Constant readers know my schtick on Green Lantern Corps -- this was the title I was never supposed to like, but here with the second trade (third, if you count Green Lantern Corps: Recharge), this title makes me believer. Green Lantern Corps: The Dark Side of Green is a fantastic space romp with strong police procedural flavors; moreover, it's a title where both main writer Dave Gibbons and guest writer Keith Champagne write a fantastic Guy Gardner, probably one of the toughest characters in the entire DC Universe to write correctly. Hat's off to this team; this book comes highly recommended.
Guy Gardner shines in the two storylines included in The Dark Side of Green. The first, by Champagne, feels just slightly like a fill-in because it stars only Guy and not the rest of the Corps cast, but Champagne's story is almost compelling enough for us to forget what's missing. Here, Guy is recruited by a black ops arms of the Corps to steal a weapon from the Dominion; in the second story, by Gibbons, Guy is accused of murder and must prove his innocence on the Green Lantern planet Mogo.
Both writers cast Guy as sassy and sarcastic, but without the petty obnoxiousness other writers might include; Guy here is a professional -- though not a staid one -- and his first priority here is always his duty. I loved Beau Smith's portrayal of Guy in Warrior, and I'm glad his character growth has been continued here; interestingly, Champagne has Guy advocate against killing a foe, in contrast to Guy's murder of Major Force in Warrior, though whether this is retcon or it's meant to show additional change in Guy is unclear.
Dave Gibbon's Green Lantern Corps story here finally brings together the somewhat disperate cast of the Corps -- Guy, Natu, Vath, and Isamot -- whose missions usually have them at disparate ends of the universe. This gives the story a large-scale feel as it transfers to the Sinestro Corps crossover.
I had complained a bit in my last Green Lantern Corps review that Gibbons' art, while fitting to a Guy Gardner story in the last trade, seemed out of step with the tone of Green Lantern Corps as a whole. I'm pleased to see Gibbons back on art chores with this trade, with his art better integrated by just drawing certain scenes and characters; the effect was a more fluid blending of Gibbons' and artist Patrick Gleason's styles overall.
[Contains full covers]
In short, Green Lantern Corps: The Dark Side of Green is a delight, from the revelation of Mogo's Green Lantern partner to the final ominous yellow-tinged ending. If you've been on the fence about this series, go back to the beginning and pick up the first trade; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.