Or – “That Cover Looks Really Familiar…”

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That right there is an “Oh, $#!+” moment… If you were around in 1985-1986, you may remember the sheer scope and breathtaking change that the original Crisis On Infinite Earths heralded. This was staid and steady DC here, the company known for the status quo, and infinite variations on a theme (Kryptonian renegades from the Phantom Zone! The Joker has committed crimes that start with J, then O, then K, but where will he strike next?) and even the shock value of Supergirl’s death could be one-upped by the sacrifice of a FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE JLA! The sight of the Anti-Monitor at the end of the Sinestro Corps Special literally gave me goosebumps, and I get the feeling that it’s only going to get worse…

GLC1.jpgPreviously, on Green Lantern: Sinestro, once heralded as the Greatest Green Lantern of Them All, returned from a slight case of death, only to gather the most awful, fear-inducing creatures from the furthest corners of the galaxy, and forging them into a yellow-ringed army to counter the Guardians 7200-strong army of will. His first foray left dozens of GL’s dead, but he followed that up by capturing the Ion creature, infecting Kyle Rayner with Parallax, and revealing that his teammates include Tom Welling Prime, Hank Henshaw the Cyborg Superman, and his patron power-source? The Anti-freakin’-Monitor himself! Fear has spread across the universe, Guy Gardner and John Stewart have been captured, the ‘Lost Lanterns’ have been sent to Qward to find Ion, and Hal Jordan has been confronted with his former teacher, Sinestro, for perhaps the final time. But, while all that happens in space, there’s also unhappiness on Earth, as Hal’s brother Jim tries to deal with money troubles, and ongoing trials in Coast City.

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Awww… poor kid. I get a bad feeling about this scene, portending as it does nastiness for Jim Jordan’s family. I have a short temper when it comes to using imperiled children as a plot device (I stopped reading Amazons Attack not because it was impenetrable, but because of the ham-handed murder of a little girl in the first issue) and I’m hoping they aren’t going where I think they’re going. While Jim wrestles with fear of the unknown, brother Hal is forced to combat a much more tangible sort of terror, this one involving a hot, half-naked blue girl with red eyes and fangs. (I’ve had that dream, though there was a sword-swallower at the end…)

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Heh… The question of what Hal fears is finally answered. Lyssa Drak goes all crypt-keeper on Hal and his two partners (“I thank you for entering my chambers, Green Lanterns. For after your slow and painful deaths, I shall record a new story all my own.”) but Harold Jordan doesn’t shake that easy. He engages Lyssa in combat, ordering Graf and Tomar to free John Stewart and Guy Gardner, but as he begins to fight, he gets a fateful notice from the power ring. “Warning. Power levels approaching 1.0%.” I imagine that in the voice of Majel Barrett from Star Trek, and it’s even cooler. “I guess this is going to get interesting,” says Hal, when suddenly his backup arrives.

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The Big 3, Tomar & Graf take quickly knock out Lyssa Drak, and John and Guy reveals where they’ve been: being tortured with their worst memories by Parallax. With Hal’s ring nearly out of power, he realizes that he’s going to have to get creative, taking as many Sinestro Corps yellow rings as he can find, and powering them up on a convenient yellow battery… Hal’s not the only one who has to change his methods to survive, though, as back on Oa, the Guardians of the Universe make a couple of life-altering decisions, as well.

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Huh… Didn’t see that one coming. Ganthet is really the only Guardian with any concept of what the heroes go through, but I suspect that they’ve only freed him to act, rather than cow him to their way of thinking. Back on Qward, Ke’Haan and the remaining lost Lanterns encounter the Anti-Monitor, busy trying to dissect the Ion creature. When Ke’Haan rushes in to attacks, he is summarily disintegrated, and the Anti-Monitor solemnly croaks “You will die.” Hannu the rock-man kicks out the jams, blasting the Anti-Monitor with all he’s got, while, nearby, Amon Sur takes the explosive concussion as a good sign…

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Oooh, snap. Hal sure told him. He blasts the entire stairwell away from beneath the yellow Corpsmen, sending them flying in all directions, and Graf expositions that his experience with Parallax has given Hal the power to harness fear, at least enough to break stuff. Guy points out that he, too, overcame fear a time or two, and even wore Sinestro’s own ring at one point, causing John and Hal to remember his costume. “Remember that big “G” he wore on his jacket?” John recalls that Guy claimed it stood for “Girl-Magnet,” but their reveries are interrupted by the arrival of Sinestro, The Manhunters, and about 80% of the Sinestro Corps. Sinestro laughs at Hal’s efforts to harness the power of fear, redirecting Hal’s attacks almost effortlessly, allowing the Manhunters to swoop in and drain Hal’s stolen rings of their energy…

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“No Manhunter escapes The Man.” Awww, HELL, yeah! I love me some John Stewart, thank you very much, and Guy attacking Sinestro was double icing on the cake. Sadly, though, Kyle-allax is ready to rip off Guy’s bowlcut dome for daring to make the move. Just at that moment, the giant winged space-whale known as Ion bursts up from beneath the surface of Qward, smashing through and scattering the various Green and Yellow Lanterns. They compare notes, and realize the true horror of Sinestro’s new force, and Hal realizes that he needs to head to Earth for backup. Sinestro watches them go, sending Parallax ahead to Earth, while the Guardians of the Universe come out of their citadel with an announcement. “We understand the limitations both our code of conduct and the power rings themselves have. It is for these reasons that we have rewritten the Book of Oa…” First new rule? Lanterns now have authorization to kill Sinestro Corpsmen…

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Do WHAT now? Tom Welling Prime watches as John, Hal, and Guy reach Earth, and I realize now that this is a very bad omen… Of course, before he can do anything, even before Hal can call in Superman and friends to knock some yellow heads, we see where this is heading. “The Sinestro Corps does no want the center of the universe,” realizes Ganthet. “The want the center of the MULTIVERSE.” And back in Coast City, Jim Jordan and his family look up to see strange constellations in the sky…

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Worst of all, my awful suspicions have been confirmed, as Parallax confronts Jim Jordan and his children… Somebody, please, take this jackass down before I have to get angry again. They wouldn’t like me… when I’m angry.

The Sinestro Corps War continues apace, with what I perceive to be a serious misstep by the Guardians of the Universe, and the scales at least somewhat balanced with the freeing of Ion. Of course, there’s still the issue of Kyle Rayner (and if you read Countdown, you’re just as confused as to the hows and whens of the DCU as I am right now) as well as what Ganthet will do, and what evil Tom Welling Prime is up to… It’s a taut, suspenseful ride so far, and this issue is well-done, with real consequences for some regulars (So long, Ke’Haan…) It’s a solid 4 out of 5 star effort, and another nice chapter in the ongoing saga of cosmic combat and backstabbery… Let’s just hope they don’t decide killing some innocent kids will raise the emotional stakes.

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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8 Comments

  1. J'osh
    September 17, 2007 at 12:13 am — Reply

    I can’t imagine that Kyle, possesed or not, could live with hurting or killing Hal’s family. I really hope this situation gives Kyle the strength to free himself.

    I’ve said it before and will continue to say it. The Guardians of the Universe need the name of their race changed because they are simply terrible at gaurding the universe.

    I’m thinking Ganthet is heading to Zamorran space. Pink Lanterns to the rescue.

  2. September 17, 2007 at 1:44 am — Reply

    Wait…are’t the Guardians themselves acting on the emotion of fear?

    Oh, and, I just had a look at the original prophecy – turns out the ‘Demons’ beating blue drums at the end are Nemesis the Warlock and pals!

  3. Brad
    September 17, 2007 at 8:33 am — Reply

    (I’ve had that dream, though there was a sword-swallower at the end…)

    nice

    As for the killing of the kids, I believe that writers who use this device in a trivial fashion, not to be parents. You don’t understand the emotional depth that parenting, and child rearing gives you until you are there. “Oh he’s super bad, let’s have him show up and kill some kids that’ll get the point across.”

    Anyone who has ever lost some one (who is not young), take that pain and multiply it. because not only do you miss them, but when you see older kids years later you wonder what would they have looked like, you think of the hopes and dreams you had with them, you miss and long for the awkward conversations, the checking under the bed for monsters, the extra glasses of water 1 hour after bed time, all of the things that they, the child, were robbed of having and you the parent were robbed of sharing in.

    Here’s hoping they don’t mess up what has otherwise been an outstanding storyline.

  4. Salieri
    September 17, 2007 at 10:04 am — Reply

    Apathetic bloody planet, I’ve no sympathy at all…

  5. jman
    September 17, 2007 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    Aww leave the little blue leprechauns alone…I kinda imagine the Guardians to be like any government organization/military structure: They have great power and mean to do well, but they ultimately have lost the emotional ties to the people they lead/supposed to protect(which is good and bad, in a way). They are near-godlike, but perfection is divine. Just look at the problems plaguing the police department/military(abuse of rank, corruption, etc.). This is why I really dig the Green Lantern Corp; it’s a touch of reality with a decent Sci-Fi base.

  6. Amy M.
    September 17, 2007 at 2:26 pm — Reply

    I kind of agree with the Guardians on this one. What kind of war can you fight against an enemy who keeps killing your soldiers if you can’t fight with lethal force?

    And while I’m 95% sure that Hal’s family will be okay, I will really be mad if they have Kyle do something like that, even if he is possessed by Parallax. Don’t do it, DC!

  7. Mark I.
    September 17, 2007 at 3:19 pm — Reply

    Maybe when Kyle goes after the family, one of the kids will hide in a refrigerator and shock him to his senses.

  8. jman
    September 18, 2007 at 7:35 am — Reply

    Anyone else dig the new design of Lyssa Drak? I thought she was disturbing before, but now…there’s still no explanation for the change, however….

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