I must admit, I was very glad to finally have this issue in my hands. The January skip month’s effects have really been hitting the event for me, as its really felt in a holding pattern with nothing particularly happening to move the story forward for the last couple of months.
And very nicely, a lot did happen in this issue. The deputy Lanterns get a little page time, with Luthor getting out of control, showing how deputising him was a bad idea. These scenes flowed on nicely to those in Green Lantern #51, so they worked really well I thought.
The focus though, was on some big reveals, which I was very glad to see. There’s an interesting reveal regarding the Guardians, as Nekron taunts one before killing him. A really nice touch was the Guardian being so old that he couldn’t even remember why they were guarding the universe anymore.
The fact that the insides of the Guardian reflected the colours of the emotional spectrum, and Nekron’s comments about how the Guardians are closest to the spectrum of all the races was interesting. It also possibly helps explain how Ganthet and Sayd were able to switch Corps so easily. Perhaps the Guardians naturally have the ability to use power from any of the lights, but over the eons they’ve repressed those abilities so much that now they can only access willpower. By opening themselves to Hope, perhaps Ganthet and Sayd simply rediscovered their natural ability to wield the blue light.
I’m really intrigued to see where Geoff’s planning on going with the Guardians after the dust settles on all this. Its been clear to the reader for a while that they’d lost their way (which the Guardians do an awful lot throughout the history of Green Lantern, you’d have thought they’d have learned by now), but this issue gives us insight into perhaps just how far that goes, and for how long. I hope this is something Geoff’s planning on exploring post Blackest Night. Or at least gives some pointers to Tony Bedard or Peter Tomasi to pick up on.
We also discover the big secret that the Guardians have kept hidden. That infact, Earth is where all life started, and over the millennia they’ve tried to hide this fact and divert attention to Oa. I do wonder what kinds of problems this throws up (why does life seem less evolved on Earth than on other worlds? Why is life more plentiful on Maltus than Earth?). As a revelation I can’t help but think this opens up a lot of questions, so again, I’ll be interested to see where Johns takes this (I wonder if the fact the New Guardians stay on Earth will be related?).
As a direct spin-off of this revelation, its revealed that the secret the Guardians had buried on Earth was the existence of the White Entity, as Nekron raises it from the ground and starts attacking it, and by extension all life. Hal quickly realises that someone needs to host the entity but is blocked in his attempt by Sinestro who claims it for himself, becoming the much-rumoured White Lantern.
The White Lantern has been a topic of some controversy ever since the Black Lantern first appeared at the end of Sinestro Corps War. I must admit to being against the idea, but that was back when I assumed Hal would end up in the role. However, as always Geoff proves he should be trusted. Sinestro being the White Lantern is a great move, and more importantly a natural one. Granted, its a natural move given his characterisation since Sinestro Corps War, so the readers of this series who aren’t reading it as a Green Lantern payoff may get a lot less from it.
Throughout Geoff’s Green Lantern run, rather than Hal, its always been emphasised that Sinestro was the greatest Green Lantern. We’ve seen since Sinestro Corps War how all of Sinestro’s plans were meant to prepare the GLC for the upcoming Blackest Night. He long ago realised that Abin Sur had indeed been onto something, and his rage when the white Entity is discovered, and he realises the scope of the Guardians lies is a powerful scene. He realises that Abin Sur hadn’t targetted Earth by accident as he’d been onto the truth, and yet the Guardians covered it up and cast his friend as someone who’d lost his mind. Sinestro being the one to pick up Abin Sur’s mission and claim the White Entity makes so much sense. Geoff even teased it back in the build up to the Sinestro Corps War, when Lyssandra Drak mentioned that Sinestro would be the greatest (Green admittedly) Lantern once again. Theres also a nice callout to the recent events of Green Lantern, where Sinestro blocks Hal, the same way that Hal prevented Sinestro joining with Parallax (also interesting as its an event that was completely confined to Green Lantern, so the reference here will perhaps confuse those not following that book).
However, again it’ll be interesting to see how Geoff continues this plot thread. Presumably Sinestro will lose the entity at the end of Blackest Night reverting back to being a yellow lantern once again as part of the New Guardians. There’s also the element of how unstable Sinestro can be. While some of the events that drove him into what he became are understandable, and a tribute to Geoff’s making him such a multi-layered character, there’s still no denying all the horror he’s responsible for. Now that he’s in possession of the White Entity of life, will he ironically become similar to Hal as Parallax? Responsible for so many deaths, yet attempting to make amends for everything he’s done and justify them by trying to set things right? That might be interesting, but I doubt it. Sinestro sees himself as a big picture kind of guy and I doubt he shares Hal’s remorse over his actions. As a move for the character though, there’s no denying that making him the White Lantern is an interesting one, and certainly far preferable to it being Hal.
A couple of nice side events from this issue as well. Dove appears on the battlefield disconnecting Black Lanterns all around her. So it appears that the power she was tapping was that of the white Entity. And interestingly when she tries to affect the Black Lantern, it seems to wake up the Anti-Monitor inside, which should lead into the next issue of GLC, going by its variant cover.
Building on my comments from GL #51 as well, it was nice to see Black Hand and Nekron enter the action once again. They’ve felt a little sidelined in this series, so seeing Nekron’s plans come round as he killed the Guardian and raised the entity to kill it (and all life) was nice. Of course, when you think about it, the plan is pretty simple (raise dead, get 100% power to raise Nekron, Nekron kills Guardian to raise Entity and kills it) so I guess fitting that over the three issues since Nekron rose is a bit tricky. With all the speculation that Blackest Night #8 will see a mass resurrection, I can’t help but wonder about Black Hand’s fate after all this. Will he suffer (for him) the unimaginable torment of being returned to life? Or, since he’s currently the black entity, or at least its host, will that allow him to remain, in effect the sole Black Lantern once all this is said and done?
One little nod I loved was when all the Corps appeared in space to help John. I’m not sure how the maths works out in terms of the number of Lanterns, but I loved the nod to Rebirth with Kilowog’s ring being the only one to make a noise, and then Kilowog snorting. That was a great little touch. In general the big arrival of all the Corps double splash page brought a big smile to my face.
A great issue, and nice to see the story move along again after two months. I’m excited for the conclusion now, and it’ll be interesting to see how everyone reacts to Sinestro hosting the white entity. There’s a lot of questions still standing regarding the fate of the Guardians and the entities, although now I’m thinking these will be dealt with in Green Lantern post-Blackest Night. And of course the big thing we’re all waiting to see is what form the big resurrection will take. We know that Professor Zoom and Aquaman at least are going to be back, so who else will join them?