We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!
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Green Lantern: War Journal #5 Review:
In the latest issue of this series, John Stewart has gotten control of the Radiant Dead infection raging in his body, only to have to go fight the baddies himself. And that means leaving his mother, who suffers from dementia, alone… Leading to an impossible decision.
“There is such a depth of emotion in this comic book, particularly when it comes to the relationship with Jon Stewart and his mom,” said host Alex Zalben, “where he makes a decision, this issue that to his own credit, he understands is very messed up. There’s a lot of complicated stuff going on here. And Phillip Kennedy Johnson as a writer is not shying away from the ramifications of that, which I really like.”
Added Justin Tyler, “John Stewart has never been my favorite Green Lantern because he’s often the hardened, ‘let’s go do this’ guy and you don’t get a lot of the emotionality underneath him. And I’ve been really enjoying this because I think Philip K. Johnson has provided a lot of great emotional storytelling underneath, while staying true to the character… The art by Montos is really great, and really fitting, it has like sort of an edge to it while still maintaining the Green Lantern brightest day.”
“Just powerful stuff that hits you in the feels,” said Pete LePage. “Cool story. Great art. I’m enjoying this. Looking forward to more.”
Diving into spoilers, Zalben discussed the plot point that in order to go fight the Radiant Dead, Stewart creates a simulacrum of his sister to keep his mother company. “It’s very upsetting and messed up, and he recognizes it, to play with a dementia patient’s emotions like that. So the duality of ‘a Green Lantern can do anything.’ But should they, is something that I imagine we will delve into in future issues.”
Added Tyler, “What I liked about it’s a natural extension of what a lot of people do. When you’re around someone with dementia, you want them to feel comfort. So this is the heightened, superhero version of that, ‘oh, I’ll just do the comfortable thing.’ And it also speaks to a potential flaw or a character trait where he’s like, ‘I can’t deal with this right now. I have to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people and leave. But I’m going to leave behind this morally, potentially dubious, simulacrum in place of me talking to my mom.’ I thought there was just so much happening in that one moment. That was really really great, really smartly done.”
Green Lantern: War Journal #5 Official Synopsis:
THE HUNT BEGINS! Suited up with new armor and his newly forged, experimental Green Lantern ring, John Stewart leads his allies Shepherd and Prophet Rayner into the rain forest on a race against time to stop the Radiant Dead’s invasion of Earth! Can John destroy the Darkstar ring and save Earth…before succumbing to the deadly infection himself? The Revenant Queen’s mysterious bond with John Stewart is revealed in this pivotal issue!