Once again, it’s all too easy for our hero in Lantern City. If, in all honesty, we can call him a hero. Sander walks in with such ease despite being confronted by the wife of the man who he now impersonates. The wife accepts him quickly – if only out of the necessity to survive and protect her child. A child who isn’t identified as hers alone or hers with the late Captain Orlin. There’s little conversation or affection for the former Captain Orlin from the family. It’s implied that he was cruel in some way. The child listens dutifully to his mother without question following her demands to identify Sander as Orlin. I finished this issue with the feeling that the pages heaved and said, “Oh, okay.”
Every “challenge” that Sander gets into is covered in thought and introspection. Am I reading a steam punk version of Doogie Howser M.D.’s journal session? Why should I so quickly accept everything happening while Sander introspects his discovery that, hey, guards are people too! What’s the end game? The only character that gives any conflict is Mr. Belm who doesn’t believe Sander or his recent exploits. But right now he’s done very little but provide a new backdrop for Sander. There’s no struggle, no challenge.
What’s writer Matthew Daley looking to achieve? From the beginning he talked about how he was looking to see how far one man would go for family. As far as we know, his family will maintain their level of life for the rest of time. We ended issue #3 with some question of safety, but nothing concrete. And ultimately, what will happen when Sander can return? Will the upper echelons of society welcome him back from the dead to work without punishment? Won’t the sudden death/disappearance of Orlin only bring questions about Sander’s resurgence? And ultimately, what of the moment Sander believes he acts for? he’s doing reconnaissance and only fins out they get larger portions of the the food the have down below.
So much, yet so little is discovered in these first few issues. But I am patient and will wait to see if there is a reward at the end of the tunnel. Lantern City has so much promise to just give up so quickly.
Lantern City is out new from Archaia/Boom! Studios. Find it here: Amazon