Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Least Of The Blackest Night Preludes, Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire Is Less Love, More Pointless Battles.

The Good: Moments of plot, Moments of artwork
The Bad: Mostly plot-centered, Light on character development, Some of the artwork is poorly rendered.
The Basics: In my quest to read and review all of the Blackest Night preludes, Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire arrives as a surprisingly substandard Green Lantern adventure.

Despite this being my Daredevil year, I find that I have been reading quite a bit in the Green Lantern franchise. Having fallen for the Blackest Night Saga (how to read it is here!), I have been going back to enthusiastically read all of the preludes to that storyline. The last one, at least from the notes on the cover, that I had to read was Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire. Having read the book, which I had been looking forward to, I was surprised by how unremarkable this particular story actually was.

The Star Sapphires have popped up in the Green Lantern universe as antagonists who utilize a crystal to force love upon their adversaries. In Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire, the Star Sapphires are presented as a new Corps, much like the Sinestro Corps was formed using the power of fear and the Red Lanterns were coming to power under Atrocitus. These warriors, utilizing the violet power of love, are responsible for preventing the extinguishing of love in the universe. Unfortunately, the book is barely about that.

In the wake of the Sinestro Corps War, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner open a restaurant on Oa. While the Green Lantern coroner deals with the fallen Lanterns, he is visited by Green Lantern Saarek, who speaks with the dead. Saarek sets out on a mission, secretly assigned to him by the scarred Guardian. Before he goes off, the family members of several Green Lantern recruits are brutally killed and their eyeballs are sent to Oa. Saarek aids the Green Lantern Corps in providing them with the last image the dead family member's saw, which reveals a horrible new Sinestro Corps member.

While Saarek is out searching for pieces of the Anti-Monitor, the Green Lantern Corps discovers the Sinestro Corps villain is actually a quintet of adversaries. While the Green Lanterns track them down, Kyle Rayner falls under the influence of the Sinestro Corps member Kryb, who is kidnapping babies. As Rayner struggles with the Sinestro Corps villain, the Guardians visit Zamaron, the homeworld of the Star Sapphires to try to make peace with the emerging Corps as the impending War Of Light seems to be upon them.

The problem with Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire starts with the title. The Star Sapphire plotline is mostly a subplot and it is not even the most engaging one in the book. Instead, most of the book is preoccupied with the Quartet and the rookies in the Green Lantern Corps whose family members are being hunted. That is a truly chilling concept and for a fearless organization, it provides a decent test.

Moreover, the Guardians are given a surprisingly substantial part in Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire. The concern they exhibit over the rise of the Sinestro Corps and the conflict they believe is coming with the Star Sapphires leads them to overreact. However, the change they make to the Book Of Oa is not actually explored in this book. Instead, the effect of the book is exhibited in subsequent books.

None of the characters in Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire have a real chance to develop. In fact, Saarek is given a surprisingly substantive part in the book. The rest of the Corps is not explored all that much. Kyle Rayner, for example, falls under the influence of Kryb, but just shrugs off the effects with no real consequences. Similarly, Guy Gardner is not given much of a part. He encounters Ice, but their encounter is more melodramatic than seriously character-building.

As for the artwork, Patrick Gleason and Luke Ross do a decent job for the most part. In chapter one, "Love On The Air," the artwork is a little more animated and less detailed than the rest of the book. The coloring, however, remains rich throughout and there is a decent sense of movement through more of the book. Even so, the character design for Kryb is a little less clear at the outset than with most of the characters in the Green Lantern Corps books.

Ultimately, this feels like filler and Green Lantern Corps: Sins Of The Star Sapphire has the feeling like "Prelude To Blackest Night" banner on the front is just exploiting fans. The story is hardly essential and having read the effects of the book, most of the experiences in this book are adequately explained in the following books. The story here is hardly vital or even interesting, making it easy to pass by.

For other Green Lantern-related books, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
The Sinestro Corps War - Volume One
The Sinestro Corps War - Volume Two
Rage Of The Red Lanterns
Agent Orange
Emerald Eclipse
Blackest Night
Blackest Night: Green Lantern
Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps
Brightest Day: Green Lantern
Brightest Day: Green Lantern Corps - Revolt Of The Alpha-Lanterns


For other book reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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