Or – “Roy G. Biv!  Easy as 1-2-Thriv!  Roy G. Biv, 1-2-Thriv, Baby You & Miv!”

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The irony of the current run on Green Lantern?  When Hal was removed from office in 1994, part of the reasoning was that having the entire Corps made Green Lantern less unique…  Now, with thousands of Lanterns running about, as well as the Sinestro Corps, the Zamaron’s potential Corps, Ganthet and Sayd’s Blue Lantern Corps of Hope, The Black Lanterns, as well as the Plaid Lanterns of Bismoll (I may have possibly made one of them up) somebody at DC has finally realized what we knew all along: The Corps makes GL MORE unique, rather than less…

GL1.jpgPreviously, on Green Lantern:  Sinestro has a big rubbery head.  Seriously, it’s like a damn gourd or something.  Also, he’s evil.  And his manipulative hate-facing led his Corps to kill hundreds of Lanterns, and back-handedly caused the Guardians of the Universe to enact the first of the New Laws of Oa, allowing Green Lanterns to react to the Sinestros with lethal force.  Furthermore, the Guardians created their Internal Affairs Bureau, the so-called “Alpha Lanterns,” whose first action was to indict Laira of the Lost Lanterns for the murder of Amon Sur.  Nevermind that Amon was pretty much a psycho-billy freakout from day one, nevermind that he killed one of her cohorts, the only thing that matters to the soulless Alphas is the letter of the law.  (I have a couple of Managers to whom I answer who share that philosophy…)

This issue starts out creepy as all hell, with a close-up of the face of Qull of The Five Inversions, a demon on the lost planet Ysmault.  Within moments, though, the horrific creature is battered across the face by an unseen blunt object, as another monster, this one called Atrocitus of the Empire of Tears, berates him for his foolishness.  Seems that Qull’s loose lips have caused the Guardians to leave them both on the remote outpost as punishment, and Atrocitus is unhappy about it.  “But, after centuries of rage festering in my heart, I have learned the means of escape is within my grasp…  Your innards will give my my freedom, Qull.  And your blood my power.”  With a final blow, Qull’s brains are splattered, and we see the weapon:  a lantern of power, this one blood red…

Back on Oa, the trial of Laira convenes, with the most damning evidence coming from her own power ring.  The Alpha-Lanterns watch impassively, as Laira swears that she did nothing wrong, and that she’d do it again.  Boodikka, once her closest friend, now a cybord monster, steps forward and pronounces that she abused her power.  When Laira asks how Boodikka can turn on her now, and Boodikka impassively intones “I have redidicated myself to justice, Laira.  That is all.”  Boodikka pronounces her guilty, and her faceplate slides back to reveal the inner head of a Manhunter.  “No Lantern escapes the Alpha-Lanterns,” she says as she drains Laira’s power ring and takes away her badge.

As if THAT weren’t bad enough, the Guardians take this moment to reveal their second new law: “Lethal force has been authorized… against ALL enemies of the Green Lantern Corps.”  For immortals, these schmucks have short memories.  This is what made their Manhunter experiment fail in the first place.  Hal leaves the courtroom and heads to the brig to talk with Ol’ Gourdhead, and Sinestro does his best jackass manipulator “I MEANT to do that” routine, claiming to have forced the Guardians into this latest bad decision.  “The Green Lantern Corps will be reorganized into a force of order capable of crushing any and all chaos.” 

The Guardians hide in their citadel, as one of them notices a red flash in the heavens, presumably Atrocitus doing something.  One of their number returns to report that she has discovered something called “Agent Orange,” a Controller who realizes that their previous experiments with the Darkstars were a failure, that they must find the perfect weapon of control: the orange light.  Elsewhere, Laira is being transported home, now powerless and disgraced, when the ship is suddenly filled with a horrible screaming noise, and a ring appears.  “Laira of sector 112.  You have great rage in your heart.”  She reaches out and is transformed into the very first… RED LANTERN. 

This issue is compelling in a couple of ways, as the art is really gorgeous (Mike McKone did the honors, and his angularity really added to the machine-like demeanor of the Alphas) and the story was nicely handled, balancing the cosmic with the personal.  I’m still on the fence about the spectrum of various Lanterns, even as I realize it’s an idea whose time has probably come.  I’ll reserve my judgement on the long-term viability of the Rainbows In The Night (Thank you, Ronnie James Dio) but for now, this was a satisfying chunk of Green Lanterny goodness.  It’s a 4 out of 5 star package, and I’m really looking forward to next issue.

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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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2 Comments

  1. Sanlear
    March 13, 2008 at 12:33 pm — Reply

    “I’m still on the fence about the spectrum of various Lanterns,”

    Same here. I’m not crazy about the idea, but I’ll see how it pays out.

  2. Katzedecimal
    March 14, 2008 at 9:36 am — Reply

    I, OTOH, am very intrigued by the spectrum of Lanterns. I’m impressed by how much thought went into this, from working out the many emotional states through which order may be imposed, to the traditional oppositional pairings matched to the spectrum (love/hate, hope/fear, etc) This interpretation even gives new insight into the long-running Green Lantern/Star Sapphire relationship/rivalry, if looked at through a bit of classic Crowleyana, “Do as thou will shall be the whole of the law; Love is the law, Love under Will.” Fascinating, Captain.

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