Emerald Warriors #9

After two issues I would describe as incredibly enjoyable, but not really packing many surprises, Peter Tomasi gets some very nice stuff to play with. While Kyle and John are still struggling with their rings, Hal and Guy quickly take charge to cover their escape to the lower-levels of Oa.

To an extent it could be argued that this issue covers some similar ground to the previous issue of Green Lantern Corps, with the GLs facing overwhelming odds using unfamiliar rings again a major part of the issue, although for me it worked slightly better here.  Perhaps down to Tomasi’s more seasoned grasp of the characters, but he also starts to play with the ring’s effects on their wearers which is something I’d hoped we’d see, since its previously been made a point that only the Green Rings can really be used without them affecting their wearers at all.  Here, Guy is very much bullish and blunter than normal, chiding John who is still trying to get his ring to work, but more through willpower than compassion.  Meanwhile Kyle is obviously under the blue ring’s influence, as its hope is keeping him clearer-headed than the other Earth Lanterns, and he finds himself trying to be a mediating influence as they argue over the best course of action.

To be honest, the speed that this event is progressing has really surprised me, with us now well over the halfway mark.  I can’t help but feel that there was potentially a longer story that could have been had here with the Earth Lanterns and their new rings, and things could’ve been extended by another month or two.   Its very apparent towards the end, when John announces he’s suddenly figured out the Indigo’s teleportation power.  Not bad for a guy who could barely use the ring a few pages previously.  Geoff previously examined the difficulties in using the rings of the other Corps through his Rage of the Red Lanterns and Agent Orange story arcs, and its something that could easily have been interesting to examine in more detail, and a chance to explore the individual characters of the Earth Lanterns as they sought to understand the different powers of the other Corps.

For me though, the real fun of this issue is when the Earth Lanterns stumble across the Foundry.   Last seen in Green Lantern Corps when Ganthet forged his own ring, Hal is quick to comment about how ancient and largley forgotten the area far below Oa’s surface is.   And its here where Peter Tomasi gets to pick up on a couple of  seemingly-throwaway moments in Geoff’s issues. The first being the discovery of the prototype Green Lantern gauntlet we last saw in the flashback issue being used by Krona.  The fact this has turned up again really took me by surprise, and we see Guy happily equiping it, noting that since it pre-dates the Central Power battery, its the only unaffected ring.  I guess this nicely makes sense, since Guy’s red ring is also the most unpredictable of the rings the Earth Lanterns are using, so this green ring will hopefully help to compensate for it.  It’ll be interesting to see what larger role this gauntlet plays though.  Perhaps it will provide a means for Hal to go solo without the Guardians?

We also discover the Green Lantern who guards the Gauntlet and the Foundry, with an inscription linking it all back to the first Lantern, hinted at by Geoff in a throwaway line some months ago.  Obviously again this first Lantern is something that is going to either play into immediate events, or is a setup for the next story arc, but given the way Geoff is enjoying exploring the history of the Corps (retcon or otherwise), I’m very interested to see where this is going.   Its also nice to see this all being brought up in Emerald Warriors, rather than it all being saved for the main book.

And so the book closes out with Kyle and John off to attempt to free Mogo, while Guy and Hal find themselves under attack by the entity-possessed Guardians as they try to reach the Central Power Battery.   I’ll be honest, in that I thought this was the only weak element of the book.  While they do try to put across a reasonable point for freeing Mogo (since he would up their power levels significantly versus a Corps of brainwashed Lanterns), I can’t help but feel that its just dividing them for dramatic reasons, and technically, Hal’s plan to tackle the problem at the source makes more sense.

This week brings us a bumper week, with the next three parts of the story all hitting at the same time, so I can’t wait to see what happens, especially given my last post discussing how well DC seem to be keeping things under wraps.    This event’s done a great job of keeping the pace up, and its not often I say these storylines could be longer, but I honestly believe War of the Green Lanterns could’ve probably handled another 2 or 3 parts without much bother.

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