REVIEW: Green Lantern #64War of the Green Lanterns Part One

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On some level, I feel like I’m following the cosmic adventures of the Green Lantern having read Blackest Night and Brightest Day. However, after getting my hands on the first part of the War of the Green Lanterns crossover I’ve come to realize that I’m just keeping up with Earthbound aftermath of what Hal Jordan and company are actually up to. The prelude issue to this story, Green Lantern #63, was a great primer for the current threat of Krona and his bid to destroy the Guardians of the Universe, and it was very satisfying to get back to a book featuring the various Lanterns writer Geoff Johns’ has introduced in the last few years.

: War of the Green Lanterns is giving me the cosmic fix that I want from the DC Universe, but I don’t know a whole lot about the ring bearers themselves. I’ve never really thought of Hal Jordan as a rogue element. I’m kind of chalking that up to primarily being the Guardians’ perspective since I find him boring.

KevinMLD: I didn’t really read Green Lantern prior to Hal becoming Parallax. So I was also under the impression he was just a boring guy with a magic ring. Johns has portrayed him as slightly rebellious since Rebirth. He’s a guy who will do what he thinks is right regardless of what the Guardians think. I do think the Guardians have always been written as sort of out-of-touch with human values.

PTB: I had no idea Jordan and his coalition of rainbow warriors were outlaws (does this group have a name?). This might be the most intriguing part of the issue for me.

KevinMLD: They’ve been dubbed the New Guardians, which would just add to the Guardians’ concern I’m sure. For sure Sinestro, Larfleeze, and Atrocitus are outlaws and basically villains. The Star Sapphire has traditionally been a Green Lantern villain though Johns has revamped them as a corps. The Indigo Tribe clearly have a dark side, just ask Black Hand. While the Blue Lanterns seem relatively harmless so far, but all are looked down upon by the Guardians.

PTB: I haven’t seen the Black Hand since Blackest Night and the Indigo Tribe had certainly done a number on him. Who is this weird narrator at the start of the book, the one leading the hunt for Hal Jordan?

KevinMLD: I’m not the world’s largest Green Lantern fan so sadly I don’t know his name. He’s the lantern we most often see speaking with the Guardians on legal matters. Especially when the Guardians have issued new laws. According to Wikipedia his name is Salaak and he is very focused on protocol and law, so you can imagine he’d have a problem with Jordan ignoring Guardian doctrine.

PTB: That makes a lot of sense. His disdain for Hal Jordan was abundantly clear. Do all of the other Green Lanterns dislike Hal?

KevinMLD: It’s been a plot point that not all of the Lanterns have forgiven him for what he did as Parallax. So that’s something that will likely boil in the background for as long as decent writers are handling the characters. However, most of the main Green Lanterns that we spend time with (certainly the ones from Earth) seem over the whole thing.

PTB: Much of the action with the Lanterns takes place on the planet Ryut. Is Ryut where the Black Lantern battery was located?

KevinMLD: Ryut is indeed the Black Lantern home world. It’s also Atrocitus’ home world and all of it’s residents were murdered by the Guardian’s Manhunters who were corrupted by Krona.

PTB: Upon coming to Ryut, the group is attacked by a giant book. That’s a little silly, as is the “story vampire,” Lyssa Drak. I’m far more interested in her solely as a former Yellow Lantern than this pop-up-book assassin gig she has now. Was her imprisonment in the Book of the Black something I should remember?

KevinMLD: I’m sure it happened. She played a role in both Blackest Night and the Sinestro Corps War by reading from the Book as it pertained to the Blackest Night prophesies. I think she was more involved with the Tales of the Sinestro Corps one shots and back ups and probably the same for Blackest Night. I’d imagine you skipped that stuff.

PTB: Yeah, if she wasn’t in the main series I’m sure I missed her. While the Guardians are talking about Hal’s dissension back on Oa, they mention the their champions “continue to fall from grace,” naming the First lantern, Krona, and now Hal Jordan. According to the prelude book, one billion years have passed since Krona’s betrayal. That hardly seems like a frequent problem.

KevinMLD: I’m not sure what the First Lantern is a reference to, but let’s not forget the Manhunters massacred an entire Sector of space and Jordan as Parallax basically massacred the Green Lantern Corps. Plus Sinestro was once their greatest Green Lantern.

PTB: Those are clearly tragic events, but it seems like things had to have been going well at some point over that billion years. Getting back to Krona is he tiny like the other Guardians now?

KevinMLD: Seems like it. That’s all weird right? People become a little shorter when they get old and the Guardians are billions of years old, so… That’s all I got.

PTB: The double page spread of the Krona and the Entities he has captured is way cool. It’s the first I’m really seeing of many of these creatures so it was a lot to take in. As good as it looks though, it’s nothing compared to the last page with the Entity possessed Guardians. Great stuff.

I seem to recall Parallax was originally considered the impurity within the Green Lanterns, but I don’t like the seemingly inconsistent use Krona is putting the Entities to. Putting one in the battery is just odd when the others all possessed the Guardians, but I like the parallel of corrupting the Green Lanterns the same way Krona corrupted the Manhunters.

KevinMLD: Yeah Parallax has been demonstrated to have a personality and I don’t see him volunteering to be imprisoned in the power battery again. But I guess if it’s part of a revenge scheme we should accept it? I don’t know how I feel about it.

PTB: I’m not terribly familiar with Doug Mahnke’s artwork. It absolutely looks great here, but as with all of these cosmic emotional spectrum books the colorists (like Randy Mayor on this issue) are doing amazing work that adds so much to the final product.

KevinMLD: I can’t really argue with any of this. It looks pretty great.

PTB: The ad for Flashpoint: Aquaman looks really interesting (even though it’s Aquaman). This is the first I’m really seeing of this upcoming event, but I know we’ve talked briefly about it on MLD.

KevinMLD: I don’t really know what to think about Flashpoint. It just seems like a bunch of Elseworlds books that we’re being told will matter. I’m not as big a fan of alternate universe books as you are. To me they don’t matter by nature. Speaking of Aquaman, however, Johns just announced he’d be writing an Aquaman ongoing after Flashpoint.

PTB: That makes some sense given Aquaman’s prominence during Johns’ Brightest Day series. That’s not something I’m planning to buy, but I do need to look at the list of Flashpoint titles. Deadman and the Flying Graysons is one that is definitely on my radar. It’s going to be tough to decide just how much to invest in this series. It’s DC after all, and I tend not delve too much into that universe.

KevinMLD: Again, since it’s all alternate universe stuff and coming out of the Flash, which hasn’t been a particularly fun title… I’m having trouble caring so far. We’ll see what they do with it.

PTB: The DC Universe Online ad at the end of this month’s books is also visually stunning. That Catwoman looks awesome. I have no idea how these episodes for the game work, but it seems like it could be a really cool aspect of the game even though I’m not sure I completely understand.

KevinMLD: I have no idea how it works, but I’m enjoying the comic based on it.

Follow all of our War of the Green Lanterns posts:
Green Lantern #63 (Prelude) / Green Lantern Corps #58 (Part Two)

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