Things have been slowly spiralling out of control in Green Lantern for a couple of months now, with the New Guardians, and more and more of their entities turning up to complicate Hal’s life. Throw in our mysterious cloaked Guardian to spice things up, and there’s a feeling that this storyline is finally building to something this month, as the Indigo Lanterns appear back on the scene, bringing with them some hints at their backstory.
For me, the Indigos were probably the strongest thing about this story. While we still don’t have all the answers we’d like about them, we do get some tantalising hints as to their true nature via Black Hand, who is virtually a different person, now that his indigo ring has provided him with compassion. This leads Hal to realise that most of the Indigo Lanterns must surely have a similar dark past, and wonder what would happen if they lost their rings.
The idea of the rings affecting their hosts has been looked at before, mainly with the Red Lanterns and Larfleeze, and with hints as to the effects of the Star Sapphire and how only Carol can resist them, and the idea that the Indigo Lanterns are some kind of ticking time bomb is an interesting twist.
We also have Barry turn up to talk to Hal about how the rest of the New Guardians are getting out of control. This all culminates in our mysterious cloaked Guardian turning up and having Parallax posses the Flash. Now, this is interesting in a couple of ways. It shows that this Guardian appears to have some level of control over Parallax. In previous appearances we’ve seen Parallax despises the Guardians, so what’s going on here. Is Parallax working with the cloaked Guardian, or somehow under his/her control? In which case, just how powerful are they? Also, it marks the first time the figure has appeared openly to any of the main Green Lanterns, so hopefully we’re seeing this storyline pushing forwards, with Hal hopefully noticing the green energy chains. This story has been moving a bit slowly for me, so I’m really hoping this is a sign that its now moving into high gear.
Less effective for me though, was Parallax possessing Barry. Hal becoming Parallax was a massive deal. Kyle becoming Parallax was a big shock. In both cases it was something that could only happen following some major trauma that weakened the characters and made them susceptible to the possession. However Parallax is easily able to take over Barry. To me, this just devalues Parallax entirely, and again shows Geoff playing around with the nature of Parallax in order to suit the story. We only recently had Hal once again being possessed by Parallax in order to battle the Spectre. I would imagine it’ll be resolved pretty quickly in the next issue, but for me, Parallax is quickly losing any shock value it had back in Rebirth.
I did enjoy this issue, and the twists regarding the Indigo Lanterns really made them interesting. However, as a whole the New Guardians storyline hasn’t really worked for me, but fortunately we should soon be heading into War of the Green Lanterns, and with most of the Entities now having turned up, I’m hoping this storyline is building to its climax, especially with the cloaked Guardian figure attacking Hal and company in public.