Or – “Lethal Force From A Green Lantern Seems Like A Contradiction…”

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I’ve mentioned in previous coverage of the Sinestro Corp War that I think the Guardians of the Universe may be making a mistake in releasing the ‘No Lethal Force’ directive on the GLC’s power rings. Yes, it’s a hoary old cliche, and yes, the Corps is facing the most deadly threat of their history, but I’m honestly troubled by Green Lanterns becoming killers. Of course, the Sinestro Corps is bringing the pain on a global scale, and they’re shooting to kill, but isn’t giving GLC members additional power what put Sinestro on this path in the first place?

GLC1.jpgPreviously, on Green Lantern Corps: The Sinestro Corps has risen up and begun an ongoing campaign of terror against the Green Lanterns, creating fear throughout the galaxy and murdering Lantern after Lantern. A group of S.C.’s, including Ranx the Sentient City and the Children of the White Lobe, have attacked Mogo, attempting to detonate a Blink Bomb at his core. This event was predicted by the last chapter of the Book of Oa, the Prophecy of the Darkest Night, and even the Guardians of the Universe find themselves fearing the inevitable end of the universe. Moreover, Sodam Yat, a Daxamite who also figures in the prophecy, has recently joined the Corps, and Salaak has asked Arisia to keep a close eye on him. As the battle rages on Mogo, more and more Lanterns (including Senior Lantern and D.I. Kilowog) have arrived to hold the line, only to find their fellows being cut down by the deadly Sinestros. On Oa, the Guardians consider the prophecies and prepare to make a fateful decision, while Ranx attacks Mogo with all the power at his disposal.

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As much as I like Mogo as a character, I can’t help but think that having him speak (especially this much) will only serve to lessen the uniqueness of the character. Mogo doesn’t socialize, after all… On the surface of Mogo, the Corps members fight against incursion, desperately trying to keep the Children of the White Lobe from piercing Mogo’s molten core and blowing him up…

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Arkillo’s taunts don’t phase the big pink guy from Bolovax Vik, mostly because he knows his mission isn’t the most important one. Sodam Yat and a group of Lanterns have infiltrated Ranx itself, following his power cables towards the central processor, but along the way they find evidence that the Sinestros have been systematically torturing and maiming people, presumably the better to instill fear in the universe. Ranx taunts them, continuing to demand that they produce Guy Gardner or die, and one of the Lanterns shares that Gardner humiliated Ranx by making him void the contents of his digestive system. Important safety tip, kids: Don’t make the evil city throw up, or interstellar war will commence. Knowing is half the battle! Within the surface of Mogo himself, a Lantern has a brilliant idea…

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I really enjoy the Green Man, and his strategy here is pretty brilliant, but if nobody is directing the rings to new targets, that means that the Corps won’t be getting any new members until he can safely lower his shields. From a manpower perspective, that gives the Sinestro Corps a serious edge, wouldn’t you say? The various combatants crash into Mogo’s shield, and Arkillo is taken out of action. Kilowog quickly begins gathering up the bomb-wielding evil telepathic babies, while Sodam Yat gets a strange communique…

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Mogo cannot tell him any more than this, but orders Yat to retreat from combat. His warning comes seconds too late, as the Manhunters converge and blast the crap out of him, as a panicked Arisia desperately tries to save him. The Manhunters turn their attention to Arisia, saying “Capture her alive. We’ll be in the mood to celebrate once we have our victory here.” Creepy… As the smoke clears, she despairs that all is lost, but Sodam Yat’s beams stabs out of the rubble, with a defiant “Celebrate THIS, ugly.” The assembled Lanterns realize that Ranx is overloading his gravity generators in sheer rage, and that if he loses his control, he’ll create a collapsar, a black hole of hatred that will destroy Mogo and everything within two light years. Suddenly, the rings sing out (as they did in Green Lantern last issue) with new orders from the Guardians. “Attention, Lanterns. The book of Oa has been rewritten. Lethal force has been enabled.” Kilowog is stunned to hear this news, but not every Lantern shares his reticence.

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As Kilowog starts searching for the buried Arkillo (grudge match time!) the other Lanterns begin fighting again, and suddenly, the deactivated rings spring back to life and search out new bearers, indicating that Mogo is not as bad off as we think. But that doesn’t mean that the threat is over…

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Oh, my. Salaak does not play around, does he? With no time for pleasantries, Sal immediately wants to know where Sodam Yat is, and Kilo tells him that the kid is fighting on Ranx. Kilowog asks his old friend, “You happy ’bout this lethal force directive, Sal?” Salaak replies in his sarcastic way, “Hardly. But my duty is to serve.” Within Ranx, Sodam Yat hears the lethal force directive, and a very disturbing gleam appears in his eye, and he literally chops Enkafos, the evil Sinestro Corps mummy, in two. Isamot Kol entreats Arisia to join in the carnage, but she refuses, and begins destroying Ranx’s power cells. Sodam Yat tells them all to get away, and begins ripping at the power consoles with his bare (yellow-sun-powered) hands… Arisia tells him that it’s suicide, and Sodam reminds her that he’s invulnerable. The other Lanterns flee, and Sodam takes advantage of being a Kryptonian-level powerhouse with a cosmic power talisman at his command, and TAKES RANX OUT.

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In space, no one can her you “KRAK-A-DOOOOOOOM!!!!” But, dammit, they SHOULD. The Lanterns regroup, having defended Mogo from incursion (in a priceless sight gag, the Green Man is seen hitting the Children of the White lobe in their energy globe with a baseball bat) and Salaak nervously asks about the status of Sodam Yat, the child of prophecy. No one saw his ring fly away, and Kilowog replies that the fight ain’t over yet…

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Suddenly, the coms burst to life, and the voice of Hal Jordan can be heard. “Sinestro’s target isn’t Oa! It’s Earth!” We fade to black with a shot of Hal fighting off dozens of S.C.’s in a desperate attempt to defend his home planet, and the Lanterns get ready to provide backup. Don’t step in the Tom Welling Prime!

All in all though, this is a good issue, with character development amongst the carnage, and at least a temporary resolution to the “Will Ranx blow up Mogo?” question. The Guardians acting in fear may have made them more susceptible to whatever evil Sinestro may have up his sleeve (I doubt that the all-out attack is the only thin on his mind, given his devious nature) and Sodam Yat, while impressive, gives me pause for concern, as he enjoyed the carnage a little TOO much. There’s a lot going on here, but it still comes together as a coherent whole, with Dave Gibbons’ story drawing upon the history of the GLC and nicely done art by a coterie of artists including Prentiss Rollins and Patrick Gleason. It’s a 3 out of 5 star effort, a very good middle chapter to an ongoing war story, and it’s nice to see Kilowog in flat-out action again (especially alongside Salaak, just like the old days.)

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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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17 Comments

  1. Adam
    October 10, 2007 at 11:48 am — Reply

    “In space, no one can her you “KRAK-A-DOOOOOOOM!!!!”” Best line of the year!

    As I was reading the scanned page, I thought to myself, that need s KRAK-A-DOOOOOOM, and sure enough it was provided. Thanks, Matthew :)

  2. October 10, 2007 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    Ranx will be back, and next time he’ll probably look more like a normal city, too…

  3. J'osh
    October 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    I’ve just started to theorize that the Sin War is becoming some type of allegory for the politics of fear.

    The Guardians have possibly begun the process of radical changes to their way of guarding the universe. All in the name of fear whether their admitting it to themselves or not. They were attacked violently and suddenly so they are now willing to compromise anything they’ve believed before in order to feel safe…for now.

  4. Brent F.
    October 10, 2007 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    I’d be more frightened of Mogo than any of the other Lanterns. A living planet with the power of a Green Lantern and permission to use it with lethal force is a very, very scary thing.

  5. Dr. Strange Cubicle
    October 10, 2007 at 1:03 pm — Reply

    I liked this one a lot, almost as much as GL#23, especially the more fleshed-out look at the reactions to lethal force being allowed. Ranx’ obsession with Guy was pretty funny as well.

  6. October 10, 2007 at 1:23 pm — Reply

    As I was reading the scanned page, I thought to myself, that need s KRAK-A-DOOOOOOM, and sure enough it was provided. Thanks, Matthew :)

    It’s what we do. :)

  7. October 10, 2007 at 1:25 pm — Reply

    Y’know, it just occurred to me that Sodam Yat is the natural choice to keep Tom Welling Prime busy…

  8. Dr. Strange Cubicle
    October 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm — Reply

    I’ve seen that noted a few times. Interestingly, it’s the Daxamite “Sodol” Yat who was supposedly going to be the one to kill Superman in “Twilight of the Superheroes”…

  9. jman
    October 10, 2007 at 2:26 pm — Reply

    “Y’know, it just occurred to me that Sodam Yat is the natural choice to keep Tom Welling Prime busy…”

    That’s very true. That should be one hell of a fight. I thought Killowog shot Arkillo in the face in this issue, but he’s apparently still alive. I keep thinking of the JLU espisode when Kyle asked to be switched with John Stewart. One of the little blue leprechauns says something like: The Green Lantern Corp is a para-military unit dedicated to the peacekeeping of the Universe. You’ll just have to deal with it.” Or something along those lines. As far as the lethal force initiative, will they be able to put the genie back in the bottle? Yes, but not without reprocussions…

    I just picked up today’s issue of Green Lantern, it is indeed awesome. Yet I must say, Countdown’s schedule really spoiled the effect of this issue.

  10. October 10, 2007 at 2:28 pm — Reply

    I’m expecting the rewriting of the Book of Oa to lead to the Red Lanterns, as the Johns written Booster Gold alluded to on the blackboard. Most likely the anger and hate going along with the killing will factor into this at some point, maybe corrupting the green will based rings. At the very least, there should be some fallout to the Lanterns lethal force. Was happy to see Arisia not resort to lethal force.

    Kirk Warren
    The Weekly Crisis
    http://www.weeklycrisis.com

  11. October 10, 2007 at 2:52 pm — Reply

    That would be great. I’d love see that smirk knocked off of his face!

  12. Adam
    October 10, 2007 at 3:08 pm — Reply

    You’re right. Sodam is TWP ‘counterpart’. But correct me if I’m wrong, but TWP is technically a pre-Crisis powered Kryptonian?

    Forgive me for my ignorance, but is a Daxamite as strong as a Kryptonian? I know they’re distant cousins, much like the Vulcans and Romulans, but are they equal in power. (I read all the Hero Histories, and you keep saying Kryptonian-level power, but I just want to make sure that they’re equal)

    The question is can the GL ring, with its now lethal force update, hurt someone who’s invulnerable? If not, then it’s going to turn into a slug fest, and if TWP has the armor on, I’m going to give him the edge. Unless Sodam gets some KPL (Kryptonian Power Level) backup.

  13. Rob
    October 10, 2007 at 3:19 pm — Reply

    “…at least a temporary resolution to the ‘Will Ranx blow up Mogo?’ question.” It seems like that was a fairly permanent resolution to me.

  14. Salieri
    October 10, 2007 at 3:34 pm — Reply

    Yes indeed…who knows, maybe the Yat/Welling battle will decide the outcome of the war…

  15. October 10, 2007 at 10:47 pm — Reply

    Salieri – Some reason when I read that, it made me wonder if Yat has the old lead allergy that Mon-El had/has. I guess the ring would protect him from it if he did/does.

    Adam- In my opinion, the the whole invulnerability vs. GL ring would depend on the willpower of the ring wielder and how imaginative they where. Could Mogo affect a Kryptonian on a cellualr level via the ring?

    Sounds like a good forum topic to me! LOL

  16. Brent F.
    October 11, 2007 at 2:23 am — Reply

    Daxamite power levels are virtually identical to Kryptonians, the only difference is their weakness.

  17. Mikey X
    October 14, 2007 at 9:00 pm — Reply

    Daxamite power levels are identical to Kryptonians, except Kryptonians store the power of the yellow sun and remain fairly powerful for a short while even when back under a red sun, whereas the Daxamites lose their powers instantaneously under the red sun, and of course Kryptonians are only vulnerable to kryptonite, Daxamites to lead.

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