Clever, clever DC. By setting a whole bunch of pages in the “land of death” it enables the artists to just wash the pages in black, do a few highlighted features for the ghostly bodies of Hal, Sinestro, and the rest, and the pages get to skip the colorist. (Or at least it must speed up the work, right?)
Geoff Johns actually does a nice job keeping the story contained to this title. These two issues read as Part Five and Part Nine of the “Wrath of the First Lantern.” I don’t know who this Volthoom is or what he’s trying to do. He does spend some time destroying Korugar; something about needing lots of emotions, but I’m unclear on what his powers or goals actually are.
The scene depicted on the “WTF” cover does actually come to pass, but the “regular” cover doesn’t. Other than some comments from the “Template Guardians” about Volthoom getting the first ring (and battery, I’d assume), we don’t see much from the other corps. And speaking of these “Template” guys, what happened to all the corrupted Guardians? Was that resolved in a tie-in I didn’t read?
Again, credit to Johns on his further characterization of Simon Baz. The guy is simply likable. The few scenes with him and his mentor Lantern B’dg are the strongest few pages in these issues. Unfortunately, Baz and B’dg are both pretty much absent from issue 19.
Ardian Syaf handles the “regular” art, while Szymon Kudranski draws the land of death. I’m not a huge fan of either, although the storytelling is clear enough. Neither artist spends a whole lot of time on background or setting, so the story is sort of taking place in a void. (One of those might be by choice, I guess.)