chaos and confusion, it seems like this version of Kara is going to be pretty powerful once she has a handle on everything . . . though given the way the issue ended, that might take her a while.
We’re introduced to Simon in this issue and man, I do not like this guy. He’s oozing smarmy traits from every fiber of his being and I can’t imagine Kara is going to care for the man too much. I probably would have liked a more super-powered villain from the get go than a Lux Luthor rip off, but I believe this guy might lead the way to that in a couple of issues. I’m glad the story is finally being set on a grander scale than Clark and Kara, we’re introduced to someone who obviously has greater intents than just seeing what Kara is capable of and who takes an incredible interest to the green liquid from her ship. Simon is definitely going to be a thorn in Kara’s side for quite some time.
This issue also introduces us to a new colorist, Paul Mounts, who I have no idea how long his stay will be, but I hope it’s a very long time. There’s an entirely noticeable change in the visual presentation of the issue that took me by surprise right from the start. I didn’t like the new style at first, but this was probably just because I had no idea it was going to happen. After I let it settle with me as I read the issue, I found myself loving it, especially the scenes in space. The coloring is more tonal and detailed when compared to the flat and shiny look of the previous issues, which I also liked. If I had to pick, I think I like this style more though, it’s rich and adds an extra layer of appeal to the series and gives it a higher produced quality. It’s not the sort of style I expect out of comics just because it doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before in them. But as a newbie, I haven’t had the greatest exposure, so I’m able to say this is my favorite visual style.
While the series isn’t anything too spectacular in terms of story thus far, it’s a very fun read. Plenty of action in every issue and Kara almost feels like an avatar for the reader at times: she’s just as confused as we are to the developments. I’m not sure how big of a role Clark will play in the series, I imagine he’ll be out of the picture for a couple of issues, but I like Kara being on her own to explore without Clark needing to hold her hand.
Green Lantern #3
Story by Peter J. Tomasi, art by Geraldo Borges and Scott Hanna
This issue finds the Green Lanterns in trouble as an army of Lantern-killing beings are advancing on the small force available. Back on Oa, Porter, a Lantern capable of transporting groups of Lanterns far distances, gathers all the available Lanterns and brings them to the planet to back up John, Guy, and the others fending off the attack. When John uses his ring on a captured enemy to learn just who they are, it reveals itself to be a robot and goes into suicide mode. Thankfully, John is able to stop this before it’s too late. The ring is unable to identify who the attackers are, but it tells John that they run on the power of will just as the Lanterns.
There isn’t a lot going on in this issue outside of the battle but we do learn one very important thing. These new enemies can somehow harness the green power of will and that makes the Green Lanterns’ attacks all but useless on them. Thankfully the Lanterns are able to push the enemy back when reinforcements come, but they’re not shy to make their exit when they learn the enemy is regrouping. In the process of returning, they bring a prisoner with them to Oa in hopes of gathering any information on him at all that they can. Unfortunately, John and a handful of other Lanterns have been left behind and we end on a cliffhanger yet again.
While I’m not overly fond of Porter’s sort of magical plot transporting abilities, I am enjoying that this title is being true to its name and showcasing a new Green Lantern for the audience to connect to. Unfortunately, neither Lantern has met a favorable fate. The Lantern in the previous issue ended up losing all his limbs and this time we get Porter, who usually can’t transport more than five or so Lanterns at the same time, taking about thirty or so over to help John and the others. He’s more or less dead by the time everyone returns to Oa.
Despite only being in one issue and seeming like nothing more than a plot device, I found myself liking Porter from what we were shown of the guy. He seems to be a very strong Lantern in power, character, and conviction all around, so he’s willing to make incredible sacrifices and go against orders to help his fellow Lanterns out. By the end of the issue you feel bad for him, wondering if everyone got back to Oa just fine. We’re probably never going to see Porter again, but I think he makes a great one shot character as is. This is the sort of character that is there as a means of showing the incredible devotion the best of the Green Lanterns can have to the job.
The issue ends on the exact same cliffhanger as in the previous issue, a team of Lanterns surrounded by an incredible enemy with no foreseeable hope. I feel this issue could have cut down on the action or at least been merged into the second. The story feels like it’s going somewhere, but it’s just taking a million and one detours to get us there. At least we did learn a very important trait of the enemies, they run on the same power as our Lanterns do. I’ve got a theory about them based on reading the second issue of New Guardians: I think they’re the replacements for the Green Lanterns gone wrong. The Guardians mention a new force they want to replace the Lanterns with and I imagine these guys could serve as test subjects that didn’t exactly work out. Here’s to hoping the next issue is more interesting as we didn’t get a terrible amount of characterization out of anyone but Porter.