Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Green Lantern: Mosaic #2 (1992)

Green Lantern: Mosaic #2 (July, 1992)
Writer - Gerard Jones
Penciller - Cully Hamner
Inker - Dan Panosian
Letterer - Albert DeGuzman
Colorist - Steve Mattsson
Editor - Kevin Dooley
Cover Price: $1.25

This past weekend I decided to go through some of my first few blog posts... from when I thought I'd only have a few blog posts before getting distracted by something shiny and abandoning this place.  I guess when I wrote my earliest posts, I was unaware that my phone had a camera equipped... with which I could actually post pictures on this here blog.  These posts looked barren and uninviting (or at least more uninviting than my current stuff)... I decided to (start to) remedy that.

The first review I "brightened up" was Green Lantern: Mosaic #1... I found myself flipping through, and actually rereading the issue again... and, really really enjoying it.  This begged the question, why hadn't I continued down the Mosaic rabbit hole?  I guess today I (start to) remedy that.


If you need to catch up, Green Lantern: Mosaic #1 is right here (now with pictures!).

We open on a rather disturbing scene in which several squirrels are embroiled in cannibalistic combat.  Mouths are wet with froth and blood while former Green Lantern Ch'p slumbers the winter away.

At that moment, the Mosaic's main-man, John Stewart is stirred from his own rest.  His mind is preoccupied with concern over his proposed road project on this patchwork planet.  Despite his best efforts to fall back to sleep, Stewart relents and decides to visit the road.

John arrives just as a ledger truck is about to careen off into a fissure left in the road.  John observes that there is not currently a creature powerful enough (at least not on Oa) to wreck such havoc on this arterial avenue.  John bathes the truck in green energy and saves both its driver and cargo from plummeting.

Back with Ch'p, hibernation has come to an end.  He describes his tree-mates as being in "nut-frenzy", they have just woken up and "stink of hunger".  Ch'p suddenly remembers the life he'd left behind as a heroic Green Lantern and leaves.

Outside on the bare-treed snow-covered landscape he comes across former comrade in arms, Salaak.  Salaak appears to be in a meditative state, he is however responsive to Ch'p's inquiries.  He too remembers their time as Lanterns, though he would rather he didn't.  Ch'p shares that he had charged his ring for the first time since the Corps. disbanded, and when he did he saw New Lanterns.

Back on Oa, John is visually auditing the amount of damage the road had received when he is suddenly joined by a pair of old friends.  Ch'p is delighted that John recognizes them, and they return to his home to catch up.

Ch'p asks why he was suddenly seeing new Green Lanterns.  John fills him in on recent happenings concerning Hal Jordan's New Corps.  Ch'p is saddened that Hal did not make any attempt to recruit him, and questions whether or not he still has any value.

John offers Ch'p a job helping him on the Mosaic world as a monitor of the road.  He explains that the road is a vital artery for the world, as it will create consumption communities that will link the disparate inhabitants in a web of economic interdependence.  Following their talk, a yellow ledger truck comes barreling down the road, narrowly missing our man Ch'p.

We now join Ch'p on his patrol.  He watches as a large portion of overpass that get blown up real good.  As he approaches to survey the damage he is blasted with a bolt of red energy.  When he recovers he finds himself facing a large red energy creature.  Pelting it with Lantern energy proves fruitless, the being simply laughs and appears to absorb it while splitting off into a second green form.  Ch'p is deeply disturbed by what he then sees.

Nearby, John wakes up in a panic.  Feeling that something is wrong he rushes to Ch'p's aid.  After arriving, he finds Ch'p in an almost catatonic state.  He is unable to answer any of John's questions.  He begins to panic, and throws himself in front of an oncoming truck.

As he lay dying, he shares with John that he saw something... something, RED.

John agonizes over how death always seems to follow him before turning to us... yes, us.  He pleads with us to tell him what we saw... what we know as this chapter fades to black.


Another wonderful, terrible, disturbing visit to John Stewart's patchwork Oa.  This is almost a magical series... There is no point in reading this issue where I felt comfortable.  This is nearly a quarter-century old, and I've read it many times... yet it still has the ability to bring me in, and keep me somewhat on edge.

Mosaic is quite likely my favorite Gerard Jones work.  This is just such an amazing, beautiful, and ugly world he is crafting.  His John Stewart is so well done.  He is perhaps the most powerful being currently on Oa, yet he is also the most vulnerable.  His (slipping?) sanity is another wonder to behold.  Not since Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man have I felt as though I was being spoken to by a comic book character... and in Morrison's run it felt like a more meta-commentary than anything.  Here... John Stewart may literally be losing his mind... and it's so much fun to watch!

Cully Hamner's art may just be the most appropriate for this issue (and series).  Somewhat angular and abstract, this style fits the narrative to a "T".  There is something almost disturbing about it, it suits the mood just so well.

Watching Ch'p go from scorned former ally, to embracing his newly-inherited responsibilities... to his ultimate fate was an amazing character study.  All Ch'p wanted to do was make a difference... to prove his worth.  For him to throw his life away out of fear really speaks to the unspeakable terror that our pending threat brings with it.  I don't have much of a history with our main man Ch'p, however, I can appreciate how powerful and disturbing this scene (hell, whole issue) must have been to those who did.  So well done!

This was an excellent issue... in an amazing series.  Even if you have zero interest in the Green Lantern Corps., this is a book you should check out.  It is, as I sometimes say... just that good.


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This is like one of the movies they would show on loop at the pediatrician's office.
Feel sick just looking at it!

1 comment:

  1. Though right around now is when I walked away from superhero comics for a bit, I do remember this...I think I got it more for Ch'p than for John Stewart. The shame!


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