Or – “It’s Like A Wacky Sitcom Where Alien Opposites Live Together On Earth And Drink Lattes…” 

If the War of Light is over, then who is the mysterious entity with designs on the seven corps of the emotional spectrum, and why in the world is there a white lantern on earth?  Blackest Night may be gone, but mysteries abound in its’ wake.  On a related note, Atrocitus discovers the true meaning of rage when he encounters the most horrible creature on Earth…  the New York City subway system!

 Green Lantern #54
Written by GEOFF JOHNS

Published by DC COMICS

Previously, on Green Lantern:  In the wake of the Blackest Night, the various hues of the emotional spectrum have found a tenuous peace with one another.  Several heroes and villains (all from Earth, oddly enough) have been permanently resurrected by the power of the white entity, and a White Lantern has crashed to Earth.  Sinestro has found himself unable to lift the thing (apparently being unworthy of it’s power?) while Star Sapphire Carol Ferris and Green Lantern Hal Jordan are unsure whether the Korugarian or the lantern itself is the bigger threat.  Meanwhile, a mysterious entity from beyond the void seems to have an unusual interest in the various colors of the emotional spectrum, to the point of laughing maniacally in a dark robe in a dead corner of space while he contemplates them.  Maybe he’s Alan Moore?  Either way, when his/her/its plan comes to light, I imagine we’ll be seeing less unity among the various lantern factions…

We begin in the subways of New York, that mythical land where Winstone found a ghost train and Tom Hanks got lost when he didn’t want to be Elfstar anymore.  A group of thugs and ruffians have taken over the E Train, threatening to endanger and have their way with the innocents within.  Suddenly, the entire trains screams to a halt, throwing everyone to the ground.  The doors open, and a menacing Ba-Bum Ba-Bum sound can be heard.  A blast of red energy burns one of the toughs to the bone, and panics everyone aboard, as the doors open and in walks…  Red Lantern kitty cat.  Heh.  Doug Mahnke does somethin that no previous artist has achieved, though, giving the kitty (Dex-Starr is apparently his name) an air of menace and evil, only overpowered by the presence of Atrocitus himself.  The windows of the car flash red as the master of rage interacts with the locals.  Meanwhile, in New Mexico, the presence of the White Lantern in the bottom of a crater is puzzling not only to local law enforcement, but to the key Lanterns of the green, purple and yellow spectrum.  Hal Jordan taunts Sinestro that old gourd-head isn’t the right man to lift the lantern, but then fails spectacularly himself, doing nothing to drown my desire to beat the crap out of Hal (an urge that cropped up halfway through Blackest Night and has yet to disperse.)

Only when Hal, Thaal and Carol combine their lifting efforts does anything happen, as the Lantern itself bursts into action and moans “Help me LIVE.”  They are surrounded by ghost-images of the 12 resurrectees of Blackest Night (Deadman, Osiris, Hawk, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Captain Boomerang, Max Lord, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Reverse-Flash, Jade and Firestorm) and Hal is distracted by seeing all his old pals, but the Lantern insists that they “FIND THEM.”   The Thems in question are apparently the five entities of living light from purple, orange, blue, indigo and red energy, as well as the Ion being.  Cut to Sodam Yat, still subsumed into the sun of planet Daxam, as he has been since he saved his homeworld from Mongul.  The mysterious entity in chains (now clearly a midget-sized character, making me think it’s a former Guardian…  Have we seen what happened to Scar at the end of B.N.?) arrives, draining his extra power, and casting him back down to the planet.  Coincidentally, they end up depowering thousands of Daxamites who likewise crash to the ground.  (Kryptonians under a red sun aren’t nearly as dramatic or squishy…)  Back in the desert, the mysterious White Lantern teleports our terrible trio to their fourth member, someone who is supposed to help them find the secrets:  Atrocitus.  The fighty-fighty ensues, and the issue ends with Hal getting choked by a thick steel chain (YAY!) as Lobo suddenly appears with a mad-on for Lanterns…

I don’t get the last page reveal of Lobo at all, unless we’re implying that he is somehow drawn to the ring of rage, or perhaps was summoned by Atrocitus?  It feels like 1993 all over again, as there doesn’t seem to be any really critical reason for him to appear in the issue, especially since the last place I remember seeing him was escaping from Hell a couple years ago in that one miniseries.  Mahnke does a fine-looking Lobo, though, as well as a disturbing Sinestro, a creepy Dex-Starr, a monstrous Atrocitus and a freakish, misshapen Carol Ferris.  Well, I suppose you can’t have EVERYTHING…  Where would you put it?  Much as my dismay with Brightest Day #1 and 2, though, there’s not really much more than lead-in and character interplay going on here, and given that LAST issue was pretty much the same, I’m annoyed with the story on general principle.  It seems that we have been thrown out of one giant overarching conflict into another, except this one has that slow burn of old firecrackers, the ones that suddenly flare and blow up in your fingers.  Sure, there’s a Brightest Day logo right there on the front, but I had hoped that a Green Lantern comic might actually have a little more GREEN LANTERN in it, as well as a little less kick-in-the-junk-worthy behavior from that main character.  The best moment in the issue involved a flesh-eating alien super-powered cat, though, so it’s got that going for it.  The build-up to Brightest Day is obviously meant to tease us all into slavering over the next big reveal, but I find that (especially in my post-Siege, post-Blackest-Night torpor) it’s having the opposite effect, making me wonder how much I’ll really miss if I drop one of the soon-to-be-three monthly GL titles…  or if I drop ALL of them.  I’m not quite there yet, mostly due to the efforts of Mahnke and Alamy on art, but Green Lantern #54 earns a half-hearted and disappointed 2 out of 5 stars overall from me.  An issue that felt like nothing but trailers for coming events is annoying enough without having had FIVE of the same, about the same story, in recent weeks…

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day:  Is anybody else of a mind to just whale the tar out of this super-cocky, over-the-top obnoxious characterization of Hal Jordan, or is it just me?

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. Lee Goldberg
    May 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm — Reply

    yeah, a bit.., Though I would probably run in the opposite direction REALLY FAST after I socked him.

  2. MaximusRift
    May 27, 2010 at 10:28 pm — Reply

    I’m buying GLCorps and not GL. What do you think?

  3. Armaan
    May 28, 2010 at 2:21 am — Reply

    I’m not sure I like or dislike Hal Jordan. I’m still wanting to see more Kyle Rayner, but oh well. I am glad that they’ve set up a character and they’re sticking with it. He may be annoying, but at least you know it’s because he’s being Hal and not because of a really annoying writer. I think there SHOULD be some people you dislike, even if they ARE Justice League status superheroes.

    I’m finding that The Brightest Day is easier to read if you don’t look at it so much as an event but more of a crossover mystery. What does the Entity want? What is the purpose of the resurrected 15? And what’s going to happen now that we have seven corps – who, incidentally, all know that Earth is where life started and think it’s a good idea to headquarter there – Larfleeze seems to be fond of the planet :).

    Yeah, to just pretend it’s not REALLY an event and ignore that big label on the cover and just read it to see the aftermath of the blackest night and the ‘war’ of light(wasn’t much of a war if you ask me)… that sorta eases the attention of ANOTHER HUGE COMIC EVENT!!!

    Also, did anyone else notice that the subway number is 666?

  4. brenton8090
    May 28, 2010 at 6:35 am — Reply

    Damn! Can’t believe I missed that varient cover. Talk about sweeeet. The cover to Green Lantern Corps blew me away, but I was confused when both GL and GLC dropped on the same day, both with Atrocitus, in two different places. Which happens first? What happened to your precious CONTINUITY?

    Also, ART ERROR ALERT: Being a huge nerd, I caught this: When Atrocitus makes his map of blood, showing the various entities, and it has the symbols for the different corps, they goofed. Instead of the symbol for the Blue corps, they drew the symbol for the Sinestro Corps on the map, even though ATricitus actually SAYS “Parralax is nowhere to be seen.” Despite the fact the he seems to be staring right at it. I know it’s small, but you’d think the artist could figure out which symbol goes with which corps.


    • May 30, 2010 at 12:16 am — Reply

      The blue and yellow symbols are pretty much interchangable to my eye. They’re VERY similar…

      • brenton8090
        May 30, 2010 at 7:11 am — Reply

        I only remember them because in the back of one of the blackest night’s, theres was a back up explaining how they came up with them. The sides of the yellow go upwards, like its trying to grab you and pull you down, where the blue arms come down and around, like an enveloping hug.

        Or something.

  5. Greg A
    May 28, 2010 at 7:53 am — Reply

    I found the events on Daxam to be rather disturbing, especially given what had occurred during the War of the Superman mini-series. Definitely not a good month if you happen to be a yellow sun powered superbeing.

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