Green Lantern #51

So its part 2 of the Spectre/Parallax showdown. And after being unsure about it last issue, how did it pan out?

Well, quite a bit happened here.  The actual Spectre/Parallax confrontation was pretty short.  Its unclear to me whether or not Johns actually intended to show Parallax as powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with the Spectre.  There’s the implication that the Black Lantern Spectre is actually a fake-out, with Parallax freeing the actual Spectre from inside the Black Lantern.  Presumably Black Lantern Spectre didn’t posses any of the actual Spectre’s power at all, which could explain Parallax standing up to him as opposed to getting squashed in short order.  Its a little unclear though, and I can’t remember if it’d contradict the Phantom Stranger tie-in or not, but going by Rebirth, it wouldn’t really make sense for Parallax to be able to take on the Spectre unaided.

With the Spectre freed, things quickly turn to freeing Hal from Parallax.  Here we see the Star Sapphires’ tethering powers come to the fore again, as Carol’s love allows her to tether to Hal and rip him free from Parallax.  We’ve seen these kinds of powers used a few times over in GLC, so to see it done here is a nice touch and adds to the links between the books to see the Star Sapphires used consistently like this.

Most interesting was what happened to Parallax, as he promptly vanishes as if pulled away, and there’s a cut to Hector Hammond who comments that someone has managed to capture Parallax.  It sounds like there’s another party involved in things who’s after the entities (who we know will play a part in the story).  It’ll be interesting to see who this turns out to be.  With only two issues left, introducing another party into things may not flow that well (similar to Mandrakk suddenly turning up in Final Crisis #7).

Another thought is that with Sodam Yat and Ion currently in Daxam’s sun, will this turn of events mean that Ion is also brought back into things?  And will that presumably also mean the return of Sodam Yat and the Daxamites depowered once again (surely a good thing for everyone).  Personally I hope so, although I’d hope that Peter Tomasi gets to address it in GLC in some way.  Since we’ve seen Yat as the last Guardian in Legion of 3 Worlds, the current Daxam situation is one I find myself just sitting waiting to see the conclusion to.  To be honest, I’d expected Sodam to make a dramatic return to help defend Oa from the Black Lanterns, and I’m slightly surprised his situations not been addressed yet.

However before all this, came probably my favourite part of the book.  I’m still very much undecided on the “DC characters with power rings” concept.  The Flash as a blue Lantern has had a lot of focus, and its really not working for me.  However more successful I think are the villains.  So the opening of this issue focusing on Larfleeze and Luthor I really liked.  The pairing of them both with the orange light is quite a fun idea, with both desperate to possess it in its entirety.

It also provides a non-comedic moment for Larfleeze where he threatens Lex and points out that he gave up his birthright for the Orange light.  Firstly, I’m intrigued to know if that birthright is going to be significant, however its also nice as Larfleeze has frequently been the comedy relief since his initial Agent Orange arc, so its nice to see him being back to being portrayed as a threat briefly again.  There’s also though the nice character beat (and setup for the upcoming New Guardians arc) that sees Larfleeze realise that Earth can be quite a greedy place, and might be worth his interest.

The teasing doesn’t end there either.  Atrocitous decides the Spectre should be the new red entity, and attempts to convert him into a Red Lantern.  The Spectre shrugs this off however, but does point out that he’s met the red entity, and warns Atrocitous against trying to find it.  And interesting hint, and the Spectre’s warning echoes the fear of the Zamarrons that the Predator (also an entity from the far end of the emotional spectrum) would be freed.  With the way things are going, its surely only a matter of time before we see what the Spectre was talking about.

Also nice this issue was to see  Nekron step up.  Since he turned up, he hasn’t actually done an awful lot.  So to see him step in against the Spectre was very gratifying.  With all the buildup to 100% in the first half of Blackest Night, Nekron hasn’t really done much worth talking about.  Of course it can be argued that “Spectre jobs to the villain” is a bit of a cliche in DC Comics to establish a big threat, however I can overlook it here as it at least gave Nekron something to do.   However with Blackest Night #7 due out, I suspect Nekron is going to feature a lot more heavily in that.

So, despite my feeling unsure about Green Lantern #50, I thought this issue delivered well.  The story didn’t necessarily move on much (I think its arguable that Blackest Night hit a holding pattern due to the January skip month being introduced), however there are a few interesting pieces of groundwork in place for the main series, or future GL issues to pick up on.

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