Green Lantern #45 is a heckuva busy issue. With last month’s Green Lantern #44 Geoff Johns was busy kick-starting Blackest Night by focusing on the Hal/Barry fight with the Black Lantern J’onn. With Blackest Night now in full swing, he turns his attention back to the war of light, revisiting the various plot threads sparked during the earlier Rage of the Red Lanterns and Agent Orange arcs.
The John Stewart/Xanshi stuff was covered in the preview in its entirity. Sadly we don’t get any other teases as to what the story is here. We do know that this plot is due for some focus in the upcoming issues, however another page at least would’ve been nice here. Its always a slight disappointment when a preview shows you an entire subplot. Again though, this is largely due to the number of plot threads Geoff’s revisiting in this issue so its understandable.
The rest of the issue is filled full of the various Lanterns. We get a bit more of the conflict on Zamaron, with Carol and Sinestro providing for quite an interesting battle of wills (if that’s the right word), as Sinestro plays on her character and mocks her for taking up the Star Sapphire purely to try and help Hal. In reponse we get Carol briefly trapping Sinestro in one of the Sapphire’s conversion booths where we get an intriguing look at Sinestro and Abin Sur’s relationship, specifically in terms of Sinestro seeming interested in Abin’s sister. Since we know the Abin is one of the Black Lanterns to rise, I’m guessing this is a plot we’ll be seeing sooner rather than later. And even more interestingly, they’re interrupted by the arrival of the Black Lantern Sinestro Corps led by Black Lantern Amon Sur. Its interesting that both Abin and his son have been risen as Black Lanterns, and surely that’s something Geoff is going to play with.
On Ysmault the Alpha and Lost Lanterns have retrieved Laira’s body but find themselves under attack from the Red Lanterns, but are also having problems with the Alpha Lanterns. Boodikka is refusing to leave as her programming to terminate all enemies of the Corps is conflicting with the need to evacuate the planet. Once again, we’re seeing the Guardian’s mistakes start to come back on them. The Lost Lanterns say they’re going to have to force her to leave, but you can’t help but think she’ll react badly to that. And then the Black Rings show up. Laira is of course one of the first to rise as a Black Lantern, but given Ysmault’s population was nearly entirely wiped out by the Manhunters, you can’t help but think the Red, Alpha and Lost Lanterns are about to find themselves badly outnumbered.
The scenes with the Blue and Orange Lanterns though probably provided the biggest payoff. Given the nature of the Orange Lanterns (they’re killed and Orange Lantern copies created), it always seemed like Larfleeze was going to be in a lot of trouble come Blackest Night, and here we see that come to pass as the Black Rings arrive on Okaara.
We’ve also got the continuing assault on Odym. A nice touch, playing on how full of life the planet is, is the fact that the Black Rings sent there are just hovering in orbit. There’s nothing on the planet for them currently, so they’re just waiting for something to die. It gave us the really nice visual of the rings circling Odym like vultures.
I also liked the visual of the Orange Lanterns, with Larfleeze’s greed knowing no limits, having moved on from the idea of just grabbing a blue ring, to grabbing the whole central battery. It was interesting that Ganthet wasn’t too concerned about the Battery though. Granted, the Blackest Night has arrived, but you think his Corps being left powerless would concern him just a little, unless he’s betting on the Black Rings disrupting the Orange Lanterns as we saw in the final pages as he’s aware the Black Lanterns are the larger threat.
All in all, it was very nice, to see the War of Light return center stage, and going by solicits, it looks like this is the aspect of the story that the main GL title will be focusing on from the duration of Blackest night. You’ve got to admire the sheer number of subplots Geoff is managing in this issue, its just perhaps a shame that we don’t get a bit more of them due to the restriction in number of pages. But then, they do say you should always leave people wanting more 😉
Very much looking forward to the next issue, hopefully with a lot more of the John Stewart/Xanshi stuff, and it’ll be nice to see Ganthet’s Blue Lanterns get more involved. Although Ganthet will need to try and get a Green Lantern in range of Odym unless the Black Lanterns on Okaraa can cause Larfleeze to retrieve his “Corps” and leave behind the Blue battery.