Representing the first issues for both main Green Lantern books after Blackest Night, both of these came out this week in the UK (thanks to last week’s volcano issues). This led to me reading them back-to-back and they provide an interesting comparison.
To me Green Lantern Corps felt like much more of an epilogue which was needed to Blackest Night, while the main Green Lantern book was, as is Geoff Johns’ style, more focused in setting up future plots and mysteries.
While Green Lantern played with the Hal/Carol relationship a bit more, I still can’t help but dislike the way Cowgirl has all but completely vanished from the book. Granted she gets a name-check here, but a return of Hal’s civilian identity would be welcome. I can only assume Cowgirl will be dumping him the next time he bothers to go see her, and Lord knows what his status is with the Air Force.
It is a tricky situation for Johns. He spent much of the first part of his run re-establishing Hal on Earth, and building his relationship with Cowgirl. The minute the Sinestro Corps kicked off the larger storyline, the cosmic stuff has taken on much more importance to the franchise. I guess I’d just like to see Geoff address Hal’s civilian life, even if its just to draw a line under it, to allow Hal to move completely onto the cosmic side of the story, rather than leave it dangling.
For now though, we’re still in full cosmic flow, with the New Guardians, as Sinestro (presumably appearing after Blackest Night #0) interrupts Hal and Carol (nicely pointing out that Carol had said she’d give up the Star Sapphire powers but hasn’t) to tell them he’s found the white Lantern and its asking for Hal.
However for me, the best part of the book was the tease on Ryut at the beginning, which brought to the fore various dangling plot strands again. Hector Hammond is revisited, and we find him conversing with a mysterious cloaked figure who is on Ryut and is wearing green energy chains. This is the character that captured Parallax during Blackest Night. I assume this will also dovetail to the real reason there was a massacre in Sector 666. Was the Manhunter attack ordered by the Guardians to capture/stop this individual? Did the Guardians decide the lives of the entire planet were acceptable losses, and then cover it up with a “malfunction”?
There’s also a real left-field element at the end of the book, where we find Guy, Ganthet and Atrocitous conspiring against the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps. Now, in fairness, Peter Tomasi established that Guy still has a partial red Lantern infection, but Ganthet’s dialogue about wanting to bring down the Green Lantern Corps has really come out of nowhere and threw me. I really don’t know what to make of this scene. I assume it’s going to be followed up in the other books, since Ganthet is moving to the Green Lantern Corps book (and I guess we can now assume he’s got his own motives for becoming a Green Lantern, and part of the draw of the book will be Kyle and John slowly figuring this out).
I’m really unsure about this idea of Ganthet having a big goal to take down the Green Lantern Corps as it seems to be at odds with the character’s other appearances. Although I wonder if its more about dismantling the Corps as it is, specifically under the Guardians’ leadership (which we know from recent events is deeply flawed).
The other element of the issue I did like was the Luthor/Larfleeze scene. I’d assumed Luthor’s connection to things would have ended with Blackest Night, although there’s an Action Comics solicit that suggests otherwise. But the main thing I liked about this scene was again Larfleeze being portrayed in a scarier way, rather than as comedy relief. The way he’s going around with Sayd, holding her with his feet is quite creepy, and I hope that Geoff has some plans for Sayd and the way she’s bound herself to Larfleeze like this.
As a setup issue, this issue worked well. The opening pages gave us an interesting mystery, and while I wasn’t bothered about the Carol/Hal scene, it tied things into Brightest Day nicely with the Sinestro appearance. However there’s a side of me that would’ve liked more of an epilogue to the previous story before moving straight onto the next big thing, similar as to what was done in GLC. It is nice though to see the dangling plot threads being picked up and I’m definitely intrigued by this figure on Ryut.
*edit* the cloaked figure was, of course, on Ryut and not Ysmault as I’d originally said.