Sunday, July 5, 2009

Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps Reviews

Okay. The Fourth is past. My ankle is healing up again. And I have two months worth of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps details to make up for and annotate.

Let's do this.


* Hal Jordan is taken hostage by Larfleeze aka Agent Orange - leader of the Orange Lanterns. Hal thinks he looks like "... a boar crossed with one of the Muppets. The furry one who hangs out with chickens." Personally, I think he looks more like Uncle Deadly.

* Being bound to the Orange Power does make you insanely powerful. It also makes you ever hungry and uncontrollably greedy to a point of making Verruca "But I want an Oompa-Loompa NOOOOOOOOW" Salt look reasonable. Larfleeze, naturally, wants Hal's Blue Ring, since he's never seen one like it before. He can't take it, however, since Hope is - by it's nature - dependent on selflessness.

* Larfleeze tells Hal the story of how he discovered the Orange Power. The short version is that he was part of a group of bandits who stole a box holding a great treasure from The Guardians and went on the run. They holed up in the Vega system, following a treasure map among their other loot - a map which lead them to the Orange Power Battery. Larfleeze and his companions fought over the Lantern even as they fought the Manhunters and Guardians who were chasing after them to a standstill. Eventually, there were only two survivors among the bandits and The Guardians agreed to give him control of the Vega system to them in exchange for the box... after one of them killed the other. Obviously Larfleeze won, and he kept to the bargain to stay in Vega so long as the Guardians agreed to stay out - a bargain that was recently broken.

* For some unknown reasons, The Guardians themselves seem to be totally helpless in fighting The Orange Power with Green Energy. (Willpower can only do so much against Greed?)

* Fatality (or rather, the woman who WAS Fatality before joining the love-empowered Star Sapphires) shows up to save John Stewart from the Orange Lanterns and tells him that she has forgiven him for failing to save her homeworld.

* Sinestro plots with his loyal soldiers on how to make an attack on Zamaron - the home of the Star Sapphires.

* We find that another Green Lantern besides the dead-speaker Saarek has been sent to search for the body of The Anti-Monitor. This Green Lantern - Ashel Sabian Formanta, or Ash for short - lost his wife to vampires and became a Green Lantern to fight the blood-drinkers common to his sector. Cooly enough, both of these guys are established characters who have appeared before. Look them up at


* Bad news - it looks like pawn of prophecy and Ion-Power wielder Sodam Yat is dead. Good news - he uses every bit of power he has with his dying breath to change the red sun of his native Daxam to yellow. Why is that important? Well, yellow sunlight has a similar effect on Daxamites as it does on Kryptonians. So with one bold move, Sodam gave his people the power they needed to fight back against the Sinestro Corps members currently holding the planet captive.

* Ash meets up with Saarek, and they both discover they were sent separately on the same mission by The Guardians. They elect to continue on together.

* The prison riot on Oa continues to get worse, with Kyle taking the desperate measure of deputizing the less evil and dangerous criminals into helping them deal with the Red Lanterns and Sinestro Corps members that are running amok.

* Lyssa Drax, keeper of the Fear Lantern holy book; The Book of Parallax - discovers a similar tome in the caves deep under Oa. She winds up trapped on a page of the book by Scar, aka the freaky scarred, death-obsessed female Guardian who appears to have been corrupted by The Black energy.

*Speaking of which, Scar does some kind of ritual saying that "The door needs to be opened". This somehow leads to the sky opening - literally OPENING - above Oa and a bolt of darkness shattering the Central Power Battery... just after the Green Lanterns, several rookie Green Lanterns and the deputized baddies contain the rest of the rioters.


* Larfleeze cuts off Hal's hand to get the Blue Ring after Hal proves unable to remove it. The ring gives him a vision of having the Blue Power and not being hungry anymore... only for the ring to wind up back on Hal's fully healed hand.

* Hal remembers, at this point, that the Muppet he was thinking of was Gonzo. But we all know better. It's everyone's favorite blue dragon - Uncle Deadly!

Tell me I'm wrong, folks!

* Fatality tells John Stewart that she no longer hates him and that he must learn to forgive himself for his failures - i.e. not being there to save his wife and his failure to save the planet Xanshi.

* Hal tries - and fails - to steel Larfleeze's battery. He briefly winds up in an orange version of his usual costume and is overwhelmed by voices telling him of all the things he should have. It turns out that Larfleeze has been holding onto the battery for so long, he is as connected to it as the Guardians are to the Central Power Battery on Oa.

* Hal finally gets the Blue Ring off of his hand... as he hopes that the ring will stop asking him "What do you hope for?" assuming he gets out of his current predicament. This somehow triggers the sincerity block, turns Hal into a Blue Lantern and allows him to toast Larfleeze with a point-blank burst of Blue Energy. It then recharges the rings of all the Green Lantern's present and flies off looking for a new host.

* The Guardians agree to bargain with Larfleeze in return for a reaffirmation of their bargain. The Guardians then give Larfleeze the one thing he wants most at this point; the knowledge of where to get another Blue Ring. This leads to Larfleeze attacking the home of the Blue Lanterns, who just inducted their third member and... oh GODS, are The Guardians little bastards or what?

* Ash and Saarek get to the location of the Anti-Monitor's body in Sector 666. And then they fly like mad as they discover a big Black Lantern and the hands of corpses begin to come out of the ground faster than you can say Thriller.


* The Green Lanterns go to work on going after all the Power Battery pieces that are drifting into space while the Alpha Lanterns (aka the Internal Affairs of the Green Lantern Corps - agents who elected to be bonded with Manhunter technology, making them lose all vestige of personality in favor of intense logic and Lawful Neutral behavior)

* Soranik Natu - Green Lantern of Korugar - deals with the revelation that Sinestro is her birth father and attempts to burn a tattoo he gave her as a child off. She can't do it, so she elects to keep it as a reminder of her hatred for the man who nearly destroyed her world.

* The Daxamites retake their planet, forcing Mongul to lead the Fear Corps he's won to his side to "a planet that may fit our requirements and serve the symbol of this corps in a MUCH more fufilling way." Now taking bets on if it will be Earth, Warworld or the planet of the Black Mercys.

* Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner discover that the Alpha Lanterns are vaporizing all the unarmed and helpless criminals they captured. Naturally, they protest and say that this goes far and beyond the Guardian's edict to use lethal force against Sinestro Corps members in the field since they are killing everyone, doing it without trial, doing it secretly and doing it after Kyle promised that there would be leniency for the criminals who helped stop the riot.

* In the middle of all this Alex Nero - the mad artist/killer who was given a yellow ring and briefly served as Kyle Rayner's opposite number in the Sinestro Corps - is killed without ceremony.

* There's a nice, unpreachy parallel here with real world events re: the USA and torture, as Kyle makes the point that by doing what they are doing, The Guardians are now effectively killing the best weapon they have with the general populace of the universe; good will. That is to say, you know a Green Lantern will give you a fair shake if you surrender to them - allow secret executions and that all goes out the window.

* In the span of minutes, The Guardians elect to make the executions public, promise to honor Kyle's promise to spare the criminals who helped stop the riot and teleport Guy and Kyle back to Earth as a temporary reassignment "until you can keep your emotions in check." It is unclear if the Guardians keep their promise or not since it looks like Kanjar Ro and Bolphunga the Unrelenting are bathed in Green Light but could just as easily be being vaporized as they are being protected from the Alpha Lantern death rays.

* Across the galaxy, more black lights erupt from an asteroid belt. At the center of each is a black ring and a voice demanding "Flesh".

There's nothing I can honestly review here, folks. I think it's brilliant but I admit my own bias and freely admit that there is a LOT going on here that isn't really friendly to new readers. Get the trade-paperbacks and start catching up, though. You are NOT going to want to miss Blackest Night once it gets going. Hopefully Johns and company will make that one a little more accessible to new readers.


  1. I'm loving everything about the books. I think they are a bit heavy handed at times with their metaphors, much like the Sinestro corps war was pretty thinly veiled, but it is hard to argue with the spirit in which both books are being written.
    I honestly think that Johns and Tomasi have done an amazing job plotting this, and I've actually had a couple of moments where I went "Oh, I didn't see that coming."

  2. They are both well-written series. The problem is that they are very hard to review on their own merits having been so in-line with one another that you really do need to be reading both books.
    The subplot with Ash and Saarek, for instance, is split across both books. And both characters are obscure enough (I didn't realize that they weren't original Johns/Tomasi creations until I started looking up their names for this article) that I can see their sudden inclusion confusing even seasoned Green Lantern fans who are only reading one title or the other, for some reason.
    But yes... they are doing a good job with the history and the plotting.

  3. Hal's vision of Sinestro was interesting. Man, those Guardians are jerks, both for the Orange Lantern thing and the executions.
    Poor Nero.