Review: Green Lantern #48

by

Or – “Didn’t Saint Walker Used To Work For Jabba The Hutt?”

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Earlier this week, I took a look at Blackest Night #5, in which the seven primary bearers of the emotional spectrum came together to try and stop Nekron’s evil Black Lantern Corps.  You’ll have to check out that review for more details, but here’s the story that explains how Atrocitus, Larfleeze, Sinestro, Hal Jordan, Saint Walker, Indigo-1 and Carol Ferris became the (barely) coherent collection of ring-bearers that I have dubbed The Rainbow Coalition…

Green Lantern #48

GL1.jpgWritten by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Variant cover by Rags Morales

Previously, on Green Lantern:  Hal Jordan’s history since his resurrection has been a pretty difficult run.  Trying to rebuild Coast City and convince people to repopulate the town, he ended up on the run from the entire world and most of his fellow superheroes.  That situation barely resolved itself before he found himself embroiled in a galaxy-wide battle against Sinestro and his Corps of yellow-empowered Lanterns.  That battle (including Tom Welling Prime, The Anti-Monitor and the Manhunters) was hard to top, but after relaunching the Justice League of America, Green Lantern found himself dealing with Red Lanterns, then Blue Lanterns, then an entire spectrum of various Lanterns.  When the dead started rising, it was less a question of “How could this happen?” as it was a question of “What in the world could happen next?”  Old-school Green Lantern villain Nekron has been revealed as the brains behind the arising bodies, and Hal has gone out to find bearers of the various colors of the emotional spectrum, but rage, avarice, fear, willpower, hope, compassion, and love are hard to balance in any situation…

The issue opens with a note that it takes place before Blackest Night #6, which kind of confuses me, since that book won’t be out for over three weeks at this point, with Atrocitus (who, my brain wants to remind me, borders on the Adriatic) and Larfleeze battle over possession of the Orange Lantern of Avarice.  The bodies of Larfleeze’s victims have come back as Black Lanterns, but the combined orange and red light takes out a few of the oncoming bodies.  Only the arrival of the rest of the Rainbow Coalition saves their bacon, and the other Lanterns make pointed remarks that indicate that Larfleeze’s battery and ring have an odor…  The thought that light can smell is one of the most fascinating things this series has put forth thus far, although a discussion between Hal and Carol whether Larfleeze is more Uncle Scrooge or the Great Gonzo is quite amusing as well.  But as soon as the external threat is taken away, Atrocitus, Sinestro and Jordan are at one another’s throats again.  Saint Walker hits ‘Trossy with a shot of hope and ends the conflict for a second.  Sinestro pledges to the Red Lantern that once Nekron is defeated, their two Corps will combine and wipe out the Green Lanterns.  “Hal’s RIGHT HERE,” says Carol causing me a giggle…

As a scuffle once again breaks out, all the Lanterns are distracted by the announcement that the Black Lantern power battery has reached 100% power.  Indigo is suddenly taken off guard, revealing that her Corps was supposed to keep the black rings from ever being able to charge.  “We cannot fail my savior, Abin Sur,” she vows, as the rest of the Lanterns (and the readers) wonder what that’s all about.  She teleports the entire squad (plus Ganthet and Sayd) to Ryut, the site of the Manhunters massacre in sector 666.  They arrive to find that the Black power battery is gone.  Atrocitus is so moved to see the remains of his planet and his people that he agrees to serve with his enemies to stop Nekron.  Larfleeze again says that he wants his own Guardian, prompting Sayd to offer her services to the Orange Lanterns if he will join their cause.  Finally united, we end with a shot of Ganthet, Sayd, five floating power batteries, Indigo’s staff and Larfleeze clutching his ownLantern, as Ganthet vows that they’ll give everything to save the universe.  “Well…  not EVERYTHING,” says Larfleeze as we fade to black.

This issue is a nice buildup to events in Blackest Night, and does finally explain how these seven lady truckers differently motivated Lanterns got their various acts together in order to work as a unit, if not a team.  The constant conflict between them starts off well, then gets a bit tiresome, then comes back around again and is funny.  The fighting tends to be on the red-to-green portion of the spectrum, while the other end kind of stands around looking passive (which is the danger of a book that uses emotional states to represent entire armies of people.)  If I had any complaint about the plot, it’s that Carol, Walker and Indigo don’t seem to have much to DO while the big guys slap each other around out of rage, avarice and/or fear.  I do like the fact that even Atrocitus has more than one mood, though, and the revelation that he is partially motivated by love of his lost people is a good one.  The art is well-done, with the aliens sufficiently alieny, Hal heroic, Sinestro shady, and Carol attractive, while Sayd’s vow creates some tension in that she will be broken away from her beloved Ganthet should their gambit against Nekron succeed.  Overall, this book is good work, but the road the Lanterns travel feels  a little bit uneven overall.  Still, Green Lantern #48 provides important information for the crossover, some nice character support for Hal and the other main Lanterns, and earns a not-at-all-disrespectable 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  We shall see what next issue brings after the tragic events of the main storyline… 

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