But did anyone else think it all felt a bit rushed?
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the issue, however certain aspects of it seemed to come out of nowhere and could’ve been better laid out, and perhaps its just because of the delays I’m seeing things that aren’t really there, but in places Doug Mahnke’s art (which really shone in the splash pages) did leave me wondering how much time he’d been left to do the book in. That said, the man is a master of producing great stuff at short notice, as proven by the way he bailed out Final Crisis a few years ago, and I’ll take his rushed art over some of the other work out there any day, but that being said, when he’s had time to properly work on a book, it shows.
As I say, I enjoyed this issue. It picks up right where things left off, with the freshly-restored GLC about to face down Krona and the entity-possessed Guardians. But Geoff Johns does some interesting things in this finale which while I don’t dislike them, I perhaps disliked their execution, and again it all adds to that rushed feeling.
Firstly, there’s Krona’s eventual defeat. Early in the issue, Hal makes an off-the-cuff remark that their rings can’t kill Guardians. Guess someone should’ve mentioned that to Scar back in Blackest Night. Sadly, this line is pivotal for what happens next, and its a plot point that is totally brought out of nowhere when it could’ve easily been introduced sooner and made more significant. As Hal faces off against Krona, he ultimately ends up shooting and killing him with a blast from his ring. Its incredibly sudden and results in the then-freed Guardians immediately discharging Hal from the Corps for killing a Guardian and hanging around with the other Corps.
The Guardians being idiots is nothing new for this run. In fact, its a hallmark of Green Lantern at the moment that no matter how many giant, epic events seem tailored to show the Guardians the error of their ways, they still display no character development and carry on being complete idiots, no matter how many times the Corps is nearly destroyed through their idiocy, only to be saved by Hal Jordan. I’d say its getting frustrating, but to be honest, its past that now. The Guardians are just an obstacle to be ignored or overcome in Green Lantern now. Again though, its the rushed nature of things that doesn’t quite sit well. Hal’s shooting Krona comes out of nowhere, with little indication that this is going to be something big. It needed more foreshadowing, like I said with this new inability of the rings to kill Guardians. You can’t just introduce a plot element like that in the final issue and expect the audience to care about it. Likewise, Hal’s dismissal from the Corps is done far too quickly. With two aftermath issues still to come before the reboot I can’t help but think those would’ve been the better place for Hal’s punishment to have happened in. Then it could’ve been made into a bigger deal, and again built up to. Either that, or this final issue needed to be a longer book. Not necessarily a big double sized finale, but a few more pages to allow these pretty big developments some room to breathe.
The other thing that didn’t really work for me, was Sinestro’s reintroduction into the Green Lantern Corps. Granted, there’s an important line where Kyle wonders if this is a direct result of the ring AI no longer having Mogo’s influence, however overall the sequence doesn’t really work for me, with Sinestro, freshly freed from the Book of the Black, listening to Hal confronting Krona, and apparently having an epiphany from listening to Hal’s impassioned speech about how he stands up for the values of the Corps, and couldn’t really give a stuff about the Guardians.
It just didn’t feel in character for Sinestro at all. Sinestro’s always been about control, and making the Green Lantern Corps the bearers of that control. The entire Sinestro Corps War was something he instigated just to get the Guardians to enable lethal force and make the GLC more formidable. Sinestro has consistently shown a loyalty to the Green Lantern Corps through his motivations in this run, even if it is a twisted one. The idea that he’d need some kind of epiphany from Hal in order to do the right thing and defeat Krona is beyond me. Especially since I’d assume Krona’s intention to replace the Guardians would actually probably mesh up with Sinestro’s own aims.
While I like the idea of Sinestro ending up a GL again, and the storylines that’ll surround it, I wasn’t at all convinced by how it happened. Sinestro getting a ring because of Mogo’s death absolutely makes sense, but how his character was portrayed just didn’t sit right for me. Rather than confusion over being a GL again, I’d expect him to be triumphant. Again, I have to wonder what difference an extra page or two would’ve made to this sequence. That said, I did like the way Hal ignored the issue of Sinestro being a GL, and just got him to help. That’s been very consistent for Hal in this run, with the way he remains focused on the main problem, and will deal with others later once the main threat is passed.
Overall, I did enjoy this storyline. I’ve made no secret for my dislike of a lot of what was happening in the Green Lantern books before this storyline, and while it perhaps didn’t hit the highs of the Sinestro Corps War, it was a return to the more action packed stories we got at that time, and rattled through its 10 issues at a fair old pace. This final issue might’ve felt a bit like Geoff Johns was just working off of a checklist of things that had to happen, but by the end of it, I was still happy that this storyline had had a decent conclusion, with some interesting storybeats set up for the next ark that will hopefully mean Geoff is going to spend some time investing in Hal’s character again, something that’s been badly neglected since the start of the War of Light.