Or – “The War Of Light Rages On, And The Key Players Gather For Operation Roy G. Biv…”


Indigo-1 and her Indigo Tribe have provided Hal Jordan and the heroes of the galaxy with the weakness of the Black Lanterns’ rings: multiple spectrum emotions.  In an attempt to give the BLC as much multi-spectrum as possible, Indigo-1 has gathered the primary bearers of the green and violet light, and has brought them both to Korugar to find the man who embodies yellow.  Sinestro is, however, understandably distracted by the return of his dead friends and lovers, and also might have a little problem with NOT KILLING HAL.  Five bucks on the gourd-headed guy…

Green Lantern #47

GL2.jpgWritten by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Variant cover by Ed Benes

Previously, on Green Lantern: In the wake of “Dead Superman Day,” Black Hand (with an assist from crazy-blue-space-midget Scar) set in motion a series of events that released a plague of ebony rings into the universe.  Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Sector 2814 (Earth, for those of you without your galactic maps) engaged one of the first Black Lanterns, in the form of his old comrade J’onn J’onnz.  As  more and more dead folks rose out of the Cadillac Desert, Hal was surprised to find the Indigo Tribe showing up in the midst of it all, wielding the light of compassion.  When combined with his light of will, their luminance caused a fatal disruption in the black rings:  in short, a short, causing the deaders to get blowed up real good.  Hal (grudgingly) left Earth with Indigo to gather more ring-bearers, to create “the white light of creation” and burn the Black Lantern infestation out once and for all.  Carol Ferris was easily swayed, but Sinestro was more complicated, having to face Mongul, son of Mongul, in combat for the control of his self-named Corps.  This challenge was barely out of the way when his closest friend, Abin Sur rose from the dead, bringing with him his sister Arin, whom only Sinestro knows is his true love…

While a cadre of Green Lanterns fights Atrocitues and his Red Lanterns on Ysmault, things don’t go so well for the wearers of the green.  The playing field is leveled by the raising of the demons of Ysmault (“The Five Inversions”) as Black Lanterns, cackling about how their tales (told to Abin Sur years ago) helped to bring us to this point.  Atricitus stands against his brother, fillled with a mighty rage, only to have his heart ripped out.  A Black Lantern ring arrives, and intones, “Atrocitus of Ryut…  Ri–” before being rudely interrupted.  Atrocitus rips into his former brehren, needing no heart to fuel his anger, only the power of the red ring.  At the same time, on Korugar, Abin Sur plays the standard Green Lantern mindgames on Hal Jordan, only to find H.J. immune to such mind-gamery.  Sinestro faces Arin Sur alone, and being much more cerebral than Hal, finds himself wavering at her declarations of love.  The battles intersect, and Hal, Carol, Sinestro and Indigo combine their powers to blast the Sur family into atoms (though not before Abin babbles that he KNOWS her…)  Hal asks Sinestro pointedly who the girl was to him, and Sinestro replies coldly, “Nobody.”

With their common enemy gone,  a terse standoff ensues, as Sinestro doesn’t like standing alongside the Earth creatures  for ANY reason.  Sinestro is nothing if not pragmatic, though, and agrees to join the Rainbow Coalition to protect Korugar from the blackness.  Far away, on planet Xanshi, John Stewart is drawn further and further into a maze, created of the planet he destroyed so long ago.  On planet Odym, the home of the Blue Lantern Corps, Ganthet and Sayd (Guardians of the Blue Lantern Corps) fight off the Black Lantern rings, while Saint Walker and company fight off Larfleeze and the spectres of his orange light.  The arrival of of Hal and company turns the tide for Saint Walker, but the Orange Lanterns all dissolve mysteriously.  The action cuts to Okaara, where Larfleeze runs from the risen Black Lantern bodies of all his various victims (as his orange light allows him to create avatars of those who he kills) when he suddenly falls.  Fortunately (for SOME values of the word, anyway) Larfleeze is saved from the brink of oblivion by the arrival of Atrocitus.  “I want your battery, glutton.  NOW!” roars the monstrous Red Lantern as we fade out.

I’m having great fun with the main Blackest Night title for some time now, but I have to say I’m not as in love with this issue, or with the Green Lantern portion of the overall.  Various pundits have been joking about the inevitable appearance of a “White Lantern” for since pretty much day one, and this book does little to dispel the thought that we’re headed precisely there.  Hal Jordan is a bit limiting as a main character (at least for me) in that his current portrayal is a little bit too “Cosmic Batman,” positing that nothing will ever throw Jordan off his game as he’s just too darn awesome.  When the rest of the cast includes his ex-main-squeeze and his best frenemy, I want to see a little more psychological ramifications.  The real star of this issue is Sinestro, who deals decisively with his ex, as well as his former best friend, and even makes a remarkably rational decision when faced with death.  The overall effect is to make me like HIM more than our ostensible hero, at least if we base all our assessment on what we see in the issue.  Johns’ tendency to add a tortured core of nobility to his evil characters  is in full effect here, so long as we forget that Sinestro is basically a pink-skinned-gourd-headed-space-Nazi.  All in all, the issue has some decent character moments, and Doug Mahnke delivers on art, but it seems like we’re spending a lot of time on the “gather seven guys with different colored rings” portion of the program.  All in all, Green Lantern #47 earns 3 out of 5 stars, delivering just enough to offset the whispers of sagging in the plotting and pacing of the story.  If we’re going to do this for another six months, though, I hope there are some heavy twists in store for Hal and the Halleys.


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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  1. Midwinter
    October 31, 2009 at 4:33 am — Reply

    Exhaustive review and right on the money as usual. I’m enjoying this a great deal. I did sit down and work out how much the entire Blackest Night comics would cost (plus all the tie-ins) and I fell off my chair!

    Is this event going to be the costliest for the ordinary comic book buyer?

  2. oraclebop
    October 31, 2009 at 6:32 am — Reply

    I thought at some point that it’d be Rainbow Lantern, much like Rainbow girl who appeared in the “Superman and The Legion Of Superheroes” arc. She could channel all the emotions, so I hope that’s how it plays out, makes some consistency you know?

  3. October 31, 2009 at 9:37 am — Reply

    Is this event going to be the costliest for the ordinary comic book buyer?

    Probably going to be right up there with Final Crisis, if you count all the tie-ins, all the side-minis, and all the FC Aftermath issues. Civil War was a pretty spending exercise, too, extending as it did into EVERY SINGLE title in the line.

  4. Greg A
    October 31, 2009 at 9:59 am — Reply

    Despite my misgivings about the Blackest Night event as a whole, it’s the events playing out in the main Green Lantern title I find the most interesting. It is probably because I find Sinestro the most interesting character in this whole mess of an event. I suspect it will be Sinestro and not Hal, who will step up and be the hero of the Blackest Night.

    I really wish that Blackest Night, much like the Sinestro Corp War before it, had been contained solely within the pages of Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corp. The scope feels much grander and the stakes feel higher when it takes place in the star spanning environments of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corp. rather than the Earth-centric Blackest Night mini-series.

    To paraphrase Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, “The DC editors were preoccupied with whether or not they could create supermegacrossover, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

  5. October 31, 2009 at 10:31 am — Reply

    Well if they go with a multi-colored Lantern I hope they go with ‘Chromatic’ as opposed to ‘Rainbow’ and hopefully his name will be Hue.

  6. October 31, 2009 at 2:31 pm — Reply

    Well if they go with a multi-colored Lantern I hope they go with ‘Chromatic’ as opposed to ‘Rainbow’ and hopefully his name will be Hue.

    They can get Caroll O’Connor to introduce him. “This is Hue…”

  7. Robbie
    November 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm — Reply

    Going on record–I think we are going to see something like the white light using the souls of the dead at peace like the black light is using the bodies of the dead who are not at rest. Don Hall might possibly lead the charge…..

  8. November 3, 2009 at 11:19 am — Reply

    On a complete tangent, it didn’t dawn on me until reading this review that the Mongol family lack originality when naming their children. “Hmm. I shall name my son Mongol. And my daughter. And our dog. And our station wagon.” There’s probably a lot of re-gifting in the Mongol house around Christmas time. Not that they probably receive a lot of gifts.

  9. Ivdar
    November 21, 2009 at 11:30 am — Reply

    I was a bit disappointed by the portrayal of Larfleeze in this issue. It’s a character I really love, and it feels very different from the one I’ve seen in Agent Orange.

    I mean, Larfleeze, crazy and goofy as he is, is an incredibly powerful individual. He is essentially a one-man lantern corps, with the power of an entire central battery within his single ring. Even all of the Guardians united couldn’t take him down safely.

    And here we see him running scared from a bunch of Black Lanterns. Sure, they can regenerate, but with the energy he has at his command, he could pretty much obliterate them over and over, and still have plenty of juice to spare. He could mop the floor with Atrocitus ten times over !

    I mean even physically he looks diminished : in Agent Orange, he was imposing. He had broad-shoulders and an intimidating build, he was a giant hunk of a greed-crazy muppety alien boar-hog.

    I absolutely don’t mind Larfleeze as ridiculous, since that’s part of his character, even as a cosmic superpower he’s still pretty silly. But it feels like a weird discontinuity, somehow.

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