THINK TANK: FUN WITH PTSD #1 – This is a book by Matt Hawkins (Aphrodite IX, Tales of Honor), words, and Rahsan Ekedal (Echoes), art, that follows up on the previous acclaimed Top Cow Think Tank series. This issue kicks off in the fun zone with much of the focus on Newton the Wonder Dog, decked out in a space suit and looking cute as can be. This display of science and genius, as well as the overall tone of the writing, is ambitious, at times touching, personal and very human. This issue’s linework is expressive and gives the characters the much needed visual depth required to make the emotional scenes and even routine interactions believable. This is a comic that deals with some serious issues. This is a book for people who like to think and enjoy their fight scenes played out as cerebral exercises. This battle is waged inside a lab to help a good man and hopefully others as well. This is quite relevant, touching on issues facing real world combat vets today. This is also heartbreaking at times, including one scene in particular; right when Dr. David Loren seemingly has come up with the scientific breakthrough he has been working towards, this kicks you right in the gut. This is a one-shot that serves as a lead-in to the new Season Two version of the series set to debut, in full color, at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. This: Think Tank: Fun With PTSD combines humor, smarts and tragedy to deliver a solid story that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. #This = 3.75/5.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #31 – It’s a prison break… Green Lantern Corps Style! Once it was revealed that the main antagonists for this Uprising crossover story arc were shape-shifters, I cried “CHEAP PLOT DEVICE!” right off the bat. And so far, Robert Venditti (Green Lantern) and GLC scribe Van Jensen haven’t given us anything we haven’t seen before. Some of the Corps members are shape-shifters in disguise! They used the leader’s likeness to make us look bad! These situations are not so much “dramatic space-cop epic” as they are “unfortunate sci-fi sitcom episode.” Bernard Chang, however, is continuously delivering some awesome new alien species for the Durlans to turn into, and consistently handling the diversity in the GL Corps beautifully. Although the overall story arc was lacking until this point, GL Corps #31‘s last pages are a game changer. MIA-Corps member, Super-powered Daxamite, and ex-keeper of the Ion entity, Sodam Yat returns to blast holes into some Durlans scum, and give the Corps that edge they so desperately need (plus long-time GL readers will appreciate seeing the return of a familiar face!). With the shape-shifting cat out of the bag at barely issue 2 of the crossover event, this bodes well for the rest of the Uprising story arc, and Jensen is doing a great job giving us a genuine CORPS book, with not just 3 or 4 representative members, but more than 10 individual, unique protagonists to follow. This issue may not warrant the highest score for the cliche prison break scenes, but oh those killer last few pages! 3.25/5.