Alright, we’re back with more Green Lantern comics! In this one, the New Gods step in so we take a little break from the main plot that’s been going on. It’s just how it goes with Tie ins, but as long as the event is really good this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think Green Lantern is a little underpowered here and it shouldn’t be so easy to develop a counter weapon to the Power Ring imo. This volume has a lot of action and is setting things up for the Darkseid War so it is a must read.
The New Gods hack into the Green Lantern database to find out more about the rings and they also want to take Kyle Rayner since he may be helpful for the Anti-Life Equation. The Green Lanterns decide to retaliate which leads to a full scale war with the New Gods. They will need some backup though and this quickly results in the Sinestro corps, Black Lantern Corps, Star Sapphires, Blue Lanterns, and all of the others to emerge. Can they get along long enough to deal with these guys though?
We really see just how strong Orion and the other New Gods are in this comic. It is good to see them look so powerful because they honestly should be. If they were lightweights it just wouldn’t make that much sense. There is still a lot of plot hax in how they are able to bust through the Green Lantern constructs so easily with their anti ring weapons though. It is consistently said to be the greatest weapon in the universe so there shouldn’t be any kind of counter to it.
At least it helps to strengthen my opinion that Hal is easily the best Green Lantern. He reminds the others that their constructs can always come out on top as long as their Will Power is on point and he never backs down. He does lose to Orion in their initial meetup, but it was hardly a fair fight. I’d like to say that he would have won in round 2, but then the Black Lantern had to wreck it. It was a bit of a low blow although Hal didn’t seem to mind, which was a little iffy. Hal’s done a great job of leading the GL Corps while the Guardians have stepped down and attacking the New Gods immediately was certainly the right move. Getting some backup was also wise since they would have been completely overwhelmed with sheer numbers otherwise.
It was a really awesome scene when Black Hand (Leader of the Black Lanterns) was able to animate the Source Wall and reawaken all of the people there. That included the big villains from the previous GL arcs and a lot of legendary monsters who were known as the strongest of the strongest. Even the New Gods really paled in comparison to these guys and they were soundly defeated. Naturally Black Hand couldn’t keep control of them for very long and he started to perish due to the Source Wall effect, but even for just being temporarily it was impressive and the best visual in the collection.
I focused on the New Gods part a lot, but the final 3 issues do go back to the main plot. Hal decides to take a little vacation to relax from the galaxy threatening situations of late, but soon realizes that it is hard to get away from it all. The Flash and Guy Gardner effectively remind him that his job as a Green Lantern is something that he can’t get away from. After having a talk with Star Sapphire as well, Hal makes a bold decision. He’s going to quit the Green Lantern corps. The universe is still very upset at the group for the Power Ring controversies so Hal decides to pose as the villain to clean the rep of the group.
He stages a betrayal with Kilowog and flees with one of the Power Batteries. Only Kilowog knows the truth so now he is on the hunt from every single star system and galactic group across the universe. For all we know, even the Justice League will be against him. It is going to be very hard for Hal to survive for long on his own, but he’s a survivor so he can take care of himself. I’ll admit that I’m not super thrilled about this decision. Hal was just coming into his own as a leader and we could have certainly had many great stories that could have come from that. Well, the idea of Hal being a loner as a while can be cool too.
As for the other characters, Sinestro had a good role in this collection. He aided the Green Lanterns when it counted even if he proved that he still can’t be trusted to stick with the mission in the end. His main goal is still to protect his own interests, but he did make a difference. He’s a fun rival to have for Hal. Kilowog’s also a pretty nice mentor and at least Hal can always count on him. Star Sapphire’s decision to part ways with Hal, but still leave him with some hope seems a little dicey, but hopefully that drama is essentially over now.
Orion was surprisingly likable in this issue. He knew that the All Father was being very unreasonable and corrupt. He didn’t mind mentioning this to the guy’s face either and it’s why rebellious characters can be good to have at times. He can also back up his tough talk and there’s no unnecessary romance with Wonder Woman to keep him down here. Mogo is cool as always and the rest of the Green Lanterns are fairly useful. The comic has a good cast and even the All Father may have learned his lesson. He claims that he will go back to his original mission of protecting people from Darkseid rather than becoming another villain so we’ll see if he is true to his word.
As always, the artwork for the Green Lantern collection is nothing short of excellent. All of the fights are really fun to look at. No other title does space fights quite as well as the Green Lantern series and that’s good since this series needs a lot of space action scenes. Adding in the New Gods also helped to connect this to the rest of the DCU and while that’s not necessary for a good GL comic as the previous graphic novels have shown, it is always fun to see. I’m definitely ready for the Justice League to show up as guest stars, that would be a blast! There is not a single panel where the artwork looks off.
Overall, Green Lantern continues its run of quality issues with this collection. The stakes may not have literally been as high as some of the older ones since the Galaxy was on the brink, but nonetheless they felt just as high. The war between the New Gods and Darkseid will surely have universal ramifications and the fact that both sides seem fairly corrupt is a sign that the Green Lanterns are going to have to work overtime to stop them all. As long as Hal is the leader of the Green Lantern corps, I’m sure that they are going to go far. Of course, with Hal no longer being the leader, the status quo is certainly going to be shaken up. I wonder how long the series can possibly go without Hal going back to his role. It’s an ambitious decision, but this series can pull it off. Hopefully by the time Hal joins up with the Corps again they will have beefed up their tranks a little. I want the Corps to be a universal threat like the good ole days. Right now they are really light on manpower so I’m thinking that some new recruits are in order. Maybe bringing in Supergirl and Cyborg for starters. Even better….another Hal Jordan from a different universe!