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Mild Mannered Reviews - Smallville Comics

Smallville: Lantern - Chapter #9

Smallville: Lantern - Chapter #9

Released Digitally: May 8, 2014

"Lantern" - Part 9

Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Penciller: Marcio Takara
Inker: Marcio Takara

Reviewed by: Matt Schorr

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John Stewart engages in battle with Parallax, who taunts him about Hal Jordan's past deeds while under its control. According to Stewart, Parallax used Jordan to murder Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. Moments before overtaking him, Parallax tells Stewart he's been deceived by the Guardians, that he should let all of that go and embrace his fear.

On Earth, Oliver, Chloe, and Digital Tess are monitoring the Yellow Rings and the subsequent mayhem they're causing. In addition to Batman, Nightwing, and Superman operating in Gotham, the Teen Titans are also in action in San Francisco. Intent on joining the fray, Oliver programs a 3-D printer to create a new armored suit for him.

And in Gotham, the battle is going badly for the heroes. Superman manages to break free of his Green Lantern armor and operate in his own suit once more. Then, Parallax arrives with Stewart under its control.

4Story - 4: This issue makes up a bit for the last one. We still have setup situations happening - like Green Arrow operating a 3-D printer (more on that later) - but they're interspersed with action sequences to keep things moving along. Exposition is necessary, but a clever writer can find a way to continue driving the plot (and the action) along while revealing it. (Think Kyle Reese laying out the whole 'War With The Machines' scenario in The Terminator while driving through downtown L.A. at eighty miles per hour.)

We get snippets of the Prometheus angle (seriously, when are we going to see where he fits into this?) and hints of Superman taking charge of the soon-to-be Justice League. But there's an active battle raging both in space and on Arkham at the same time. It takes a deft touch to combine those two effectively, and I think Miller has done just that.

The 3-D printer is a bit of a strange angle, though. I'm pretty sure this is the first we're seeing of that, even though it's not outside the realms of possibility that people with technology capable of generating a digital body for a deceased woman would also have a 3-D printer. It just feels a bit out of left field and, quite frankly, like a bit of deusex machina. To be fair, though, this is Smallville we're talking about. That's kind of expected at this point. Plus, it doesn't detract from yet another fun ride in this series.

4Art - 4: Parallax is still my favorite visual part of this series. I'm repeating myself here, but it's the best visual interpretation I've seen. Better than other comics, and better than the movie (but the latter is obvious).

I also appreciate the way the yellow energy seems to snake its way around Stewart as Parallax taunts him, until he's finally surrounded and consumed. It's effective.

And of course, it's nice to see Superman back in his traditional red and blues.

Cover Art - N/A:

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Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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