There’s a lot still being juggled in Green Lantern, and this issue is no exception, with about 3 separate plot lines being focused on throughout the issues.
It starts out with Atrocitus hunting down the Butcher with Sinestro. Its a nice scene that underlines that as bad as Atrocitus can be, there’s still a sense of justice (albeit an extreme one) underneath what he does, as they discover the prison attacked by the Butcher, and he vapourises a bus-load of convicted murderers. Its a nice character scene that helps underline the depth to Atrocitus, as well as the power of the Butcher from the devastation at the prison.
The action then picks up where last issue left off, with Hal, Larfleeze and Carol on Zamarron. We see rebuilding is already underway, and I thought the Zamarrons building a statue to their fallen Queen in their central battery was actually quite a nice touch. Hal and Carol’s confrontation nicely touched on a couple of beats I’ve mentioned before, with Carol challenging Hal over his relationship with Cowgirl which he seemed to have forgotten about (surely she’s dumped him by now?). Its a nice scene mainly because it allows Carol to grow up a bit. Throughout Green Lantern, she’s often been defined as “Hal Jordan’s love interest”, and even in her latest role as a Star Sapphire this has been a factor, as she took the ring to help protect Hal and has been following him around since. Its nice to see Carol stand up and be her own person, accepting that sorting out the Star Sapphires and getting them back on their feet is something she has to do.
That being said, I don’t expect her to be gone for too long. The Predator being on Zamarron is probably not nearly as safe as she thinks, regardless of how many Star Sapphires are there.
With the Red Lanterns and Sapphires having been spotlighted, the action then goes to its third phase, with Adara, the entity of the Blue Lanterns finally selecting a host. The missing girl from last month we discover was kidnapped and is rescued when she forgives her captor and Adara recognises the hope in her and bonds with her.
Most interesting in this scene is the reaction of Saint Walker. He is in awe of Adara (she’s like Jesus to him I guess), and cannot see to the fact that she’s bonded with the girl, Nicole, immediately talking about how Adara must come back to Odym with him. To be honest, its a scene that really doesn’t do Walker any favours at all. Unlike Warth’s amusing calm in Emerald Warriors, Walker is verging on coming across quite creepy, and Hal rightly calls him on it, pointing out that Nicole had only just escaped one kidnapping and he’s not going to let Walker do the same to her.
I have to be honest and say, that since their initial introduction, I’ve really not been a fan of the Blue Lanterns when Geoff writes them. They haven’t exactly featured much in other books, but I still like the concept of a more spiritual group of Lanterns, but in Geoff’s hands they never seem to come across that well. Walker especially I find a more worrying character than the likes of Atrocitus. At least you can see why Atrocitus thinks what he does, and that there’s a kind of logic to his actions (not that I agree with them). Saint Walker however, is a guy who was responsible for the deaths of his family through his blind faith, got rewarded with a blue ring for it, and now wants to drag a little girl back to Odym without even talking to her about it (in fairness, Nicole herself points out Saint Walker that she’s not just Adara, so I suspect he wouldn’t have been able to go through with it, but just that lack of thought makes the character quite worrying to me).
Of course, at this point, the Flash shows up, setting the stage for a showdown with Hal next issue over how the “new Guardians” have been running amok on Earth.
Aside from these big moments, there’s a couple of interesting asides going on in the issue. When Predator’s host from last issue is alone with Larfleeze (who now appears to be sticking around with Hal in true “buddy cop movie” style 🙂 ), he says he remembers that Larfleeze has a history, and that Larfleeze isn’t even his real name, prompting a very violent reaction. Later, Adara tells him that his parents are still alive. There were quite a few unanswered questions about Larfleeze and the Orange Lantern even before this issue, so I can only assume Geoff is building up to a very Larfleeze-focused issue where we’ll find out his backstory, and what drove him to be who he became. Which given Geoff’s love of the character should be pretty interesting and I’m looking forward to it.
The other side scene, which I guess also dovetails nicely with Barry’s appearace, is Salaak on Oa, realising that since Blackest Night, Hal’s basically gone quiet, with no arrests or confrontations (I guess he’s set his ring to keep quiet on all the fights he’s gotten into). With Hal’s (sensible) distrust of the Guardians, it makes sense that he’s been trying to keep quite what’s been going on on Earth, so with Salaak figuring out something’s wrong, it’ll be interesting to see what he does next. I wonder if we’ll be seeing Salaak heading to Earth himself to investigate?
All in all, another good issue. I still worry that there’s perhaps a bit too much going on, but I look forward to seeing how this all unfolds over the next couple of months.