Green Lantern #43

Green Lantern #43Blackest Night is almost here.  However, just before it kicks off, Geoff Johns gives us this prelude issue, focusing on key villain, Black Hand.

One thing Geoff has always done well, is focus issues defining villains.  His Flash run is a testament to this, with the way he revitalised the Rogues, through spotlight issues on each character (available in the Rogue War trade).   Here, he brings this touch to Green Lantern, delving into Black Hand’s origin, and boy, is he one sick guy.

No punches are pulled in showing just how messed up Black Hand is.  From the beginning of the issue where he’s shown in the grave with the bodies, its obvious just how unhealthy Black Hand’s fascination with the dead is.   We visit vital points in his life, from when he was a small child, right up to the current day, seeing what formed his life, and why he became the costumed villain he is.

The final reveals of the issue are shocking, with Black Hand taking his own life, only to be immediately resurrected by Scar and their master as not only the first Black Lantern, but also their entity, the same as Ion and Parallax.

This to me is very interesting.  Does this mean Black Hand is the physical entity such as Ion the space-whale, or merely the host for the Black entity, as Sodam Yat is for Ion?  Atrocious did say that William Hand was the doorway for the darkness, so that would suggest he is indeed the physical entity.  Since the other entities we’ve seen have all been assumed to be ancient, “from the dawn of time” types, the idea of an entity that is only 20-30 years old seems to open up a lot of questions.

We also get the reveal of Predator as the entity of Love.  I’m going to have to hunt through some back issues to truely appreciate that reveal though.  If you didn’t recognise the character, it perhaps seemed a little odd to casually reveal the violet entity in that way.

Doug Mahnke turns in an impressive debut to his Green Lantern work.  While Ivan will likely remain the definitive GL artist for me, there’s no denying Doug turns in some impressive and detailed visuals.  His final page of the resurrected Black Hand is terrifying.  I think we’re going to get some very good stuff from Doug Mahnke as Blackest Night unfolds 🙂

This was an engrossing issue.  A fascinating (and disturbing) look into one of the major players in Blackest Night.

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