Release Date: March 23, 2011
Cover Date: May 2011
Story: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, and Tom Nguyen
Cover: Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert
1:10 Variant Cover: Tyler Kirkham and Matt “Batt” Banning
The Book of the Black spits out Larfleeze’s lantern, but it’s a trap; Lyssa Drak appears, and uses the tome’s power to drag all of the Corps representatives into the Book. Sinestro tells Hal Jordan that overpowering their rings might free them, and it manages to release Hal successfully. The Book seemingly implodes after that, leaving the other Lanterns’ rings behind. But before Hal can catch his breath, Salaak and a group of other Green Lanterns arrive to arrest him. On Oa, Krona appears before the Guardians, effortlessly defeating them and force-bonding them to the emotional entities. Krona places Parallax back into the Central Power Battery, and every Green Lantern immediately falls under his control. Hal manages to escape the squad sent to arrest him, and with his allies’ rings in tow, he desperately flies off into space looking for help.
So, “War of the Green Lanterns” has officially kicked off. Officially. It looks the entire war is based on Krona controlling the Corps, so it’s seems to be a generic mind-control story, but we’ll see how it plays out.
Krona overtaking the stunned Guardians was a great scene, too, especially when he tore Herupa’s jaw open to infect him with rage. Overall, this issue was quite good, and a colossal improvement over the previous piece of shit.
Aside from the fantastic Ivan Reis cover, Doug Mahnke’s art really shines here. His splash illustrations of the Corps and the entities are amazing! Did everyone catch the obvious Nazi imagery? When Salaak attacks Hal, his ring’s energies are forming a swastika:
I guess a malevolent entity controlling the Corps wasn’t enough to drive the “evil” point home, was it?
As exciting as this issue was, there’s a lot of very weird stuff floating around in here that needs to be analyzed.
First off, Salaak needs a bit of a history refresher course. During the issue’s introduction, he says that Hal defeated Parallax through sheer willpower. Wrong. That’s not what happened in Green Lantern: Rebirth at all. Hal’s willpower certainly helped, for sure, but without the aid of the Spectre and the other Green Lanterns (who are clearly shown in the flashback), he would’ve failed miserably. I’m hoping this was just an error; if not, retconning Rebirth in that way actually makes the story even worse!
The Book of the Black has the death symbol emblazoned on the cover…but it has nothing to do with death. Sure, it first appeared during the lead-up to Blackest Night, but aside from that prophecy, it’s simply a collection of “lost” tales of the Guardians. That death symbol shouldn’t even be there; if nothing else, the life symbol should be there, as the Book does chronicle an era where the Guardians wore that emblem. Which reminds me, there’s an amusing art error in this issue: the Book of the Black does have the life symbol on it! Sort of. Mahnke mistakenly drew seven bars into the symbol, instead of five.
The Guardians also made mention of the First Lantern. We can safely assume that he (or she) was the first bearer of a power ring and lantern. This is yet another Geoffcon; before Johns made Krona the creator of the lantern, the original wielders were the Manhunters. They had emerald-powered pistols instead of rings, but the underlying technology was the same. This is a very recent alteration, as the Manhunter action figures and statues still include those accessories.
But I digress. At first glance, you might assume that the First Lantern is the chained figure seen in Green Lantern (Vol. 4) #62. However, that figure is shown imprisoned both before and after the formation of the Corps. So unless the Guardians had a change of heart and released it, then incarcerated the figure again, it doesn’t really work. (It’s still possible, but it would be poor storytelling.) Will the First Lantern be a new character, or someone we’re already familiar with from the Green Lantern mythos? We’ll find out soon enough, since those visions in issue #62 were flashforwards of a sort.
When Krona attacked the Guardians…where the hell were the rest of them? I know some have died in recent years, but there’s still a lot more than six. Are they on vacation? Not that they would have been any match for Krona’ power, but it’s still strange that there weren’t more of them hanging around.
As for the power rings Hal has with him, I bet they’ll find use on other characters’ fingers, at least temporarily. The red one has Guy Gardner’s name written all over it!
On a random final note…did anyone else roll their eyes when Lyssa Drak called herself “the story vampire”? Ugh. I expected her to twirl a mustache and tie Carol Ferris to the train tracks after that.
Weirdnesss aside, “War of the Green Lanterns” is off to a good start, and it continues in Green Lantern Corps (Vol. 2) #58. Expect my review of that issue on Monday morning.