Picking up directly from the events of last issue, Kyle is feeling introspective about his abilities as a Green Lantern following the Weaponer joining the Sinestro Corps. However any of those concerns pale into insignificance once the group of Honour Lanterns return from Qward to the Positive-Matter Universe and quickly discover the results of Krona and Parallax’s handiwork.
This issue is the big “Kyle versus John” fight that I’d been curious about since it was solicited, and I must admit, I was pretty happy with the way it played out. The idea of using the Parallax infection to affect the GLs by bringing out their various fears and set them against each other worked well, and I found a more interesting idea than the wholesale possession of the rest of the Green Lantern Corps. In fact, it probably harkens back more to Hal’s original possession, which could be seen more as being influenced (although that wasn’t the intention at the time). My only issue was that I found John’s fears about Kyle a bit forced. These are two guys who’ve worked together for years in the DCU, and John has been a friend of Kyle’s right from when he started as a GL. The idea that he’s secretly been harbouring these doubts about Kyle may play into the marine angle they’re now playing with John, but it doesn’t really fit with how their friendship’s been portrayed over the years.
To be honest, its a general issue I have with Bedard’s writing on this title that I’ve mentioned before, that at times he almost seems to be working on the cliff notes versions of these characters, rather than appreciating their back stories. Which is not to say that this angle to take setting these two characters against each other was flawed, but the writing of it didn’t really work for me (I could’ve understood John being worried about Kyle’s judgement being clouded having lost so many women he loved in the past, but it was portrayed as more general than that). The marine angle they’re now taking with John really feels overplayed at times, and this was definitely one of them. It may have worked on the JLU cartoons, but in the comics there’s a lot more to the character, and while I’m not against nudging the character more towards that arguably more recognisable version, it does feel increasingly a bit forced. Unlike, say, when Geoff used John to take out Bedovian in the Sinestro Corps War.
Anyway, while Kyle and John lay into each other, Ganthet quickly realises what’s happened and knows that they will have to remove their rings in order to free themselves from Parallax. In order to do this, he uses his own ring, pushing his willpower past the influence of Parallax (and I assume Kyle and John’s own willpower) before finally succeeding, but in a pretty unexpected and shocking scene, the effort causes his own ring to overload, exploding and costing Ganthet his hand.
Ganthet then explains his own residual power as a Guardian will continue to attract the controlled Corps members, so Kyle and John must hide on Oa while Ganthet distracts them. To be continued…
The ending of this issue was nice in that it did acknowledge Ganthet’s own Guardian powers, a topic that’s been all-too-conveniently ignored since he became a Green Lantern. I guess since he talks about “residual powers”, he must’ve given them up when he took on a ring. Ganthet’s ring exploding and destroying his hand was a big surprise moment, although with him being a Guardian, I wonder if it’ll get restored at the end of the storyline.
Essentially much of this issue is donated to the brief Kyle/John fight and setting up the Parallax possession and getting rid of their rings. And the fact that Hal was last seen flying around carrying the various rings of the other New Guardians does set things up for the Earth GLs having to use the rings of other Corps being a big part of this event. That being the case, I wonder if we’ll finally be seeing the Blue Lantern Kyle Rayner that was widely (and incorrectly) rumoured during Blackest Night. And given part of the big pitch of this storyline is that one of the Earth Green Lanterns will be losing their ring (at least until the next event), I can’t help but think one of them will find it a permanent position.
That being the case, and again assuming its Kyle losing his ring (as mentioned before), then this could actually work for me. If Kyle was to become a Blue Lantern for the next year or so, I think it’d be a nice way to reference the close relationship he had with Ganthet towards the end of Green Lantern vol 3. I don’t know how it’d fit in with Green Lantern Corps though. Would the franchise sustain another miniseries, with the upcoming Red Lanterns launch? Or does that Red Lanterns series itself suggest where the fourth Earth Lantern might end up?
Its also going to be very interesting to see how thing develop with Ganthet. It seems likely, especially given his injury, that he won’t escape the Corps, so it’ll be interesting to see how he and Krona interact, given the relationship we’ve seen between them in the flashbacks, and Ganthet’s recent actions embracing emotion once again. How Krona will react to it all will be interesting to see.
Its great to be excited about Green Lantern again, and so far I’m very much enjoying this event even though its only in a setup phase, and as I say, very little actually happens in this issue beyond that setup. While we’re maybe not hitting the giddy heights of the Sinestro Corps War yet, War of the Green Lanterns is off to a strong start.