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Fertilizer Frenzy (Green Lantern Corps: Ring Quest Review)


Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Pencils: Patrick Gleason & Carlos Magno

Inks: Drew Geraci, Prentis Rollins, Derek Fridolfs, Tom Ngyuen, Dan Davis, Rebecca Buchman & Rodney Ramos

Colors: Guy Major

Letters: Steve Wands & Phil Balsman

Publisher: DC

Rating: 9/10 Rings

A couple of months ago, one of my favorite artists, Patrick Gleason posted a photo of one of my favorite Green Lanterns of Earth on his Instagram. Guy Gardner looked like he was in some dire straits. I nearly fell out of my chair thinking this was a new series he was going to be working on. I nearly fell out of my chair again when Gleason, as well as the community, informed me that this was an older work he had done with Tomasi. I was really kicking myself for not being aware that my favorite comic creating duo did a Lanterns book. I quickly sought out the collection so that I could enjoy more of their great collaboration. Thanks to everyone’s votes this week, I will be going over one of the Lantern books these two worked on, GREEN LANTERN CORPS: RING QUEST. 

Constructing the Story

The story kicks off with Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner on Earth shortly after the events of the Sinestro Corps War. Everyone in the corps is still feeling the losses as many were wiped out from the growing numbers of the Yellow Lanterns. Guy and Kyle have struggling to find their place in the universe after the recent event; one contemplates over a job offer in a fancy art institute the other reaches the same decision eating junk food inside a storage unit. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one is Kyle and Guy in this moment. It’s time to pack your bags (or entire storage unit of junk in Guy’s case) and move to OA, the home base of the Green Lantern Corps.

Meanwhile across the universe, green and yellow rings are seeking out new members for their corps. Through a series of unfortunate events (but by no way through Lemony Snicket’s design) a yellow ring finds its way to Mongul...Jr. Quick update for Mongul. He helped destroy Hal Jordan’s home city which set off a chain of events that turned him evil and nearly wiped out the Green Lantern corps. He also likes to use plants in his schemes. This isn’t that Mongul though. His son ended up taking the mantle of his father after the original died. Still uses plants though that make you see things. Anyway, Mongul gets ahold of a yellow ring and with a future employee of the month attitude, he’s gonna power through ninety-six hours of user’s manual and training videos for his new bling ring. Afterward, he’s gonna harvest some of those fear-inducing plants and send them on their way throughout space.

Back on OA, our major players of this story are all called, and their rings make sure they answer the summons whether they want to or not. The mission. Seek out and capture Yellow Lantern Rings that have traveled into off-limits territory known as the Vega system (hey I know that from THE OMEGA MEN). As the team arrives and begins their work, they stumble upon Mongul’s plan of using the fear plants to create an empire of fear. Two of their comrades have already been captured and are being used as Soylent Green Lanterns for the fear plants and to rescue them the squad is gonna have to fly to the plant’s home planet that has a ring of dead bodies orbiting it? Super gross. Things might not look good for these future fertilized friends but in a turn of events the plant’s actually have a mom and she wants to stop her babies from being misused. With her betrayal to Mongul, the Lanterns are able to turn the tide and stop Mongul, but only at the cost of one of their own.

World’s Finest

I can’t say it enough that Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are my favorite team to come together in comics. Peter Tomasi writes his stories in a way that feels like episodic television. This Green Lantern story, This type of storytelling can be seen in his other projects which include Superman, Batman and Robin, and the current Detective Comics run.  It’s what makes him one of my all-time favorite writers. He captures that feeling for me of sitting too close to the TV as a kid, wide-eyed at what challenges and adventures my heroes were facing. Even if it was an arc, they all keep that message of what those characters stood for. It all always just feels right and not out of character for me. Like Saturday morning cartoons with my current reads, I am up early to enjoy “Tomasi Time” in whatever series he is writing. 

Patrick Gleason. This dude easily became one of my top DC artists, to now moving over to put that “Gleason Grin” in Marvel, taking the top spot there. The “Gleason Grin?” That was the first thing I had to call his art style when I first started reading the Superman Rebirth issues. The guy has such great expressions on his characters. Smiles to frowns grimaces to some real toothy expressions. The emotions are felt through the pages on their expressions. The biggest thing though that hits is when he does the smiles. You see Guy and Kyle light up with them and you can’t help but light up yourself. They always feel heroic, happy and hopeful even in the toughest of circumstances.

Together they turned me into a fan of Superman during their time working on his run in the DC Rebirth. They gave me the best Batman and Robin story I could ever ask for and even here they prove that they can tie that same feeling of family among a group of space cops. Though they may be publishers apart, these two will always be my dream team for any series and I look forward to each new project. 

Constructing A Conclusion

As I said before with Tomasi’s writing. It feels like sitting down and watching a great episode with this story. Yes, there are some ties to a recent event but it doesn’t feel like it is necessary to pick that up and read it to get this. The only exception to this is one moment where Kilowag is having dinner with his family but there isn’t really anything that this ties in to throughout the story. You get a wide cast of characters to team up with Guy and Kyle along the way with a little background on who they are at the beginning of the story and more on them through their fears they face later that really fleshes them all out so well to get them. For a concept like facing fears and invading a planet full of dead bodies, this series definitely has some dark moments. Thankfully,  Tomasi keeps it reigned to a good level while still applying some fun throughout. Art is solid for me. Gleason kills it with his designs and the assist from Guy Major on colors really helps everything stay exciting and has Gleason’s pencils really light up. This is a great read if you are a fan of the Green Lantern Corps and team-up stories.

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