Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Feels good to be back in the reviewer chair. It's been a while. Welcome ladies and Gents to a brand new Comic Book Clash. This week, the original Comic Book Clash reviewer and CBC head, Frankie Rodriguez here. I been waiting to review this for nearly 3 months now. Unfortnately, it was not until over 2 weeks ago that the final part of this storyline FINALLY came out. So once again, Heroes and books Clash for supremacy as we take a look at DC Comics' War of the Green Lanterns Storyline.
War of the Green Lanterns
Issues: Green Lantern #64-67, Green Lantern Corps #58-60 & Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #8-10
Story (Arc) Name: War of the Green Lantern
Written by Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard & Peter Tomasi; Art by Doug Manke, Tyler Kirkham & Fernando Pasarin
TALE OF THE TAPE
Wow. It really has been a while. Okay. Small amount of background. Green Lantern . . .Silver Age Green Lantern started when Hal Jordon found the crashed ship of former Green Lantern, Abin Sur and became his hand picked successor. Hal had gone from somewhat rebellious pilot to a pilot who was also now a space cop. The Green Lanterns protect their own sectors of the universe . . .ours being 2814. As such, Hal created a legend as the Green Lantern. Yet his rebellious side argued with his bosses, the smurfs .. . I mean the Guardians who . . . all but one, at least at the beginning, did not show emotion.
Time passed, Hal quit and was then temporarily replaced by Guy Gardner, former football player. And when that didn't work out, John Stewart, a battle hardened soldier and artitect. Eventually, Hal had returned to being Green Lantern . . . serving in other sectors till he beat Guy Gardner in a fight to become Earth's Green Lantern.
Then During the Reign of Supermen storyline which brought back Clark Kent to life . . . Mongul wiped out Coast City, Hal's home. Yep. Just destroyed it. Hal went nuts and killed a bunch of Green Lanterns, including Kilowog, destroying the Green Lantern Corps and suddenly the Corps were no more. The Guardians were no more. Except for the one Guardian with emotions . ... Ganthet, created one new Green Lantern ring and gave it to artist Kyle Rayner. Kyle became a big hit in the 90s .. . considered by many over the last 2 decades as their Green Lantern over Hal as Kyle seemed to overcome amazing odds, dealt with the deaths of both his girlfriend and mom; and even rebuilt the Corps. Hal tried to rewrite history and got an arrow for it then redeemed himself when he restarted the Sun by sacrificing himself. He had, for a short time, become the Spectre.
Sinestro showed up with the Anti Monitor, Superboy Prime, Cyborg Superman and his own Corps of yellow, fear slinging ring bearers. And they had themselves a war which revealed the living embodiment of Will power, the power of the Green Lanterns, Ion. After the GLs went through that, they found that other colors with rings had appeared; each showing different emotions.
The Red Lanterns were fulled by rage and wanted revenge on the Guardians for having the Manhunters, the robots they created before the GLs, destroy his Sector 666. Yes .. .you read that right. The Star Sapphire was not just a villainess of the GLs but an actually Lantern Corp of their own; powered by Love. The sole Orange Lantern, Larfleeze, is powered by Avarice. Ganthet and another Guardian, who were exiled for a time, had formed their own new Blue Lantern Corps, powered by Hope. Then the GLs found an Indigo Tribe, a group of lanterns powered by compassion . .. and who's powers can bring up powers of any of the other Lantern Corps. The Black Lanterns were powered by Death while the White Lanterns powered by Life.
The Blackest Night and Brightest Day had occurred recently, forcing Hal to form a brand new group called the New Guardians till the other Guardians had recovered from the events of Blackest Night. Meanwhile, the original renegade Guardian, Krona had reappeared and slowly set the stage for this storyline.
Hal gets angry and confronts Atrocitus when Carol points out why leave the Black Book out in the open. The Black Book opens and out comes an orange Lantern. Lafleeze goes all drug fiend with it, hugging it and saying how it is .. . only to get sucked into the book. Then comes out a chick dressed in black with blue skin . . . Lyssa Drak; a former Sinestro Corps member who defected and joined Krona. Black chains go out and slowly suck each member of the New Guardians into the book itself, trapping them. Sinestro and Hal are the last two Lanterns out and use the power of their rings to cause an explosion. After that .. . all that was left out was Hal . . . and the rings of each member of the New Guardians.
Meanwhile, Hal regains his senses enough to head for the other rings .. . only to be stopped by Salaak and his team of Lanterns. They ask Hal to put his hands up but Hal tries to talk them out of arresting him and explaining the threat. Yet, all the other GLs' eyes begin to glow yellow. Parallax has corrupted them. Hal notices this and avoids the Parallax possessed GLs. Hal quickly scoops up the rings of the lost New Guardians and heads out.
Part 2 of the storyline opens up with Kyle narrating through his and John Stewart. We find that Kyle, John and some of the Lanterns are with Ganthet in the Antimatter Universe; which was once the base of the Sinestro Corps. They were there to track Krona then return to the regular universe to find a bunch of knocked out GLs. Suddenly, Kyle and Ganthet feel Parallax in their rings. Ganthet explains what had occurred with Parallax then watch Kyle's new girlfriend and other GLs returning to Oa; under the control of Krona. Kyle, not wanting to lose another girlfriend, goes after her to be stopped by John. Yet, Kyle does not plan on stopping and actually starts fighting with John in his usual, imaginative way. John warns Kyle that he is not gonna let him rush in and get everyone else killed. Ganthet tells them stop but he starts feeling the influence of Parallax Ganthet decides the only way to save them is to take off their rings before they are fully entralled by Parallax. He succeeds .. . at a price. Yeah . . .We see Ganthet's ring hand go BOOM. John and Kyle come to their sense and wrap up Ganthet's hand up. Ganthet tells John and Kyle to go underground. Kyle tells Ganthet to come with them but he answers that its took risky and that the others would easily find him cause of being a Guardian. John and Kyle leave as Green Lanterns begin to amass towards Ganthet.
Back on Oa, Kilowog is strung up in front of Krona with Arisia flanking the renegade Guardian. Kilowog does his best to resist Krona but he super charges Parallax's energy into Kilowog, forcing him into "his" Green Lantern Corps. Hal and Guy are still looking for the Green House when they fall into it. The Green House is a special secret staging ground built by Hal for the Earth GLs to go to if need be.As they walk in, they see a large ship as automated systems welcome the 2 Green lanterns. Hal has fun with Guy as Guy has never flown with Hal in a plane before as they blast off to Oa. They quickly make it to Oa where they are promptly attacked by Kilowog. He tries rip the ship apart with is barehands . . . and pretty much succeeds; forcing Guy and Hal to take a pod to Kyle and John's location on Oa. As the four reunite, they catch up on what has occurred when Hal reveals the rings of the missing New Guardians. Hal says they have to choose in order to fight the GL Corps and Krona. Hal says they need to do it and will take the yellow ring. Guy chooses to the use the Red Ring, much to Kyle's chagrin. Kyle says he will use the Blue Ring. John is about to pick the Orange Ring when Hal tells him that that is not the ring for him. He tells John that the Indigo Ring would be more up to John's speed. Each of them take a ring, Hal becoming a member of the Sinestro Corps, Guy once again becoming a Red Lantern, Kyle in a blue Lantern version of his outfit while John is in army fatigues in indigo, signalling him as a member of the Indigo Tribe.
The blast from Mogo shakes up our heroes enough that the possessed GLs capture Ganthet. The 4 Lanterns avoid the GL Corps and Mogo the best they can, using a trick from the Flash in order to escape Mogo. Our 4 heroes escape underground where Hal states they need to get Parallax out of the battery. Yet, John disagrees with Hal stating that they need to take out Mogo first, being the most powerful lantern. Guy comments on how John knows how to take out a planet, which starts arguing between John and Guy. Frustrated, Hal tells them to stop or he will make them stop but Kyle cools everyone off; remaining perfectly calm and hopeful . . . like his ring. Kyle states they should vote and John is outvoted, 3 to 1 to get Parallax out of the battery. So the 4 Lanterns stay under Oa, travelling the underground caverns for the Central Power Battery to find an underground labortory where the Guardians actually developed the Power Rings and Power Battery. As they examine the labs, they find weapons, including guns, a power glove (seriously) and . .. a monster that looks like the love child of one of the Gargoyles and Chris Bale in the Machinist. While the other 3 want to blast it, Kyle figures out that the monster only reacts to fear. They show none and the monster stops. After looking at some tech, they make their way to a computer which illustrates that Krona is not only using Mogo for a weapon but for creating and sending out new rings for brand new Green Lanterns who immediately fall under the sway of Krona and Parallax as soon as the rings go on their finger. John says it is time to stop Mogo and starts to head out but Hal stops him. Kyle changes him mind saying that they should stop Mogo. Hal tells them that they are minutes away from the Power Battery when John teleports Kyle and himself away.Guy and Hal make their way to the Central battery and start blasting it. Yet, that stops quickly as they are surrounded by Krona and the Entity-possessed Guardians.
Hal narrates how in over the head he is, admit it verbally for the first time to Guy. Guy, wearing the power glove, uses it against the Guardian yet he and Hal are getting pummeled by the possessed Guardians. Krona appears after the Guardians had knocked out Hal and Guy. Meanwhile, Sinestro is reliving certain events in his life. He calls out for Abin Sur, who was one of his closest friends when he was first a Green Lantern. Yet, Sinestro realizes that Abin's dead and this is all a trick. Sinestro snaps out of it as the book tries to make him live different points in his past. Suddenly, he sees that his fellow New Guardians are all being subjected to the same torture. Sinestro realizes its all the books doing and Krona appears before him that he does not need him anymore when he has Hal and Guy. Krona then is floating in front of Hal and Guy with the Black Book behind him.Krona reveals that he feels that the Guardians of the Universe do not have the emotional capacity it takes to protect the universe. So he will make a new group of Guardians . . . with Hal and Guy at his side.
Meanwhile, over with Kyle and John, the two pass swarms of GLs to get inside Mogo. Not just GLs but GL rings. Thousands of them. John uses his powers to tap into Will power enough to make a dome to stop the flow of rings. Yet the possessed GL go shooting at our heroic duo. The rings break through and John is subjected to a psychic attack from Mogo . . . in the form of his dead wife. Kyle actually does a trick with his Blue Lantern ring that makes one of the possessed GLs see her love . . . and frees her from Parallax possession. John and Kyle figured they can use that . . . and do on Mogo. Funny thing about where Mogo's ring . .. it's in his brain. Kyle uses the same trick from earlier on Mogo and it kinda works . . . except this time, John sees the black Lantern energy overcoming Mogo's brain. Kyle does his best to heal Mogo from the Black Lantern energy before it kills Mogo but gets knocked out for his trouble. John things of using Green Lantern energy as more and more GLs approach. Krona then relays a message that Mogo is creating thousands of recruits . . . all loyal to him and a wave of murder will reach around the galaxy; showing this all psychically to John . . . or is it Mogo who is showing John all this psychically? John suddenly decides he has no choice as Kyle comes to as John summons the black energy using the power of Compassion and . . .
JOHN KILLS MOGO.
Yes. John, for the second time of his Lantern career, is responsible for a planet being destroyed. And this time . . . he did it willingly. And he did while also ignoring Kyle's pleas to stop. John Stewart . . . ladies and gentlemen . . . King of Planetside. And killing Mogo seems to be the distraction they need as all the Green Lanterns and Guardians, including Krona feel pain as debris from Mogo start to fall like rain on Oa. Kyle and John argue for a moment about how there should have been another way. Kyle even tries to collect enough of Mogo to restart his heart with his Blue Ring but to no avail. John teleports Kyle and himself back onto Oa. The pain of Mogo's death gives Hal and Guy the opening they need to free themselves. Guy and Hal are able to get away with Ganthet and the Black Book when they are joined by Kyle and John. While Guy and John are about to argue again, Hal orders John to teleport them to the Central Battery. The 4 Lanterns blast their rings to get Parallax but their 4 rings are not enough. Ganthet wakes up and says that they need all the emotions in order to defeat Krona and Parallax. As they blast, the GL have come to and started attacking. Ganthet talks to Guy after giving him the Star Sapphire Ring to go with his Red Lantern Ring while Hal put on the Orange Ring with his Sinestro Ring. Guy reveals that while he loves Tora, he really loves the corps . . . and all the energies of the 7 rings are enough to pull out Parallax, freeing the GLs of its influence. Hal, Guy, John and Kyle took of their rings and got their Green Lantern rings back. They stood ready against Krona and the Entity-Possessed Guardians.
The final part of our saga has our GLs leading the rest of the Corps against the Entity possessed Guardians and Krona.As it looks like the GLs can't get through to the Guardians, Hal figures the best thing to do is get through to the Entities themselves. Hal and Kyle fly over to the Black Book and has Kyle draw it, figuring the stuff in the book are things that had happened .. . OR WILL HAPPEN. Doing so frees the new Guardians. Their rings start to fly towards them. Sinestro reaches out for his ring when suddenly, all the other rings say they are overridden and end up on Krona's hand. Ganthet goes up to face Krona but Krona blasts him for his trouble. Krona holds Hal back in a field of . . . multicolored snakes. Hal states that he fights for all. Sinestro takes some debris, smacking Krona's head with it. As he chokes Krona, a Green Lantern Ring goes into Sinestro's finger. Hal is free and the two fight off Krona. Krona goes on about being Immortal when suddenly . . .
HAL KILLS KRONA.
Geez. First a planet and now a Guardian. Killing Krona ends up freeing the Entities. The New Guardians get their rings back, except Sinestro when the other Lanterns ask what is going on. The Guardians say that no lantern should have the will to kill a Guardian. Hal tells Sinestro to take off his ring when the Guardians tell him to stop. The New Guardians start to say something when the Guardians teleport them away. The Guardians start verbally bashing Hal then strip him of his ring and teleport Hal back to Earth . .. ending both the storyline and this volume of Green Lantern.
Particularly stands out are Hal's actions throughout the storyline;in which he seemed so adamit to save the Corps and be the savior to everyone to the point that it felt that he was going out of the way to BE Hero more than save everyone. Another is how eerily easy it was for John to end up killing Mogo. I understand the whole soldier back ground and the characters history .. . but like Kyle, I was convinced that there was another way. Alas, Mogo . . . we knew thee well.
The story's pacing was excellent, never really slowing down to the point that it felt like it dragged. All the characters really shined in their own ways and were wonderfully placed.
Artistically, these was some of the best work I had seen from all three pencilers. The transition between styles felt fluid and not jarring in the least. Doug Manke and Fernando Pasarin were building beautiful pencils who were fleshed out extremely well by their respected inker. But the artist who really seemed to shine during this project was Tyler Kirkham. Him and Batt have become a dynamically rich and wonderful team. Their art is masterful, conveying emotion, movement and depth in every since stroke. Kirkham and Batt may be the Jim Lee and Scott Williams of this new decade. We will have to see. Each of the colorist really do a spectacular job of really making the art work look vibrant.
Overall, the War of the Green Lanterns did not disappoint. And even though I have personal disagreements on whether or not killing Mogo was necessary, it plays off the writers and the emotions they want us to feel. This was truely a landmark storyline that will have LARGE implications to come . . . as we see that the final part of War of the Green Lanterns was actually the last issue of that volume of Green Lantern. Everyone delivered and now am very excited for all the new Lantern books in the upcoming DC Relaunch.
It is my pleasure to give War of the Green Lanterns a grade of World Heavyweight Contender (aka a 5 out of 5). Ah . . . THAT FELT GOOOOOOD. Till next time, Frankie Rodriguez saying that if you are on the side of evil, Say goodbye!