The Green Lantern Corps has taken a beating in their first battle against the forces of New Genesis, and now they have to call upon some unusual allies if they are to succeed… Your Major Spoilers review of Green Lantern #36 awaits!
Previously in Green Lantern: The New 52 relaunch of Green Lantern began with Sinestro as the active Lantern of Sector 2814, but he was eventually forced to bring in Hal Jordan to help him with another crisis, leading Sinestro to remind Jordan that they are, and will always be friends (a supposition that Hal doubts.) When the Guardians Of The Universe once again split from the world, they left Hal Jordan as the commander of the Green Lantern Corps. Unfortunately, ALL the Lantern Corps have been hit hard by attacks by Orion, scion of New Genesis, and their rings captured. Where can Hal and his army turn for succor?
WAR WITH THE NEW GODS
Wouldja believe The Sinestro Corps homeworld of New Korugar? Yeah, I thought it was a bad idea too. We get a quick vignette of what’s happening on New Genesis with a much younger seeming Highfather arguing with his headstrong son that the Lanterns shouldn’t be killed, because Highfather wants to use them as weapons, cannon fodder in their endless war against Apokalips. As the Corps tries to regroup on New Korugar, they’re shocked when the Guardians Of The Universe arrive, telling them that New Genesis not only has possession of rings of the seven Corps, they have… Kyle Rayner, The White Lantern. The story has some issues for me, as Hal Jordan tries to be a good leader and plot out a rational course for the Lanterns under his care, but Sinestro informs him that he needs to stop thinking. There’s a lot of discussion of how Hal Jordan must be a loose cannon in order to be effective, which is really counterproductive (and sounds pretty juvenile) to be honest, and the story ends with Hal going out of his way to gather the one kind of ring that his enemies haven’t captured: The Black Lantern ring of Black Hand.
BLACK HAND IS STILL HORRIFIC
The pages with Black Hand are more than a little bit gross, but pretty funny in a terrible way (his cadre of zombies includes Houdini and the Flying Graysons), but the end of the issue seems like yet another remix of the plot of ‘Blackest Night’: Multiple Corps with glowing rings throwing beams at one another until somebody decides it’s over. The battle with The First Lantern, the war with Relic, the endless cycles of fighty-fighty we’ve seen since then all kind of blur together for me, and this fight doesn’t have a whole lot yet that differentiates it from any and all of those. Worst of all, when Hal actually tries to grow and change, the story makes it clear that he isn’t going to be allowed to, as he needs to be a loose cannon AND the greatest Lantern of them all, regardless of how little sense it makes. Artistically speaking, it’s a nice looking issue from Francis Portela, and every character (but especially Sinestro) looks really amazing throughout the issue, and he draws a nice chunk of zombies. Still, until these characters are allowed to be something other than static (Sinestro keeps doing more and more terrible things, and is always treated as a noble anti-hero, Saint Walker’s hope is once again shatter, Mogo is once again taken out of the equation early), it’s going to be just variations on a theme.
THE BOTTOM LINE: NOTHING NEW HERE
What is really frustrating is that they keep trying to tease us with changes to the Green lantern mythos, but never actually allowing any of the changes to stick, which makes for a frustrating Green Lantern reading experience, and one that can’t be ameliorated by endlessly upping the stakes in their intergalactic wars. Green Lantern #36 is a regrouping story that makes some poor choice, even though the art is pretty throughout, leaving us with a disappointing 2 out of 5 stars overall. After nearly ten years of the new Hal Jordan era, I’m ready to see some meaningful change in his life…