Its a War of the Green Lanterns prequel this month in Green Lantern, with us finally seeing Krona’s backstory, and the truth behind some of the big events in the Green Lantern mythos that Geoff has been building up to.
With flashing back to events prior to the formation of the Green Lantern Corps, there are, of course, a lot of retcons going on as Geoff Johns lays out his new history for the Corps, that not only includes nods to the emotional spectrum, but also ties together various, previously separate elements. That said, while I’m not always a big fan of Geoff’s tendancy to change around a lot of established continuity without much explanation, I did find this issue to be a nice pay off to Krona’s reveal a few months ago.
The opening scenes involving Ganthet have now positioned these two Guardians as old friends, who were forced apart when Ganthet joined the other Guardians in denouncing emotion, and interestingly we now see the Guardians being formed prior to Krona’s experiment in viewing the beginning of the universe (a change that doesn’t entirely sit well with me, as we’ve now lost the main reason for the Guardians taking on their responsibility in order to make amends, however I suspect Geoff is going to reveal the emotional spectrum to be at the heart of that decision). I did quite like the way that the Guardians were shown as full height humanoids, and wearing white robes that included the white lantern symbol. That was a nice touch given the way Geoff’s steered the mythos.
Its also interesting in the way it paints Krona into a more sympathetic light. As the Guardians pull away from emotion, he sees this as a mistake and is determined to show them how he is right, eventually breaking away from the group and being pursued by Manhunters. Of course, his eventual actions (reprogramming the Manhunters to annihilate sector 666 in an attempt to show the Guardians how detached they’ve become) are clearly the work of a madman, but here Geoff gets to show his true strength in writing, of bringing us interesting, fully-formed villains. And to an extent, we have to admit that Krona was right. We’ve seen over the last few years the results of the Guardian’s detachment from emotion, from being duped into Parallax’s non-existence, to ignoring the threat of the upcoming War of Light, to the creation of the Alpha Lanterns. These were all actions that resulted in them being caught unawares by Scar and Nekron during Blackest Night, and while Ganthet embraced Hope (and has now entered into a pact with the Red Lanterns) in an attempt to stave off these larger threats, the core group of Guardians themselves still seem to remain entirely ignorant of what has happened around them and how they’ve failed to be ready for it. And by showing that relationship between Krona and Ganthet all those millennia ago, it also adds to Ganthet’s motivation in breaking away from the other Guardians.
So overall, I really enjoyed this prequel, and am interested to see how War of the Green Lanterns plays out.
Of course, the one big talking point that has been setup, is that there will only be three Earth Green Lanterns by the end of this event. And recent solicitations leave us in little doubt that the Green Lantern to lose his ring will be Kyle (although logicially, he was the most likely candidate anyway). What this means for Kyle I don’t know, but I would hope that this is only the first chapter in this story, and Kyle will remain a main character in Green Lantern Corps, as I feel that ignoring any of the Earth Green Lanterns (as John was for the last few years until recently) is ultimately a mistake as they all have their fans. I hope that we’ll be seeing Kyle joining another Corps temporarily before returning to be a Green Lantern in the next Green Lantern event that will restore their power to full strength. I make no bones about the fact that he’s probably my favourite of the Earth GLs, since I came onto the title as a regular reader during Ron Marz run, and if this event was to find him written out of the franchise, I’d probably find myself with less of a reason to stick with Green Lantern on a monthly basis.
Saying that, I remain unconvinced that the fact there’s only going to be three Earth Green Lanterns means there’ll be a death. At the very least, I’m expecting Kyle to stick around in an unpowered role, which would be interesting to explore as long as it was only for a few months. And at the end of the day, this is all a few months away yet, so I hope that all will be well, and that War of the Green Lanterns is an epic storyline, and its conclusion, whatever it may be, leaves me excited about the status quo going forwards.